Check DMV Record - Protect Yourself As An Employer

If you have been running your own business or working in human resources for any length of time, chances are you have run a background check or two in your career. You know the importance of background checks and do not need to learn how to check a DMV record online, nor do you wonder why you should do it. If you have never run a background check, you might be wondering why it is so important, especially the driving records check. For the majority of businesses, even small mom-and-pop shops, these background checks are an essential step to protect themselves, their customers, and their business, and today you are going to learn why.

The types of background checks run will depend on the demands of the specific position. In general, we tend to think of background checks as looking at criminal records and checking employment history. However, any job that requires an employee to operate a motor vehicle should require a check of the DMV record. Employers who operate transportation services usually consider this a given—it is very clear in this case how the wrong hire could jeopardize human life and the reputation of your service. But there are many other jobs where an employer should be cautious when hiring and should check the driving record online.

Perhaps you own and operate a restaurant and you would like to add delivery service. Or maybe you own a mobile dog grooming service, a cleaning service, a home repair business, or something else requiring the operation of a motor vehicle. While your driver will not be transporting humans, his or her driving record should still be inspected. The hiring of an employee with a less than perfect driving record can have reputation and legal ramifications, damaging the integrity of your company.

Right now, you might be wondering how to check your driving records of employees. Or, you might be looking to get some more information before you dive in. The following is some information which you might find helpful when understanding employee driving records or to help convince yourself that you need to use them.

What is included on the DMV record?

The exact information included on a DMV record depends on who is requesting it and what state is issuing the information. Different states have varying rules regarding what an employer can view, how many years are covered by the report, and other items included. In general, most states will include a history of citations and suspensions going back seven years. Some will cover slightly more or slightly less.

Information that you should expect to see, no matter the state, includes the following items:

  • Name and Address—Make sure that the name and address match that of the employee or potential employee. This helps ensure that you are viewing the correct report, which is vital when making hiring decisions.

  • Date of Birth—As with the name and address, make certain it matches the information provided to you by the employee or applicant.

  • Gender—This is simply a basic item.

  • License Number—It is a good idea to make certain it matches the identification provided to you by the employee or applicant, not only to be certain you have the correct report, but also to be certain that they have presented you with legitimate identification.

  • License Details—The license details will outline the types of licenses held by the employee or potential employee, whether they have commercial privileges, any restrictions placed on the licenses, and any endorsements given. You can use this section to help determine if they are qualified for the particular job.

  • Driver Citations—This will be in the driver’s history section. Depending on the state, citations may be listed even if they did not result in a conviction; however, the history will note this. Other states will only list citations that resulted in convictions. Information on the citation will include a basic description, the date of the violation, whether or not an accident occurred, the court in which the hearing took place, the date of the hearing, the results of the hearing, and the points against the license. Some states will also detail if the citation was a commercial offence and if the driver was transporting hazardous material at the time.

  • Suspension of License—If a citation results in the suspension of a license, this will be noted in the record. This should also detail the dates the suspension covered or covers.

When are employee driving records relevant to you as an employer?

If your business requires employees to do any more driving than simply traveling to and from work, employee driving records are highly relevant to you. Even if additional driving is not required for your business, faults within your employees’ records can hurt your image as a company and lower your reputation within your community.

It is advisable to run a complete background check on all job applicants as a standard part of the hiring process. This should include a look at their driving record in addition to a criminal record check and a review of their employment references. The best way to protect yourself as an employer is to avoid questionable hires from the start. You should take the time to research how to check DMV records in the USA.

However, you should not despair if you didn’t complete a driving record check when you hired your current employees. It is possible to legally and easily run checks on current employees. Your ability to use this information when deciding to continue or terminate employment will depend on the state your business is located in, the type of work required of the employee, and the type of offences listed on the record.

Even if you ran a DMV record check when you hired your employees, it is sound practice to continue to run them on an annual basis. New offences can occur while a worker is employed. Without the regular running of their records, you might not know about citations and suspensions until it is too late.

Why should driving records interest you?

Not already asking yourself, “How can I check my DMV records for my employees?” Then perhaps you need to consider a few hypothetical situations in which knowing your employees’ driving records could impact yourself and your business.

