An MVR check is a complete peek into someone’s driving history and indicates much more than just whether or not they are a good driver. Any business that hires people to drive company vehicles or their own as part of their jobs need to know what an MVR check is and why it’s essential. An MVR check is a critical part of the hiring process, which could save you money and headaches down the road.
What is an MVR Check?
An MVR check is a Motor Vehicle Report or Motor Vehicle Record, depending on where you get it, and the state you live in, the name may be different. In simple terms, an MVR is a person’s complete driving history from the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) or another state department. Each state keeps its own records with slight variances.
The most common reason for an MVR is employers use them to review a candidate’s driving record before hiring them. An MVR may also be included in other types of background checks for permits, licensing, and private purposes.
The information contained on an MVR varies by state, but most regions will carry the same information. The first thing it will show is whether or not a person’s driver’s license is valid, suspended, and how many points they have on it.
Some states keep records for three years, others for five, and some even go back as far as ten years. If you have driving infractions, criminal violations, or other black marks on your driving records, they will show up for a long time after.
When requesting a copy of someone’s Motor Vehicle Record, the requestor must have the following information:
- Full name (matching what shows on their driver’s license).
- Licensing state.
- Driver’s license number.
Some of the basic identification information on a driver record will be:
- Name and address of the subject.
- Date of birth.
- Height, weight, and gender.
- Eye color.
- Hair color.
- Driver’s license number and state that issued it.
- License type or class (operator, commercial, etc.).
- License issue date and expiration date.
- License status (active, suspended, other).
Additional details may include:
- Traffic violations, including DUIs.
- Driver restrictions.
- Department of Transportation (DOT) licensing (such as a commercial driver's license - CDL).
- Driver’s license suspensions.
- The point on your driving record.
- Motor vehicle crimes.
- Criminal history (non-moving violations, etc.).
MVR Check for Employers - What is an MVR Background Check
Employment screening is the number one reason people use MVR background checks. It’s critical before hiring someone to know that they are safe drivers who follow the rules of the road. Hiring someone with a poor driving record could not only reflect poorly on you but also leave you liable if they cause an accident or get into trouble while driving on the job.
Positions Where Driving Records May be Checked
Some typical jobs where your driving record would be reviewed before you could be hired are:
- Volunteer driver who works with vulnerable populations (elder citizens, kids, etc.).
- Delivery drivers.
- Commercial truckers.
- Staff who drive company vehicles as part of their job.
- Construction workers.
Some Reasons Why Employers Need to Use an MVR
Why are MVRs important to employers? There are dozens of reasons and benefits for performing a complete driving record check before hiring someone. Some of the most promising benefits are:
- Protect your company against liability and insurance claims.
- Protect your employees, vendors, customers, and others who are affected by your drivers.
- Help you to hire safe drivers with a clean record.
- Follow safety regulations and guidelines and minimize your personal and professional risk.
- Protect your company’s reputation.
- Find out about criminal records before making any hiring decisions.
What Employers Need to Know Before Running an MVR Check
The federal government and state laws impose restrictions on motor vehicle and driving records. The Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and Ban-the-Box laws also affect how you can obtain and use information. Additionally, depending on the state, the Drivers Privacy Protection Act (DPPA) protects each citizens’ private information contained in motor vehicle records. Therefore, you must have signed consent from the driver to obtain their information. These laws vary from state to state, so be sure to familiarize yourself before beginning the process of running MVR background checks on your employees or job candidates.
How to Get Your Driving Record
Before applying for a job, it might be a good idea to get a copy of your own driving record so you can see exactly what is on it before a potential new employer does. That way, if there are errors, you can get them corrected before anyone else sees them. Some parts of your driving record may be public record, but other parts are confidential, depending on your state.
There are a few different ways you can go about getting a copy of your driving record.
1. Contact the Department of Motor Vehicles in your state. Ask them for a copy. You may have to provide proper identification and even pay a fee, but they can help you. Some DMV offices will have online options where you can sign up, log in, and see a copy instantly.
2. Contact your automobile insurance company. Insurance companies have access to driving records because they use them to set insurance rates. They may or may not be able to help you. You may have to pay for the report.
3. Contact a third-party vendor to see a complete copy of your driving report. You may have to pay a nominal fee to get a copy, and you will have to verify your identity.
Employers and private citizens cannot overlook the importance of MVR. Driving reports are a useful device to ensure that employers are hiring only safe, law-abiding drivers.