Maryland Driving Record & MVR Checks

Hayley Harrison
June 12, 2024
4 min read

Employers in Maryland may need to review the driving history of candidates to confirm their eligibility to perform their job duties and to comply with federal, state, and local laws. Maryland motor vehicle report (MVR) gives insights into a candidate’s driving record, safety history, and license status, providing information that can help employers make informed hiring decisions. Here’s what you need to know about Maryland MVRs.

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What is a Maryland MVR?

A Maryland motor vehicle record (MVR), or driving record check, is a record of a candidate’s driving history provided by the Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA). As explained below, there are four types of Maryland MVR reports that provide information about an individual’s driver’s license status, violation history, previous accidents, DUI offenses, and more.

An employer may order a Maryland MVR alone or request one as a part of a comprehensive pre-employment background check. In some cases, industry regulations may require employers to review a candidate’s driving history based on the role. This is especially common for positions regulated by the US Department of Transportation (DOT). DOT compliance is complex and various requirements apply based on the industry of the motor carriers and trucking businesses who employ interstate commercial drivers.

State laws may also require an MVR check. For example, Maryland law states that rideshare companies must order both a criminal background check and a Maryland MVR check before allowing someone to sign up as a driver.

Employers may also choose to order a Maryland MVR for unregulated positions. Since an MVR check provides information about a driver’s license status and class, employers can order one to verify that a candidate will be able to legally operate a motor vehicle to perform their job duties. As a result, an MVR may be an important part of screening for various jobs, including home health aides, delivery drivers, and outside sales representatives.

Types of Maryland motor vehicle records

There are four types of Maryland motor vehicle records; here’s a look at each type:

  • Certified 3-year driving records provide information about a candidate’s current driver’s license status and class, plus a record of any accident, driving violation, or driving-related criminal offense committed within the last three years. These bear the official stamp of the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration.
  • Uncertified 3-year driving records include all the information provided in certified three-year driving records, but do not include the Maryland MVA stamp.
  • Certified full driving records identify driver’s license status and class and provide a full driving history of all violations and accidents that occurred in Maryland with no limit on the look-back period. These also bear the official Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration seal.
  • Uncertified full driving records provide the same information as certified full driving records, but lack the Maryland MVA seal.

Why should employers order Maryland MVR reports?

Employers should consider ordering a Maryland MVR report to help comply with regulations, determine employment eligibility, ensure safety, and mitigate risks and costs.

Compliance

When hiring for a regulated position, ordering a Maryland motor vehicle report may be necessary to comply with federal, state, or local laws and regulations. 

Commercial drivers (CDL) who drive across state lines are in regulated positions at the federal level. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) sets rules for pre-employment screening for CDL drivers. Under its regulations, employers must conduct  drug testing and review the candidate’s MVR before making a job offer. Rules also require employers to order an MVR for all drivers once every 12 months. 

Under Maryland law, rideshare drivers are also regulated positions. Organizations must order an MVR,criminal background check, and sex offender registry search before allowing a candidate to register as a new driver.

If you’re unsure whether you need to order a Maryland MVR to comply with regulations, consult your legal counsel.

Employment eligibility

If driving is a job requirement, employers need to know a candidate can legally operate a motor vehicle. A Maryland motor vehicle report lists both driver’s license status and class, providing the information necessary to help determine whether a candidate is eligible for a job that involves driving.

Safety

By ordering an MVR report, Maryland employers can help promote employee and public safety. An MVR can show that a candidate has a history of complying with driving law, helping provide you with an increased sense of confidence they will safely operate motor vehicles and heavy equipment on the job.

Risks and costs

Employers generally attempt to mitigate legal liability and costs as much as possible. Ordering a Maryland motor vehicle report during pre-employment screening for jobs that involve driving may help mitigate these risks. Hiring candidates with a safe driving history may lower the likelihood of accidents that could lead to legal liability for employers.

Employing drivers with safe driving records may also help to reduce ongoing corporate auto insurance costs. Generally, auto insurance companies charge higher premiums for drivers with a history of violations and at-fault accidents. If an employee has an accident or receives a conviction for a moving violation while operating a company vehicle, insurance premiums may be impacted.

How to get driving records in Maryland

To get driving records in Maryland, employers and individuals can place an order online. However, the processes are different for employers and drivers.

Drivers can request a Maryland driving record online, including certified and uncertified three-year reports or full reports, from the Maryland Motor Vehicle Association or visit an MVA office and request the report in person. Out-of-state drivers can request an Maryland MVR can by mail using Form #DR-057.

Employers who wish to perform a Maryland driver’s license check must register to access the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration Interactive Driver and Vehicle Record Access (IDVR) service. This service can only be utilized by employers with a permissible use outlined in the Federal Driver’s Privacy Protection Act (DPAA). Under federal and state laws, employers must typically receive written permission from candidates before performing a Maryland MVR check. 

