Traffic Violations

Hi there -

I am thinking of enrolling in this program in Oregon in 3 years when my alimony is over. Only problem, five years ago I got four speeding tickets within 2 years and had my license suspended for 30 days. I have not gotten a speeding ticket (or any ticket) since then.

My question is how far back does the FAA go to check driving records and what is disqualifying? I have other speeding tickets 15+ years ago as well.

Where do they draw the line? No DUIs so that’s good.

Thank you!



The FAA asks about drug and alcohol related issues and non-traffic related convictions so they really don’t care. The airlines however do and will do either a 5 or 10yr background check. Fortunately for you the Regionals are desperate and provided you stop breaking the law and put a few years between you and your problems you should be fine. Continue to behave and that will give you even more distance which should help when it’s time to apply to the Majors.

Now of course this is America and you can do how you please so you have a choice, A) have the potential to make it to a Major airline and make $3-400k a year or B) keep driving fast. In the interest of full disclosure I was as bad (if not worse) than you. I chose B :slight_smile:


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Thank you Adam!

Full disclosure is I am 48 and will be enrolling at 51 when my alimony is over :slight_smile:

So the $300K major probably isn’t going to happen for me - but I have adjusted my goal to become a captain for Horizon or SkyWest in the E175! Living in Portland is perfect for possibly working for those two outfits!

Thanks again,



If you keep your record clean, I think you will be okay. But it is absolutely imperative that you keep your record completely clean moving forward.


Hi Adam,

How do airlines check speeding tickets that are more than 3 years old? California’s DMV deletes speeding ticket records after 3 years. More serious traffic tickets (e.g. reckless driving, exhibition of speed) stay on for 7 years and DUIs are 10 years.

I had some speeding tickets over the past 20 years but I don’t remember the dates. I pulled my DMV file and it’s clean. The last one I got was about 10 years ago - I don’t remember if it was a little more than 10 or a little less. I do remember I did traffic school so it got dismissed. If an airline asks me about speeding tickets in the last 10 years I honestly don’t know if it’s one or zero. If they ask “have you ever” with respect to speeding tickets I’m really going to struggle to answer accurately and will have to just do my best.


Andy, Andy, Andy,

Why will no one accept the fact they with live in the information age? If you Google potato chips on your phone for the next week and a half every device you log into and every website you visit will show you links to every potato chip ad on the planet and you don’t think one of the most highly federally regulated industries on the planet can check your driving record? Come on brother you’re smarter than that.

Thing is chances will they won’t and in most cases have no reason to. In all likelihood they’ll simply ask for a copy of your state MV record. If CA only goes back 3yrs then they’ll give that a quick once over and you’re done. If however that 3yr check looks like you were creating your own sequel to The Fast and the Furious then yes they will ask their friends in the government to do a little more digging. In general the old stuff isn’t anything to lose sleep over. Answer the questions as best you can and if you don’t remember then you don’t remember. But please know Uncle Sam knows what you ate for dinner last night and what time you flushed this am so best to behave yourself if you want to work in an industry that relies people following the rules.


Race car emoji doesn’t display right…

Chicken vindaloo last night (home cooked, not a restaurant) and 7.30am-ish.

I don’t doubt the details of 3+ year old speeding tickets exist somewhere, but they aren’t on a standard DMV report so digging them up would require some … digging.