Understanding What Information is on Your Ohio Driving Record
Curious about what appears on your driving record and how to get a hold of one? First, Ohio calls your driving record a “driving abstract.” This is 3-year summary of all moving violations convictions, accident involvement reports and any other actions that resulted in a license suspension, revocation, or other disqualification of your license. This record also includes the most recent driver license issuance date only (no other prior issue dates are included).
All violations are recorded onto your abstract/record within 10 days of conviction. Any violation of a state law or a municipal ordinance that is related to the operation of vehicles, streetcars, and trackless trolleys on highways and streets will be included in your record/abstract (if convicted). BUT, violations related to parking a motor vehicle are NOT included on such driving records. Here’s a quick breakdown; your driving record will show:
- Total driver license points for moving violations (see below for more info on this).
- ALL accidents within 2 years, in which you were driving, including:
- Those caused by another driver.
- No-fault accidents.
- One-car accidents.
- Also included: vehicle fires and one-car accidents.
This information will stay on your driving record for 2 years.
What’s the “Point”...system?
The record of convictions serves as a basis for the state’s point system. The number of points you get per violation that leads to a conviction will depend on the severity of the charge. The points essentially indicate red marks against your driving record. Importantly, your driver's license will be suspended if you accrue 12 points for moving violations within 2 years. The suspension will last for 6 months.
For the full point schedule, check out the OH Bureau of Motor Vehicles' website. Here are the highlights:
- Driving a car without the owner's consent = 6 points.
- Driving with a suspended license = 6 points.
- Reckless driving (putting others in harm's way) = 4 points.
- Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs = 6 points.
- Killing OR injuring another person while driving a vehicle = 6 points.
- Violations related to general driving rules including: stop signs, traffic lights, railroad crossings, following to close, failure to signal, etc. = 2 points.
Even though the OH BMV does not determine fault in an accident, it will be evident from your driver record that a moving violation that also has points on the same date suggests you were at fault. If you were not at fault, the moving violation will appear on the record but no points will be included on that same date.
Pro Tip: Ohio drivers can take a defensive driver course to receive a credit of 2 points. This credit can help you avoid suspension of your license (which occurs if you accrue 12 points in 2 years). To take the course, you must be charged with at least 2 points against you BUT fewer than 12 points. It may also help you to avoid raised insurance rates.
Requesting a Copy
You can request a 3-year official copy for $5 OR view an online, unofficial 2-year record for free here. You can also visit a BMV office location in person or print the official 3-year request form and mail it to:
Attn: BMV Records
PO Box 16520
Columbus, Ohio 43216-6520