Washington D.C. Public Driving Records
The Washington D.C. Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is the government agency in charge of driver records. They issue them to individuals but follow strict Driver Privacy Protection Act (DPPA) laws when issuing them to employers, government agencies, and other companies requesting someone else's record. Insurance companies may use these reports when setting insurance rates and employers use them for background checks.
The state offers non-certified and certified records. Residents and past residents can get a record online, through the mail, or even in person at a DMV Service Center. However, they severely limit who can obtain driver records for someone else. They offer a 3-year, 5-year, or 10-year report.
These records contain personally identifiable information such as the driver's name, address, social security number, driver's license number, and birthdate. They also include accident history, driving offenses, traffic violations, license status, revocations, suspensions, cancellations, and Good Points.
How to Request a Copy of Your Washington D.C. Driving History
Washington D.C. makes it easy for someone to get a copy of their own driving report. They can do so online and purchase a certified or non-certified copy.
Requestors can also order a copy through the mail by sending the appropriate fee, request letter, and documentation to:
Attn: Driver Records
P.O. Box 90120
Washington, DC 20090
Requestors can expect to receive the report within 7-10 business days.
Someone can also visit a DMV Service Center to obtain copies.
When ordering copies, the requestor will need the driver's:
- Full name
- Date of birth
- Social security number
- Driver's license number
- Check or money order
Motor Vehicle Records Cost
The state offers a few different versions of a driver record. Requestors can purchase them online using a credit card (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover) or in-person with a check or money order. The fees are as follows:
- 3-Year or 5-Year Report (certified or non-certified) - $7
- 10-Year or Full Record (certified or non-certified) - $13
Driving Laws in the State
Someone must be 16 years old to apply for a learner's permit to begin learning to drive. A driver must be 17 before applying for their full driver's license. Drivers must take a state-approved driving course, pass a written and road test and take a vision exam before getting their license. The state uses a Gradual Rearing of Adult Drivers (GRAD) program. The restrictions of each license are as follows:
- Learner Permit:
You CANNOT drive alone. You must be accompanied by and under the instruction of a driver who is 21 years or older, has a valid full driver's license, and is seated next to you in the passenger front seat. Driving hours are restricted for learner permit holders. You and your passenger must wear seatbelts at all times. You may not operate a motor vehicle for compensation. You may not operate a commercial vehicle. You may not use a mobile phone or other electronic device (with or without hands free accessories) while driving. You may not drive with other passengers in the vehicle.
- Provisional License for drivers 16 1⁄2 - 20 years old:
You can drive alone. You can drive with one (1) passenger that is the holder of a valid full driver license who is 21 years of age or older, occupying the passenger front seat next to you and is wearing a seat belt, and any other passenger who is your sibling, child, or parent. You and your passengers must wear seatbelts at all times. Driving hours are restricted for provisional license drivers. You may not operate a motor vehicle for compensation if under the age of 18.
- Full License with Conditions (Under age 18):
You can drive alone. If you are under 18 years old, you can drive with no more than two (2) passengers under age 21. This restriction does not apply to passengers who are your siblings or child. If you are under 18 years old, you may not operate a motor vehicle other than a passenger vehicle or motorized bicycle used solely for the purposes of pleasure and not for compensation. You and your passengers must wear seat belts at all times. If you are under 18, your 12 parent/legal guardian is notified of your GRAD violations. Driving hours are restricted for full license drivers between the ages of 17 – 18 years old.
