Texas Driving Record & MVR Checks

Danielle Hubein
February 14, 2024
8 min read

Texas employers may choose to review a candidate’s Texas driving record as part of their hiring process. A motor vehicle report (MVR) provides insight into a candidate’s driving history, safety record, and eligibility to drive as part of their job. Like other types of background screenings, employers conducting a Texas MVR check must comply with federal, state, and local laws.

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What is a Texas MVR?

A motor vehicle report in Texas, also called a Texas MVR, is a record of an individual’s driving history within the state of Texas. There are six types of records available, as explained below, revealing information including license status, traffic tickets, moving violations, and DUI convictions. Records are maintained by the Texas Department of Public Safety (Texas DPS).

Employers may use a Texas MVR to review a candidate’s driving history for positions that require driving a company vehicle or regulated positions, such as commercial drivers regulated by the US Department of Transportation. A Texas MVR does not show violations from other states, so employers requiring comprehensive driving records may wish to search driving records in all states where the candidate has lived or partner with a background check provider, like Checkr.

Types of Texas motor vehicle records

Here is a closer look at the six types of driving records available through the Texas DPS:

  • Type 1 (Status Record) contains a driver’s license status along with personal information such as name, date of birth, and most recent address.
  • Type 2 (3-Year History Record) features all of the information available on a Type 1 record, but also includes accidents and moving violations that were recorded within the past three years.
  • Type 2A (Certified 3-Year History Record) is a certified version of a Type 2 record.
  • Type 3 (All Accidents and Violations on Record) contains all of the information from a Type 1 record, but also includes all crashes (with or without a ticket), along with moving and non-moving violations.
  • Type 3A (Certified List of All Accidents and Violations on Record) is a certified version of a Type 3 record.
  • Type AR (Certified Abstracts of Driving Record) is a certified abstract of a driver’s complete driving record.

Texas motor vehicle records restrictions

In Texas, a complete list of accidents and violations are only available to the license holder (Type 3 and 3A), but a candidate can request these records and provide them to an employer.

If an employer wants to request and review a candidate’s driving history, they may request a Type 1, 2, 2A, or AR by submitting Form DR-1 by mail.

If an employer uses a consumer reporting agency (CRA) to perform an MVR check, look back periods are limited to seven years by the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). However, this seven-year restriction does not apply to criminal convictions or jobs that pay $75,000 or more. If an employer is searching Texas driving records directly, these limitations also do not apply.

Texas motor vehicle records restrictions

In addition to the Texas DPS, there are two other state agencies involved with Texas driving records:

  • The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) maintains crash reports that are filed after an accident by Texas law enforcement agencies. These reports are not available to the public, but can be requested by employers if an employee is involved in an accident directly concerning or of proper interest to the employer.
  • The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is responsible for matters related to licenses and motor vehicles, including driver’s licenses, license plates, vehicle registrations, and vehicle titles.

How to get a driving record in Texas

In Texas, individuals may order a driving record in Texas directly through the Texas DPS website or by mail. Employers may also use the Texas DPS site to review a candidate’s Texas driving record or work with a CRA, like Checkr. Checkr offers comprehensive MVR checks as a standalone screening with results typically available within one day, though most complete within minutes. For positions requiring regular screening of drivers, Checkr offers Continuous MVR checks that surface changes in your employees’ or gig workers’ records in real-time to increase transparency and mitigate ongoing risk.

All background checks conducted through a CRA, including searching Texas driving records, must comply with the FCRA and related state or local laws. These requirements include the proper disclosure of intent to conduct a background check, obtaining written consent from the candidate, and following the adverse action process should you not hire a candidate based on information that was found during a background check.

Why employers should order Texas MVRs

The safe operation of vehicles or equipment is an important part of workplace and public safety. Hiring safe drivers can help organizations minimize risk, reduce liability, and lower premiums for car insurance and truck insurance. There are several instances where employers may consider conducting a Texas MVR background check. These include:

Determining eligibility

Employers interviewing for positions that involve driving or operating machinery may use Texas driving records to review a candidate’s driving history to help determine their eligibility for the role.

Commercial driving requirements

Texas employers with commercial vehicle drivers that cross state lines are likely required by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), under the US Department of Transportation, to conduct both pre-employment and annual employee MVR reports.

This includes commercial trucks, vehicles that transport hazardous materials, and passenger vehicles that can carry none or more passengers. Plus, depending on the type of vehicles used, drivers may need to carry a certain level of commercial driver’s license, such as Class A, Class B, or Class C.

Regulated driving positions

In Texas, certain types of driving positions are regulated by state and local laws and may be subject to motor vehicle record checks. For example, school bus drivers across the state must meet standards based on a seven-year Texas motor vehicle report check. In addition, rideshare services must conduct both MVR and criminal background checks on their drivers.

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Texas driving record laws to know

In Texas, there is not a statewide Ban the Box law restricting how employers can use Texas MVRs as part of pre-employment background checks. However, there are state and federal regulations for how Texas MVRs can be accessed and what types of information is available. Here is what you should know about Texas driving record laws.

Driver’s Privacy Protection Act (DPPA)

Summary: The DPPA is a federal law that protects people’s private information on driver’s licenses and other motor vehicle records from being available to the general public. Under this law, personal information is protected from employers, but there are certain exceptions, such as commercial driver’s licenses. In these cases, employers must get written consent before access. See law.

Motor Vehicle Records Disclosure Act

Summary: Under this Texas law, disclosing and using personal information found on motor vehicle records is prohibited, unless required by law or authorized by the individual. However, certain groups, with permission of the license holder, are allowed to access and verify information contained in Texas MRV. These can include employers, charitable organizations, nonprofits, and religious institutions. This law also prohibits personal information found on TX MVRs from being sold or disclosed. See law.

Texas Public Information Act (PIA)

Summary: The PIA requires government agencies such as the Texas Department of Public Safety, Texas Department of Transportation, and Texas Department of Motor Vehicles, to release information when there is a request for records. In the event a record is exempted from disclosure, they are reviewed by the Open Records Division to determine final eligibility. See law.

Get a Texas MVR with Checkr

Whether your candidates will be driving a company vehicle or traveling for sales calls, Texas MVR checks may be part of your background screening program. Conducting searches for Texas driving records on your own can be time-consuming and costly. A qualified background check provider, like Checkr, can help streamline the process to enable efficient hiring. Checkr offers several options for driving record checks to help you increase safety and reduce risk. MVR checks can be used as a standalone screening or add-on to a comprehensive background check, while Continuous MVR looks for incidents on an ongoing basis. Our modern platform has built-in compliance tools and automated workflows for peace of mind, while supporting fair hiring.

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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.

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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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