DUI Insurance in North Carolina


DUI insurance is the status of insurance after being convicted of driving while intoxicated.  Since your insurance company now labels you a high-risk driver, you may have difficulty keeping your insurance in its current form.


North Carolina is one of the toughest states for DWI offenders. If you are a first-time offender, you can still face jail time, community service, fines, and a mandatory license suspension. These are administrative and criminal penalties of being convicted of a DWI/DUI. You’ll also need to obtain DUI insurance policy


DUI and DWI insurance are often interchangeable terms. For the sake of clarity, we will refer to both cases as DUI insurance for the remainder of this page.


What happens after a DUI conviction?


Before you can even consider DUI insurance, you need to be concerned about getting your license back. As you well know, your license has been suspended. If it has been over 10 days, you can apply for driving privileges to drive to and from work. You must endure these restrictions for one year from your conviction date.


After the one year, you are able to apply to reinstate your license. You will need to obtain a signed DL123 from a licensed insurance agent to prove you have DUI insurance; then your license should be reinstated.


Normally the department of motor vehicles would require an SR-22, a form that gives proof of DUI insurance, for a high-risk driver. Luckily, North Carolina is not one of those states. This does not, however, relieve you from having the state-mandated insurance coverage.


A DUI insurance policy is going to be pricier than a standard policy, even for liability insurance.   North Carolina has an assigned high-risk pool, called the NC reinsurance facility, and insurance companies can place you in that facility with a DUI conviction now on your record.


How much does insurance increase after DUI?


Insurance.com has a study showing DUI insurance in North Carolina has a 321% increase over a standard liability policy. A high-risk driver in the state of North Carolina, on average, would have to pay $2880 per year for liability only DUI insurance.


For a first-time offender, a few insurance companies do not automatically place drivers in the high-risk pool and force them to purchase DUI insurance. This will help your rate, but does not mean you will be kept from paying higher premiums.


How long does a DUI stay on your insurance?


DUI insurance could impact your insurance rates for up to three years.  This is a benefit because insurance companies usually only look back on the most recent three years of driving history. This only helps if you do not have any further violations.


How long do points stay on your license in NC?


Once you get through your suspension, one year in the case of a first offense, if you have no other offenses, your license should not have any points on it. There are, however, additional fees you have to pay to get your license back, and you will have to reapply for a license and retake any exams.


Your DUI insurance rates will remain high until you reach three years of being violation free. After the three years without any further violations, you can check with your insurance company to see if you are eligible for a reduction of your DWI insurance.


How long does a DUI stay on your record?


Having DUI insurance will stick with you for longer than the one-year suspension and three-years of good behavior standard. The process for removing a DUI from your record has two very different time periods.


North Carolina has what is called a “look-back” period. This is the period of time from your conviction date that any other violation would be considered a second offense. A second offense would trigger additional fines, jail time, and further loss of driving privileges. You would also have to keep your DUI insurance for a longer duration of time.


With the second time period, if you remain violation free, you could request that your DUI violation is expunged from your driving record. This, however, requires a fifteen-year lapse of time from your conviction and is a lengthy process due to the number of agencies involved. Keep in mind that every violation resets the expungement clock. Even though you are no longer considered a high-risk by your insurance company and you are no longer paying for DUI insurance, your conviction will remain on your record until it is expunged.

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