How to Check an Employee’s Driving Record

Driver travelling along a winding road.

As a small business owner with company vehicles, you need to make sure that the people behind the wheel are trustworthy. Beyond being an important practical investment for your company, to haul materials and people from A to B, your vehicles are also a traveling billboard for your company.

Since your company vehicles are a direct reflection of your business, the way they’re driven leaves an impression of your company with drivers and pedestrians on the road. If they’re being driven recklessly, it reflects poorly on your company and could negatively impact your reputation and your insurance expenses. 

This is why it’s important to check employee driving records before handing over the company keys. This article will discuss your rights as an employer to check driving records and how to go about doing that.

What is a driving record?

A driving record—sometimes referred to as a driver’s abstract, motor vehicle record, or motor vehicle report (MVR)—is a record that includes all things related to the driver’s driving history. In your case, this will be the driving history of your employees.

The information on a person’s motor vehicle record includes: 

  • License type and status
  • License issue date
  • License expiration date
  • Restrictions of use
  • Traffic violations (tickets and offenses)
  • License suspensions or revocations
  • Accidents

In some states, convictions like driving under the influence will not appear on basic pre-employment screening like background checks or criminal record checks. However, this type of information can be revealed through a motor vehicle report check.

Can you ask about a driving record in an interview?

You can only ask a job applicant for their driving records in an interview if the position they are applying for requires them to operate a vehicle in order to do the job. For example, HVAC technicians, plumbers, or electricians who are required to drive to a job site. 

If the position doesn’t require the job candidate to drive to perform the job, you aren’t allowed to ask about the status of their driver’s license or their driving records. Doing this would violate the Federal Protections Against National Origin Discrimination Law.

If you are operating a small or medium-size electrical, HVAC, plumbing, or cleaning company, for example, it’s important to remember that not everyone you hire will need to drive a company vehicle to do their job. So, there is no need to stress about driving background screening for every person you hire, but it’s essential for those who will be behind the wheel. 

How to check an employee driving record

To check for an employee’s driving record, you’ll need to go through the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Follow the steps below to obtain employee driving records.

Step 1: Locate the correct MVR release form

Locating the correct driving record release form can be a bit tricky as they vary from state to state. You’ll want to locate the DMV website in the state of the license holder. Each state’s DMV site has different options for driving record release forms. These forms range from basic information like license status and accidents in the past three years all the way to a certified driver’s abstract that covers the employee’s lifetime of driving. 

We recommend requesting a lifetime abstract as this will give you a better understanding of the driver’s driving history. If you have any questions about the forms like which to use or how to locate them, you can call or email the DMV to ask them directly.

Step 2: Fill out the release form

Filling out the release forms is best done by the company submitting the request. This means you, your fleet manager, or your human resources team should be inputting the information. 

The driving record check forms will ask for basic information like the driver’s name and address and more detailed information like their driver’s license number. You may need to reach out to the employee to get some of this information but ultimately we recommend filling it out in-house so you can ensure it’s done correctly.

Employment driving record release forms are typically two pages long and shouldn’t take much time to fill out.

Step 3: Have the employee sign the release form

Once the form has been filled out and all the information is in there properly, the final step before submitting it to the DMV is to have the employee or prospective employee review the form and sign off on the request.

Note: The DMV won’t release any driving record information unless the license holder has signed the release form.

Step 4: Submit the release form to the DMV

The final step to obtaining employee MVR records is to submit the form to the DMV. Some state DMVs will allow you to do everything online while others will ask you to mail in the forms.

It can take anywhere between a few days to a couple of weeks to receive employee MVRs so budget your time accordingly, based on this timeframe.

How to make sure your drivers are driving safely

Once you’ve completed your employee driving record checks, you can continue operating your business with safety in mind by implementing a fleet GPS tracking system

Force Fleet Tracking provides the driver safety features you’ll need to monitor how safely your employees are driving, and the information you need to coach them to improve. 

Start your 14-day free trial to see how our GPS fleet tracking solution can help keep your drivers and your vehicles safe once you’ve completed the driving record check process.

Published May 19, 2021
Matt Davis
Matt Davis
Director of Marketing
Force Fleet Tracking