MVR report

What is MVR Report and How Does it Help While Screening Employees?

Last updated on January 13, 2020

In today’s challenging working environment, it is definitely imperative for a company to commit to risk management. Screening employees is an essential element in a general risk management program. By screening any prospective hire, a company is able to ensure that it has the best chance of obtaining honest, reliable employees. This is done with an MVR report.

A company that might employ drivers will want to take every measure they can in order to make sure that their potential employees are safe drivers in order to protect their business as well as reduce risks. After all, 40% of driving accidents are a result of work-related collisions with $74,000 being the average cost to the employer when that accident results in injury.

One of these steps of precaution is to run a Motor Vehicles Record check in order to establish whether or not the applicant in question has a good history. Employee driving records are not an important Fleet Safety Program factor that safeguards a business from litigation after an accident has occurred.

What is MVR Report?

So, what is MVR? An MVR check shows an individual’s driving history and also includes additional information about their driver’s license like current and past license statuses, license class, special endorsements, cancellations, suspensions, revocations, and any other license restrictions.

Additionally, an MVR report will provide valuable information regarding any traffic violations which may have taken place on the road such as accident reports, DUI convictions, traffic citations as well as driving record points. An MVR report might also include personal information like gender, age, date of birth, height, eye and hair color.

Answering questions regarding unpaid summons and insurance lapses can be quickly resolved with an MVR check. Of course, the amount of information that appears on an MVR report varies from state to state. Some states will keep records for just three years, while others do so for ten.

Employers who wish to run an MVR check should obtain a release from the job applicant prior to doing so.

“Although most employers appreciate the need to secure permission from the employee, too many risk prosecution by failing to record the fact that consent has been given. It’s tempting to just get verbal permission, or view the license online without bothering to get a share code from the DVLA. The problem is if the driver later reports the employer to the Information Commissioner’s Office, there is no evidence to defend the case.”

Why an MVR Check is Important for Employers

Companies need to address whether their employee is the right fit for their business by checking if they’re a safe driver. This way their equipment is protected as well as their customers, clients and any other workers which might come into contact with the working individual.

Motor-vehicle crashes annually cost companies as much as $60 billion including medical care, legal expenses, lost productivity and property damage. An on the job crash will cost more than $70,000 for the employer, however, if a fatality occurs this number can be upwards of $500,000. These figures can go up to millions of dollars per accident should punitive damages be awarded. Additionally, the employer is also liable for a negligent lawsuit that has the potential to completely annihilate the reputation of a company.

The Benefits of an MVR Report

It is pretty hard to determine whether or not an employee will be able to handle their work in a real work setting judging solely on appearances. Should the prospective employee have to drive in that work environment there is usually some sort of auto insurance involved as well which can affect business operations. While obviously nobody is e perfect driver, some people are certainly better than others.

Many cases have proved that history has a tendency of repeating itself, which is why an MVR check is important. It allows the company to predict the probability of any negative activity being repeated again in the future. At the very least, it allows the employer to speak to a possible employee about their driving history and have an open discussion once the employer is aware of their record, allowing them to resolve issues and clear the air.

Ashley Sowerby, managing director of fleet management software company Chevin, says that frequent checks should be conducted. “Typically, we advise that checks should be carried out at least once a year for drivers with a clean license.

“Nonetheless, this frequency should be augmented based on multiple parameters such as their date of birth, annual mileage, accident rate, penalty points, and endorsements accumulated. This will allow a relevant frequency appropriated to potential risk.”

It should be noted that the US Department of Transportation requires employers to do an MVR on their commercial drivers at least once a year. To get the whole picture, it should be done once a month. This is to avoid exposing the company to any possible liability.

While checking MVRs one an annual basis and relying on yearly background checks might provide you with some useful information, such as whether a driver has had their license revoked, it will not give you enough information of that driver’s behavior on the road, or provide details about any violations in particular.

