A driver's license history, or driving record, keeps track of any traffic offenses the licensee may have committed. Records often differ state by state, so some histories may show only the past three, five or 10 years of activity. Whichever is the case, your license history is necessary when obtaining auto insurance and often requested when applying for driving-related jobs. As an employer, you may also want to request a history before hiring a driver for your business. The procedures for finding your own record or someone else's are different and may differ from state to state, but are generally simple.
Accessing Your Own Driving Record
Look up the Web site and contacts for the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) in the state that issued your license. Each state DMV has a separate Web site, but information on DMV offices in all 50 states is available at the private Web site DMV.org.
Open the "Tickets and Violations" menu on the DMV.org page and click on "Driving Records."
Select your state on the map that loads. You will be taken to an information page that will provide the address of state DMV offices, links to record request forms and links to online request services if that state offers them. These pages often also provide links to private companies that perform expedited searches online for a fee.
Fill in the appropriate request form. If it is a hard copy, download the PDF, print it, and fill in all necessary information. You will usually need your address, full name and date of birth. Some forms may also ask for your Social Security number. Online forms offered by private search firms and those found on the state DMV Web sites will ask for the same data, along with your e-mail address.
Pay the fee. If you are submitting a paper copy through the mail, it must be paid by check. You may be able to pay by credit card if you take the form to a DMV office in person, and you will need a major credit card to pay online.
Submit the form. If it's online, just click "submit" and the record should be displayed onscreen or sent to your e-mail address. If you fill out a paper copy (necessary in many states), you may mail it to the address provided on DMV.org or on the state DMV Web site. You may also take the form to a DMV office for that state, along with payment.
Requesting Someone Else's History
Get consent. You will need a signed consent form from the person whose history is to be checked. In some states there may be a specific government form, or it may need to be notarized. Check with the local DMV for details. Many DMV offices do not allow online searches to be done on someone else's behalf.
Collect the driver's identification data. You will need the same date that you would if requesting your own records.
Submit the request to the state DMV. It may go to a different office than requests for your own would. Check the information on DMV.org or contact the state DMV directly for the correct mailing address. You will need to provide your own contact details to receive the report.
- Although some DMV Web sites allow you to search for someone else's records online, most warn employers to follow separate procedures. Follow all such requests to avoid breaking state privacy laws.
- Private search services will often deliver your record within a day, or faster. As of September 2010, their charges usually ranged from $20 to $30. Searching with the DMV directly is always cheaper.
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