#1

You are at home and have just finished your dinner. You sit down in front of the TV and turn on the local news. A story comes on about a drunk driver who just killed a family of three. He had been convicted of driving while intoxicated two times and had lost his license. As the news provides the details of the drunk driver, you hear his name, his age, his hometown, and where he works. He works for you. He didn’t need to drive as part of his job duties, he just needed to drive to and from work. In fact, he had stopped to drink on his way home from work. Now, your company’s name is tied to the death of a child and his parents. A family died at the hands of your clearly irresponsible employee, one who legally wasn’t allowed to do so much as drive himself to work.

#2

You are sitting in your office going over some reports when the phone rings. One of your mobile grooming units has been pulled over for speeding on its way to a job. The driver was running late and did not want to get into trouble. Now, he won’t be able to make it at all. It ends up that this is his third speeding ticket this year and the cop has decided to arrest him. He will possibly lose his license. Now, not only do you need to call the customer and try to find another groomer to send to her home, you also need to try to find a new driver and might need to get your grooming unit out of the impound lot.

#3

Your restaurant has been doing very well since you opened it three years ago. As a result, you decided to add a delivery service. You are finding yourself overwhelmed with orders and you put a bit of pressure on the driver to get them all out on time—not too much, but you want him to understand what is at stake. Later, you answer a phone call to hear that he ran a stop sign and got into an accident. He claims he was just feeling a lot of pressure to get the orders delivered quickly, but you later find out that he has been in three accidents in the last three years, all of which were his fault. However, you now look bad to the community in general and your loyal customers will not be getting their meals at all, much less on time.

In each of these situations, irresponsible drivers employed without the knowledge of their imperfect driving records damaged the reputation of the company. In two cases, driving was part of the duties of the position. However, in the first situation, the employee did not need to drive as a condition of the job. In each case, the company is facing a public image crisis that could have been avoided and could possibly be facing legal repercussions as well. You should know before you hire if the candidate you are considering has a less than stellar driving history.

How can you use this information?

When you are considering a candidate for a position, a DMV record helps you make an informed decision. Their record can tell you a lot about who they are beyond their actual driving. You can determine if they are cautious, absent minded, reckless, or even if they demonstrate that they see clear value in human life.

If you are looking to fill a position that requires an employee to oversee safety measures which could be the difference between life and death for customers or other employees, you likely will not want to hire someone who has multiple citations for driving under the influence or driving while ability impaired. You may not even want to consider someone who frequently speeds or has caused several accidents.

If your position involves the operation of a motor vehicle, you should be able to safely use this information when deciding on the right candidate for you. However, it is advisable that you seek legal advice before you use any information discovered in a background check to make a hiring decision. Employee protections vary by state and can limit what you are allowed to consider as you make your decision. You should use extra caution if you are considering terminating a current employee.

How can you obtain driving records?

There are three ways you can obtain employee driving records. You can ask that the employee obtain and provide you with a copy, you can request the copy yourself from the DMV, or you can use a secondary service to make the requests for you.

Asking that employees provide the records might seem ideal. You do not need to do anything and the employee or potential employee will be covering the costs. However, you are also relying on them to complete the entire process quickly and efficiently so that you can make your decision. Even someone who is organized and responsible can find it difficult to navigate the process for obtaining driving records.

Completing it yourself is a viable option. While the process is generally complicated and can require time spent waiting in line at the DMV, you will be able to complete the requests within the timeframe you see fit. You will also learn the process as you go and become more efficient as time goes on.

The easiest and most efficient option is using a secondary service. These services have an intimate understanding of the process and operate with maximum efficiency. For a nominal fee, they take all the work out of the process for you.

When using a service, such as 4SafeDrivers, you will need to have basic information on the employee available. Be certain to have their complete name, gender, birth date, address, and license number; PA businesses will need to complete an additional form for each applicant. 4SafeDrivers is able to complete a driving record for any state within the US at an average cost of $24.95, though they do provide bulk rates for businesses. Some states charge more so they cost more. Requests are generally completed within 1-2 hours. When a request is submitted after hours, it will usually be completed within the first few hours of the next business day. All together, it is the quickest way to get records so that you can make a prompt employment decision.

If you are ready to protect your business, your customers, and your employees, begin the process of examining driving records today. You can go it alone or read over the 4SafeDrivers website to learn more about the process and open your account.

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