There are services available that allow the employer to check MVRs on a monthly basis without needing to purchase a full MVR report. If there is any change to employees driving record an alert is sent to the employer who then has the option of purchasing a full report with all the details included.

The issue extends beyond the borders of the United States, with employers all over the world having to issue out checks for their driving employees according to the Telegraph.

‘”According to the DVLA, 22pc of drivers have out-of-date driving licenses, either because they’ve neglected to renew them [which everyone is required to do every 10 years], or because the drivers are deliberately breaking the law.”

In the latter case, Cooper says that some people are known to contact the DVLA and claim to have lost their license. They are then sent a new one, which accrues any penalties they are awarded.

Meanwhile, when they need to show their employer their license to drive for work, they dig out the “lost” license, which gives them a clean bill of motoring health.’

How an MVR Report Can Benefit Employees

Of course, the benefits do not only reach the employers but also put the employee’s minds at ease as well. The insurance company takes care of the employees which usually equates to financial gains. Insurance companies that have access to MVR checks determine the premiums which are based on someone’s driving history.

Ashley Sowerby, managing director at Chevin, states “Automated license checking software enables companies to carry out multiple checks for hundreds of drivers in one go. This slashes the administrative burden of manual checking while ensuring full compliance with data protection laws.”

Another added benefit for prospective employees includes knowing what is on your MVR report. Sometimes errors can occur on these reports which can hurt your chance of employment, without it being true in the first place. By finding out what is on your MVR report, you can get the errors amended. Even if there are no errors found, understanding exactly what is on your MVR report will mean that you are prepared for any future conversations with employers.

How Long Does it Take for an MVR to be completed?

It takes generally around one to three business days for an MVR check to be completed from the date that it has been ordered. However, every US state has its own rules and regulations as to how their records are kept and released which also affects turnaround time.

There are always possibilities of delays which include missing or wrong license numbers as well as name variations. Motor vehicle licenses are always issued by individual states, each of which has its own driving record database so MVR reports are completed per state as there is currently no national database.

The following is a list of professions which require the employee to get behind the wheel a lot of the time:

  • Taxi Driver
  • Bus Driver
  • Postal Delivery
  • Firefighters
  • Paramedics
  • School Bus Driver
  • Chauffeur and Limousine Driver
  • Travel Guide
  • Truant Officer
  • Rental Car Delivery Person and Attendant
  • Funeral Home Attendant/Funeral Coach Driver
  • Utility Meter Reader
  • Maids and Housecleaners
  • Pizza and Other Takeout Food Delivery
  • Parking Control Meter Readers
  • Parking Garage Attendants
  • News Reporters, Photographers
  • Party Caterers
  • Party Bartenders, Waiters, and Other Attendants
  • Party Entertainers
  • Flower and Balloon Delivery
  • Real Estate Agents
  • Real Estate Inspectors
  • Real Estate Appraisers
  • FBI/CIA Agents
  • Police/Private Detectives
  • IRS Agents
  • Amusement Park Ride Drivers
  • Plumbers
  • Truck Drivers (long and short-haul)
  • Couriers
  • Private Property Appraisers
  • Goodwill, Salvation Army, and other Charity Pick Up Drivers
  • Dog Catchers and other Animal Control Officers
  • Child Welfare Officers
  • Installers
  • Sales Representatives
  • Repair Personnel
  • Delivery (business to business, business to consumer)

Types of Incidents or Actions included on the MVR

ACCI – Accident

CANC – License Canceled

CONV – Conviction

DEPT – Departmental Action

DISQ – Disqualification

F/R – Financial Responsibility

MISC – Miscellaneous

PROB – Probation

REIN – License Reinstated

REVO – Revocation

SUSP – License Suspended

UNCL – Unclassified

VIOL – Violation

WARN – Warning

According to Hire Right, there is often confusion between a Pre-Employment Screening Program (PSP) and an MVR. There are important differences which should be noted including:

“MVR and PSP records are maintained by different sources. MVR driving records are reported by each State’s Department of Motor Vehicles (“DMV”, or similar State agency), and there is no national database housing driver records. The FMCSA is responsible for the PSP report. An important point to remember is that the two records are not linked, so the information may not match.

