Have you ever been pulled over and wondered if the officer is holding your past violations against you? Perhaps you've been driving like an old man now that you've become Super Dad, but during a traffic stop the officer doesn't quite buy that you are now a boring, law-abiding father of three in the suburbs. Could it be that when he runs your license he learns you were a completely different person in college — Speed Racer ring a bell? Wouldn't it be nice if your record didn't show the skid marks of your youth?

People change and deserve a reward for that behavior.

Some of us drive for a living, and moving violations could render us uninsurable, putting us out of business. For others, those moving violations might mean that you are treated differently during a traffic stop or judged for those grievances by an insurance company. We check our credit reports to make sure things old enough are to be removed, and in fact, have been removed. We should do the same thing with our driving records.

First, we should discuss seatbelt violations. Thankfully those do not show on your driving record, but they do show when someone runs your criminal record. In some cases, they can count against you with your insurance provider. Forbes reported that in some circumstances seat belt violations can increase your insurance by three percent. It is small compared to other citations and offenses, but it can count against you. Also, when a prospective employer runs your credit, driving and criminal records, you may appear dirtier than you actually are because of seatbelt tickets cluttering your record.

It's free to clean up your driving record, but it won't clean up itself. Most insurance companies pull five years of history and most items older than five years can be eligible for removal. Many people are under the impression that violations older than five years come off by themselves. News flash: They don't, you have to contact the DMV to have them manually removed.

You can go in person to 445 Minnesota Street in St. Paul. Upon check in tell them what you are there for, and they will give you a number. The counter that does the certified driving records and clean up are never busy so you will be in and out within 10-15 minutes. Here are a few friendly reminders before you take action:

  • DWI's and drug offenses will remain on your record for life
  • Cancellations are not eligible for removal until 15 years from the date of reinstatement
  • Serious speeding (15mph+ over the limit) remain for 10 years

CDL or commercial class drivers have a slightly different set of rules. Following too close, careless driving or improper lane change, will remain on a person's driving record for 55 years.

So don't just take control of the wheel, take control of your record!