Confused about your driving record

Driving Record versus Driving Abstract

Clients often ask how long a traffic ticket remains on their driving record and how long it may have an impact. Really the answer is – forever.[pullquote] ICBC maintains a full driving history containing all of your traffic violations as well as all of your driving suspensions and prohibitions[/pullquote]

Infractions are not deleted from your driving record.

ICBC confuses people by referring to the driving abstract as the driving record. Driving abstract, which is the document you obtain from ICBC, includes the past five years of convictions and infractions on your record.

Driving Abstract

It is this abstract, or portions of it, that is most often viewed when deciding insurance matters, driver penalty points, risk premiums and whether to prohibit you from driving.

For instance, when calculating Driver Penalty Point premiums, ICBC considers a 12-month period. When calculating Driver Risk penalty points, they consider a three-year period (and you pay the premiums each of the three years). The previous five years are considered when applying the mandatory requirements for alcohol-related programs, such as the remedial driving program and the ignition interlock program. Previous two years are generally considered by RoadSafetyBC when deciding whether to prohibit you from driving. However, your driving history older than two years can have a negative impact, particularly if you have been prohibited in the past because the record of certain driving prohibitions remains on your driving abstract for all time.

Driving Record

As for your driving record, ICBC maintains a full driving history containing all of your traffic violations as well as all of your driving suspensions and prohibitions. Police and other authorities can access this record. For example, police can hold your record against you in traffic court and it is this driving record that is reviewed by Crown Counsel when you are facing driving charges under the Criminal Code or infractions under the Motor Vehicle Act. A bad driving record, even a dated one, can affect the way the Crown Counsel views your case. Similarly, at sentencing, the driving record is reviewed by the sentencing judge and can, again, have a serious impact on the outcome of your matter in court.

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