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

Background check repair icon.Written by Background Check Repair

Criminal Records | September 14, 2022

Online background check report on a computer screen in the upper left corner, magnifying glass in the middle and below both a police cruiser behind a red car issuing a DUI arrest while a man in a yellow shirt standing next to the magnifying glass with his hands on his hips considers a calendar on his right showing how long does a DUI stay on your record.

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How long does a DUI stay on your record?

Driving Under the Influence (DUI) is one of the most serious driving offenses to appear on a background check, and individuals who have been charged with a DUI may be wondering “How long does a DUI stay on your background check?”

It becomes even more important when applying for a job that runs an MVR report, such as an Uber background check, UPS background check, or FedEx background check.

The answer to these questions is complicated and varies from state to state. But anyone can skip the questions and discover what shows up on a background check and how long something stays on your record, including DUIs, quickly by using a 7-day free trial background check service or by learning how to get a criminal background check on their own.

Running a background check on yourself is crucial because a DUI is part of the public record, which means that people don’t need permission to run a background check on you and see the DUI charges or convictions.

This guide outlines all the state laws concerning DUI convictions (and multiple DUIs) as well as how to get a personal background check for DUI right now.

Check Your Background For a DUI Right Now

To get a background check on yourself, there are two steps involved.

Step 1. Visit your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles and request a copy of your driving record.

There is usually a small fee for this record, but it’s typically less than $20.

Simply search the state’s website and navigate to “driving records request” or a similar screen. Fill out the records request form and pay for the report.

Step 2. Get a Criminal background check on yourself.

To do this, visit your state police website and navigate to the “background check” or “criminal records request” page.

Most state police departments have these tools easily accessible.

Fill out the background check request form and pay the fee for obtaining the personal background check.

Related Reading: Do police reports go on your record?

How Long Does DUI Stay On Your Driving Record?

Driving Under the Influence (DUI) – alternately DWI, OWI, OUI, or OVI – is one of the most serious driving violations an individual can be charged with, and it comes with a bevy of consequences for the offender.

In most states, a DUI is considered a criminal offense as well as a traffic violation. This means that a DUI can show up in various places on a background check, including criminal history and driving record.

So how long does a DUI stay on your record with the DMV (Division of Motor Vehicles)? In general, individuals can expect a DUI to appear on their driving record (MVR report) for a period of five to ten years, though there are several states which extend far beyond this.2

Under the Driver’s Privacy Protection Act,16 an individual must give signed consent for an unauthorized individual to obtain their driving record.

Screenshot of Driver's privacy protection act, which prohibits personal information from being released in state motor vehicle records, but that state agencies may see the personal information of drivers.

First and second offenses are usually charged as misdemeanors, though each subsequent offense carries additional penalties. In several states, such as California, a third DUI is automatically upgraded to a felony which has extensive repercussions.15

Therefore, the length of time a DUI stays on a driving record is crucial in determining if someone is considered a first-time offender or a repeat offender.

Related Reading: Does a dismissed misdemeanor show up on a background check?

How Long Does DUI Stay On Record Reports: All 50 States

A DUI arrest and subsequent driver’s license suspension appear on the MVR report from the date of the arrest, and conviction dates also appear on the DMV record.1 The lookback period for DUI commonly extends from five to ten years from the arrest date on an individual’s driving record, but there are many states with notable exceptions.13

With so much individual variance from state to state, a look at all fifty states’ DUI laws is warranted. Use the table below for a quick reference on “lookback periods” or to access each state’s DUI laws.

