Background Checks

Driver iQ Product Series Part 1: MVRs

  • March 9, 2022
  • Jenni Gray
  • Approx. Read Time: 3 Minutes
  • Updated on June 25, 2024

In transportation, there are four reports that most employers will request when reviewing applicants for driving positions at their company. These are: 

    • MVR: Motor Vehicle Records;
    • CDLIS: Commercial Drivers License Information System;
    • PRE: Previous Record of Employment; and
    • PSP: Pre-employment Screening Program

In this four-part series, we’ll review these primary reports you need when screening your drivers, as well as best practices when ordering them from
Driver iQ, Cisive’s transportation employment screening division. 


What is an MVR? Why is it important? 

MVR stands for Motor Vehicle Record. MVRs provide an individual’s driving history from the state Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) in which the driver’s license is held. This record normally includes basic information such as: 

    • License number
    • Expiration date
    • Issue date
    • Type of license
    • Restrictions
    • Driver’s name and date of birth (DOB)
    • Driver’s physical characteristics


The MVR will also alert employers to accidents, violations, suspensions, vehicular crimes, DUIs (driving under the influence), or driving record points if applicable. 

The Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires that all employers conduct a pre-employment screen including an MVR in every state where a driver has held a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) within the past three years.  An MVR must also be requested annually as part of an employer’s annual review, to determine if the driver still meets the employer’s requirements. 

Ordering an MVR is important not only for regulatory compliance, but for reducing risk, maintaining safety standards, and upholding the reputation of an organization. 


How long does adverse information stay on an MVR?

It depends on the state. Some states only retain records for 3 years, while others keep adverse information for as long as 10 years. At-fault accidents or DUIs may stay on a driver’s record for much longer. 

Adverse action requirements apply to negative MVR results just as they do criminal records. An employer must provide a copy of the report to the applicant, and the applicant must be allowed to have time to correct any potential mistakes on the record before an adverse hiring decision is made by the employer. 


What are some tips & best practices for ordering an MVR?

Driver iQ provides a few reminders when ordering MVRs:

    • Always search the name as shown on the Driver’s License, as some states require an exact name match to return a record.
    • Texas and Utah have separate databases: one for Non-CDL MVRs and one for CDL MVRs. If the applicant is not a CDL driver, you would need to run the non-CDL MVR to return a result. If the applicant has a Commercial Learner’s Permit (CLP) or CDL, then records would be found in the CDL database and you would not need to run a Non-CDL MVR
    • Utah requires registration for access to Utah CDL MVRs at https://secure.utah.gov/dhr
    • Some states require a release on file before running an MVR. Oregon requires a signed release. Washington and New Hampshire have state-specific releases that must be confirmed prior to ordering the report.
    • Some states require a release on file before running an MVR. Oregon requires a signed release. Washington and New Hampshire have state-specific releases that must be on file prior to ordering the report.
    • Puerto Rico requires the mother’s maiden name and a signed release (with a 4-6 week turnaround time).
    • Hawaii only provides license numbers and violations on the MVR. In order to obtain full details, the driver must request the full abstract and have it mailed to the employer.


How can Driver iQ help?

Driver iQ offers annual MVR batch processing, allowing companies to process FMCSA-required annual MVRs in a single upload to Driver iQ’s portal, rather than manual data entry. Our easy-to-read MVR reports are viewable on the Driver iQ portal, as well as a summary document to allow easy review of key elements requiring immediate attention.

Driver iQ also recommends considering continuous MVR monitoring for increased protection of an organization’s safety record and reputation, as an MVR is a snapshot at a single point in time.

Contact Driver iQ to develop a background screening program that meets both your quality and transportation industry requirements.

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