Many people are aware, of course, of how important driving records are in their personal life, but not everyone is aware that those records can often play a critical role in whether or not they land the job they need. The truth is that many employers routinely check the DMV and MVR records of their job candidates, even if the jobs being filled do not require the use of a company vehicle.
These DMV records, driving records, MVR records, motor vehicle records and other records provide employers with a wealth of information not only about the individual’s driving record, but about past brushes with the law in the form of DUI arrests and other legal problems.
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Obtaining a Copy of Your Driving Record
For the reasons stated above, getting a copy of your driving record is important when you are searching for a new job. While the majority of DMV and MVR records are accurate, there are mistakes, and it is important to find those mistakes before they cost you a job.
One of the best places to start searching for your driving record (or someone else’s) is at the website maintained by your state department of motor vehicles. More and more of these records are available online these days, either for no charge or for a small fee. It is a good idea to start your search for DMV and MVR records with these government agencies.
In addition, several private agencies specialize in searching these kinds of records. Some of these companies specialize in doing background checks, while others exist to help private individuals find records and information on other individuals. No matter what their specialty, these private companies can be a good source of information on finding a copy of your own driving record.
Traffic Violations and Your Driving Record
When reviewing your driving records, keep in mind that the states use a point system to keep track of a particular driver’s traffic violations, speeding tickets, DUI arrests, and in some cases even unpaid parking tickets. Each violation of the applicable driving law will result in several negative points being assigned. In some cases, the driver may accumulate enough points to warrant the suspension of his or her driver’s license.
The good news for those drivers is that most states will remove those negative points after a set period, generally about five years. Serious crimes, such as driving under the influence, however, will remain on the driver’s record.
It is also important to remember that all automobile insurance companies have the right to check your driving record when you apply for insurance, and when the policy is up for renewal. Therefore, not only could a poor driving record cost you a job but it could cost you a great deal of money as well.
Hiring Decisions and Your Driving Record
It is important to keep in mind that more and more employers are checking the driving records of those they plan to hire, even if those employees are not being hired for driving positions. Many employers use this step as part of an overall background check, to help assess the character and honesty of job applicants.
For instance, if the check reveals a DUI arrest that the applicant failed to disclose on his or her job application, the employer may determine that the applicant has lied and refuse to hire that individual.
Employers also use this check of driving records to protect themselves against the possibility of lawsuits brought about by the actions of their employees.
For instance, if an employee volunteers to transport important paperwork for the boss and is involved in an accident, the company could potentially be liable, especially if it can be proven that no pre-employment background check was completed.
For these reasons and more, employers often routinely check DMV records, MVR records, driving records, credit reports, and more, so every would-be employee needs to protect themselves and keep their driving record clean.
How to Improve Your Driving Record
Fortunately, even if your driving record isn’t one of the best in the world, some states have established driving improvement programs to help drivers improve their records.
As mentioned though, this will vary per state, so make sure to coordinate with your local DMV offices to check on available options for you.
Meanwhile, some states allow drivers to take defensive driving classes that can either eliminate a single point or citation or improve your record altogether. This can be taken in-person or online, depending on your state law (or on what your issuing court asked you to take).
Even if your state does not credit these courses though, it is still a great way to brush up on your driving skills. It can also help you become a more confident driver, updated with the current driving laws in your state.
Another way for you to improve your driving record is to make sure that you keep it up to date. Simple moving violations such as outdated license tags and an expired inspection sticker can be removed by paying a fine. Some violations expire after a certain period. Again, this is state-specific, so all the more important for you to check your driving record regularly.
Lastly, making sure that you don’t accumulate any more violations is still the best preventive measure. Taking defensive driving courses, again, can help you here. It will only cost you a few bucks. This course will not only teach you how to be more watchful of other drivers, but it will also prepare you to face certain driving scenarios that can put you and other drivers at risk. Check here for a list of online traffic schools that offer defensive driving courses.