Ohio Driving Record & MVR Checks

Danielle Hubein
February 12, 2024
6 min read

Ohio employers may use an Ohio motor vehicle report (MVR) to help screen candidates during the hiring process. Ohio MVRs provide a detailed check into a candidate’s driving history and in some cases may be legally required to perform a job, depending on the type of position.

This guide to state of Ohio driving records aims to help employers understand what they need to know about Ohio MVRs, including the types of information found on driving records, what laws may apply, and how to check an Ohio driving record.

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What is an Ohio MVR?

Ohio driving record reports, also called motor vehicle reports (MVRs), detail a candidate’s Ohio driving record. They show basic information about a candidate’s driving history—including accident records, license class and status, and certain types of vehicle-related convictions. Employers may choose to conduct a driver record lookup in Ohio as part of the pre-employment background check process. In some cases, employers may also be required by law to perform a driving record lookup in Ohio. For example, school bus drivers and rideshare drivers are both subject to mandatory Ohio MVRs.

Additionally, employers that are regulated by the US Department of Transportation (DOT) are mandated to perform both pre-employment and annual employee DOT background checks on DOT-regulated commercial drivers. These employers may also have to comply with regulations from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) if they operate certain types of vehicles, including commercial trucks, vehicles that seat nine or more passengers, and those that transport hazardous materials.

Types of Ohio motor vehicle records

There are multiple types of Ohio MVRs maintained by the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV):

  • A 3-year Driving Record Abstract includes an individual’s accident reports, moving convictions, and any other acts that resulted in their driver license suspension, disqualification, or revocation.
  • A 2-year Unofficial Copy of Individual Driver Record is only available to individuals and contains records from the last two years. It’s consistent with the Ohio point assessment and suspension law and includes accident reports, moving violations, and any instances that led to license suspensions, disqualifications, or revocations.
  • A Driving Record History includes all accident reports, moving violation convictions, and circumstances that resulted in license suspensions, disqualifications, or revocations.
  • A Driver License History includes a record of issuance dates for both previously-held and current driver licenses and state identification cards.
  • A Driver Record for Employer of a CDL Holder can be requested by organizations that employ commercial driver license (CDL) holders to review federally-required medical examiner certification information and driver history.

How to get a driving record in Ohio

Individuals can request an Ohio driving record online through the Ohio BMV’s online record request portal if they are ordering a 3-year Driving Record Abstract or an Unofficial Driver Record. To request any other type of BMV record, individuals and employers must mail in BMV Form 1173 with a $5.00 fee. Employers that want to order a State of Ohio driving record for a CDL holder that includes all federally-required history information must submit Form 1173 using these instructions if completing the order themselves.

To streamline the hiring process, recruit faster, and take some of the strain off of their HR staff, employers can choose to partner with a qualified background check service provider, like Checkr, to handle pre-employment MVRs.

When working with a consumer reporting agency (CRA) employers are required to comply with federal guidelines of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), so it's important to partner with a FCRA-compliant CRA. The FCRA mandates that employers provide written notice to candidates of their intent to conduct a background check and receive written consent prior to moving forward. Should the employer decide not to hire the candidate based on what appeared on the background check, they are required by law to follow the adverse action process.

Why should employers order Ohio MVR reports?

Employers may choose to order Ohio MVR reports to help determine a candidate’s qualifications and eligibility for the position for which they’re applying, especially if it involves driving. Ohio motor vehicle reports show many types of vehicle-related incidents, such as accidents, driving-related convictions, and moving violations, and reviewing a candidate’s driving history can help employers safeguard employees, customers, and their business.

Plus, conducting MVR checks allows employers to protect themselves against potential liability claims and higher insurance premiums. In some cases, reviewing job candidates’ and employees’ MVR reports can help ensure their ability to keep commercial insurance.

For a more complete picture of a candidate’s history, employers may choose to also conduct a criminal background check, which includes non-driving-related misdemeanors and felony convictions.

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Ohio driving record laws to know

Employers that choose to conduct a driving record check must stay compliant with all federal, state, and local regulations. Employers who are unsure of which laws apply may wish to adhere to the strictest regulations to avoid potential liability.

Here is what Ohio organizations need to know about federal and Ohio driving record laws:

Driver Privacy Protection Act (DPPA)

Summary: The federal Driver Privacy Protection Act (DPPA) helps protect an individual’s personal information by limiting the use of motor vehicle records to individuals and entities with a permissible use under the law. See law.

Ohio Driver’s Privacy Protection

Summary: Under the Ohio Driver’s Privacy Protection law, anyone who requests a copy of Ohio MVRs must first complete the BMV Record Request (BMV Form 1173). They must also state in writing if they meet one or more DPPA exemptions and specify which one(s), plus provide relevant documentation and a verifiable identifier. In some cases, the driver may be required to provide written consent to an Ohio MVR request using the Notarized Written Consent Release Personal Information (BMV Form 5008).

This law also requires employers who wish to obtain records in bulk to enter into a contract with the Ohio BMV, which can be revoked or suspended should the information obtained in the MVRs not be used in compliance with contract terms. Finally, under this law, the BMW will not release Social Security numbers in most circumstances. Residential address information of public safety employees is also protected. See law.

Get an Ohio MVR with Checkr

Ohio employers with employees or volunteers that drive company vehicles, use their own vehicles on the job, or operate certain types of equipment may choose to obtain an Ohio driving record to help reduce risk, promote driver safety, and make more informed hiring decisions. Partnering with a trusted background check provider, like Checkr, to conduct Ohio MVRs helps employers streamline the background check process, hire quicker, and get more accurate results.

Checkr offers multiple screening options, including MVR checks, which can be standalone screenings or added to a comprehensive employment background check. Checkr also offers Continuous MVR checks that search for vehicle-related incidents on an ongoing basis once a candidate has been hired. Most MVR checks are completed in just minutes and delivered to your Checkr dashboard in easy-to-review reports. Get started.

Get an Ohio MVR check today


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.

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About the author

As Compliance Manager, Danielle analyzes the ever-changing laws and regulations affecting background screening to ensure that Checkr and its customers stay compliant. She also writes content to educate employers about background checks, screening best practices, and fair hiring laws. 

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