California Driving Records

Want to know what’s in your California driving record? The trail you leave behind as you drive down the road can impact your ability to get a job, insurance rates and a whole lot more. Keep reading to find out what’s in your driving record and how to get a copy.

What’s in a California Driver Record

Simpsons permanent record
We’ve all wanted to see our permanent record from time to time

Anyone who drives will have a driving record, also known as a DMV record or motor vehicle record. Every time you get behind the wheel you could potentially alter your driving record for better or worse. For some careers, your driving record is included in the background check, which is just one reason you’ll want yours to be as squeaky clean as possible.

All driving records are maintained by the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), and will reflect your driving history in the Golden State. Your California driver record will include:

  • Details on each traffic ticket
  • Traffic violation information
  • Traffic-related convictions
  • Auto accidents
  • Points on your license
  • Driver license status
  • If you’ve attended traffic school or driver training courses

If you’re involved in an at-fault accident or get a speeding ticket it will show up on your record. It will also show more serious offenses like a DUI arrest or conviction. License status is another important factor. This will indicate whether you’re able to drive legally as well as whether you’ve had a driver license suspension in the past.  

Your California driver report will also include personal information such as your name, date of birth, social security number and DL number. For that reason, a DMV record is considered sensitive information with limited access.

Decoding the DMV Points System

On your driving record you may see DMV points. You get a demerit point or points for each traffic violation. These points will stay on your record for three or 10 years depending on the offense. For example, points for a license suspension will stay on your record for three years, but points for a DUI conviction remain 10 years.

Points stay on your record for a long time!

The vehicle violation code should be listed if points were given. A non-commercial vehicle driver is considered a negligent operator if they receive four points in 12 months, six points in 24 months or eight points in 36 months.

Common Reasons for Requesting a Driver Record

So, why would someone go through the trouble of getting their California driver record? Turns out there are plenty of good reasons for requesting a driving record beyond simple curiosity. Some of the most common reasons for requesting a driver record include:

  • Preventing identity theft.
  • Correcting errors.
  • Determining car insurance rates.
  • Seeing if expungement is possible.
  • Submitting the record for employment or court proceedings.

Keep in mind an employer, insurance company, attorney or court can also request a copy of your driving record.

How to Request Your California Driving Record

It’s your right to know what information is on your California driver record. There are two ways to request a copy for your own records from the CA DMV.

Unofficial Driver Record

The DMV Driver Record Request System can be used by certified (registered) users to request an unofficial driver record online.

  • Login with your username and password.
  • Fill out the Driver Record Request application.
  • Pay the $2 fee. It can be paid via debit card, credit card or eCheck.
  • View and print your driver record.

IMPORTANT: Don’t close the shopping cart confirmation page until after you have printed the driving record. You will only be able to print once after the fee is paid.

Official Driver Record

If you need an official copy of your driving record you’ll have to request it in person at a local DMV office or by mail. To do so you have to complete a Request for Your Own Driver License Information Record (Form INF 1125).

The fee for requesting an official motor vehicle record from the DMV headquarters is $5 and should be paid by check or money order when you submit a Form INF 1125 in person or by mail. Cash and debit card are also accepted at the DMV office.

Requests by mail should be sent to:

Department of Motor Vehicles
Information Services Branch
Information Release Unit G199
P.O. BOX 944247
Sacramento, California 94244

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