How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Driving Record By StateState DUI LawTime Frame
How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Record In Alabama?Drivers License Point System
DUI Sentencing Form
5 years
How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Record in Alaska?The Alaska Court System
About D.U.I
For Life
How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Record in Arizona?Arizona Department of Transportation
Driving Under the Influence
5 years
How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Record in Arkansas?Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration
DUI/DWI Information
5 years
How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Record in California?California Driver Handbook10 years
How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Record in Colorado?Colorado Drunk Driving Laws10 years
How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Record in Connecticut?Connecticut DUI Law10 years
How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Record in Delaware?Delaware DMV
Driver Improvement
5 years
How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Record in Florida?Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles
Florida DUI and Administrative Suspension Laws
75 years
How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Record in Georgia?Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety
Impaired Driving Laws
10 years
How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Record in Hawaii?Hawaii DUI Laws5 years
How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Record in Idaho?Idaho Transportation Department
Idaho’s 0.08% BAC Law
For life
How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Record in Illinois?Illinois Secretary of State
DUI Fact Book
For life
How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Record in Indiana?Indiana Impaired Driving LawsFor life
How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Record in Iowa?Iowa Department of Transportation
Iowa OWI
12 years
How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Record in Kansas?Kansas Department of Transportation
DUI Laws
5 years
How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Record in Kentucky?DUI Laws in Kentucky10 years
How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Record in Louisiana?Louisiana State Legislature
Driving Offenses
10 years
How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Record in Maine?Bureau of Highway Safety
Maine’s OUI Laws Explained
For life
How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Record in Maryland?Motor Vehicle Administration
Impaired Driving Laws
5 years
How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Record in Massachusetts?Massachusetts DUI Laws10 years
How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Record in Michigan?Michigan Impaired Driving Law
Michigan Vehicle Code
7 years
How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Record in Minnesota?Minnesota Department of Public Safety
Impaired Driving Laws
10 years
How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Record in Mississippi?Mississippi Legislature
Senate Bill 2572
5 years
How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Record in Missouri?Missouri Department of Revenue
Driving While Intoxicated (DWI)
10 years
How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Record in Montana?Montana Department of Transportation
DUI Penalties
5 years
How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Record in Nebraska?Nebraska Revised Statute 60-6, 197.0312 years
How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Record in Nevada?Nevada DUI Laws7 years
How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Record in New Hampshire?New Hampshire Motor Vehicles
Alcohol or Drug Impairment 
10 years
How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Record in New Jersey?New Jersey Laws and Penalties
Driving While Intoxicated
10 years
How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Record in New Mexico?New Mexico Motor Vehicle Department
DWI Information
55 years
How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Record in New York?New York Department of Motor Vehicles15 years
How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Record in North Carolina?North Carolina Department of Public Safety
Driving While Impaired
7 years
How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Record in North Dakota?North Dakota Penalties for Driving Impaired7 years
How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Record in Ohio?Ohio Legislative Service Commission
Ohio Traffic Laws 
For life
How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Record in Oklahoma?Oklahoma Highway Safety10 years
How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Record in Oregon?Oregon Vehicle Code
Chapter 813 – Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants
For life
How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Record in Pennsylvania?PennDOT Driver & Vehicle Services
.08 DUI Legislation
10 years
How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Record in Rhode Island?Rhode Island Division of Motor Vehicles
Alcohol-Related License Suspensions
5 years
How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Record in South Carolina?South Carolina Department of Public Safety
Laws Relative to Impaired Driving
10 years
How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Record in South Dakota?South Dakota Department of Public Safety
Impaired Driving
10 years
How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Record in Tennessee?Tennessee Department of Safety & Homeland Security
DUI Offenses
For life
How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Record in Texas?Texas Department of Transportation
Driving Under the Influence
For life
How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Record in Utah?Utah Department of Public Safety – DUI10 years
How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Record in Vermont?Vermont State Highway Safety Office
Impaired Driving (Alcohol and Drugs)
For life
How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Record in Virginia?Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles
Drinking and Driving
11 years
How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Record in Washington?Washington State Department of Licensing
DUI (Driving Under the Influence)
15 years
How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Record in West Virginia?West Virginia DUI Law10 years
How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Record in Wisconsin?Wisconsin DUI Law10 years
How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Record in Wyoming?Wyoming DUI Statutes10 years

Can You Pass A Background Check With A DUI?

Individuals with a DUI on their driving records and criminal history are likely anxious and concerned about their ability to pass a background check. The good news is that a DUI does not result in absolute, unqualified failure on a background check.

The Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EOCC)17 advises employers to consider each candidate’s circumstances on a case-by-case basis and weigh the DUI conviction in terms of how it may affect the candidate’s ability to fulfill the requirements of the job.

EEOC website screenshot of authority and role definitions with yellow arrows pointing to the roles and authorities allowed by the Equal Employment opportunity commission.

