You might think that you know your driving record. After all, who could forget when they ran a red light and got ticketed for speeding all in the same month?
Even if happened a long time ago, you surely remember when you went to traffic school online to reduce your points.
But sometimes, things can happen that we don’t remember, or that we don’t quite know about.
The Story Of Cate’s Carelessness
Cate was pulled over for speeding, but the officer noticed that her license plates were expired.
Cate explained that she was going through a divorce and her soon-to-be-ex-husband always handled the vehicle renewals.
Instead of giving Cate a ticket for speeding, the officer wrote her a ticket for expired plates and explained that if she renewed the plates and brought the proof to court within the next 30 days, she would be cleared.
Incredibly thankful, Cate did as she was told.
Two years later, Cate moved to a different state and tried to get new auto insurance.
When they ran her record, they found that the court never received the information for her renewal and Cate had to pay a large fine before she could get his new insurance.
Thom’s Ticket Troubles
Thom received a speeding ticket that he did not think was justified.
His plan was to go to court and fight the ticket.
For almost a year, every time a hearing was scheduled, something happened that deemed it necessary to reschedule.
Finally, Thom gave up and missed his next appearance.
He never heard again from the court, and he believed the ticket was dismissed. Imagine his surprise when he was taken into custody during a routine checkpoint a year-and-a-half later.
Turns out, a warrant had been issued for Thom’s arrest because he never showed up in court.
Juan’s Even Went To Traffic School
Juan was facing many points on his driver’s license for a few infractions that added up quickly.
He was told that going to a traffic school would reduce his points.
Juan went to a good traffic school online and assumed that he was in the clear. Due to a misunderstanding, Juan expected that the traffic school would notify the court.
Unfortunately, Juan did not realize that it was his duty to do so.
After 6 months, Juan was ticketed for improper lane change and due to the high number of points that were still on his license, he faced suspension.
One Thing In Common
So what do they all have in common?
If any of them had just checked on their driving records, they surely would have discovered these issues before things got out of hand. They would have avoided high fines, arrest warrants, and license suspensions.
The moral of the story is, you might never forget your ticket, but you might not know how it was handled in the end.
It’s every person’s responsibility to know their driving record for several reasons.
Knowledge Is Power
If you know what is on your record, you can work on cleaning it up to your best ability.
Going to traffic school online or taking an adult driver’s education class can help clean up your record before certain situations come up that you need to worry about.
For example, when it comes to getting life insurance, your driving record is reviewed by the insurance company.
Typically, four or more moving violations within 3 years can get you an outright denial of coverage.
Most tickets and violations fall off within 3 years, so if you see something due to come off your license in three months, you might consider holding off on applying for that life insurance policy until it does.
Other Reasons Why You Need To Know
Many employers now look at your driving record to see if there is a history of irresponsible or reckless behavior.
Checking your driving record can ensure that people are judging you on the right things, not the mistakes of the past that you thought you had cleared up.
Other things that you might discover from obtaining your driving record include:
- Judgements. If you were in an accident and were later sued by the other party, you might have a judgement on your driver’s license. If you moved or were difficult to reach, you might not have known that the party was in the process of pressing the matter legally.
- Identity Theft. If your wallet or purse was stolen, someone might use your identity if they receive a ticket or get in an accident. By reviewing your driving record, you can see if there was a ticket issued somewhere that you know you did not receive.
The best thing you can do is to clean up your record from anything that should have been removed, but wasn’t (for whatever reason). Plus, knowing what your record looks like can keep you in line.
You might be more cautious and careful to keep things clean. A good record searching company like eVerify.com can clue you in to how things look.
Obtain a Copy of Your Driving Record
There are several ways to obtain a driving record, the process differs depending on the state where you are registered.
Mostly, you can obtain a copy of your record online, in person, by mail, fax, or phone. There are even instances when you can obtain this copy from a third party, although this is not recommended.
The processing fee will vary depending on your state and the type of driving record that you are requesting for. Usually certified copies are a little bit pricier than non-certified ones.
Note as well that you may need to submit a different type of driving record for different purposes. If the court has requested a copy of your driving record, you’re most likely required to submit a certified copy. Uncertified copies are usually requested for personal use.
If you’d like to learn more about the process of obtaining a copy of your driving record per state, these state-specific articles on “How to Get Your DMV Driving Record” I have published can help you out.
Going To Traffic School Online
One way to get some of your points reduced and to let others know that you are serious about putting your best foot forward is to go to traffic school online.
There, you get to study in the privacy of your own home and go at your own pace. What you learn and what you earn is peace of mind that your reputation is protected; you might even find that your knowledge is expanded.
Though there are many companies out there who claim to be the best, we’ve looked at them all and discovered who really is. Some traffic schools to consider are:
- iDriveSafely courses are pretty straightforward with enough video resources to keep you interested in the lessons. With the wealth of experience this school has accumulated through its 20 years of service, you can rest assured that they know what you need and will be able to respond to it exemplary.
- Improv Traffic School is recommended to my fellow fun-loving students out there. You’ll get to learn while having fun as the course materials are laden with hilarious jokes and comedy skits. The school uses humor to explain the otherwise boring driving concepts and laws, as they believe this improves memory retention.
- GoToTrafficSchool is the most affordable option here. Though their course may not be as exciting as Improv’s or as comprehensive as iDriveSafely, you’ll get the best value if you consider the price you’re paying for it. Recently, they’ve even updated their course material to keep up with the changes in the current driving laws, so rest assured that you’ll get up-to-date information from this school.
- Traffic School 101 is recommended for those who’d rather read than watch videos. The course is purely text-based. You just need to quickly scroll down or swipe left to go through the course. It’s very simple and quick to finish.
Remember, you might not have the power to control what happens to you, but you always have the power to correct it.