Motor Vehicle Records

March 3, 2023 / Blog, General
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If you’ve purchased or renewed a Business Auto Policy in the past, you may be familiar with the acronym MVR, short for Motor Vehicle Record. What you might not be as familiar with is the reason they’re around and what a Motor Vehicle Report has to do with insurance in the first place. Let’s discuss.


What is a Motor Vehicle Record?


A Motor Vehicle Record is a summary of a driver’s convictions and accidents on file through their home state’s Department of Motor Vehicles. This report is an overview of historical driving records including current and unresolved: moving violations, accidents, DUI’s, license suspensions, and restrictions. The report also pulls personally identifiable information in the form of the driver’s: name, date of birth, driver’s license number, and home address. The Record, in most states, is shown as point values, with each infraction holding their own assigned value. The more points shown on a record, the higher the probability of that driver being a risk for an accident or incident on the road. A MVR can be pulled online through the driver’s home state DMV portal or by going to a local DMV branch; though if you’re looking to purchase an official report, it typically comes with a small fee. MVRs can be accessed by potential employers, insurance companies, law enforcement officers, towing or impounding companies, and toll collectors, though states can vary on who can access an MVR.


How is a MVR used?

Motor Vehicle Records should be used by prospective employers to identify and hire competent drivers, especially when hiring for a position that requires driving a company vehicle. As MVRs track a driver’s history of infractions, they are a reliable indicator of driving habits - good and bad. It’s important to note that MVRs are tied to the license number of an individual, so if a prospective employee has licenses from other states, employers should diligently check the records from all those states.


How will a Motor Vehicle Record impact Auto Insurance?

MVRs are pulled by insurance companies when an application for business auto coverage is received or an existing policy renewal date rolls around. The insurance carrier will run the report for each listed driver based on their drivers license number and review any potential issues. These reports generally only pull data from the previous 3-5 years, so older accidents or infractions likely won’t show up. If a driver is deemed risky enough, they could be excluded from coverage under the auto policy (depending on state law). That driver should not be permitted to get behind the wheel of any company owned vehicle and any claims pertaining to a vehicle operated by the excluded driver would be covered under the policy. Additionally, the premium rate for coverage could be increased drastically for a business employing drivers with poor scoring records.


How to improve a MVR?

If you or an employee have racked up a number of driving infractions, there is hope for relief. Minor occurrences, such as speeding tickets, typically fall off of reports within 3-5 years, depending on which state you’re located in. For more severe infractions, including DUIs, suspensions, or at-fault accidents, points typically linger on a report longer than the 5 year mark. For drivers at-risk of license suspension, there are generally state-sanctioned Defensive Driving courses that can be taken that will help in removing points from the Motor Vehicle Record. As an employer, it is best practice to pull MVRs for all drivers at least once a year to monitor driving habits. Additionally, some states allow employers to opt-in for automatic notifications of changes to their drivers’ MVRs.  If an employee has a less-than ideal record, one might consider re-assigning that employee to tasks that don’t require operating a company vehicle. If disciplinary action is to be taken against an employee due to MVR results, such as receiving a DUI, the employer should exercise caution and consult legal counsel first.


Motor Vehicle Records are an easy way for employers to manage their risk of an auto loss, and save a few bucks on premium in the process. Since MVRs are the second best indicators of future accidents, second only to prior accident history, employers can use results to re-assign driving tasks to historically better drivers and train with those who might need a bit of work. Insurance companies are known to pull records at the time of applying for auto coverage and then again at each renewal period. These companies will catch questionable drivers and can either exclude those drivers from coverage or slap higher premiums on business owners for their auto coverage. Our NBIG agents recommend pulling Motor Vehicle Records for all prospective employees and monitoring the habits of existing drivers in their fleet.

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