Massachusetts Driving Record

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For drivers with a Massachusetts driver’s license, your driving record is a public document containing a detailed history of your time on the road—including past traffic violations, at-fault accidents, and out-of-state driving histories. A certified copy costs $20 while an unofficial copy is just $8.
Your driving record can have a significant impact on your life, including on how much you pay in car insurance premiums. As a driver, keeping your driving record as clean as possible should be a top priority. If you ever notice any discrepancies on your driving record, contact the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles to rectify the issue.
Below, the car insurance broker and competition shopper app Jerry has compiled everything you need to know about your Massachusetts driving record—including what’s on it, how to access a copy, and how it can impact your life.

What’s a driving record?

In Massachusetts, your driving record or motor vehicle report is a public record of your history as a driver in the state. 

What’s on a driving record?

Starting from when you first got your driver’s license, this record includes information regarding:
  • Your name and address
  • Date of birth
  • Massachusetts driver’s license number
  • At-fault accidents
  • Traffic violations
  • Out-of-state driving records (if applicable)

Types of driving records

There are two types of driving records in Massachusetts.
  • Unattested public driving record ($8): This type of record is for personal or informational purposes only
  • True and attested public driving record ($20): This record is for official and/or court purposes and will carry the signature of the Registrar of Motor Vehicles

How to get a copy of your MA driving record

The most efficient way to get either a true and attested, or unattested copy of your driving record is online. To make an online request, you’ll need to provide the following:
  • Driver’s license/learner’s permit number
  • Name
  • Date of birth
  • Social security number (driver’s)
  • Requestor information (if request a record on someone else’s behalf)
  • Email address
  • Fee
You can also get a copy of your driving record by mail. Here’s what you’ll need to do:
Registry of Motor Vehicles
Court Records Department
P.O. Box 55896
Boston, MA
02205
You’ll need to allow two weeks for processing before your record is mailed to you.
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Requesting a Massachusetts driving record for someone else

You can request a Massachusetts driving record on someone else’s behalf, but you must certify that you are legally allowed to view another person’s record. Eligibility requirements and identification needed can be found on the RMV website.
You’ll be required to do the following:
  • Complete the request form
  • Obtain permission from the person whose record you are requesting, as well as a notarized signature
  • If a federal, state, or local agency is making the request, a subpoena may be required

Can I request a MA driving record anywhere else?

You are able to request your driving record from a couple of other sources.

Car insurance agents

Car insurance agents will check your driving record as part of the vetting process when you apply for a policy. You can ask the agent for a copy of your record. Note, however, that a copy of your driving record from an insurance agent is not considered official.

Online third-party vendors

If necessary, you can get a copy from an online vendor. However, this will likely cost more than requesting a copy of your driving record from the Registry of Motor Vehicles. 
A copy of your driving record from a third party may not be as accurate as one from the RMV. Before purchasing, ask the vendor if they are able to get an official copy.

Massachusetts points system

In Massachusetts, points have less of an impact on your driving record than does the total number of citations you accrue over time. 

Surchargeable events

In Massachusetts, a moving violation is referred to as a surchargeable event. This type of violation can have severe consequences based on:
  • The number of surchargeable events you accrue
  • The type of offenses committed
  • How quickly each surchargeable event follows one another

Categories of surchargeable events

  • Major surchargeable violations
  • Minor surchargeable violations
  • Major at-fault accidents
  • Minor at-fault accidents
For Massachusetts drivers, traffic tickets accrued out of state will be added to your driving record. These offenses will count towards your number of surchargeable events.
Out-of-state drivers who are cited for a moving violation in Massachusetts will receive points on their record.
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How do points affect your life?

Massachusetts drivers may be eligible for credits towards the payments of their car insurance premiums depending on the length of time between surchargeable events.
In Massachusetts, you will lose one point if:
  • You have three surchargeable events or less in five years;
  • You have at least three years of driving experience; and
  • Your most recent surchargeable event occurred at least three years before your current insurance policy’s effective date

Consequences of your driving record in MA

In Massachusetts, the state government dictates insurance rates—meaning your insurance payment is directly tied to your driving record.
If you are cited a certain number of surchargeable events within a defined period of time, the Massachusetts RMV will suspend your license:
  • Three speeding tickets in 12 months
  • Three surchargeable events within 24 monthsd
  • Three major driving violations within 5 years
  • Any 12 violations within 5 years
Depending on how many violations you commit, you may be forced to:
Attend a driver retraining course
  • This will be required each additional time that you are cited for three surchargeable events in any 2-year period
  • You’ll have to complete the course within 90 days
  • You’ll be required to pay a $100 license reinstatement fee
Retake your driver’s exam
  • $30 for learner’s permit test
  • $35 for road test
  • Pay between $100 and $1200 for license reinstatement
Poor driving records can impact your life in other ways, as well.

Your insurance premiums

A spotty driving record in Massachusetts can have a direct impact on the car insurance premiums you pay. The worse your record is, insurers will likely deem you high risk. Your rates will be far higher than for a driver with a clean driving record.

Your driving privileges

The more surchargeable events you rack up, the more likely you are to face stiffer penalties—including having your license suspended or revoked.

Your credit rating

While your driving record does not directly impact your credit score, not paying your traffic tickets can eventually affect your credit. If you miss payment deadlines, the state may ask a collection agency to get you to resolve any unpaid tickets. If this happens, your credit rating may take a nosedive.

Your job prospects

You must have a clean driving record to be considered for some jobs—including police officers, firefighters, paramedics, and delivery drivers. Without a clean record, your chances of landing a job can dim considerably.

Is there a difference between driving records from different states?

Your driving record resides in the state where you have a driver’s license. So, if you carry a Massachusetts driver’s license, that means your record resides in the Commonwealth.
If you commit a moving violation in another state—especially if your license is suspended or revoked—you’ll still be held responsible in Massachusetts. Additionally, you’ll need to have your license reinstated where it was originally suspended or revoked before your license can be reinstated in Massachusetts.
While Massachusetts is not a party to the Driver’s License Compact (DLC), an agreement that facilitates the sharing of information between states regarding traffic violations, it can still send and receive driving violation information from other states.
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