If you were arrested for a serious traffic offense such as reckless driving or DUI in Virginia, your Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) record can play a significant role in your criminal case, especially if you have a clean driving history. It’s essential to understand the various types of records maintained by the Virginia DMV and how to obtain them. Our experienced Manassas reckless driving lawyers at The Wilson Law Firm will advise you on the best defenses we use to fight the charges you face and which type of DMV record you should request. Accessing DMV for driving records

Types of Records the Virginia DMV Maintains

People are often surprised to learn just how many records the DMV has to use for different purposes in the context of traffic violations and driver’s licensing. Here's a breakdown. 

Personal Use Records

These contain information about your driving history for 11 years, including traffic violations, accidents, and license suspensions. Law enforcement and courts commonly use them when assessing your driving behavior. These records could be helpful to present at a sentencing hearing or when you are trying to work out a plea bargain with the prosecutor.

Employment and Military Records

Employers and military organizations often request these records to evaluate your suitability for certain positions. They provide insight into your driving history for up to seven years, which can be critical for jobs that require driving or security clearances.

Transportation Network Company (TNC) Records

TNC records contain up to seven years of your driving history. They may only be requested by TNC companies for employment purposes.

Insurance Records

With five years of your driving history on file, insurance companies use these records to assess your risk as a policyholder. An insurer may charge you significantly higher insurance premiums for compromised performance.

Habitual Offender Restoration Records 

If you’re designated as a habitual offender due to multiple serious traffic violations, these records contain information about your driving record for the last 11 years. It’s only used in proceedings when you request that your driving privileges be restored. 

Mandatory Record Monitoring

The DMV maintains mandatory record monitoring records for public school bus drivers and commercial, private, and public driver education instructors. If you work in these professions and are convicted of DUI or reckless driving, or had your driver's license suspended or revoked, the DMV sends these records to your employer. 

Obtaining Your Driving Record in VA Traffic Offense Cases 

This is a relatively straightforward process, and there are multiple methods to do so.

  • Online. Go to the Virginia DMV website and use the online services to request a copy of your driving record. You must create an account and pay a fee.
  • In person. You can visit a local DMV customer service center in person to request a copy of your driving record. Be sure to bring identification and payment for any applicable fees.
  • Mail. Download and complete the appropriate form from the Virginia DMV website and mail it, along with the required fee, to the address specified on the form.