Whether an applicant passes a background check with a DUI depends on many factors, including:3

  • Level of DUI (misdemeanor/felony)
  • Recency of DUI
  • Number of DUIs
  • Aggravating Factors/Compounding Crimes
  • Employer Variables (nature of the job, company policy, individual discretion)

There are several variables related to a DUI conviction that mediate its impact on a background check. In most states, a first offense or second offense DUI will be charged as a misdemeanor. Several states automatically upgrade third or fourth offenses to a felony DUI.

  • A DUI may also be charged as a felony if there are other factors (injuries, fatalities) that exacerbate the crime. Needless to say, a felony DUI will make it much more difficult to pass a background check than a misdemeanor DUI.
  • The recency of the DUI conviction is important because a DUI within the last year is more likely to reflect an individual’s current mindset and behavior than a DUI from ten years back. A recent DUI equates to a greater hiring risk for an employer.
  • The number of DUIs is a huge factor in determining whether an individual passes a background check. While a single DUI may indicate a lapse of judgment, multiple DUIs within a specified time frame is more likely to reflect an individual’s personality, overall judgment, and decision-making ability.
  • Aggravating factors for a DUI may include issues such as possession of drugs on the person at the time of DUI, presence of a minor in the car at the time of DUI, etc., and this goes hand-in-hand with compounding crimes. If an individual is convicted of multiple crimes in a limited time period or multiple crimes at the time of the DUI arrest, this looks worse on a background check. US Government website screenshot of impaired driving laws, enforcement and prevention outlining Blood Alcohol levels that indicate a DUI.

There are also several variables not directly related to the DUI which mediate its impact on a background check. The nature of the job applied for is a very big one, as driving jobs or jobs requiring a lot of responsibility for other people will be much harder to secure.

Additionally, some companies may have specific policies with regard to hiring an individual with single or multiple DUI offenses. A DUI will almost always raise a red flag on a background check, and it is up to the employer’s discretion whether an individual will pass a background check.

Related Reading: How to clear a background check

It is extremely important that an applicant be honest with the employer throughout the pre-employment process and explain the circumstances surrounding the DUI conviction and demonstrate behavioral change and rehabilitation when possible.3

How Long Does A DUI Stay On Your Record For Insurance?

Insurance companies evaluate an individual’s driving record when estimating insurance rates, so it follows that people want to know “How long does a DUI stay on your record for insurance?” In most states, car insurance prices will be affected by a DUI for three to five years.11

A single DUI may result in as much as an 80% increase on a premium. However, in many DUI cases, insurance companies may be looking at the impact of multiple convictions on an auto insurance policy.

Many states use a point system to track traffic violations on the MVR report, and insurance quotes tend to correspond with the number of points on the driving record. Points do fall off of a record over time if no further violations occur, but insurers can be expected to look at the last five years of a person’s driving history.13

A DUI conviction can be very intimidating for individuals seeking employment, particularly as the time for a background check arises. Persons asking “How long does a DUI stay on your record?” or “How long does a DUI stay on your background check?” should check their backgrounds by running a background check on themselves for DUI convictions in order to see if the DUI is still a problem.

Frequently Asked Questions About How Long Does A Dui Stay On Your Record?

Does A DUI Pop Up On A Background Check?

A DUI is a criminal offense, and it remains on a person’s criminal record indefinitely, unless expunged. A recent DUI within the last ten years will show up on most background checks and MVR reports.9

How Long Does DUI Stay On Background Check?

Individuals nervous about background check may be wondering “How long does a DUI stay on a background check?” A DUI shows up on a criminal history check for at least seven to ten years, and perhaps longer depending on the employer and type of background check conducted. While most states drop DUIs from the driving records within ten years, some states retain the record much longer, and the DUI can show up on the MVR report beyond ten years. Additionally, high-level government checks may even report DUIs that have been expunged or sealed.3

Will A DUI Show Up On A Background Check After 10 Years?

While typical background checks only look back seven to ten years in an individual’s criminal history, government checks can look back much further to uncover offenses and even arrests without convictions from farther back than ten years. Furthermore, in some of the stricter states on alcohol-related driving offenses, a DUI can remain on the driving record for life and show up on any background check which pulls DMV records. Run a personal background check now to see what shows up.

How Long Is A DUI On Your Record?

The length of time a DUI is on record depends on the type of record and the state’s DUI laws. A DUI remains on a criminal record forever unless expunged, and some states may not allow the expungement of DUIs.6

A DUI stays on the individual’s driving record for at least five years in all states and significantly longer in many states.3

How Long Does A DWI Stay On Your Record?

