How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Record in Arizona? (2023 Law)

Background check repair icon.Written by Background Check Repair

Criminal Records | April 29, 2024

Man looking at Arizona DMV public records displayed on a computer screen and the state of Arizona on the left, thinks about how long does a DUI stay on your record in Arizona while a calendar behind him flips pages of months and years.

Many individuals may be confused by their state’s background check laws and ask, how long does a DUI stay on your record in Arizona?

The newly updated law for Arizona criminal records explains that Driving Under the Influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol convictions will remain on the individual’s record forever.

But…that doesn’t mean that people convicted of a DUI can’t keep those records from impacting their employment and residency. The key is knowing the law and how to fix your background check.

First, search the state database to see if the DUI shows up, then, use the following guide to learn the steps that can be taken to help minimize the impact of the conviction.

How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Record in Arizona?

Unlike some other convictions, DUI’s are not eligible for expungement or sealing in the state of Arizona. So, for the question, how long does a DUI stay on your record in Arizona, is forever.

Background checks laws are different in every state which results in plenty of confusion when individuals are trying to answer questions like: How long does a DUI stay on your record in Arizona?

In most states, criminal records of any kind will remain on the individual’s record forever. Very few states have extensive background checks laws of their own, and instead rely on federal laws such as those outlined by the FCRA to enforce criminal record related issues.1 Since there is no time limit on how long criminal records are available at the state level, most of these states will allow criminal records to be public information forever.

A few states have adopted the 7-year-rule which seals criminal history information from employers performing background checks after 7-10 years has passed since the crime was charged. Some states will also automatically seal specific criminal records after a certain amount of time has passed, or at the very least allow for a more streamlined process to getting certain criminal records sealed or expunged.

Screenshot of ADOT website page for motor vehicle services with yellow arrow pointing to driving under the influence

The Arizona Department of Transportation outlines the penalties for first and second offenses on their website, and for multiple convictions, drivers can face a number of punishments, including jail time.

Unfortunately when it comes to DUI convictions in the state of Arizona, none of these are possible. Not only does the state not follow the seven-year rule, meaning all criminal records remain with the individual forever, but the state also does not allow for sealing or expungement of DUI convictions.

Essentially, there are almost no options available unless there are extreme circumstances when it comes to getting rid of a DUI record.

How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Record for a Background Check?

When it comes to How long does a DUI stay on your record for a background check? The answer will depend on the state the background check is taking place in as well as the state that any crimes were committed in. As mentioned, if the background check is taking place in Arizona and the DUI was charged in Arizona, this information will remain on the individual’s criminal history record forever, so a standard background check will always find this information.2

However, individuals who have a DUI on record from a state other than Arizona might be in luck. Although most background check agencies will perform checks at the state, national and federal levels these days, they are still considered private background checks. Private background checks will not have access to information that is sealed due to state law like official agencies can.

For example, individuals undergoing a background check in Arizona that has a DUI charge from California that is older than 7 years will not have this information appear on the background check.

Individuals should familiarize themselves with the background check and criminal record laws of the state where the check is being performed as well as the state that any crimes were charged in.

How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Record for Employment?

Many individuals will be wondering how long does a DUI stay on your record for employment as opposed to an official background check. Employment background checks will need to abide by state laws, however many background checks will have their own policies when it comes to how checks are performed. Although Arizona is not a 7-year-state meaning that individuals can access criminal history information from 20 or more years ago if they wanted to, many background checks will not actually do this.

This is partly due to many states adopting 7-year-rules, so many background check services will only check back 7-10 years when performing criminal history checks. Although they are technically allowed to check back further, many will not report information that is older than 10 years. This will depend entirely on the background check service being used so individuals undergoing a pre-employment background check might consider contacting the agency to learn about their policies and how far back a background check will go.

How Long Does a DWI Stay on Your Driving Record?

In some situations, individuals ask: How long does a DUI stay on your record in Arizona? Are more concerned about their driving record than their criminal record. This is especially common for individuals who are applying for jobs with Amazon, UPS, or Uber in which a driving record check will be performed on the individual as part of the applicant screening process.

Individuals wondering how long does a DWI stay on your driving record should know that just like criminal records, how long driving records are kept is determined by state law, meaning it is different in every state. In most states, keeping driving records for 10 years is fairly standard. After 10 years any driving record information is removed and will no longer affect the individual’s MVR or affect the amount of points they have accumulated on their driver’s license.

In Arizona, this number is slightly lower. Arizona’s DMV will only keep driving records for 5 years, after which any information will be removed from the report.

This includes accidents, moving violations, and even DUI’s. Obviously, the information will still be on the individual’s criminal history check but the driving record will appear clean.

How Long Does DUI Stay on Record for Insurance?

