Personal Driving Record – Why Knowing this Information is Important

When people meet other people for the first time whether in a business or a personal setting there are certain risks that they take. Often people will want to check their criminal background or their rental history, but what about their personal driving record? Someone's driving history can tell a lot about who they are, whether it's establishing a pattern or seeing how they defend themselves against what their record says. It's also extremely valuable for you to know your own driving history, just so you know what you are presenting to the people who matter in their lives. It used to be extremely difficult to gain access to a person's road history, but nowadays companies like can tell you how to get your driving record quickly and easily.

What Can My Driving Record Tell Me?

Your driving record will have a whole host of important information including, but not limited to:

  • Accident reports - The accident report will include any accidents that has been linked to your license. It will state who was at-fault and the end result. It will include the number of accidents that you may have been involved in, including ones that you may have long forgotten.

  • Any fines on your license – It will include any and all fines, both paid and unpaid. This part will make sure you know of anything outstanding, enabling you to take care of any problems.

  • Law violations or citations – Again, this will include any tickets you might not even be aware of. It will save you from any surprises down the line when you go to renew your license or if you are pulled over for any reason.

  • Points against your license – You are only allowed a certain number of points against your license before the state will revoke or suspend your license, thus not allowing you to drive. The number of points assigned varies from offense to offense and state to state. For example, if you were to order Texas driving records the points might be different than if you accessed your Oklahoma driving record online . So, don't be surprised if the numbers are a little different. Also, this is why it's important to access your driving records for any state you might travel in or around.

  • If your license is suspended or if it's been revoked – The last thing you want is to be driving around on a suspended or revoked license. If you are caught by the police it could mean a serious fine, or, if the offense is bad enough, even some jail time.

Now, something to note: driving records do vary what they report in a state-by-state basis. Some of them include your complete driving history and others only include the last few years. Most states, however, will give you the option to pick how long you want to go back to access your personal driving record. For example, gaining access to your Florida driving record online will give you the choice of three years, seven years, or a complete driving history. In addition to the information listed above, Florida also lists the status of your license, the type of license you hold, and it will also list any suspensions, revocations, or cancelations, even if they have already been cleared.

By contrast, looking at your California driving record online will give the personal information that comes with your license, including your social security number, address, name, and birthday. California also allows you to access either three years or ten years of driving history. They do not offer a complete driving history. Just keep in mind when you are looking for your own or someone else's driving history there might be slight variations from state to state.

Different Types of Driving Records

Be aware that when you are looking into your driving history, there are several different types of records that you might be able to access. Again, these vary slightly around the country, but you can typically choose between:

  • Certified – Having your records certified basically means they are guaranteed by the person preparing your records. You usually have to request them either in person or by mail, and they can take a few weeks to be ready. Certified driving records come in a special envelope for you to give to whom you want to see it. It makes it more difficult for the records to be tampered with. There is usually a higher fee to get your records certified.

  • Non-Certified – Non-certified driving records are available instantaneously through either a website or email. They can show anywhere between three to ten years of history; however, because they can be changed on the computer, they are typically not admissible in court nor do many employers accept them. If you are simply looking for information about yourself, however, this can be the most cost effective solution.

  • Driving Abstract – Think of a driving abstract kind of like a highlights show. The abstract will list any major events against your license, but will not give a whole lot of details. Typically, it will give the name, date, and type of action, but not the results. Most employers, especially those who hire non-drivers, will only ask for your abstract.

  • Complete Driving History – Your complete driving history is exactly what it sounds like. While the abstract omits a lot of the details, the driving history will have all of them. It could have police reports, investigations, and any other things associated with your driver's license. Employers who hire drivers and courts are the ones that will usually ask for a complete history.

  • Online Driving Record – This simply is a way to access your driving records. The majority of states nowadays offer to let you look at your history online, making it super easy and convenient. It's simply a click of a button away. Be aware, however, that while it's a good overview, most companies or courts will not accept a print out of your online driving record.

Can Anyone Access My Personal Driving Record?

In a word, no. People have to have a solid, valid reason for wanting to check your driving history. The list of people allowed to check your records are:

  • You - Self-explanatory. You always have the right to know what's going on with your records and identity.

  • Insurance Agents – They use your records to determine your insurance rates and to see if there is an established history of accidents.

  • Employers – Later in this article, it gets more in-depth about why employers need and use this information, but in short, it can help them decide which candidate is a right fit for their job.

