As drivers, our driving record is our public account of all of the various aspects of our driving history. From our basic information telling agencies such as the DMV and police department who we are, to our license classifications, to any violations we may have committed in our time on the road, our driving record is who we are as a driver, and impacts things such as our insurance costs to how close we are to having our license suspended. Though some of you know how to access your driving record, you’d be surprised how many people either don’t know or don’t know why it’s important to keep an eye on it! For the former, we’ve decided to compile a list of the ways in which you may access your driving record in your state – all in alphabetical order, for easy skimming. Because there are fifty states in all, these will be broken up into a series.
The state of Alabama offers three types of driving records:
- 3-year: This record contains the last 3 years of your driving history in the state, and can be requested by the individual on the record only.
- Abstract: This contains your full driving history, and can only be accessed by the individual on record only.
- Motor vehicle record (MVR): This contains your personal information and your AL driving history, and can be requested by authorized users.
Whether you are requesting your driving record or the abstract, you can do so online or in person. To request it online, you will need to subscribe to the Alabama DPS Motor Vehicle Driver Abstract Search. To do this, you will need to visit the alabama.gov website, enter your business details, and pay any subscription fees present, if any. Once you’re subscribed you will be given log-in information and access to your record.
To request by mail or in person, you must complete a Request for Motor Vehicle Record (Form MV DPPA1), and include your name, driver’s license number, date of birth, and SSN; provide your personal information and mailing address; and initial the authorized use that applies to your request. You will also need to send a certified check or money order for the fee, payable to the Alabama Department of Public Safety, and either take your form to your local AL DMV or mail it to them:
Driver License Division
P O Box 1471
Montgomery AL 36102-1471
The agency will not accept cash payments or personal checks. The fee for each request is $5.75. Processing usually takes around one week to 10 days.
In Alaska, the following types of driving records are available:
- 5-year: This record is commonly used for insurance purposes.
- 10-year: This record will give a wider view of your driving history.
- Complete: This will show your entire driving history.
By law, in Alaska, some organizations are permitted to access your AK driving record as well, including auto insurance companies; potential employers; research companies; courts, and; anyone with your written permission. Insurance companies will use this record to verify information about violations and accidents to determine your insurance rates, and employers may check it as a part of your pre-employment background check, especially if you will be driving as a part of your job position.
You can order your driving record in the state of AK by mail, fax, or in person, for a fee of ten dollars. To order it by mail, you will need to complete a Request for Driving Record form (Form 419F), and mail in a check or money order for the fee amount, and both should be mailed to:
Division of Motor Vehicles
1300 W. Benson Blvd. Suite 200
Anchorage, AK 99503-3696
To do so by fax, you will need to complete the same form, including filling out your credit card information for payment of the fee. The fee for every driving record request is $10. A number to fax it to will be included on the form, and this request will take a few days to process. Finally, to order your driving record in person, you will need to take the completed form, proof of identification, and your payment to any AK DMV.
The state of Arizona makes your driving record available in three forms:
- 39-month (uncertified): This record shows your traffic violations within the last 39 months, and is available to order online, in person, or by mail.
- 39-month (certified): This shows your traffic violations in the last 39 months, and is available to order in person only.
- 5-year (certified and uncertified): This record shows your traffic history within the last 5 years, and is available to order both by mail and in person.
Depending on which one you need, different ways are available to you to order it. To order your AZ driving record online, you will need to visit the Arizona Motor Vehicle Division website and enter your personal information, as well as pay the fee, and you will be able to view and print your record immediately. The fees for the 39-month uncertified and five-year certified driving record are $3 and $5, respectively. Note that even though the system returns a “No Record Found” message, you will still need to pay the fee.
To order it by mail or in person, you will need to complete a Motor Vehicle Record Request (Form 46-4416) and have your payment for the fee. You can either mail both to the address specified on the form, or take both to your local AZ MVD office. Visit this page to see a list of MVD offices in Arizona. From there, they can either mail your record to you, or you can wait at the office to receive your record over the counter.
In Arkansas, there are two types of driving records:
- Insurance: This is a 3-year history of your driving violations, accidents, DUIs, and associated points.
- Commercial: This is also called an employee record, and is a more complete driver history, with information staying on it for a longer amount of time, depending on the violation.
While you can order your driving record, other agencies can access it, including insurance companies, employers, and courts, or other government agencies. These records are available to order online, in person, or by mail.
To order your record online, you will need to use the Online Driver Record (Traffic Violation Report) Request System, and enter your AR driver’s license number, the last 5 digits of your SSN, and your credit card to pay any applicable fees. Once you’ve done this, it will be available to view and print. To order it by mail, you will need to complete a Driving Records Request form, pay the applicable fee, and mail both to:
PO Box 1272
Little Rock, AR 72203
Finally, to order it in person, you will need to complete the same form, and bring the form and payment to either an AR Revenue Office or the Little Rock Driving Records Office.
How to Improve Your Driving Record
There are many reasons as to why you will need to check your driving record, one of which is to track points that can cause your insurance rates to skyrocket. From time to time, such as when your auto insurance is due for renewal, your insurance company will check your record primarily to determine your risk level. Generally, if you are a high-risk driver, meaning you are prone to accidents, tickets, and claims, you will pay higher premiums.
The good news is you can improve your driving record by attending traffic school. You may be able to dismiss a traffic ticket or reduce points (depending on the state). You will need to confirm first with your court handler or auto insurance company if completing a traffic school course will qualify you for a ticket/point dismissal/reduction or a discount.
Below are online traffic schools that will let you take self-paced courses from the comfort of your home:
MyImprov is an online traffic school that is the brainchild of professionals from the world-famous Improv Comedy Club. Unlike most schools, MyImprov takes on a lighthearted approach to teaching and uses an abundance of jokes, memes, and funny videos that make learning fun for students. After completing a traffic school course, you even get free four tickets to the comedy club, a $60-value absolutely free.
This online course isn’t state-approved Alabama, Alaska, and Arkansas. It does offer the for those states, though, so you can ask special permission from your court handler or insurance provider if you can take this online school.
iDriveSafely is most popular for its quick and efficient traffic school programs. The school offers courses that won’t take you any more time than you need to. Its offerings are the shortest allowed by law, and the coursework is simple and easy to follow.
This online school offers courses in Arkansas but isn’t state-approved. So again, always ask permission before you take it.
If you’re looking for the cheapest option, GoToTrafficSchool is the best pick for you. It offers interactive traffic school courses that feature videos and even games that make traffic school a lot less boring. Its courses are the most affordable you’ll find online. If you find one that’s cheaper, they’ll match the price for you.