A clean driving history has numerous money-saving and other benefits. How do you know if those points are still on your record? The easiest way is to periodically check your driving record.
A driving record, or motor vehicle report (MVR), is a public record of your driving history. Offenses stay on your driving record for 3 or 10 years. How long depends on the offense and the state you live. Your driving record includes:
- Identifying information, like name, sex, and address
- License number, classification, status, and expiration date
- Points, DUIs, fines, suspensions, and revocations
- Traffic violations and convictions, like information speeding and traffic tickets
Your driving record does not include:
- Non-moving violations
- Non-driving related criminal history
Is My Driving Record Confidential?
You are probably wondering, “If it’s public, who can see a copy of my driver record?” This depends on the laws of your state. That doesn’t mean that any person can view a copy of your driver record. Most states require the driver’s consent to release their records. In other states, the person requesting your driving record has to have your private information, like your driver’s license number. Some background checks include your driving record, which nonetheless require authorization. Most often, background checks access your driving record through a third-party agency. Third party access to driving records is usually unofficial and the information is not up to date.
Where Can You Get a Copy of Your Driving Record?
1. The DMV
- Request an official copy of your driving record in person or by mail through the DMV.
- The DMV does not provide expedited processing for driving records so order it early.
- You can receive an unofficial copy of your driving record instantly online.
- Requesting your official driving record costs about $10, depending on the state. Unofficial copies cost less.
- Paying in person, DMV offices only accept cash, check, money order, or ATM/debit card.
They do not accept credit cards.
2. Auto Insurance Agents
- Auto insurance agents also have access to your driving report.
- Agencies can review your information and provide an unofficial driving report.
- Ask your insurance agent for a free copy of your official driver record. (Not all can, but it’s worth asking.)
3. Online Third-Party Vendors
- This is the fastest but most expensive and often less reliable option.
- Reports may be less accurate than driving records from the DMV or insurance providers.
- Verify whether the vendor is able to obtain an official report beforehand.
The Importance of a Good Driver Record
- Auto insurance companies use driving records to determine insurance rates, you can receive a discount by taking a defensive driving course.
- Some employers ask to access driving records during employment screening. Check with your state employment laws to determine your privacy rights. Driving-related jobs will have legitimate rights to DMV records.
- Courts or attorneys can use driving records in traffic court or other related legal cases.
- A poor driver record can lead to limited, suspended, or revoked driver’s licenses.