A DWI, or Driving While Intoxicated, is another name for DUI. While DUI is the term used in most of the United States, DWI is the second most common, and it is used in the following states:8

  • Alaska
  • Arkansas
  • Louisiana
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • North Carolina
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • Rhode Island
  • South Dakota
  • Texas

Persons living in these states may wonder if a DWI functions differently than a DUI. A DWI is essentially the same as a DUI. A DWI remains on a criminal record indefinitely unless expunged (except for in New Jersey, where a DWI is not considered a criminal offense). A DWI remains on the driving record for a period of five to ten years in all of the above states, excluding New Mexico (55 years) and Texas (for life).[2]

How Long Does A DUI Stay On Your Record For A Background Check?

For any person wondering “How long does a DUI stay on your record for a background check?”, there is not a universal answer. There are a few factors to consider for a background check, such as:

In almost all the states, a DUI is a criminal offense and will remain on a person’s criminal record until expunged. The length a DUI remains on a driving record depends largely on the state and can range from five years to live.5

Typical background checks look back seven to ten years in criminal history, though there is no guarantee a specific employer will only look back ten years. A DUI is visible on the driving record until it falls off (see state table for time frame), and MVR reports are public records and readily accessible through background checks. Depending on the state, a DUI can appear on a background check anywhere from seven years to life unless expunged.

More stringent background checks, such as those conducted for high-level government jobs, are likely to see a person’s entire criminal history and driving record and should turn up any DUI since driving age.

How Many Years Does It Take For A DUI To Be Taken Off Your Record In Florida?

Florida does not allow DUI convictions to be expunged from criminal records. Additionally, Florida is one of the strictest states in terms of alcohol-related driving offenses. An individual’s MVR report will retain a DUI on record for 75 years, which is significantly longer than the majority of states.4

How Long Does A DUI Stay On Background Check?

Many individuals have made mistakes in the past and carry a DUI on their criminal record. These individuals are likely to inquire “How long does a DUI stay on your background check?” Although a DUI is a criminal offense in almost every single state and remains on a criminal record forever, the good news is that many states allow individuals to petition for a DUI to be expunged or sealed after the probationary period has ended.6

An expunged DUI will not show up on a typical background check but will likely still show up on higher-level government checks. For individuals residing in a state that retains a DUI on the driving record for longer than ten years, the MVR report will still show the DUI conviction even if it has been expunged from the criminal record.

How Long Does A DUI Stay On Your Record In US?

In the United States, the individual states determine their DUI laws which dictate how long a DUI remains on a driving record. Each state uses a system to decide how a DUI is charged, punished, and recorded. For some states, such as Maryland and Arkansas, a single-offense DUI falls off the MVR report in five years. Other states, such as Texas and Illinois, maintain the record for life.15

How Long Will A DUI Stay On A Background Check?

There are a few questions to ask to get a full picture of how long does a DUI stay on your background check.

  • Was the DUI expunged or eligible for expungement?
  • What state did the DUI occur in?
  • What type of background check is being conducted?

For individuals seeking federal employment, the background check conducted will reveal any misdemeanor or felony DUI offense from an individual’s entire driving history. However, typical background checks will only look back seven to ten years of criminal history for misdemeanor DUIs. An older felony DUI may be revealed to the employer.

If a person has their DUI successfully expunged, a typical background check will not find that DUI record, and it will only show up on background checks which pull driving records. In this case, the state’s DUI laws determine how long the DUI remains on the MVR report.

How Long Does It Take For A DUI To Get Off Your Record When It Is Expunged Texas?

In Texas, individuals are charged with DWI rather than DUI. The DWI remains on a person’s driving record for life in the state of Texas. Under some circumstances, individuals can petition for expungement or non-disclosure of a DUI. This process can take as little as two years and as much as five years from start to finish.12

Can You Expunge A DUI In California?

