• Motor vehicle record (MVR) reports

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    A motor vehicle record (MVR) report is a driving history report as reported from a government entity that issues driver licenses. In the United States (US), state Departments of Motor Vehicles (DMVs) report these results. In Canada, the province or territory government reports these results.

    This article has the sections below:

    MVR reports and candidate selection

    MVR reports can help identify candidates with unsafe driving records to help you assess the risk of potential and current employees. Some convictions, such as driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, appear only on MVR reports and not in criminal records screenings.

    Governments might differ in the information they report, but MVR reports usually identify the information below: 

    • Full name
    • Current license status
    • Current license type
    • Current license class
    • Current license expiration date
    • Current license issue date*
    • Current license first issued date*
    • Restrictions
    • Endorsements
    • Suspensions
    • Violations
    • Accidents

    *Electronic records that Checkr accesses don't always include this information.

    Turnaround time

    MVR reports are typically available within 24 hours; most complete within a few minutes.

    Delays can happen when Checkr finds no matching record. Checkr calls this situation an exception, and it usually happens when the candidate makes a typo in their driver license number, name, or birth date. Checkr automatically emails the candidate asking them to submit a photo of their driver license so that the report can continue. For more information, refer to MVR exceptions: What to do if an MVR report results in a Suspended status.

    Region availability

    United States and US territories

    The US state of Pennsylvania requires an affidavit to run MVR reports, and the Checkr MVR service doesn't cover the areas below:

    • Guam (GU)
    • Puerto Rico (PR)
    • US Virgin Islands (VI)
    • US Armed Forces - Americas (AA)
    • US Armed Forces - Europe (AE)
    • US Armed Forces - Pacific (AP)

    Canada

    If you set the work location as Canada, MVR reports include results from the province or territory that issued the license.

    MVR rules

    Checkr enables you to define rules that evaluate a candidate’s driving record and determine whether a report status shows Clear or Consider. MVR rules apply in the United States only.

    Default rules

    By default, Checkr applies the rules below to MVR reports. These rules are based on standard insurance requirements.

    • Driver must be over 18
    • Driver must currently be privileged to drive a passenger vehicle or motorcycle
    • No more than 1 moving violation in the past 3 years AND No more than 1 accident in the past 3 years
    • No more than 2 moving violations in the past 3 years (such as failure to stop at a stop sign, following too closely, improper passing)
    • No more than 2 accidents in the past 3 years
    • No major violation in the past 5 years (such as DUIs, or speeding 40+ mph over the limit)
    • No cell phone or distracted driving violation in the past 3 years

    If you want to change these default rules to suit your organization's needs or insurance requirements, contact Checkr Customer Support.

    Note: Each state, not Checkr, determines how many years of driver history MVR reports include.

    General rule customization

    Checkr Customer Support helps you customize MVR rules. Customizing MVR rules enables you to further assess the below aspects of a candidate’s driving record:

    • Accidents
    • Age
    • Driving history
    • Restrictions
    • Suspensions
    • Violations

    Violation rule customization

    If you set violation-based rules, you can apply different treatments to violation categories that you specify. Checkr allows you to customize violations with classification codes based on the AAMVA Code Dictionary (ACD) codes. For example, a rule that requires drivers to have no more than 5 moving violations applies to violations that you've categorized as “moving violation.” Uncategorized violations or violations in different categories don't count toward this particular rule.

    Driving history customization

    Driving history rules enable you to require candidates to have a certain number of years of driving history. In order to validate a candidate’s driving history, opt in to Checkr’s Previous License History Collection feature. Checkr will ask the candidate to submit previous license information for additional reports to meet your minimum driving-experience rule. The feature itself doesn't cost anything. However, service and passthrough DMV fees for running additional licenses will apply. To opt in, contact Checkr Customer Support.

    Candidate experience

    MVRs are available as standalone screenings.

    Candidates will be asked to submit their name, birth date, phone number, email address, and driver license number and state, province, or territory of issuance.

    Candidates then read and acknowledge receipt of applicable forms and notifications, including Summary of Your Rights Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and an Acknowledgement and Authorization for Background Check.

    Candidates might also be asked to provide a copy of their driver license. For some organizations, candidates might also be asked to submit a copy of an old license to provide evidence that they’ve been licensed in previous years.

    After the candidate consents, Checkr begins the screening.

    Tip

    If you've applied for a job and are looking for more information about your background check’s status or progress, log in to the Checkr Candidate Portal.

  • How to read an MVR report

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    To complete motor vehicle record (MVR) searches, Checkr uses information returned from government entities that issue driver licenses. This information appears in the Motor Vehicle Record section of completed reports.

    Report status

    When evaluating current licenses to determine whether the report will show the Clear or Consider status based on you criteria, Checkr uses the rules below: 

    • If the driving privilege indicates that the license is limited, not valid, or not provided, then Checkr uses the Consider status.
    • If the license status is unavailable electronically, Checkr suspends the MVR report.
    • If the license status is not found, Checkr requests a copy of the candidate’s current driver’s license. You're also notified of the document request through a webhook.
    • If the license is valid, available electronically, and found, Checkr evaluates the MVR according to your rules and sets the status based on the results.

    Checkr uses previous license data only to establish licensing history for the candidate. Checkr doesn't require that previous licenses have a valid status to qualify as evidence for driving history.

    Checkr doesn't accept license type “identification” as previous licenses, and doesn't consider previous identification documents when establishing a candidate's licensing history.

    Current License section

    The Current License section of the report lists information returned about the driver's current driver license, which includes the license's status and type. 

