More than one-third (36 percent) of 18-to-29-year olds reported one or more traffic tickets in the past five years, the highest percentage of any age group surveyed, according to a survey from InsuranceQuotes.com.

Younger drivers also are most likely to experience higher auto insurance rates after a ticket, as they are perceived as riskier than older drivers and confront greater scrutiny from insurers; 41 percent of drivers in that age bracket reported higher premiums after a ticket, compared to 32 percent of 30-to-49 year-olds, and 15 percent of those older than 50.

There’s a myth that insurance companies constantly check driving records, says Walter Meyer, a traffic expert and driving instructor in California. Once a driver is older than 25 and has a clean record for a few years, it’s no longer cost-effective to be looking at his or her Motor Vehicle Record (MVR), he says.

An MVR is one of the primary tools used to determine premiums for new customers, lists all traffic tickets a driver has received in the past two or three years, as well as the number of points that driver has accrued.

Insurers check driving records 100 percent of the time for new customers, said Matthew Weiss, a traffic attorney in New York. He advises consumers who have a ticket or two but are happy with their insurance to “just sit back quietly and don’t worry about it.”

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