The state of Michigan has long served as the hub of auto manufacturing in the United States. The city of Detroit is home to America’s so-called “Big Three” domestic automakers. The people of Michigan not only play a vital role in the production of domestic automobiles, but they also love the open road. No one wants to have an encounter with the police when they are out for a drive, but if you do, it’s nice to know that your driving record is clean and you won’t face any nasty surprises.
Do you know what is on your Michigan driving record? You should routinely check your driving record to ensure that the information within is accurate. Doing so can help keep your insurance premiums low, avoid higher fines for traffic violations, and even dodge jail time if your license has been suspended without your knowledge.
What’s On My Michigan Driving Record?
Your Michigan driving record contains a detailed history of your activities behind the wheel of a motor vehicle. Included on your record is information such as convictions for moving violations, points received, accidents that resulted in conviction, suspension or revocation of your license, drunk driving violations, and tickets for civil violations.
The state of Michigan maintains the information on your record for varying lengths of time depending upon the severity of the violation. Points for moving violations remain on your record for two years. Tickets and details from a conviction remain on your record for seven years. Suspensions and revocations are maintained for at least 10 years. Any DUI convictions or punishments resulting from fatalities remain on your driving record permanently.
Who Can Access My Michigan Driving Record?
The Michigan Department of State (DOS) maintains all driving records and grants access to authorized parties. Your employer, insurance company, attorney, and government agencies all have access to your files when needed. Insurance companies only access your record to verify information provided when shopping for insurance, and to assess the risk involved in providing you with coverage.
Employers can view your driving record as part of pre-employment background checks. Your attorney would only need access if you are involved in litigation stemming from a traffic accident or other motor vehicle violations. Government agencies access your files for maintenance and verification purposes.
How Can I Access My Michigan Driving Record?
There are four ways you can access your driving record in the state of Michigan: in person, by mail, over the phone, and by fax. The state maintains both certified and unofficial versions of your Michigan driving record. You may not access a certified copy of your files through fax requests as many other states still offer.
If you have the time to spend in line at the DMV, you can request a copy of your records at any Michigan DOS office location, or the secondary complex in Lansing, MI. All you will need for an in-person request is your driver’s license and a form of payment.
To submit a request for your records through the mail, you’ll need to print and complete the Michigan Department of State – Requesting Your Own Record form. The completed form and payment can be mailed to the DOS at the following address:
Michigan Department of State
Record Lookup Unit
7064 Crowner Drive
Lansing, MI 48918-1502
If you don’t have the time to wait in line at the DMV, and don’t want to wait up to 8 weeks for the DOS to process your mailed request, you can also submit a request over the phone. All you need is a form of payment and an accurate address on file with the Michigan DOS, and you will be able to receive a copy of your Michigan driving record. To submit your request by phone, simply call the DOS Record Lookup Unit at (517) 322-1624.
Finally, you can request an unofficial version of your Michigan driving record by submitting your DOS forms via fax. You can fax your forms to the DOS at (517) 322-1181, but be aware that it can take up to 8 weeks to process fax requests as well.
Michigan driving records can be obtained only after paying associated processing fees. The fee for a certified version of your file is $9, while an unofficial copy costs $8. You can pay in person with cash, check, money order (payable to “State of Michigan”), or MasterCard or Discover credit cards. Requests through the mail require either a credit card (Visa, MasterCard, or Discover) or check/money order. Requests submitted by phone or fax require payment by credit card.
Check Your Driving Record For Errors
If you find that your Michigan driving record has inaccurate information, you can have your records looked at and potentially cleaned up.
The Michigan DOS maintains an ExpressSOS website that allows you to address incorrect personal information. If you notice tickets or violations you were never made aware of on your record, call the DOS Information center at (888) 767-6424.
For reference, you can get between 2 to 6 traffic points depending on the type of violation that you committed:
- 6 points are issued for felony using a motor vehicle, DWI offense, reckless driving, fleeing a police officer
- 4 points for drag racing or driving while visually impaired, DWI offense if younger than 21 years old, speeding at 16 mph over the speed limit
- 3 points for speeding to 11 – 15 mph over the speed limit, disobeying traffic signals, failure to stop at school crossings
- 2 points for minor moving violations, speeding at 10 mph or less over the speed limit
If you have accumulated a total of 12 points in 2 years, your driving license may be suspended or revoked.
If you’d like to try and improve your record, you can also complete traffic school in Michigan to prevent points from showing up on your license.
You can dismiss a traffic ticket with an online defensive driving course, however, you should always ask permission from your court handler first before you enroll in any program.
To be eligible to enroll in a Michigan Basic Driver Improvement Course (BDIC), you must meet the following requirements:
- You should have a valid, non-commercial Michigan driver’s license
- There should be no more than two (2) points on your driving record
- You should have not taken any BDIC in the past 12 months
- Your violation should not fall under a criminal offense
- Your violation is not committed while using a commercial vehicle
- Your violation should be included in the BDIC-eligible violations list.
If you decide to take the course online, you can choose from the 2 of the best online driver improvement courses offered in Michigan by: