How to Check your Driving Record

by | Driving Tips

Everyone should know the driving record, sometimes known as MVR reports, is very important.

Some jobs now require you to have a good driving record for employment. The insurance company also determines the level of your insurance based on your driving records.

You can face the revocation of the driving license if your driving record is too bad.

Therefore, how to get your driving record will help you keep track of important information.

Get a copy of your driving record can easily if you know where to go to get it.

This article will introduce common ways to check your driving records and how to fix mistakes in the records.

Tips and warnings which may be useful for you also will be discussed in this article

How Can You Check Your Driving Record?

To check your driving records has two main ways – online and offline. This part will guide you about two ways in detail so you can choose which way suits you.

How can you check your driving record OFFLINE?

You have two offline choices to check your driving record. The first is you have to go directly to the local department of motor vehicle. The second is through your insurance agent. Two ways are mentioned in detail as follows.

Local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV)

You go to the local DMV motorcycle. In the office providing the service’s license can print out a copy of your official driving record.

If you pay a fine for a quote, they will give you your report with your payment receipt.

Fees for this service vary from state or county. Some other offices can print free reports as requested by you. Others charged. Fees are usually at least and may change based on the number of years you have requested. To know what is the local policy, you should call them.

In general, getting one of these reports is your best bet. This is the way that you are not only assured of the accuracy of the information that the costs are usually cheaper.

When should you use this way?

In case you need order the most accurate and certified copy of your driving record and of course, when you have time for driving from your house to DMV, and have time to wait in the queue, you should choose this way to check your driving record.

Besides, if you are not in a rush and only need your own records, you should go to your state’s office vehicle licensing agency directly to get your driving record. This is cheapest and safest way.

Your Insurance Agent

An easy way to find out what is on your driving record is to ask your insurance agent.

Agents have the ability to look up your motor vehicle report and probably be willing to print you a copy.

It may not be a certified copy, but it will let you know the basics. Traffic violations, conviction dates, and accidents will all be available to your insurance agent if they have access to your driver’s license number.

More than likely, you will be able to get a copy of your driving record free from your insurance agent.

It can be difficult to keep track of your driving record over the past three to five years. Getting a copy of your driving record can clarify any of your concerns.

When should you use this approach?

If you simply want to check for basic information of your record, and do not need a certified copy, you should use this way, since it will be simpler and your agent will be willing to help you.

How can you check your driving record ONLINE?

There are two ways to check your driving record online – checking online via state website or via FMV website.

Checking Your Record on a State Website

Some states now allow you to request and obtain a copy of your driving record online, though if you do this it may not be considered a certified copy.

Online copies are much more convenient than going into the DMV, though typically you must either print it out immediately (because once the page is closed it’s gone unless you order another copy) or it’s available for a short period of time (such as 24 hours) To check you record online on a state website, you need to follow 6 steps below.

Step 1: Find your state’s department of licensing web page
With the help of any search engine, this page should be easy to find.

Just search the name of your state (e.g. “Washington”) and “department of licensing.”

Different states have different names for the institution that handles driver and vehicle licenses.

For example, in the state of Washington, it is called the Department of Licensing.

In Ohio, this institution is called the Bureau of Motor Vehicles.

In Pennsylvania, licensing is handled by the Department of Transportation.

Consequently, you may need to try a couple of different searches to find the page you are looking for.

Step 2: Check whether you have the right site
When you think you’ve found the right page, make sure it actually belongs to the appropriate state agency.

In most cases, it should end in “.gov,” not “.com,” “.org,” “.biz,” or any other designation.

A “.gov” website is an official government webpage, so if the page doesn’t end in .gov, there is a good chance this page is not actually connect with your state’s department of licensing.

For a few states, the page will end in .state.xx.us, with the “xx” standing in for an abbreviation of the state.

Step 3: Confirm that the website offers driving records
Each state’s department of licensing offers slightly different services. Today, most provide driving records through their website, but others might require you to visit their offices, call them on the phone, or request this information by mail.

Florida, for example, does not have an online driving record service. Instead, you must purchase a copy of your record online from a private vendor.

Conversely, Alabama requires that you go to a DMV office to get records. Additionally, you typically cannot receive a “certified” copy of your driving record online but instead must go into the DMV office.

Step 4: Find the link
For example, the Ohio webpage includes a link on the homepage under “general information” called “Copy of Driving Record (Abstract)” that will take you to a page with information about how to access your records.

In Washington, this information is found under the “Drivers” tab but is not immediately apparent from the homepage.

Many states’ websites have a search function. It is typically located near the top of the page and often in the top right corner. Enter “driving record” or “driver’s history” in this search box and press enter.

Step 5: Enter identifying information
Once you’ve accessed the part of the website where your state offers driver’s history services, you’ll need to provide some information about yourself.

Most commonly, you will be asked for your name, driver’s license number, and some or all of the digits of your social security number.

Some states will require you to create an account in their system with a username and password.

If you think you will need to revisit the page again, pick a username and password that you will remember, or write them down.

Step 6: Pay the fee
Most states require you to a pay a fee to access records through their system.

For example, in Washington, the fee is $13. Typically this fee is non-refundable.

In some states, the amount of the fee varies depending on what format you want your records in.

For example, in Ohio, you can view an “unofficial” record on a website for no charge, have the information mailed to you for a small fee, or request an official, certified copy at a slightly higher cost.

When should you use this approach?

You should use this approach when the state that you live allows online request of driving record and when you do not need a certified copy of your record.

Checking Your Record Using DMV.org

DMV.org is a popular website that allows you to access driving records from most states.

In fact, if you would like to check your record online, DMV.org is the page that you should first consider and visit. In order to check your recording using DMV.org, you should follow.

Step 1. Visit the website
Go to the driving record page of DMV.org.

This website is not affiliated with any state’s department of licensing, but is instead an independent, privately-owned company.

The site’s primary advantage is convenience. You can access the information quickly and easily in a clear, understandable format.

The drawback is that it typically costs a little more than getting your records directly from the state.

The driving record from DMV.org is not an official record, so if you need a certified record, you must go through your state DMV (usually by going directly to a DMV office).

Step 2. Choose your state
Drag your mouse over your state on the map and click on it to select the state in which you live. You can also make your selection via a drop-down menu in the top right corner and a list of states you can click on at the bottom of the page. Not every state’s driving records are available through this website.

In particular, the northeastern part of the United States is largely excluded. In such cases, DMV.org provides links to those states’ official services.

Step 3. Enter your personal information.
On the next page, enter your name, address, and driver’s license number.

If you have not lived at your current address for at least two years, click the appropriate box, and enter your previous address.

If you are ever confused or need assistance, then you can click on “Contact DMV.org” toward the bottom of the page. This link will take you to a page where you can ask a question.

Step 4. Review the fees
Make sure the information looks correct and decide whether you want a copy of the report emailed to you. There is an additional fee for this service, which provides your driving history in a format that you can retain with your electronic records.
Step 5. Review the policies
After advancing to the next screen, you will need to review and agree to the privacy policies before your records can be provided.

Provide your email address as needed, and advance to the payment screen to finalize your purchase.

When should you use this way to check driving record?

If you do not need a certified copy of your driving record, or you need to check in urgently, or if you hate waiting in line at the DMV and order driving records, you should use this way.

Tips

  • Being aware of your driving record can help you when you purchase insurance, which is required by law in all states to obtain your driver’s license.
  • Every insurance company will run a driving record search to determine your eligibility and the rate you will pay.
  • Each infraction on your record will affect how much your insurance will cost, and major violations may disqualify you from standard insurance.

Warning

  • Most states require you to pay at least a small fee for your driving records. Be wary of any website not affiliated with your state (one that does not have a .gov designation) that offers this service for free. These sites often have hidden fees. Even worse, they may be trying to collect your personal information for the purposes of identity theft.
  • In many states, it is illegal to access another person’s driving records without their consent, except for specific purposes. Make sure you know what the law is about this in your state before accessing another person’s records.

How to Correct a Mistake on Your Driving Record

After receiving your driving record, if you find a mistake on it, do not worry, it can usually be fixed. Traffic violation errors should be corrected at the Secretary of State.

A ​not-at-fault accident listed as an at-fault accident can usually be cleared up at the insurance office with which you were insured at the time of loss.

Driving records are typically accurate, but mistakes do happen.

If you do find an error on your driving record, you should definitely try to get it corrected as soon as possible.

Driving records contain important personal information which can affect your financial future.

Keep a close eye on your driving record, it can mean the difference between high insurance rates and cheap insurance rates.

Knowing how many points are on your driving record can help inspire you to drive more cautiously.

Conclusion

Above are some helpful approaches for you to easily check your driving record. Depending on your need and on your available time, you can choose an approach that suits you best.