What Is a Clean Driving Record?
A “clean” driving record is a motor vehicle report – or MVR – with no accidents, violations, suspensions, or infractions. State departments of transportation maintain the MVR, which can span only a few years or the individual’s entire driving history, depending on state law. There are also similar federal registries for commercial licenses.
Employers may use an MVR to verify that a potential hire can legally and safely drive when hiring for a position that involves driving.
What Types of Infractions Go on a Driving Record?
A driving record – a motor vehicle record (MVR) – is an official record that a state’s motor vehicle department generally tracks. It includes information such as at-fault accidents, points on a license, tickets, and traffic-related convictions – although the specifics of what appears on an MVR can vary depending on state law.
Moving violations are violations of traffic laws that occur while the vehicle is in motion, such as running a red light or stop sign, speeding, aggressive driving, or driving while distracted. Moving violations can be a red flag for insurers, as they can indicate the individual is a poor driver and, therefore, a risk to cover.
Mechanical violations refer to issues with the vehicle itself, including broken head or tail lights, missing wipers, cracked windshields, and broken mirrors.
Mechanical violations generally reflect the vehicle’s condition and upkeep rather than its owner’s driving ability. They’re often viewed as the least severe category of violation.
DUI’s and DWI’s
Driving while under the influence (DUI) and driving while intoxicated/impaired (DWI) are separate charges for the very serious offenses of operating a vehicle while not sober. It’s important to note that the exact definition and penalties can vary between states. For example, North Carolina persecutes both DUIs and DWIs equally, while Maryland considers DUIs a more serious offense.
License suspensions can be issued for several reasons – they aren’t just reserved for vehicle-related violations. For example, failure to pay child support or appear in court are common reasons for license suspensions. Driving on a suspended license is illegal in every state.
At-fault accident reports also show up on MVRs. These are accidents caused by the individual directly or through negligence. At-fault accidents make an individual very risky – and therefore expensive – to insure.
The Importance of Clean Driving Records to Employers
Employers must take care when hiring and vetting new employees, especially for positions with a lot of responsibility or risk, like operating vehicles. Here are some reasons why employers would want their employees to have a clean driving record:
Employers have a responsibility to promote safe work practices. Screening driving records helps employers identify people with a history of unsafe driving and who could endanger the safety of others.
Employers can be liable for damages caused by employees, so it is in their best interest to screen potential hires for indicators or a demonstrated history of risky behavior.
Compliance With Laws
Liability can also extend to an employer’s responsibility to conduct due diligence screenings. For example, a shipping company that hires someone with a suspended license as a driver could face several legal implications. In some cases, checks may be required by the law.
Protect the Company’s Reputation
Employees represent their company, especially when in uniform or operating company vehicles. Employers are vested in ensuring that the company’s reputation isn’t damaged by reckless or negligent driving.
How Can I Check if a Candidate Has a Clean Driving Record?
The easiest way for employers to screen candidate driving records is to work with a third-party background check service. These third-party services often have access to several databases, meaning they can provide a comprehensive driving record check, which can include records from other states and even federal records.
Just make sure that you are in compliance with all applicable laws when conducting any sort of background check on candidates.
How Often Should the Driving Records of Employees Be Checked?
You might want to check a candidate’s driving records as part of the hiring process, but what about after that? Conducting regular, continuous screening of employees’ driving records in relevant positions is a good idea. Doing so helps catch any changes to their driving records that may arise over time. In some cases, regular checks may be required, such as on an annual basis.
A driving record, also known as a motor vehicle record or MVR is an official record containing tickets, at-fault accidents, and more. In many cases, it’s wise for employers to screen the MVRs of potential hites and conduct regular reviews of current employee MVRs. Doing so helps prevent dangerous drivers from causing issues on the job and is sometimes even required by law. Just make sure you’re in compliance with all applicable laws when conducting any sort of background check on candidates.
Background check services like those offered by ScoutLogic are a simple and cost-effective way to conduct initial and routine MVR screenings. Contact us today to see what we can do for your business.
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