Driving records keep track of information—like point accrual and accident involvement—that can indicate trends in a driver’s behavior. The state, and your insurers, will use this information to assign penalties if needed.
Driving records can be obtained and assessed by employers and insurance companies to determine job candidacy and insurance premiums. Spotty records often result in higher
insurance fees, so it’s smart to keep your record clean.
Here’s a rundown on how to access your driving record, navigate its contents, and clean it up if needed.
What is a driving record?
A driving record consists of a license holder’s public driving history. This information usually includes license details and statuses like suspensions and revocations, reports involving traffic violations and accidents, and records of motor vehicle convictions.
How do I access my driving record in Ohio?
In Ohio, you can request your driving record either online, in person, or through the mail. There are several different types of records you can request, as well. This most relevantly includes:
Driving Record Abstract (Three-Year)
Unofficial Copy (Two-Year)
You can request both the abstract and the unofficial copy through the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicle’s
online service. The abstract will cost $8.50 online whereas the unofficial copy is available for free. Both can be viewed by providing either your name or license number, date of birth, and the last 4 digits of your SSN.
The abstract also can be purchased through the mail or in-person for a lower cost of $5. To request the abstract through the mail, fill out a
Record Request Form (BMV 1173) and send it with payment to the address on the form. You also can deliver the form and payment in person to the nearest
Deputy Registrar License Agency.
You only can request a copy of your complete Driving Record History through the mail. This also requires form BMV 1173 and a $5 fee.
For any of these record requests, you will need the following information:
Key Takeaway: In Ohio, you can request an abstract and/or unofficial copy of your driving record online, through the mail, or in person. You only can request your complete Driving Record History through the mail.
Requesting a driving record for someone else
To request a record for another person, you will need to complete, sign, and notarize the
BMV Notarized Written Consent (form 5008) form and attach it to BMV 1173. This can either be processed by mail or in-person, and it costs the same $5 fee.
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Where else can I find my driving record in Ohio?
Car insurance agents
Insurance companies usually evaluate your driving record before they provide you with a quote. They’ll likely still have this unofficial record in your file—if you ask your insurance agent for a copy, they may provide it to you for free.
Keep in mind that this isn’t the official record, so if you need the complete history you’ll need to get it through the BMV.
Online third-party vendors
You can receive your driving record quickly through many online vendors, but you’ll likely pay a higher cost. Typically, these records are less accurate than those from the BMV, too, so it’s worth asking the vendor whether they can provide an official record before you spend the money.
What is on my record?
Your driving record contains all of the information regarding you and your driving history. In Ohio, this includes:
Moving violation convictions
Accident involvement reports
License suspensions, revocations, or other disqualifications
The driving record abstract, unofficial copy, and driving record history all show only the most recent driver’s license issuance date. Additionally, the reports will display ALL accidents a driver was involved in, regardless of who was at fault.
BMV points in Ohio
Like many states, Ohio uses a point system to regulate and assess traffic violations. Essentially, this means that each time you commit an offense on the road, a certain number of points are put on your record. If you accumulate too many points within a short time frame, your license may be suspended.
Every state’s point distribution is different, so be sure to get to know the system in the state in which you live.
Here are the point codes for some common violations in Ohio:
Speeding in a 55 MPH or more zone
By more than 10 MPH: 2 points
Speeding when the limit is less than 55 MPH
By more than 5 MPH: 2 points
Speeding more than 30 MPH over any limit: 4 points
Driving a car without the owner’s consent: 6 points
Driving with a suspended license: 6 points
Evading the police: 6 points
Killing OR injuring another person with your vehicle: 6 points
If you have an Ohio commercial driver’s license (CDL) you may face higher point penalties and
license suspension for certain violations.
Though Ohio doesn’t offer an opportunity to remove any points from your record, it does allow you to gain a two-point credit by taking a remedial driving course. In this case, should you receive a six-point violation in the future, the remedial course will give you two points back—leaving only four points on your record.
To qualify, you must have at least two points but less than 12 points currently on your record. You can only take the course once every three years, and you cannot take it more than 5 times in total.
Key Takeaway: Ohio functions on a point system to monitor traffic violations and hold drivers accountable. While you cannot remove points from your record, participation in a remedial course can give you a two-point credit for future violations.
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How can my driving record affect me?
A bad driving record can impact other aspects of your life, but a good one
may bring you benefits. Here’s a rundown of the areas where your driving record can have the biggest impact.
Your insurance premium
When you have a long history of moving violations on your record, insurance agencies may label you as a high-risk driver, which can inflate your rates by as much as 300%. Even a speeding ticket has the potential to raise your premium up to 20%.
To maintain lower premiums, it’s best to keep your driving record as clean as possible. Drivers with no points or violations on their record actually enjoy some of the lowest rates available.
Whether your record is good or bad,
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Your ability to drive
In Ohio, your license will be suspended for 6 months if you accrue 12 points or more in the course of two years. You also will lose your driving privileges automatically if you’re convicted of an OVI, or Operating a Vehicle Impaired.
Your credit rating
While your credit score is not directly affected by your driving record, it may suffer should you fail to pay a ticket. When the due date for a ticket has passed with no payment, most cities and states issue a late fee. If the ticket remains unpaid, however, they usually send it to a collections agency, which can cause your credit score to drop significantly.
Your job prospects
Potential employers are allowed to access copies of your driving record. Some will evaluate them as a precondition of employment.
So if you’re trying to get into a career that may involve operating a vehicle, you’ll want to make sure your record is pretty clean. You could lose the opportunity, otherwise.
Key Takeaway: Your driving record can cost you job opportunities, driving privileges, and raise your insurance rates if you’ve accumulated too many violations.
What is the difference between driving records in each state?
Your driving record is kept in the state where you currently reside. This is so that all of your information is in one place, regardless of how often you have moved states in the past. So if you live and have a license in the state of Ohio now, that is where your record is kept.
This does not mean that offenses committed outside of Ohio will not show up on your record, though.
Most of the states in this country are part of an agreement—called the Driver’s License Compact (DLC)—to exchange information regarding traffic violations and license suspensions. This way, if someone gets ticketed outside of their home state, it will be reported to their local DMV and they will face the penalties.
Which states don’t share driving records?
Only five states don’t take part in the DLC. They are:
That said, these states are still involved with alternate agreements to share traffic and driving information.