Under California’s DUI laws, a DUI remains on a person’s driving record for ten years before it falls off.4, 14 It remains on the criminal record for life unless expunged. Per California Penal Code §1203.4,18 a DUI conviction is eligible for expungement in California once all probationary terms have been completed and fines have been paid.7, 10


References

1Avvo. (2021, October 30). The California DMV Listing Both Arrest Date and Conviction Date on Driving Record? Avvo Q&A. Retrieved June 14, 2022, from <https://www.avvo.com/legal-answers/the-california-dmv-listing-both-arrest-date-and-co-5393853.html>

2Beardsley, A. (2022, May 20). How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Record? Insurify. Retrieved June 10, 2022, from <https://insurify.com/car-insurance/cheap-car-insurance/driving-record/how-long-does-a-dui-stay-on-your-record/>

3Checkr Editorial. (2021, September 22). Misdemeanor DUI and Employment: The Details You Need to Know. Checkr. Retrieved June 14, 2022, from <https://checkr.com/blog/misdemeanor-dui-and-employment#:~:text=One%20of%20the%20most%20common,lying%20about%20a%20conviction%20can>

4Delgado, A. (2016, October 2). How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Record? Aaron Delgado & Associates. Retrieved June 10, 2022, from <https://communitylawfirm.com/how-long-does-dui-stay-your-record>

5Feiner, M. (2021, August 2). How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Record. Steinger, Greene & Feiner. Retrieved June 15, 2022, from <https://www.injurylawyers.com/blog/how-long-does-a-dui-stay-on-your-record/>

6FindLaw. (2018, October 23). DUI Expungement Laws by State. FindLaw. Retrieved June 14, 2022, from <https://www.findlaw.com/dui/cases/dui-expungement-laws-by-state.html>

7Higbee & Associates. (2022). Overview of California DUI Expungement. RecordGone. Retrieved June 15, 2022, from <https://www.recordgone.com/expunge_california_dui.htm#:~:text=A%20DUI%20may%20be%20expunged,not%20affect%20your%20DMV%20record>

8Intoxalock. (2020, October 12). OWI, OVI, DWI, OUI: Different Names for Impaired Driving. Intoxalock Ignition Interlock. Retrieved June 15, 2022, from <https://www.intoxalock.com/blog/post/whats-the-difference-between-alcohol-offenses/>

9The Law Offices of Barbara A. Bowden. (2022). How Long Will a DUI Stay on My Record? The Law Offices of Barbara A. Bowden. Retrieved June 14, 2022, from <https://trafficticketsgone.com/faq/long-will-dui-stay-record/>

10Los Angeles DUI Attorney. (2022). How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Record in California? LosAngelesDUIAttorney.com. Retrieved June 15, 2022, from <https://www.losangelesduiattorney.com/dui-faq/how-long-does-a-dui-stay-on-your-record-in-california/>

11Metz, J. (2021, April 19). How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Record? Forbes Advisor. Retrieved June 14, 2022, from <https://www.forbes.com/advisor/car-insurance/how-long-does-dui-stay-on-record/>

12Peveto Law. (2020, September 5). How Long Does a DWI Stay on Your Record in Texas? Peveto Law Office. Retrieved June 14, 2022, from <https://www.pevetolaw.com/dwi/how-long-does-a-dwi-stay-on-your-record-in-texas/#:~:text=Getting%20A%20DWI%20Expunged%20in,Your%20case%20was%20dismissed>

13Prindle, L. (2020, December 17). How Long Does a DUI or DWI Stay on Your Driving Record? QuoteWizard. Retrieved June 10, 2022, from <https://quotewizard.com/auto-insurance/how-long-does-a-dui-stay-on-your-record#how-long-a-dui-stays-on-your-record-in-each-state>

14Shouse, N. (2021, May 26). How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Driving Record in California? Law Vegas Defense Group. Retrieved June 15, 2022, from <https://www.shouselaw.com/ca/blog/dui/dui-expungement/>

15Thompson, M. (2022). How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Record? Lawrina. Retrieved June 10, 2022, from <https://lawrina.com/blog/how-long-does-a-dui-stay-on-record/>

16DRIVER’S PRIVACY PROTECTION ACT. (2022). DRIVER’S PRIVACY PROTECTION ACT. Retrieved June 17, 2022, from <https://dmv.ny.gov/forms/mv15dppa.pdf>

17About EEOC. (2022). U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Retrieved June 17, 2022, from <https://www.eeoc.gov/>

18Code Section Part 2 Title 8 Chapter 1. (2022). California Legislative Information. Retrieved June 17, 2022, from <https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displaySection.xhtml?sectionNum=1203.4.&lawCode=PEN>

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