  • Courts/Law Enforcement – Especially if you are trying to fight a ticket or were involved in an accident. By subpoenaing your driving history, the courts and/or police officers can decide how much leniency to offer you.

Why Do I Need to Know My Own Driving History?

So, you may be thinking that there's nothing your driving record can tell you that you don't already know. That's, quite simply, not the case. A recent DMV estimate in California has stated that around 8.8% of its drivers have their license either suspended or revoked. In California alone, this equals about four million people who have a suspended or revoked license, with 80% of those drivers still on the road. And, even worse, around 2% of that number doesn't even realize their license has been suspended until they've been pulled over for some other minor reason. Do you really want to be pulled over for a broken tail light and then be told that you can't even drive yourself home?

You may think that you've paid every ticket, or may have never gotten a ticket in the first place; however, think about how much driving you do on a daily basis. All of that back and forth to and from work, school, home, and various other places. There could be tickets, citations, or points on your license that you might not even be aware of. The risks are especially high if you've ever traveled to another state or if you've let anyone else borrow your car. What if they parked it in an unmetered spot, threw away the ticket, and never told you? Stranger things have happened.

By accessing your driving records, you are now one step ahead of the game—and of anyone else who may look at them. Insurance companies are by far the people who will look at your driving history the most, in order to help them decide how much to charge you for insurance. They are not, however, the only ones in the game anymore.

These days, many companies are looking at driving records for people, even if they are in a non-driving role. By beating them to the punch, you can address any potential pitfalls that might come up in a job interview. This will show that you are prepared and ready for anything, and that you are also aware of any problems in your driving history and can then state what you are doing to address them. Or, even better, you can truthfully tell your potential employer what you already have done to get rid of any issues with your driving history. It will make you look on the ball, motivated, and ready to tackle any other problems that may come up in the work force. The last thing you want is to be caught by surprise by a potential employer. They will move right on to the next candidate.

Another reason to know what your driving history says is due to identity theft.

Wait, What? Identity Theft? Isn't That What My Credit Report is For?

It's true, your credit report can absolutely show if you've been the victim of identity theft or fraud; however, have you taken a close look at your credit report? The simple act of checking your credit report too often can cause your credit score to drop. And if you've bought a car, a house, or opened a credit card recently, all of those people have checked your credit score, thus driving down even further.

By using your personal driving record, you can save your credit score while still looking to make sure there's nothing fishy going on. You'll be able to see if violations or tickets are stacking up in your name in parts of the country or state you've never even visited. The beauty of this is you can check it as often as you like and there will be absolutely no ramifications to your credit report or score.

Someone taking your identity and racking up debt or driving violations can be a terrifying thought. In getting access to your driving history, you are now armed and prepared to catch any identity thefts and nip them in the bud. This gives you the chance to claim your power and your life back, before things get too bad.

But I'm an Employer and My Employees Don't Drive on the Clock.

Thank you for bringing this up! Even if your employees don't drive as part of their job description, it's still an important piece of information to have from a prospective employee. In today's job market, you probably have stacks of resumes from qualified individuals sitting on your desk. They are all well-suited for the job, have passed various background checks, and seem like just the right fit. But have you checked their driving records? That person you're ready to shake hands and sign on the dotted line with could have scores of unpaid parking or speeding tickets just sitting inside of their glove box. This shows a certain sense of a lack of responsibility and unreliability in a person whom you probably don't want working for you.

Even if their driving record shows up clean, or simply has a minor fender-bender six years ago, you can still use it as a tool during the interview process. It will give you the chance to ask the client about it and see their response. This can be invaluable in choosing someone who is great at overcoming obstacles and working hard to improve themselves for your company. In addition, it will show the prospective employee that you are serious about performing background and other checks on them. Again, use that information to gauge their reaction. Do they become suddenly nervous at the thought of you checking up on them? Ask them about it. In this day and age, you can never be too careful about who you have representing your company.

Just think, by checking your employees' driving records, you are weeding out the undesirable candidates and hiring only the best ones. This will give you a huge leg up from competing companies that may not think to do the same thing.

As previously stated, driving history can vary from state-to-state, so it is also imperative for you to check the records from any state they have listed on their resume. This will show you if there was just a one-off mistake, or if there's a pattern of which you need to be concerned.

Convinced? Great! If you are interested in getting your or a potential employee's driving records be sure to head on over to and check out the options they have. They can help you with the process and answer any additional questions. You can also contact them Monday through Friday, 9am-5pm at 1-877-753-6667.

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