The Department of Motor Vehicles is a state-run government agency that maintains driving records and vehicle records of every driver and vehicle owner in tat state. Most DMV records are public records, although some states vary on what information is publicly available because of privacy laws. As a whole, the DMV caters to individuals looking for their own official records, registration renewal, title transfers and other driver and vehicle related information. The DMV is not the place to research other people’s driving record, meaning you cannot lookup other another person’s driving records or vehicle records through the DMV, just your own. If you are interested in looking up another person’s driving record, there are many online public record websites where you can search unofficial DMV driving records and vehicle records with a simple name search or vehicle plate search.
You can get a certified copy of your DMV driving record by contacting your state’s motor vehicle department directly, either online if you setup an account and verify your identity, or in person. You can only obtain a certified copy of your own driving record unless there is a court order or you approved another person or company of doing so. You can typically obtain an official copy of your DMV record by signing on to your state’s DMV website portal, setting up an account and verifying your identity, and then making an official request. You’ll pay a small fee for this and a certified copy will be mailed to you directly. You can also visit an office or branch in person to make this request, it’s often faster to obtain a certified copy in the mail.
If you need an unofficial copy of your DMV driving record you can view your driving history with any number of the available public record websites, since everyone’s driving record is part of the public record domain. The FOIA makes it possible for anyone to view and verify another person’s driving record however, you cannot do this at the DMV. The motor vehicle department will only supply driver’s with their own records not anyone else’s unless given permission or a court order.
Your official DMV driving record can be requested for multiple reasons with your consent, and without your consent depending on certain legal circumstances. The official documentation of your driving history can only be supplied by the DMV directly, as it is certified by a state-run government agency.
A person’s driving record, like their marriage record or criminal record are all part of the public record system in the United States. Anyone can view another person’s traffic citations, DUIs, court records, vehicle records and any other government collected information via the Freedom of Information Act. The information that is publicly available can be found from a multitude of online public record websites. All that is required to lookup a person’s driving history is their full name and state of residency. Looking up someone’s information is completely compliant with the law but since it’s unofficial it can be viewed only and used for personal reference or research. If someone want’s to lookup an official government records then they will need to use an FCRA certified service or they are given written permission to do so.
Having a clean DMV record is a good feeling all around, it means you’ve done a good job and you’ll also be able to take advantage of discounts on your auto insurance premiums. Many people do not have totally clean records though, and a some have such a bad record that they have lost their driving privilege with too many points, a DUI or a reckless driving suspension. To clear someone’s driving record really depends on what they want to clear up. If there are too many points on your record then you may consider taking a traffic school course to remove a point, you can do this once every 18 months in most states. If you have a suspended driver’s license then you’ll need to find out what you need to fix or what classes you need to take to redeem yourself. Since driving is considered a privilege and not a right, it’s up to each person to maintain a clean record and to clear up any driving infractions. According to the National Transportation Safety Administration, there were over 42 million traffic tickets issued in 2022 which translates to a lot of driving record points. If you’re interested in clearing your DMV driving record from too many points of that unexpected driving suspension, you should first obtain an abstract of your driver history from the DMV directly, then you can tackle one infraction at a time until your record is clean. Once you’ve accomplished getting your DMV record back into good standing with the state, it’s all about safe driving practices and staying within the law to maintain that clean record.
The vehicle records that are available from the DMV include the title and registration information on a vehicle someone owns, leases, or is bank owned. The DMV registration and vehicle title is only issued to the registered owner of the vehicle however much of the information on these vehicle documents can also be looked up by anyone since they are part of the public record. For example, if someone wants to verify a used car before purchasing then they can use the registered VIN of the vehicle to get a vehicle history report. Someone can also verify the vehicle title status and if the odometer reading is correct. It is also important that a vehicle history report is not made available by the DMV even though it is a DMV vehicle record. To access these types of records you will want to use a non-government website that specializes in publicly available vehicle records. You can research all this information with a license plate number or 17-digit vehicle identification number.