With its notorious traffic jams and immense numbers of vehicles on the roads, it’s understandable that fender benders occur. The Golden State has no shortage of driving mishaps on its roadways. If you have a history of driving in this state, it’s a good idea to obtain your California DMV driving record to ascertain that the items on it are factual (a good idea since your California driving record affects your insurance rates) or if you need it for some other purpose like court or your employer. Obtaining your driving record also allows you to monitor for identity theft–not unheard of in sunny Cali!
What’s Filed on Your California Driving Record?
First, your California driving record will reflect your legal driving status. It will also state whether you have ever had your license revoked or suspended. If you owe fees for license reinstatement, your driving record will also reflect what you owe. Naturally, your driving record will include some personal information like your name, social security number, and current address. Your record also lists your ‘DMV points’ that are based on your driving experience–including citations and accidents. If you’ve had a DUI in California, that information is also contained on the report.
Why Do You Need a Copy of Your Driving Record?
There are several reasons why drivers request for a copy of their driving record. Most of the time, you will be required to submit one; like if you need to fulfill employment requirements or court proceedings. Insurance companies also need it to determine your car insurance rates. Still, there are some drivers who keep tabs on their record for the following reasons:
- To prevent identity theft.
- To check for errors, if there are any.
- To see if expungement is possible.
Note that your employer, insurance company, attorney, or court can request a copy of your driving record in California, too.
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Understanding DMV Points
Every driving violation you’ve had in the state of California affects your cumulative DMV points. These offenses typically remain on your record–affecting your point score–for either three or ten years.
If you’re convicted for minor traffic violations, you typically rack up one point for each conviction. Car accidents and license suspensions also warrant a point. Incidents that rate one point will remain on your driving record for three years.
On the other hand, issues that rate two points will remain on the record for ten years. These include convictions of DUI and reckless driving. You can find out more about the California point system here.
Below are some examples of points based on different types of violation:
- 1 point for speeding over the speed limit, not fully stopping at a stop sign, running a red light, and getting into an accident in which you are at fault.
- 2 points for driving over 100 mph, reckless driving, hit and run, driving under the influence, and driving with a suspended or revoked license.
The Problem with Points
In California, if you accumulate too many points, your license will be suspended. The only way to guard against points is to obey California traffic laws. In some cases, for minor traffic violations, you can attend a California traffic school to prevent points from being posted to your driving record. The state will send you a written notification when your points reach the half-way point–half-way to license suspension, that is. If you’re really concerned about your points racking up, you may wish to contact a lawyer that specializes in traffic violations. The only other option is to wait–time heals all things, even your patchy driving record. In three or ten years points will disappear from your record.
California Driving Record Types
The California DMV issues two types of driving records: unofficial and official driving records.
The Unofficial driving record can be obtained online, while the official driving record can be obtained through the mail or in person.
Ordering Your California Driving Record Online
Although drivers can obtain their California driving record online, official copies must be obtained in person or by mail. Ordering online is easy; simply visit the California Driver Record Request page from the California Department of Motor Vehicles website and provide all the information required. For updated fees, be sure to check the website as well.
Ordering a Certified Copy of Your California Driving Record
Ordering a certified copy of your CA driving record in person is easy; simply visit your local DMV, present your identification, and fill out this form. Again, you can expect to pay a fee for this copy. To order a certified copy by mail, you must complete form INF 1125 or you can simply send in a written request that includes: name, address, social security number, date of birth, driver license number, and your signature. Typically the fee is $5 (check or money order accepted), but you may wish to call first to double check at the time you place your request.
Ordering Records in Bulks
Meanwhile, if you need to request more than 15 records at once, you can contact the DMV Materials Management Section. Here’s their contact information:
Fax: (916) 928-6817
DMV Materials Management Section
4201 Sierra Point Dr. Ste. 112
Sacramento, CA 95834-7900
If you spot errors on your CA driving record, you can submit form DL 207 to request a record correction. You may also need to submit appropriate court documents that prove that you were not convicted of the items on your driving record. The DMV may also require a signed and certified letter from the courts. If you have more questions about this process, be sure to check with the DMV.
Be sure to remember that your California driving record is, in fact, a public record. Your employer, for example, can get a copy. The state offers a process for interested parties to obtain the driving records of others. They can obtain copies that do not contain the driver’s personal information like their social security number. If you wish to obtain anyone else’s driving record–like your kid, for instance–you can fill out form INF 70 and mail it to the DMV.
If you’ve been speeding along the coastal highway or had a fender bender leaving your favorite LA coffee shop, you’ll have a point or two to contend with. Be sure to monitor the points on your record by keeping tabs on your California driving record.