To save time and streamline the process, many employers choose to partner with a consumer reporting agency (CRA), like Checkr. Checkr eliminates the need for IDVR registration, removing a step from the process and allowing you to start performing Maryland MVR checks more quickly. Plus, our candidate portal makes it easy to obtain permission from candidates and gather the information necessary to request a Maryland driving record online. We speed up the driving record check process with most reports available the same day.

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What information shows up on Maryland driving records?

Driver’s license status and class, motor vehicle violation history, accident history, and DUI history are generally the types of information that show up on Maryland driving records. Both non-certified and certified driving records contain personal and public information, as well as driver record codes and abbreviations, specific to Maryland, such as license class and moving violations.

A 3-year Maryland driving record will show driving history for the past three years. A full driving history provides a complete history of violations, DUI, and accidents that occurred in Maryland.

On an MVR report, Maryland will not report any driver records that previously qualified for expungement. Under state law, certain driving records qualify for automatic expungement. For example, an individual who never received a driver’s suspension or revocation for a driver safety offense may qualify for automatic expungement of a violation record after three years.

What is the point system for MD driving records?

The point system for MD driving records is a system that allows for the automatic suspension of driver’s licenses due to repeated motor vehicle violations. On a Maryland driving record,  employers can see if candidates previously received driving record points and/or suspensions.

When a driver receives a conviction, the Maryland District Court reports the record to the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration. Then, the MVA adds a certain number of Maryland driving record points to the driver’s record based on the type of violation. Here’s a look at the number of points added for example violations:

  • 1 point: Driver failure to obey properly placed traffic control device instructions
  • 2 points: Exceeding posted speed limit by 10 to 19 miles per hour
  • 3 points: Failure to stop for a stopped school vehicle operating alternately flashing red lights

Maryland driving record points remain active for two years from the date of conviction. If a person accumulates 3 to 4 points during a two-year period, the MVA issues a warning letter. A driver who receives 5 to 7 points will typically need to participate in a mandatory Driver Improvement Program (DIP). Accumulating 8 or more points within a two-year timeframe may result in a temporary suspension or permanent revocation of a driver’s license.

How much is a driving record in Maryland?

For drivers, how much a driving record costs in Maryland depends on whether a certified copy is necessary, as the MVA changes $9 for uncertified records and $12 for certified records The Maryland driving record cost for employers is $95 per year for an IDVR subscription plus $12 for each Maryland driving record search. To obtain a certified copy of a driving record, an employer must pay a $15 fee.

Working with a CRA, like Checkr, may help reduce the costs of obtaining Maryland driving record reports. Our customizable packages allow you to choose the background screenings you need to make an informed hiring decision. MVR checks are available as an add-on to any of our packages for a low price of just $9.50 per check. In addition to saving you money, partnering with Checkr save your HR team valuable time invested in the background check process.

Maryland driving record laws

When an employer orders a driving record, Maryland and federal laws may limit what information is available to them or require them to take certain steps before performing an MVR check. Here’s a look at some key federal and state laws related to Maryland driving record checks.

Federal Driver’s Privacy Protection Act (DPPA)

Summary: The DPPA is a federal law that limits who can access driver’s license and driving history information. To comply with DPPA, an employer must typically obtain written permission from a candidate before performing a Maryland driving record check. The law does allow for exceptions, such as for CDL drivers. See law.

Maryland Transportation Section 12-112

Summary: Part of the Maryland Code, this law  establishes what parts of a driving record are private and outlines the requirements for obtaining private driving history information. Under the law, driving status, driving offenses that occurred within the last three years, and vehicular accident information are public records. Employers can access this information if the MVA approves of the purpose for the request. Non-public driving record information is only accessible if the driver supplies written permission for the MVA to share the records. See law

Get a Maryland MVR check from Checkr

Performing a Maryland MVR check can allow you to make a more informed hiring decision and comply with laws related to regulated positions. Partnering with a background check provider, like Checkr, can simplify the process and allow you to fill positions more quickly, all while ensuring the accuracy of results. Whether you need to run a Maryland MVR check or wish to perform a full background check, we have screening options to suit your needs. With Checkr, you’ll receive most MVR check reports within minutes in an easy-to-read format accessible through your Checkr dashboard. Get started today.

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Disclaimer

The resources provided here are for educational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. We advise you to consult your own counsel if you have legal questions related to your specific practices and compliance with applicable laws.

About the author

Hayley Harrison writes about a wide range of business topics and best practices, including background checks, candidate experience, and recruitment and retention. Her work includes educational articles, e-books, and blog posts.

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