How to Get A New York Driving Record (A Complete Guide)

How to Get A New York Driving Record

Do you need to…: 

  • Check how many license points you’ve accumulated?
  • Present your driving record to an auto insurance company for premiums?
  • Show your license history to get a potential driving job?
  • Submit license records to the court?

If so, then you need to get a copy of your New York driving record (also known as an abstract).

But how do you get a copy?

Well, our guide details how to get a New York driving record, the different types of records, and how to improve your driving record. We’ll also take a quick look at the point system in New York. 

There’s much to cover, so let’s get started right away!

Types of Driving Records in New York

You can request 3 types of driving records in New York, namely:

  • Standard Driving Records
  • Lifetime Driving Records
  • Commercial (CDL) Driving Records

Let’s see how these are different from one another.

Standard Driving Records

A Standard Driving Record is also known as a Driving Record Abstract. It shows information that the New York DMV considers public records. It also limits the content to only the last couple of years. 

You’ll find the following on a Standard Driving Record:

  • Personal details
  • Summary section
  • Activity
  • Suspension and Revocations
  • Non-vehicular Convictions
  • Convictions and Bail Forfeitures
  • Accidents

To get a copy, you can request one online, through the mail, or visit a DMV office.

Lifetime Driving Records

As its name implies, a Lifetime Driving Record shows more extensive and exhaustive information than a standard one.

You find the following details on top of what a standard abstract contains:

  • Non-Driver ID
  • Permit History
  • Changes to Class or Privilege
  • Documents Issued
  • Merges
  • Address History

If you need a copy of your Lifetime Driving Record, you can only request it online or by mail.

Commercial (CDL) Driving Records

This record type is the one employers and organizations typically request. It shows licensing actions, convictions, suspensions, and revocations — and it covers all vehicles and states.

A CDL Driving Record also provides information specific to commercial drivers, such as their self-certification details and medical certification status.

You can only request a CDL Driving Record through two channels — online or by mail.

How to Get My Driving Record in New York 

As we saw, there are 3 methods to get a copy of your New York driving record:

  • Online (all types)
  • Mail (all types)
  • In-person (Standard only)

Let’s see what steps are involved in each method.

How to Get a New York Driving Record Online

The fastest way to get your New York driving record is online. Not to mention it’s the most convenient way, too.  

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Go to New York’s MyDMV portal and log in.

NOTE: You can create an account using the same page if you don’t have one yet. You will need your permit, driver’s license, or non-driver ID. Besides this, you must also have the last four digits of your Social Security Number.

  1. Follow the prompts on the screen.
  1. Pay the $7 fee through a credit/debit card. 
  1. Download a copy of your driving record. You can print it if you want. 

IMPORTANT! You only have 5 business days to access your online driving record.

Take note that you can only use this channel if you have either of the following:

  • A New York-issued permit or driver’s license
  • A New York-issued non-driver ID

If you don’t have these credentials, you can use the Records Request Navigator instead. Remember also that there are other channels you can use.

How to Get a New York Driving Record By Mail

If you don’t have a permit, driver’s license, or non-driver ID, getting your record through the mail is your next best option. 

But consider the timeline if you do. Your driving record will arrive via mail in a few days — if you’re in a rush, it’s better to request it early. 

Here are the steps:

  1. Fill out the required request form:
    1. MV-15 (Request for Certified DMV Records) — for Standard and Lifetime Driving Records
    2. MV-CDL (Request for Certified CDL Abstract) — for a CDL Driving Record

NOTE: Form MV-15 is the same form you’ll use when requesting someone else’s driving record.

  1. Enclose a $10 check or money order payable to the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles.

NOTE: Remember that the fee is for every request you make. If you are purchasing several, you will have to recompute the amount.

  1. Include a copy of a government-issued identification card (your license will do).
  1. Send everything to this address:

NYS Department of Motor Vehicles, MV-15 Processing

6 Empire State Plaza

Albany, NY 12228

  1. Wait for your driving record to arrive via mail. 

How to Get a New York Driving Record at a DMV Office

If you don’t want to mail in your request or do it through MyDMV, you still have one other option — going to a DMV office. 

But remember that you can only get a Standard Driving Record here. 

Here’s how to request a Standard record in person:

  1. Download the MV-15C (Request for Driving Record Information) and fill out Section A.

NOTE: When requesting someone else’s driving record, you will use the same form but need to complete Sections A and B.

  1. Go to a DMV office (click here for locations) and present the form with one proof of identity.
  1. Pay the $10 fee with cash, credit card, check, or money order. 
  1. Receive your Standard Driving Record. 

How to Improve Your New York Driving Record

It’s always best to have a clean driving record.  But not everyone gets to keep theirs pristine.

Fortunately, you can do several things to improve your New York driving record. Here are some to consider:

  • Check your record for inaccuracies. The more regularly you request copies of your record, the more likely you’ll spot errors. Ensure you inform the DMV immediately if your information isn’t accurate.
  • Attend a Point and Insurance Reduction Program (PIRD). Drivers with at least 11 points on their license can complete a PIRD course to have 4 points removed. However, it only applies to current ones, not those you might incur in the future.
  • Always obey traffic signs and signals. Remember that these indicate what you can or can’t do — disobeying them might result in violations. In turn, that can add points to your record 
  • Observe proper road-sharing regulations. You’ll encounter various vehicles while driving (not to mention pedestrians). Responding inappropriately to the situation doesn’t only earn you points, but it might also put you and your passengers in danger.
  • Become familiar with New York’s point system. If you know which violations earn you points (and how many), you can work your way to avoiding them.

Typically, accidents, most traffic convictions, suspensions, and revocations stay on your record for 4 years. However, if the DMV suspends your privileges for refusing a chemical test, it remains on your record for 5 years. 

DWIs (Driving While Intoxicated) last for 15 years from your conviction date. A DWAI (Driving While Ability Impaired), which results from a lower BAC, remains for 10 years.

Grave violations can stay on your driving history permanently. An example of this is vehicular homicide.

Understanding the New York Point System 

The New York point system suspends your driver’s license if you accumulate 11 points within 18 months. 

The table below details the violations and their respective points.

Having a tinted window
Driver/passenger 16 years old not wearing seatbelts
Unregistered or uninspected vehicles
Unlicensed driver
Having faulty equipment
Inadequate Brakes (employer’s vehicle)
Most moving violations 
Failing to signal
Making an improper turn
Disobeying a traffic signal
Failing to yield the right-of-way
Red light violation
Disobeying traffic control signals, a stop sign, or a yield sign
Improper passing, changing lanes unsafely
Driving left of center or in the wrong direction
Leaving the scene of an accident resulting in property damage
Violating laws on child safety restraint
Reckless driving
Failing to stop for a school bus
Improper use of a cell phone use
Using a portable electronic device (texting)
Violating a Railroad Crossing regulation

For speeding, the number of points depends on how much you exceeded the allowable speed limit.

If you exceed the speed limit by…You earn this many points
1 to 10 mph3
11 to 20 mph4
21 to 30 mph6
31 to 40 mph8
Over 40 mph11

The Wrap Up

And there you have it — all the information on your New York driving record. 

So make sure you know what type of driving record you need. 

From there, you can choose the right channel to obtain that record. 

After that, you can work towards improving your record. 

We hope that this article has been a great help!

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