Your driving record can have a major impact on your life. It affects your auto insurance rates, can affect your ability to get a job driving, and can even impact whether a police officer gives you a ticket or not. Unfortunately, most people do not know a lot about their driving record. Here are some of the questions you may have about that important piece of paper and the answers to these questions.
Who Can See My Driving Record?
Your driving record is public record. As such, anyone who requests to see your driving record has access to it. However, most often, your insurance company, a potential employer, a current employer you do driving work for, and law enforcement request copies of and look at your driving record.
What Type of Information is on a Driving Record?
Your driving record contains information about your past driving offenses. This includes traffic infractions, accidents and criminal driving offenses, such as driving under the influence charges. Your record will also detail how many points are on your driving record. Every state uses a point system based on the severity of an infraction you received. For example, if you ran a stop sign, you may get one point on your record, whereas an accident you were at fault for is two points. If you reach a certain point level, your license may be suspended. Additionally, depending on the state you reside in, your driving record may also include the age in which you became licensed to drive, if your license has ever been suspended and for what reason, and any cars that are registered to you.
How Long Do Points Stay on Your Driving Record?
Your driving record lists how many points you have. This may lead you to wonder how long points stay on your record. Unfortunately, there is not a one-size-fits all answer to this question. The answer varies based on the state you reside in. In most states, accidents and tickets stay on your record for three to five years, but can stay on as long as seven years in some places. Criminal traffic infractions can stay on your record for anywhere from seven to ten years. Also, some states allow you to remove points by attending traffic school. The number of points you can remove is typically one or two points every two to three years. However, not every state allows this. Always check laws in your state to find out how their point system works and how long points stay on your record. Usually some form of traffic school or defensive driving course will take off or hide multiple points from one’s record.
Do Records from All States Look the Same?
Driving records from all states look very similar but they do not look identical. As was mentioned above, the rules for points and how long infractions stay on your record varies from state to state. As such, the records themselves vary. It is also important to note that the records a law enforcement agency can view are different than the ones that are public record that insurance companies and employers view. A law enforcement agent can see your entire driving record. Many take a good look at this information when deciding whether to let you off with a warning or a ticket.
Your driving record can have an impact on your life. As such, it is always wise to take the time to learn about this topic. This can help you to better understand what a driving record is, who sees it, what is on it and how that information is used.