Basic Information on Motor Vehicle Reports
WHAT IS AN MVR?
A Motor Vehicle Report (MVR) is used to check the driving record of potential and current employees. It verifies that the individual has a valid driver’s license, what type of license the individual carries, and also reports any accidents or violations that the individual has had. An MVR may also provide information regarding irresponsible behavior, repeat traffic violations, and unpaid fines.
WHY CHECK MVRS?
A company should take every possible step to ensure it has safe and qualified drivers. Monitoring MVRs regularly can reduce the chance of an accident and enhance a company’s risk management profile.
Also, for employers, obtaining a Motor Vehicle Report on every individual driving a company vehicle is an essential part of defense against negligent hiring claims. For example, if you hire a driver that you know has had multiple careless driving violations and they are involved in an accident in a company vehicle, you could find your company in a law suit for knowingly hiring an employee with a bad driving history.
WHAT DO INSURANCE COMPANIES LOOK FOR?
When an insurance company is looking at an MVR of either current or future hires of a company they are looking at a variety of information:
- Age of the Applicant. The Insurance Company is looking to see if the driver has had enough experience driving to operate a business vehicle safely.
- A Valid License. Many factors other than your driving record can affect the status of your driver’s license. For example, not paying a fine, or not paying child support, could cause your license to be suspended or revoked.
- If the Driver Had More than 3 Moving Violations or Accidents in the last 3 years. Moving violations include speeding, at-fault accidents, improper lane change, etc. Insurance companies also pay attention to non-moving violations such as seat belt violations, because a multitude of these violations can show carelessness as well.
- If the Driver Had Any Major Violations in the Past 5 Years. Major violations could be anything from Operating While Intoxicated (OWI), Driving Under the Influence (DUI), Possession of Alcohol as a Minor, Passing a Stopped School Bus, Careless Driving, Failure to Maintain Control, etc.
- If the Driver Has the Appropriate License. For example, if you are a trucking company and all of your drivers are required to have a valid CDL the Motor Vehicle Record can show that the CDL is in force or if they have any other specific driving privileges.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD YOU CHECK MVRS?
Typically, the Insurance Company checks Motor Vehicle Records on all of your drivers, or maybe just a sampling if you have a lot of drivers, once a year. You could also have your Insurance Company check potential hires to make sure they meet your insurance guidelines.
If you want to check MVRs on your own or on a more frequent basis, they are available through the Department of Transportation for a small fee. It is best that you have all employees and future hires sign a release form prior to you obtaining this information. Talk to your insurance agent as they may have a letter you can use already drafted.
SHARING MVR INFORMATION
It is important to mention that due to the privacy laws in your state the insurance company, your insurance agent and the DOT cannot share ANY information on an individual’s MVR with you. An insurance company and your agent would be able to tell you if the specific individual fits into the set driver guidelines.
Check with your insurance agent for additional information.