Your driving record contains personal information and details of your accidents, violations, license points, suspensions, and completed driving courses. You can obtain an Illinois driving record in person at a Driver Services facility, online, or by mail.
The information in your record can significantly impact your
car insurance rates, among other things. The best thing you can do for your finances is to keep your record as clean as possible and report any discrepancies to the state as soon as you notice them.
Here, we'll break down everything you need to know about what constitutes a driving record in Illinois and how to obtain one.
What is a driving record?
Your driving record is a complete, public history of your driving behavior spanning from when you got your license to the present.
The document, sometimes called a motor vehicle report, includes personal information and records of accidents, tickets, points, and license suspensions.
How do I access my driving record in Illinois?
There are three ways to obtain a copy of your driving record in Illinois.
You can purchase and print your driving record online using the
Driving Record Abstract system. To use this service, you must have a valid credit/debit card and a printer able to print PDF documents. There will be a $12 charge plus a small payment processor fee.
Finally, you can mail a completed Abstract Request Form to the state’s
Driver Services facility—just allow 10 business days for processing.
Be sure to include the following information:
Personal information (full legal name, date of birth, sex)
Illinois driver's license number
$12 by check or money order payable to the Secretary of State
Requesting a driving record for someone else
If you want a copy of another person’s driving record, you’ll need to go to a
Driver Services facility, submit written, notarized permission from the original requestor, and pay the $12.
Where else can I find my driving record in Illinois?
Car insurance agents
You can usually obtain an unofficial copy for free from your insurance agent. Insurance companies examine your driving record to determine your risk level as a driver, so they should have a copy on hand.
Online third-party vendors
If you use an internet vendor, you can get a copy of your driving record right away, but it will cost you more. The reports may also be less accurate than a DMV record, so check with the vendor first to see if an official report is available.
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What is on my record?
Your driving record consists of details about you and your driving history. This typically includes:
Personal information (name, address, etc.)
Driver’s license information
Accidents, citations, violations, and convictions
Driving courses completed
A minor infraction, like a speeding ticket, might stay on your record for up to three years. On the other hand, more severe offenses stay on your record for ten years—or permanently. Such offenses include DUIs, reckless driving, and stunt driving, to name a few.
DMV points in Illinois
Illinois uses a points system, in which each offense adds a specified number of points to your driver's license. The more severe the infraction, the more points are added. Once you pass a certain threshold, your license will be suspended or revoked.
In Illinois, the following violations will remain on your record for 4-5 years:
Improper passage/lane usage
If your ticket resulted in a driver’s license suspension or revocation, the points will remain on your record for at least seven years.
If you’ve committed a traffic violation involving drugs or alcohol, the offense remains on your record for life.
It may not be possible to remove points from your Illinois driver record proactively. However, the state may dismiss your traffic ticket if you pass a qualifying defensive driving course.
Contact your local Illinois Secretary of State office for more information on how defensive driving courses work or how long the specific points you’ve acquired will remain on your record.
Consequences of points accumulation
Each time you’re convicted of a moving offense or pay a traffic ticket, a certain number of points are added to your driving record. How many points you receive will depend on the violation's severity.
If you commit three or more violations in a year, your license will be suspended or revoked.
If you’re younger than 21, you can lose your license for committing two or more violations over two years.
Drivers using Illinois commercial licenses are subject to higher standards and may face harsher penalties.
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How can my driving record affect me?
Whether your record is squeaky clean or needs improvement, it can have a significant impact on your life. Here are some of the things it can impact.
Your insurance premium
Your driving record has a significant impact on your insurance rate.
If you have a lot of traffic offenses on your record, insurance companies will consider you a high-risk driver, and your premiums will go up. On the other hand, if you have a good driving record, you’ll be able to enjoy lower rates.
Your ability to drive
Your driver's license will almost certainly be suspended if you have a reckless driving or DUI conviction on your record. You’ll also have to live without a license for a while if you acquire too many points.
Your credit rating
Failure to pay tickets can impact your credit score, even if your overall record isn’t bad.
Most cities and states charge you a late fee if you don’t pay your fine by the due date. They’ll send it to a collection agency if you fail to pay, and your credit score will suffer as a result.
Your job prospects
Several jobs require a clean driving record as a condition of employment. You won’t be able to work as a firefighter, police officer, delivery driver, or any other position that demands good driving skills with a poor record.
Key Takeaway Your driving record is much more than a piece of paper. It has the potential to have a huge impact on other aspects of your life, so keep it as clean as possible.
What is the difference between driving records in each state?
Your driving record is maintained by the state where you reside and hold your driver’s license. So if you live in Illinois, the state of Illinois curates your driving record.
However, you’ll still be responsible for any violations you commit outside your home state.
The Driver’s License Compact (DLC) is an agreement between states to exchange information about traffic violations and license suspensions.
This means that if you disobey the law while driving outside of your home state, you can be penalized in your state.
Which states do not share driving records?
There are only five states that are not part of the DLC. They are:
Alternate agreements may still allow these states to share information with other states.