No matter the reason, getting your driving record doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive, and can typically be done from the comfort of your own home.
Here we’ll talk about the different ways to obtain your driving record in person or recommended sites to order it from, and even ways to improve the status on it.
Why Do I Need My Driving Record?
There are several reasons why you might need to obtain a copy of your driving record. If you are applying for a job that requires you to drive around, a clean driving record will be your first step to getting hired on, and you will need to provide proof of that record.
If you’re trying to either change your insurance plan or get a better premium, you’ll also need your driving record to show the insurance company that you haven’t been involved in any accidents or gotten any DUIs. You can even obtain a copy of your record if you’re attempting to fight a ticket in court.
These are just a few of the main reasons why you would need to get a copy of your driving record, but you don’t necessarily need a reason to do so, either.
Periodically looking at your driving record can also help give you an idea of your record’s status, and help you to see if any errors exist; after all, nobody wants to get turned down for a job or lose a court case because too many points you never actually earned are showing on your license.
What Does My Driving Record Include?
Think of your driving record as the history of your life as a licensed driver; it shows basic things like your personal information, license number, and license expiration date. When you pull your driving record, you can expect to see a myriad of other things as well, such as:
- Driving Points; this shows if you’ve had any points added to your license due to reckless driving or other road violations. Most states operate on a point-based system, while others simply operate off of how many violations you get within a certain time frame. Check your state’s point laws to find out more.
- Driver’s License Status; this will show the current status of your driver’s license, for example, whether it’s valid, suspended, or revoked.
- License Classifications or Endorsements; this will show if you’ve had any special driving training, such as CDL (commercial driver’s license), school bus driving, student transportation, or hazardous material transportation.
- Moving Violations; this shows if you’ve broken one or more laws of the road (such as speeding, rolling a stop sign, failing to yield, etc.), or even had more serious infractions like a hit and run or driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- DUI Convictions; this shows if you’ve been pulled over for driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol.
- Traffic Accidents; this will show any points on your license due to accidents caused by reckless or negligent driving.
- Owed Fees and/or Citations; this will show if you’ve received a citation such as a parking ticket or any other fees that are still owed by you.
- Defensive Driving or Other Driving Courses Attended; if you’ve ever taken a defensive driving course or traffic school, whether on your own or court mandated, it will show up here.
What Do Employers Look for in Your Driving Record
As part of the background screening for potential employees conducted by employers, an MVR or driving record check is necessary. It assures the employer that applicants for job positions that may require them to drive at one point or another can be trusted on the road.
Another thing that potential employers are interested in your driving record is your driving qualifications. They will want to know how long you have been holding your driver’s license and what class of vehicles you are qualified to drive.
But do you have any idea what they are exactly looking for? Truth be told, employers are not just after what’s recorded on your driving history. They access your driving records to get information that they can use as a basis to judge your character as a potential employee.
It may sound a bit unfair that they are about to judge you based on what’s written on your record, so I doubt that they will rely on that solely. But still, numbers don’t lie.
Let’s say you have a fair number of speeding violations listed in your record, it says something about your ability to follow rules. Too many accidents can tell something about your temperament as calm people don’t usually get involved in road accidents. Even if they do, they are more likely to be the victim.
A sure shot of getting into the negative side of an employer hiring applicants for a driving-related job is a DUI violation on your record. Although there may be a reason behind that, being caught driving under the influence is a no-no for most employers.
On the other hand, a clean driving record says a lot about your character traits. The cleaner it is, the less likely you’ll get involved in legal altercations if they decide to hire you.
How Do I Get My Driving Record?
There are two ways to obtain your driving record, and the cost of retrieving it varies depending on your state, the site you get it from, or your DMV’s individual pricing. The first way to get it is by going to your local DMV or your state’s driver’s licensing office.
You’ll need to request it, and once you pay the fee you can either pick it up, or order it through the mail. This is probably the best way to obtain it if you need it for court or employment, as it will cover more information and be in a format you can show to whoever you need to show it to.
We also have provided this list by the state on how to go about your driving record. Each state article also encompasses the state’s points system and other helpful things to allow you to understand your driving record before you get it.
Can I Get It For Free?
Unfortunately, no. Most states and sites that provide your driving record require a fee, whether it be a processing fee, convenience fee, or service fee. The price you’ll pay depends on how detailed you want the report to be, and anywhere that provides them, including the DMV, can charge anywhere from $2 to more than $50. ‘
That is the downside to obtaining your driving record, but it also beats the alternative, which is getting caught by a scam website claiming to provide free driving records to get your personal information.
Unfortunately, they do exist, and if you run into a site claiming to provide free driving records, as tempting as it may be, I’d just stay away.
How To I Improve My Driving Record?
Fortunately, even if your driving record isn’t the best in the world, there are ways to improve it, and they aren’t difficult to achieve!
Some of these will depend on your state, and if you’re wanting to improve your driving record, you can always contact the state to ask what measures you can take to help you get your record back on the right track. Some states offer classes which can either eliminate a single point or citation or improve your record altogether.
Taking a class is a great way to brush up on any driving skills you feel you may have let slip through the years, too, and you’ll be a much more confident driver because of it.
You can also practice defensive driving; for instance, being more watchful of other drivers and practicing more courteous driving, and even driving less using public transportation, getting a ride from a friend, or even riding a bike.
This can help improve your driving record simply by keeping you off the road for a while; most states have a timeframe for points and citations, after which they fall off your record.
Employing these strategies can greatly help to improve the status of your driving record and get you back into good standing.