    License status

    A candidate’s current license status is determined by the DMV in each jurisdiction and appears in the Motor Vehicle Records section of the background check. These statuses have 4 categories within the Checkr system: VALID, LIMITED, NOT VALID, and INCOMPLETE. Review the definitions below:

    Checkr category

    License status

    Description

    VALID

    Records can include values such as "valid," "clear," "approved," "licensed," or "active."

    The license is current and qualifies the driver to operate a motor vehicle as determined by the issuing government.

    LIMITED

    Records can include values such as "restricted," "limited," or "interlock."

    This license type is issued to drivers as a restricted license that allows them to drive within specific limitations, such as ignition interlock or to and from work during certain hours.


    Limited licenses won't satisfy Checkr’s default driving privilege rules.

    NOT VALID

    Records can include values such as "suspended," "canceled," "pending," or "expired."

    The issuing government doesn't recognize this license type as a current and valid driver’s license.

    INCOMPLETE

    Checkr provides a status of
    "Not Provided," "Not Found," or "Not Available Electronically," or "Invalid DOB."

    No record returned, there was a birth date or name mismatch on the record returned, or the record can't be returned digitally.

    License type

    Common license types include the ones below:

    • Passenger: License to operate a personal vehicle
    • Commercial: License to drive commercial vehicles, including large trucks and heavy equipment vehicles
    • Permit: Restricted license to operate specific vehicles under specific circumstances (Organizations don't usually accept permits to establish licensing history.)
    • Identification: Used for identification purposes only and don't permit the candidate to drive any vehicle type

    Endorsements

    Endorsements allow drivers to operate specific types of vehicles and transport potentially hazardous materials.

    Restrictions

    Restrictions refer to reduced driving privileges. An example is "corrective lenses required." Reports can show restrictions for other active licenses the driver holds but not from inactive licenses.

    Note

    Checkr lists restrictions exactly as the issuing jurisdiction returns them. In some cases, "YES" is a restriction.

    Violations

    Violations are incidents that include a conviction date and that courts send to issuing jurisdictions. In nearly all cases, a violation includes fault. Examples include DUIs, speeding, and reckless driving.

    Accidents

    Accidents appear on a report with details from the issuing jurisdiction. Details can include location, severity, and fault.

    Suspensions

    Suspensions can include different types of driver license events:

    • Administrative incidents, such as failure to renew medical certification
    • Cancellation
    • Driving incidents, such as reckless driving
    • Revocation of driving privilege for specific license types, such as motorcycle or commercial
    • Suspension
    • Withdrawal

    A suspension on an MVR report might or might not indicate that the driver temporarily lacks driving privileges. Suspensions show a start, and if appropriate, end date.

    Miscellaneous incidents

    Miscellaneous incidents are incidents that don't fit another incident type (endorsement, restriction, violation, accident, or suspension). An example might be a note from the issuing jurisdiction about an address change.

  • MVR exceptions

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    This article will help you understand:

    Checkr is sometimes unable to complete an MVR screening, due to mismatched candidate PII, or an inability to discover the candidate’s driving record. When these events occur, Checkr will place the report in a Suspended status, and issue an exception in an attempt to update any inaccurate information provided by the candidate. 

    Once issued, the candidate will have 30 days to follow the instructions provided, update their information, and resolve the exception. If the exception cannot be resolved within these 30 days, the report will be permanently suspended.

    MVR exceptions

    MVR Exceptions most commonly arise when the driver's license number the candidate entered does not match DMV records. When this happens, the report moves into a Suspended status and Checkr will issue an exception which automatically emails the candidate asking them to upload a photo of their driver license so the discrepancy can be corrected and the relevant records can be obtained.

    The email includes a description of the issue, the steps that must be taken to resolve it, a link to enter the requested information, a timestamp of when the exception was posted, and the amount of time remaining to enter the information and allow the check to continue. If the exception is not resolved within the time provided, the candidate will lose the ability to upload documentation and the report will be permanently suspended. If you wish to run an MVR screening for the candidate after this period, you must order a new report. 

    MVR exception types

    MVR not found

    This exception is an indication that the candidate made a typo while submitting their driver license number, name, or date of birth. As a result, the state DMV was unable to report the MVR for the individual in question.

    What you or the candidate can do: When this exception occurs, Checkr will email the candidate asking them to upload a photo of their driver license so the discrepancy can be corrected, and the relevant records can be obtained.

    MVR not available electronically

    This exception is an indication that Checkr cannot obtain the MVR through the databases we search.. This can be a result of the candidate's profession, new license status, or standing with the DMV.

    What you or the candidate can do: When this exception occurs, candidates must go to their local DMV office to obtain a copy of their MVR in person, and to release the hold on their electronic records. 

    Driver does not meet [x] number of years

    Checkr validates the number of years that the candidate has been driving, using the driver license issue date, against your account’s MVR Rules. Checkr receives the driver’s original license issue date directly from the DMV. For pre-employment purposes the DMV provides limited information to third parties, and in many cases state agencies will provide only the date that a license was last renewed. 

    What you or the candidate can do: If the MVR returns with an issue date that does not meet your requirements, the candidate must supply additional evidence to your company. Candidates should submit a photo of their previous license or a driving record to your team directly. Checkr has inference rules to mitigate this data limitation as much as possible.

    Suspended MVR checks

    If the Checkr Dashboard shows an MVR check as “Suspended”, it means that the report cannot be completed because information required to run the screening is missing or cannot be verified. A background check for Motor Vehicle Records (MVRs) may be suspended for three reasons:

    • The license number was entered incorrectly, and the candidate did not submit a photo of their license within 7 days to correct the number in the Candidate Portal
    • The MVR is not available electronically.
    • The license did not meet a prerequisite for years of driving experience.

    Also see Exceptions: Addressing data discrepancies in reports