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Driving Records 101

We get a lot of questions regarding driving records. Today, I will address many questions surrounding this resource. Keep in mind many states use the words driving/motor vehicle records, histories, or reports to describe the same product.

How is this information obtained? Your background screening provider is supplied the driver’s license number and state, by either the client/end-user or directly from the applicant. An electronic copy of the State’s driving history is then returned to the client/end-user.




What is the source of this data? Direct state sources, ie: Secretary of State or Department of Motor Vehicle.


How long does the process take? Usually within minutes, however, a few states do have longer turnaround times due to specialized request processes.


What information can be found on a driving record? Depending on the state, overall status (valid, suspended, revoked), violations, infractions, points, or accident data. This data usually ranges from 2-10 years, on average, depending on the types of violations and the state’s reporting terms.


What do I need to do to get an applicant’s driving record? You must have a permissible purpose, and you mush collect written consent. You should always provide required Federal and State notices, as needed. You may place an order online with your background screening provider or get a copy directly with the state.


How can I use the data returned? You may use a driving record when it is position related. If you are hiring for a driving position, most employers would look for a valid license and safe driving history. Failure to place a safe driver could put your customers, the public, and overall business at risk. Keep in mind if you do plan on using a driving history against an applicant, you must adhere to the steps required under the Adverse Action process.


Why should I use the State driving record source over a county criminal search? Although many counties can produce traffic cases, these records would not show a current DL status, ie: valid/suspended/revoked, nor would the county data show accidents.


As always, feel free to reach out to our team to address any additional questions you may have.


Our goal is to be a resource for you.


Jolene Johnston Vice President/Chief Operating Officer

Note: This article is intended to provide general information and should be not be interpreted as legal advice.


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