Finding a free driving record isn’t easy and unfortunately, depending on your state, it’s probably impossible. Back in the day, it was as easy as walking into your local Department of Motor Vehicles. But that’s all changed. In this guide, we’ll help you obtain a free driving record, or at least as close to free as you can get!
How to find free driving record services online
Since you’re here, that means you’re probably trying to obtain your driving record for free online. Unfortunately, I have some bad news for you. It isn’t going to happen. Do not allow yourself to get ripped off by a third-party service promising free driving records online. They are either trying to obtain your contact information as part of a scheme or will “bait and switch” when it comes time to actually order your “free” record. These services are notoriously unreliable as well.
Nearly every state charges a fee for driving record reports, whether you do it online, in-person, or through the mail. So why in the world would somebody buy the report then give it to you for free? I hate to be the bad news messenger, but that’s the unfortunate truth!
How To Get A Driving Record In Each State
The process of getting your driving record varies depending on the state you live in. While this guide will help you with the general answers, see our state-specific guides for obtaining a driving record specifically in the state you reside.
Ways to get your driving record for free
While all hope isn’t lost, I’m going to first warn you that getting a free driving report is pretty difficult, maybe impossible depending on your location, and really isn’t worth it. So below these instructions, I’ll provide you with a way to get your driving record online for pretty cheap and save you lots of hassle. You won’t even need to leave the house. But for those who want to try and save a buck first, here’s how to get your free driving record.
Go to your local department of motor vehicles
It’s unfortunate, but most states no longer allow you to obtain a free driving record anymore. You have to pay some sort of “service fee” or as they sometimes like to call it, a “convenience fee.” Convenience fee? Sure, like going to the DMV is convenient. But I digress.
If they charge, it can be anywhere from a few bucks to $50 or more, depending on how detailed you want the report to be. But most states are in the $10 to $20 range.
Try your auto insurance company
Think long and hard about this. Sometimes insurance companies “overlook” violations and traffic tickets. So before you ask for your report, be sure you want your agent to see what’s on your record. That free driving record might end up costing you in the long run with higher insurance premiums!
Many insurance companies charge a fee for a driving report, while others won’t even provide you one. But it’s worth calling your agent to check as long as you know nothing bad is on the report!
Use an online traffic school or defensive driving course
If you’re trying to obtain a free driving record, it could be because you received a traffic ticket. Having a citation on your driving record can increase insurance rates or even cause you to lose your driver’s license entirely if you have too many points on your record.
Many states allow you to take an online traffic school or defensive driving course to remove a traffic ticket or a certain amount of points from your driving record. Check the list below to see if your state allows online traffic schools to be used to clear your driving record, along with our top-rated courses.
Find Out How To Take Traffic School In Each State
The only 100% guaranteed legit place to obtain your driving record is directly from your State Government
In some places, it’s called the Department of Motor Vehicles or DMV. In other places, it’s called the Department of Public Safety. And in some, it’s called the Motor Vehicles Department. Whatever it might be called in your state, that is the only 100% legit place to get your driving record without getting ripped off or paying more than you have to.
Do not trust third party online background check companies!!
Free driving records unfortunately don’t exist, but the cheapest place you will ever be able to get your driving record is directly from you state’s motor vehicles department. Only get your driving record there.
Can I get the driving record of somebody else?
In general, the answer is no. However, that is only true to an extent. In most states, you are indeed able to obtain the driving record of someone else, but it may be much more difficult and time-consuming than obtaining your own driving record.
In some cases, others may be able to obtain the driving record of an individual such as through legitimate background check companies, through court orders, during civil or criminal proceedings, and for pre-employment purposes.
However, the vast majority of third-party online background check services are NOT official driving records and they are notorious for having incorrect information.
In most cases, states do allow you to obtain the driving record of another individual, but there is a different process and separate forms from obtaining your own driving record. In other states, it may be more difficult, but still may be done by contacting a private investigator, attorney, or filing for a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.
Final thoughts on obtaining a free driving record
Obtaining a free driving record, in most cases, is not possible. Each state charges a certain fee in order to obtain a driving record, but in the majority of places you can do this online or by mail. Be very careful about third party services, even the services that charge a fee. Sometimes, they will collect your payment information, then quietly enroll you into a monthly “membership” where you get billed each month.
Don’t fall for these scams. Get your driving record directly through the source – your state’s motor vehicles department. It may cost a few bucks, but you will know with 100% certainty it is legit and accurate.