A PSP report may include traffic citations or warnings which prompted a roadside inspection but will not include all of the driving record activity. The list of DOT crashes represents a driver’s involvement only, it does not determine responsibility.

An MVR will provide the driver’s driving history as reported by a given State’s DMV. PSP reports only contain entries of traffic convictions and warnings related to roadside inspection.

Citations, warnings, and tickets yet to be settled in the courts will not appear on an MVR.

The use of the PSP in hiring decisions for drivers is not required by regulations. However, it is becoming a fairly common best practice among motor carriers and bus operators.

FMCSA regulations require that a three-year MVR report be checked within 30 days of hiring and then rechecked annually.”

Who Can Legally Obtain an MVR?

  • Lawyers, law agencies and other government agencies
  • Insurance agents as well as their companies
  • Employers, employment agents, prospective employers
  • Agents of a transit authority
  • Volunteer organizations
  • School districts can view school bus driving records

How Long is Information Kept On an MVR?

Various aspects of your driving history will be kept for different amounts of time. Some of these will remain on your driving history for life or 99 years. These are serious violations that might be related to alcohol consumption, convictions of vehicular assault, vehicular homicide as well as deferred prosecutions.

Those who have a commercial driving license and also have motor vehicle convictions on record, bail forfeitures or even court of law discoveries will have that information kept recorded for as long as 55 years.

If your license has been either suspended, disqualified or revoked for any reason, that information will remain on your driving history for ten years.

Some convictions and violations will be in your driver’s history for as little as five years.

Driving Inspections and Regulations

After perusing an MVR and possibly completing an online background check for employment there might be other inspections an employee can expect to go through during or prior to their employment.

Practical Skills Interview

If the applicant has passed the first interview, they might be asked to demonstrate basic skills during a second interview. This may involve asking the driver to get behind the wheel and accelerate smoothly through the gears, see if they can hook up a trailer or if they can hook up airlines.

Run the CSA Driver Profile

The potential employee may be asked to run the Compliance, Safety, and Accountability (CSA) profile when they are legally able to. While all new drivers have to go through an MVR, a CSA will assist employers in weeding out any drivers who may have a tendency to have accidents, tickets or other safety-related issues.

Evaluations on the Job

During the first two weeks of employment, there might be a transport manager asked to follow the new employee on the road. New drivers will probably not get alerted about this in advance. The intention of this practice is to evaluate driving skills and whether the new employee follows company protocols.

90-Day Review

During the first three months of employment, the new employee may be sat down by the manager in order to discuss the new role, their feedback, and ask whether or not they have any comments or questions regarding their new role. Employers should always tell the employee in advance that this might be happening, as well as put everything in writing.


An MVR report includes information about a prospective employer’s driving history, including personal information which identifies the person in question, information about their driver’s license as well as any past traffic violations that may have occurred.

An MVR report is one of the most ideal ways for an employer to identify candidates with potentially unsafe driving records. MVR reports sometimes offer more information than what is on offer from other background checks. This includes the fact that in some states convictions for driving under the influence of either alcohol or drugs are not found on criminal court records and will only be discoverable on an MVR report.

Any company which is regulated by the Department of Transportation is required by law to request MVR reports yearly on their drivers. However, experts suggest that employers should request an MVR on employees as frequently as once a month.

Potential employees need to know that MVR checks are critical especially when it comes to hiring a driver in the transport industry. This is because more than 40% of vehicle accidents are a result of work-based collisions. In 2017 this accounted for a massive $56.7 billion which was the highest number in the past decade.

Getting an MVR report in addition to an online background check on yourself is also an excellent idea, particularly if you want to find out what will come upon one and prepare yourself for that important interview. This way you will know exactly what your potential employer sees within your driver’s history and prepare for any questions they may have in regards to it.

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