What does MOTOR VEHICLE REPORT mean in Auto insurance?

22.05.2020
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What is a Motor Vehicle Report(MVR)?

A motor vehicle report also abbreviated to MVR is the driving record of an individual. It is a history, maintained by the state’s DMV(Department of Motor Vehicles), of any past accidents or moving violations a driver has had, as well as serious vehicular crimes, like a DUI/DWI conviction.

An MVR of a driver plays a vital role during insurance. Insurance companies believe that a person’s previous driving record is a good predictor of his/her future behavior of driving. It can also be assumed that people with poor driving records are more likely to cause future accidents than drivers with good records.

Information Contained in a Motor Vehicle Report

A motor vehicle report is very helpful for insurers and is used as an underwriting tool during insurance. An MVR shows basic information about a driver, including his/her name, license number, and date of birth. Motor vehicle reports(MVRs) may vary a bit from one state to another but they usually hold the following types of data:

  • Traffic citations
  • Accident reports
  • DUI/DWI convictions(Driving Under the Influence/Driving While Intoxicated)
  • License number, issue date, and expiration date
  • Driver restrictions (such as eyeglasses)
  • Current license status(running, expired, suspended or revoked)
  • Past license status (previous suspensions)
  • License class. Examples are commercial and non-commercial.
  • Accidents. Shows the date and location of the incident
  • Civil traffic violations like speeding and running a red light. Provides the date and location of the violation. It may also provide a record of the incident (such as speeding, 75 in a 55-mph zone).
  • Vehicular violations like DUI, reckless driving, and leaving the scene of an accident.
  • Endorsements (applicable to commercial licenses only). An endorsement indicates that the driver has fulfilled the circumstances to perform a specified activity, such as hauling hazardous materials or driving tank vehicles.
  • Number of points (in states that use a point system)

Most of the states use a point system to track driving violations, with more serious offenses earning a driver more points. Racking up too many points and having risk, a license may be suspended or revoked. If a state uses a point system, those points may be listed on MVR too.

How long does an accident stay on the MVR?

The accidents and violations of a driver don’t stay on the MVR forever. Generally, the more severe the violation, the longer it will stay on record. But different states have different policies for the time duration.

In the state of California, for instance, the points for moving violations such as making an illegal turn, or driving above the speed limit, will stay on the MVR for 39 months. Points for more severe violations, like a hit-and-run or a DUI, will remain on a motor vehicle report for 13 years.

In Illinois, moving violations like speeding or making an illegal turn can stay on an MVR for four to five years, license suspensions remain for a minimum of seven years, and alcohol- or drug-related driving offenses stay on for life.

In New York State, a standard driving record shows the most recent violations while the “lifetime” driving record contains any accidents or violations from the entire driving history of a driver.

How to get a Motor Vehicle Report?

The motor vehicle department (DMV) of each state generates the motor vehicle report of a driver. Some states provide two types of MVRs: an online version and a certified copy. The two versions carry the same data but only the certified copy is an official record accepted by courts. Insurers may get the records directly from the state DMV or from a third-party provider. An insurer generally requires the driver’s full name, driver’s license number, and his/her birthdate to order an MVR.

An individual may also need a certified copy for a job interview or court date. The price of an MVR also varies widely from state to state. For example, a driver can print out, fill out, and mail along with a check of $5.75 on the state’s DMV website to order his/her MVR. While in Alaska, on the website, an individual can print out, fill out, and send through the mail along with a $10 check. He/she can also visit any local DMV office and purchase the form in person.

What information is present in MVR?

- Traffic citations
- Accident reports
- DUI/DWI convictions(Driving Under the Influence/Driving While Intoxicated)
- License number, issue date, and expiration date
- Driver restrictions (such as eyeglasses)
- Current license status(running, expired, suspended or revoked)
- Past license status (previous suspensions)
- License class. Examples are commercial and non-commercial.
- Accidents. Shows the date and location of the incident etc.

For how long does severe violation points stay on MVR in California?

Points for more severe violations, like a hit-and-run or a DUI, will remain on a motor vehicle report for 13 years.

How does MVR work in New York?

In New York State, a standard driving record shows the most recent violations while the “lifetime” driving record contains any accidents or violations from the entire driving history of a driver.

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