Benefits of Checking Your Driving Record

By: Alicia Sparks June 22, 2012
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Your driving record is your state’s way of keeping up with your driving habits. That might sound a little intrusive, but think of it less like Big Brother and more like Staying Alive.

Your driving history reflects everything from common incidents like traffic tickets and point accumulation to more serious problems like car accidents and DUI convictions.

Most entries are temporary (such as point accumulation); others, depending on the state, are permanent or at least extremely long term (such as DUI convictions).

Thus, checking your license record helps you:

  • Keep tabs on what your record reflects; check your drivers license status and find out whether you have a valid or suspended license.
  • Find out whether the information is correct and how to correct it or the necessary steps to remove it.
  • Keep your record as healthy as possible to protect your driving privileges, buy affordable auto insurance, and get hired. (That's right, some employers look at your driving history.)

Protect Your Driving Privileges

Except in extreme cases, most things eventually disappear from your record either because they have a shelf life or you’ve completed an approved traffic school.

When they don’t disappear and you accumulate more issues, you risk license suspension or revocation, which can lead to:

  • Traffic tickets and vehicle impoundment for driving with a suspended license.
  • Associated fees, including towing fees, court costs, and license reinstatement fees.

Qualify for the Best Car Insurance Rate

Current and potential car insurance providers look at your driving history as they determine your rates. Excessive speeding tickets, car accidents, suspensions and revocations – they can all leave you paying higher-than-normal premiums.

Sometimes, they can leave you with no coverage at all.

Can’t Find Car Insurance?

If you have legit blemishes on your driving record and they’re making it difficult to find auto insurance, you can:

  • Shop around and compare quotes online. You don’t have to limit yourself to providers in your neighborhood; as long as the company is licensed to sell insurance in your state, you can buy from it.
  • Ask about state assignment programs. Some states, like New Jersey, have assigned or high-risk insurance programs for drivers who can’t find coverage in the voluntary market.
  • See if your state offers a self-insurance option.

Get Hired...Maybe!

Sometimes, potential employers look at driving records during the hiring process. Of course, this is especially true of employers who manage any kind of business that involves driving.

Sitting across the table from the person who has the power to sign your future paychecks is not the time to find out your license is riddled with inaccurate – or, for some drivers, accurate – and incriminating information.

Be prepared and check your driving record before you apply. Then, contact the DMV to learn how to fix false or outdated information, or get a list of requirements you must meet to clear your license record.

Check License Status Online

Depending on your state, you might be able to skip a trip to the DMV and order your driving record online. Sometimes this is directly through your driver’s license agency, and sometimes it’s through a third-party source.

Find out more about ordering driving records online.

When was the last time you checked YOUR driving record?

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