North Carolina Driving Record

Your driving record holds much of your history as a driver. Here’s how to access it in North Carolina.
Written by Shannon Fitzgerald
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
Your driving record reflects your history as a driver—from DMV points accrued to involvement in traffic wrecks. It can hold you accountable for traffic violations and can even influence your candidacy for certain job positions. 
Your record will play a huge role in determining your
car insurance
rates, too. The worse your record gets, the more expensive your premiums become, so you’ll want to keep your driving as clean as possible. 
Here’s a breakdown of what your driving record could mean, who gets to access it, and what information is inside. 

What is a driving record? 

Driving records contain the complete driving history of a license-holder. This information can include motor-vehicle-related convictions like tickets, DUIs, and suspensions, crash records and license records, and personal details like address and birth date. 

How do I access my driving record in North Carolina? 

The fastest way to request your driving record in North Carolina is through the DMV’s
online application system
. The service charges a $3 fee per transaction, but it allows you to easily purchase a certified true copy or an uncertified complete extract copy for $15 or $10.75, respectively. 
If you request certified records, you will receive them in the mail within 14 business days. Uncertified records can be downloaded immediately. Note: you will need a North Carolina license or ID to make an online driving record request. 
You do not need state identification to receive a driving record via mail. To request your record via mail, simply fill out the
Driver Record Request Form
and mail it, along with the proper payment, to the address listed on the form. Checks can be made payable to NCDMV. Once the form and payment are received, the request takes 10 business days to be processed. 
You also may make a request in person by delivering forms and payment to the NCDMV headquarters in Raleigh. You will receive certified driving records immediately. 
For all requests, you’ll need to have the following information about the license-holder:
  • First and last name
  • Date of birth
  • North Carolina driver license or ID card number
  • SSN, Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, or U.S. Visa number
Key Takeaway: In North Carolina, you can access your records online, by mail, and in person. You will be charged a $3 fee per transaction. Otherwise, certified records cost $15 and uncertified records cost $10.75.

Requesting a driving record for someone else 

As per the North Carolina Driver Privacy Protection Act, to request a copy of someone else’s driving record, you must first read and accept the
Certification of Intended Use
. This document outlines the accepted reasons for requesting another person’s driving records and threatens legal penalties for records sought outside of these purposes. 
Should you have a permissible use for the information—as insurance companies and prospective employers do—you can complete the same steps that you would to access your own driving record. 
If you are requesting a copy on behalf of someone else, you will need a written, signed, and notarized statement from the license-holder that gives you permission to the records. This is achieved through the Driver Record Release Form, which is available in both
In order to request more than five driver records at one time, the
Official Driver Record Request Form Continuation Sheet
can be used as an addendum. 
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Where else can I find my driving record in North Carolina? 

Car insurance agents 

You can usually request a copy of your driving record from your insurance agent. Many insurance companies check your record before extending a quote, so they’ll have an uncertified report on hand. If you ask for it, they’ll likely send you a copy—just keep in mind that it’s not the “official” one.

Online third-party vendors 

Online vendors often charge higher prices to get your driving record to you quicker. While this can seem convenient, the records may not be the official report you would receive from the DMV and may be less accurate. Before you spend the money, it’s safest to ask whether the vendor can provide you with the official record or solely an unofficial one.

What is on my record? 

Your driving record is made up of details concerning you and your driving history. Generally, this includes: 
  • Your name and address 
  • Your license number, status, and expiration date
  • Any motor-vehicle related convictions
  • Driver control actions (ie; failure to yield, failure to stop for a siren, etc.)
  • Information about traffic wrecks
Your record will change with any further convictions,
license suspensions
, revocations, or cancellations. If you have any pending charges, these will not appear on your record. 

DMV points in North Carolina 

The point system, which is used in most states, puts a specified number of points on your license depending on the offense you commit. Once you reach a certain threshold of points, you face license revocation or suspension. Every state allocates points and penalties differently, so it’s important to understand how it works where you live. 
In North Carolina, violations that add 3 points to your driving record include: 
  • Speeding in a school zone
  • Failing to report an accident
  • Lack of liability car insurance 
  • Failing to stop for a siren 
  • Running a red light or stop sign 
  • Failing to yield the right-of-way to another vehicle 
Violations that add 4 points include: 
  • Failing to yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian 
  • Driving on the wrong side of the road
  • Leaving the scene of an accident resulting in property damage
  • Reckless driving
Violations that add 5 points include: 
  • Following too closely behind another car
  • Aggressive driving
In general, points remain on a North Carolina driving record for 3 years. But if you have 7 points on your record, the DMV may allow you to enroll in a driver improvement clinic to remove 3 points upon successful completion. The clinic can only be taken once every 5 years, however, and you must pay a $70 fee and request permission from a DMV hearing officer to partake.
Key Takeaway: North Carolina functions on a point system to monitor traffic violations. If you accumulate 7 points, you may be able to take a driver improvement clinic to improve your record.
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How can my driving record affect me? 

Driving records can have a major influence on your life. Here’s a rundown of what they might impact.

Your insurance premium 

Bad driving records create significantly
higher premiums
. If you have multiple offenses in your report, you will be deemed a higher-risk driver by insurance companies and your rates may inflate up to a whopping 300%. Even minor tickets—like speeding tickets—can raise your rate by as much as 20%. 
On the same token, good driving records help you maintain much lower premiums. So if you want to save your bank account, try to keep your driving record as clean as possible

Your ability to drive 

In North Carolina, the DMV will suspend your driver’s license if you accumulate 12 points in 3 years or 8 points in the 3 years following license reinstatement. Your driving privileges also may be automatically suspended for offenses like DWIs and street racing. 

Your credit rating

Though your credit rating is not impacted by your driving record itself, it can be impacted by an unpaid ticket. Failing to pay your ticket for a long enough time will cause most cities and states to send it to a collection agency, which can lower your credit score significantly.

Your job prospects 

Though driving records are well-protected in North Carolina, certain employers do have a legal right to a copy and will use it to assess potential hires. Professions like truck driving and law enforcement place special emphasis on candidates having a clean driving record—a history of offenses could cost you the job.
Key Takeaway: A bad driving record can lower your insurance premium, suspend your privilege to drive, and cost you some job opportunities. 

What is the difference between driving records in each state? 

A person’s driving record will follow them to wherever they reside and hold a driver’s license. So even if you move to a new state every year, your driving record will be held by the current state you’re living and driving in.
Offenses committed outside of this state will still show up on your record. 
Most states share information thanks to the Driver’s License Compact (DLC)—an agreement amongst states to share details about traffic violations and license suspensions. So if someone gets a ticket while out-of-state, the offense will be reported to their local DMV, and they will have to face the proper repercussions. 

Which states don’t share driving records? 

Only five states do not participate in the DLC. These are: 
However, there are alternate agreements through which these states may share records with other states.
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