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What Is a Motor Vehicle Report (MVR)?

A motor vehicle report (MVR) is your driving record. It documents your driving history, license class, license expiration, restrictions, endorsements, traffic violations, DUI convictions, driver’s license points, suspensions, accidents, vehicle-related crimes, criminal convictions, unpaid parking tickets, and, depending on your state, unpaid child support. Motor vehicle reports also include personal information such as your height and weight along with age. The purpose of an MVR is clear-cut: to offer insurers insight on whether you’re a safe driver. Some employers also screen prospective employees with an MVR.

What Is an MVR Check?

An MVR check is a background check that screens a person’s driving record. Employers looking to vet potential employees will often use an MVR check as part of their pre-employment process, especially if the job involves driving. An MVR check pulls information from your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles to determine if you have a reliable driving record and a history of maintaining safety on the road.

When an MVR is pulled for you, the report will typically include the following information, but can differ depending on the industry and state:

  • Driver’s name
  • Driver’s license number
  • Date of birth
  • Mailing address
  • Social security number
  • Height and weight
  • Moving violations
  • License status (Active/Revoked/Suspended)
  • Automated MVRs
  • FCRA compliance assistance
  • Automatic renewal notices
  • Consolidated invoicing
  • Applicant order entry
  • Online tracking and reporting
  • Traffic citations
  • DUI convictions
  • Accident reports

A motor vehicle report (MVR) is your driving record.

Under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), a government agency responsible for regulating the safety oversight of commercial motor vehicles, employers are allowed to request a pre-employment MVR background check in any state where a CDL license was held within the last three years. Additionally, the employer requires an MVR review every year as a part of their annual renewal process to determine if their driver is meeting safety standards and traffic requirements.

Good Driving Record? Get Lower Rates

How Long Do Violations Remain on Your Driving Record?

Many states report violations on your driving record for the past three years, although some states may report five or more years of driving history. Standard traffic violations like speeding tickets will fall off your record quickly. In contrast, serious violations like DUI convictions or at-fault accidents may remain on your driving record for much longer.

What Is MVR Used For?

MVR helps insurers determine if you’re a high-risk driver. When you request motor vehicle insurance, the insurer will likely request your MVR to look for any recent infractions. If you have a clean driving record, you will likely be approved for a policy and even get a cost-efficient premium. But, if you have a DUI conviction, police reports, traffic citations or other negative citations, you may be seen as a risky driver who will eventually file multiple claims that will cost the insurer money. If they decide to take you on as a policyholder, you might have a costly premium.

An MVR offer insurers insight on whether you’re a safe driver.

Another main reason for MVRs is if you apply for a job where driving will be a part of your day-to-day work function. If you’re in a driving-related field  — like mail delivery, local delivery, or trucking  — your employer will almost certainly request your MVR to see what your driving background looks like.

What Are the Benefits of a Motor Vehicle Report?

Employers can get a detailed look into each driver that they are considering hiring. Knowing that their employees are safe drivers who will follow safety regulations prevents financial losses. Plus, since MVRs are pulled each year, they help ensure that employees continue to maintain safe driving habits after being hired. By ensuring that their drivers maintain safe driving habits, an employer can keep their insurance costs low and avoid litigation. Motor vehicle reports protect employers, employees, insurance companies and everyone who shares the road with the driver.

What’s Continuous MVR Monitoring?

Continuous MVR monitoring is just what it sounds like, ongoing monitoring of a person’s driving record. If there is new information on your record, like an accident, speeding tickets or a suspended or revoked license, they will be immediately seen by your employer. Continuous MVR monitoring doesn’t always have to be negative. It could also have a positive impact by signaling an improvement on your record so that you can update your commercial driver’s license or medical certificate.

Can an MVR Impact Your Car Insurance Rates?

Yes, an MVR can impact your car insurance rates. If you have a history of being at fault for collisions or getting speeding tickets, insurers will see you as a high-risk driver and will charge you more for insurance since you’re more likely to file a claim. However, minor violations and citations will not warrant as large an increase as a DUI or other serious violations.

An MVR full of collisions and speeding tickets will increase insurance rates.

How Can You Find Your Motor Vehicle Report and Score?

It’s easy to get a copy of your MVR for a court date, job interview or any other reason. Drivers can order a copy of their motor vehicle report and score in every state and the District of Columbia. To get your motor vehicle report, you must:

  • Have all your personal information on hand: Getting an MVR necessitates your basic information like your name, date of birth, address, license number, social security number and your car’s tag number.
  • Complete an MVR request form: You can find these at your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles, either online or in-person.
  • Have cash ready: You’ll have to pay a small fee to get your MVR. In many states, the administrative fee is less than $10. How much you’ll be expected to pay depends on where you live.

When filling out the form, you’ll have to state why you’re requesting an MVR. This is so other people can’t access your information unless they are:

  • Insurance companies
  • Government agencies
  • Law enforcement
  • Toll collectors
  • Towing companies or impound lots
  • Employers
Good Driving Record? Find Lower Rates

FAQs

Is an MVR considered a consumer report?

Yes, MVRs are considered consumer reports under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). Since it is a consumer report, some requirements must be met when requesting a new MVR check for a driver, whether for their annual review or part of a pre-employment screening process.

Is it common for employers to use an MVR?

Employees will use an MVR to determine whether you are a responsible driver to be hired or not. However, it’s uncommon for employers to use an MVR if your job does not entail driving.

Can anyone obtain their motor vehicle records?

Anyone can obtain their motor vehicle record in person, online or by mail through the DMV.

Key Takeaways

  • A motor vehicle report is a record of your driving history that documents any traffic violations, license suspensions, accidents and more within the past three to five years.
  • Insurers use your MVR to help set your car insurance rates.
  • Employers, towing companies and law enforcement can all pull your MVR to look at your driving history.

Understanding Your Driving Score

Drivers should consider checking their MVR every so often to ensure everything is correct. For example, if you recently completed a defensive driving course, you’ll want to check your MVR to see that it is reflected. Insurance companies will look at your driving history to set your car insurance rate. If you feel like you’re paying too much for motor vehicle insurance, maybe it’s time to shop around. SmartFinancial can help you access a variety of car insurance in your area within minutes, just enter your zip code below and answer a few questions.

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