Another common concern after getting a DUI is the financial ramifications. Besides expensive legal fees and fines that could accompany a DUI conviction, individuals will also want to know: how long does a DUI stay on your record for insurance?

DUI information will usually affect insurance rates for 3-5 years after the incident took place.

How To Get a DUI off Your Record in Arizona

The first thing that many people want to know after getting a DUI in Arizona is how to get a DUI off your record in Arizona. Unfortunately, there is no way to get a DUI conviction off of your record in the state. DUI’s are not eligible for expungement or sealing so they will remain on the record forever.

The only option available is to avoid a conviction altogether. This will likely require the aid of an attorney and is only possible with unique circumstances such as a contaminated blood test.

How Long Does a DUI Stay On Your Record in Arizona?

When it comes to how long does a DUI stay on your record in Arizona, the answer is forever for a criminal record. Driving records are usually only kept for 5 years, but the criminal record of the DUI will always show up on the record.

Can I Get a Federal Job With a DUI?

How a DUI will affect your job is a concern that is at the forefront of many people’s minds after being charged. Many people will want to know “Can they get a federal job with a DUI?” The restrictions for federal jobs are not quite as strict as many people would think. This is mostly due to there being so many different federal jobs with different job duties and requirements.

Screenshot of US Department of Labor website page for careers at DOL with yellow arrow pointing to understanding the federal hiring process

The federal hiring process doesn’t necessarily discriminate based on DUI’s. Each act is weighed based on the type of federal job being applied for and the severity of the crime.

Although there are plenty of federal jobs with strict hiring policies, plenty of other jobs will take criminal history information on a case-by-case basis.

Assuming the rest of the record is clean, a single DUI will not be a major red flag at many entry-level jobs with the federal government.3

Does a Suspended License Show Up on a Background Check?

Background checks are fairly confusing and most employers are content to let employees think that a background check will uncover all possible information, but this is largely untrue. Employers tend to only perform checks of information that is relevant to the job. Although criminal history checks will almost always fall into this category, driving records will not.

Screenshot of ADOT website page for motor vehicle services with yellow arrow pointing to license revocation and suspension

Arizona Department of Transportation outlines new laws that allow the state to revoke driving privileges for failure to pay civil traffic fines and violations.

Individuals wondering does a suspended license appears on a background check. Will likely have nothing to worry about. This information is only kept by the DMV and will only appear on a background check if the employer performs a driving record check.

Can Convicted Felons Get a Driver’s License?

Can convicted felons get a drivers license? Is a fairly common question since individuals will be rightly concerned about how they are going to get to work after a felony conviction. Convicted felons can apply for a driver’s license the same as someone with a clean criminal record.

The only exception is certain felonies will result in the individual’s license being suspended. This is common with DUI’s and certain drug related crimes.

Will DUI Fail Background Check?

Individuals wondering: Will a DUI fail a background check? Will need to consider several different factors to determine their chances. Generally a DUI will be a red flag on a background check but will rarely be something that is seen as an automatic disqualifier.

Most jobs will look at criminal history information to determine if there are any convictions that would affect the individual’s job performance or the safety and comfort of the other employees. DUI’s rarely fall into this category with the exception of jobs that require driving as part of the job duties.

Will a DUI Show Up on a Background Check After 10 Years?

Those familiar with the 7-year rule may be wondering will a DUI show up on a background check after 10 years? In most states a DUI will show up on a background check forever, including in Arizona. However, some states have certain laws that will seal DUI information after a certain amount of time.

Screenshot of AZ Department of Public Safety website page for public services portal with yellow arrow pointing to criminal history records

Arizona public services website provides instructions on how to complete a fingerprint background check for an employer.

Individuals should research their state background check laws to get a better idea.

Will an Out of State DUI Show Up on a Background Check?

It is a common misconception that employers only perform criminal history checks at the state level and many people will be wondering: Will an out-of-state DUI show up on a background check?

Virtually all of the private background check agencies that employers use perform state, national, and federal background checks these days. This is part of the reason that many job applications will ask for information about where the individual has lived in the last 5 years so that they can double-check these states or counties.

Any out-of-state criminal history information is likely to appear on a background check.

How Long Does It Take for a DUI To Show Up on a Background Check?

Individuals who have recently been convicted of a DUI will want to know: How long does it take for a DUI to show up on a background check?

Since almost all court records are kept electronically, a DUI charge will show up on a background check almost immediately. In most cases, the charge will be present by the next business day.

Individuals who are unsure of whether or not a DUI is on their record should perform a background check on themselves using the search bar at the top of this page to run a free public records search on themselves.

Individuals also have the option to hire a background check service to run a criminal history check on themselves. This will often require a fee but there are services that offer a 7-day free trial background check.

The last option for individuals looking to get the most thorough check possible is to run a federal background check on yourself. These are performed by the FBI as part of an identity history summary check.4 The check is fingerprint-based and requires a fee.

Set Aside DUI Arizona

Although it is impossible to get a DUI removed from an individual’s record in Arizona, some individuals may have heard of a set aside DUI Arizona.5 Although not as good as expungement, a set aside can be a useful way to minimize the effects of a DUI conviction.

Essentially a ‘set aside’ is a certificate that says the individual has served their penalty for the crime. When it comes to background checks, employers will see that this conviction was set aside which will greatly increase the individual’s chances.

Does a DUI Go Away After 7 Years in Arizona?

Some people may be under the impression that all crimes are sealed after seven years and will be wondering: Does a DUI go away after 7 years in Arizona? Arizona is one of the few states that requires DUI charges to remain on an individual’s record forever.

Arizona DUI Records

Those wondering where to find Arizona DUI records will have a couple of options available.6 The first is to run a background check on themselves using the search bar at the top of this page or by hiring a private background check service to perform a check.

Screenshot of AZ Courts website page with yellow arrow pointing to Arizona Judicial Branch

Recent pushes to “set aside DUI” in Arizona have been used to help first time offenders reduce the impact of a DUI on their criminal record.

Another option is to go directly to the court where the crime was charged and make records requests using the name of the individual that was charged.

Does a DUI Stay on Your Criminal Record?

When it comes to does a DUI stay on your criminal record? It will depend on the state where the crime was charged. In most states the charge will remain on the person’s criminal record forever, but some states will limit this to 10 years or offer expungement opportunities.

Misdemeanor DUI and Employment

The effects of misdemeanor DUI and employment might not be as bad as many would expect. Most employers will see a DUI charge as a red flag but not a major one. The best thing to do is to be prepared with a response that demonstrates remorse and a desire to move forward.

Do Employers Care About DUI?

Some individuals may have heard that DUI’s are serious when it comes to employment checks or that they do not matter at all. So, do employers care about DUI? Most employers will care but it is unlikely to be a major factor unless the individual has a poor attitude towards the crime or the job requires driving.

What If a DUI Did Not Show Up on Background Check?

Some individuals will be surprised that a DUI did not show up on background check. The most likely scenario for this is that the background check service did not check the court records where the DUI was held, such as if it occurred in another state. Another possibility is that the charge was automatically sealed after a certain amount of time had passed.

How Much Does It Cost To Get a DWI Expunged?

Many individuals who heard about the expungement process may be wondering: how much does it cost to get a DWI expunged? Individuals should first be aware that it is not possible to simply pay a fee to have a crime expunged. Expungement is not always possible and will depend on state laws and various requirements to be met before the individual is even eligible to file for expungement.

The only cost related to expungement besides potential lawyer fees is the filing fee itself. This is often fairly low and in many counties it will be free to submit expungement forms to the courts. Even in the states where there is a filing fee it should not exceed $150.

Frequently Asked Questions About How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Record in Arizona

How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Record?

Most people are asking, how long does a DUI reflected on your record? A DUI will stay on your record forever in most states. However, some states limit criminal history information to 10 years unless it is sealed or expunged before this.

Does a DUI Show Up on a Background Check?

Many people are curious about what will show up on their background checks. Therefore, they might ask: Does a DUI appear on a background check? A DUI will always show up on a background check that checks criminal history information unless the crime has been sealed or state law prevents it from appearing.

Will a DUI Show Up on an Employment Background Check?

Most employment background checks include a criminal history check so a DUI will almost always appear on a background check.

Will a DUI From 20 Years Ago Show Up on a Background Check?

A DUI that is older than 10 years old is unlikely to show up on a background check, even in states that allow criminal records to remain forever. Most background check agencies only search back 7-10 years although they are often able to search further back.

Criminal record laws are extremely confusing. Although most states allow for the sealing of records after enough time has passed, when it comes to How long does a DUI stay on your record in Arizona, the answer is forever.


1Office of Inspector General. (2022). Fair Credit Reporting Act. Federal Trade Commission. Retrieved October 18, 2022, from <>

2Arizona Department of Public Safety. (2022).IMPAIRED DRIVING. Arizona State Troopers. Retrieved October 18, 2022, from <>

3U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR. (2022). Understanding the Federal Hiring Process. Department of Labor. Retrieved October 18, 2022, from <>

4United State Government. (2022). Identity History Summary Checks. FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION. Retrieved October 18, 2022, from <>

52022 Arizona State Legislature. (2022). Setting Aside Judgement. Arizona State Legislature. Retrieved October 18, 2022, from <>

6Arizona Judicial Branch. (2022). Home. Arizona Courts. Retrieved October 18, 2022, from <>

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