Some other driving laws according to the D.C. driving manual are:
- The driver and all passengers in a vehicle must wear a seat belt
- You must be hands-free while driving with a cellular phone in the District of Columbia
- Residents are required to update change of address with the Department of Motor Vehicles within sixty (60) days
- Insurance must be maintained as long as the vehicle is registered. Lapse in coverage is subject to fines. Do not cancel insurance until your vehicle tags are surrendered to DMV
- If stopped by law enforcement while driving a motor vehicle in the District of Columbia, you will be responsible for providing your valid driver license, vehicle registration, and proof of insurance. Failure to comply may result in a fine and/or arrest
- Drivers receive points for certain moving violations, whether the violations occur in the District of Columbia or in other states. DMV will assess points if you are found liable at a hearing, are convicted in court of a traffic violation, or you pay the ticket (payment is an admission of liability). The number of points you will receive depends on the type of violation
- Points will stay active on your driving record for two years
- If you maintain a valid D.C. driver license for a full calendar year without obtaining pointable moving violations, you may be eligible to receive a Good Point on your driving record
- If you accumulate 10 or 11 points, your D.C. driver license will be suspended, and you will lose your driving privileges for a period of ninety (90) days. Your driving privileges are suspended until they have been officially reinstated
- If you accumulate 12 or more points, your D.C. driver license will be revoked, and you will not be eligible for reinstatement for six months. Your driving privileges are revoked until they have been officially reinstated
- If you are convicted of certain criminal traffic violations in D.C., including driving while intoxicated or driving under the influence, your minimum revocation period is 6 months for the first offense, 2 years for the second offense, and 3 years for the third or subsequent offense. Your driving privileges are revoked until they have officially been reinstated and the reinstatement fee is paid
- Your driver license and vehicle can be suspended for failure to pay child support
The state uses a driver points system, and if someone earns 10-11 points, their license will be suspended for 90 days. If they earn 12 or more points, they will lose their license for at least six months.
Some point violations include:
- Follow another vehicle too closely - 2
- Operate a vehicle with an improper class of license - 2
- Operate a vehicle with a license expired less than 90 days - 2
- Commit any moving violation that does not contribute to an accident and is not listed below - 2-3
- Fail to comply with seatbelt law - 3
- Commit violations that contribute to an accident - 3
- Speed 11-15 miles per hour above posted speed limit - 3
- Speed 16-20 miles per hour above posted speed - 4
- Fail to stop for a school vehicle with alternately flashing lights - 4
- Operate a motor vehicle in violation of a restriction on your license - 4
- Operate a vehicle with a learner permit unaccompanied by a licensed driver - 5
- Speed 21 miles per hour or more above posted speed limit - 5
- Fail to give right-of-way to a pedestrian - 3
- Commit a misdemeanor crime involving the use of a motor vehicle - 6
- Fail to yield to an emergency vehicle - 6
- Reckless driving - 6
- Leave the scene of a collision in which no personal injury occurs - 8
- Turn off headlights of a vehicle to avoid identification by a police officer - 8
Some violations that will result in 12 points and automatic license revocation are:
- Leave the scene of a collision in which personal injury occurs (hit and run)
- Flee or attempt to elude a police officer
- Aggravated reckless driving
- Operate a vehicle after your driver license has been suspended or revoked
- Use the driver license of another person
- Receive conviction for an assault or homicide committed with an automobile
- Operate a vehicle under the influence of, or when impaired by, intoxicating liquor and/or narcotic drugs
- Operate a vehicle with any measurable amount of alcohol if the person is under 21 years old
- Commit a felony crime involving the use of a motor vehicle
- Make a false affidavit or statement under any law relating to motor vehicles
- Commit any violation while operating a vehicle without the permission of the owner
Different Types of Driving Reports in the State
The state offers a few different types of driver records to choose from. They are as follows:
3-Year Record (certified or non-certified)
The three-year record will contain personally identifiable information such as the driver's name, address, social security number, and birth date. It will also include license class and status, issue date, expiration date, withdrawals (suspensions, revocations, and cancellations), driving convictions, and Good Points (one point awarded each year without any driving convictions). The report will also show vehicle and license plate information. This report only shows the last three years.
5-Year Record (certified or non-certified)
The five-year record will contain personally identifiable information such as the driver's name, address, social security number, and birth date. It will also include license class and status, issue date, expiration date, withdrawals (suspensions, revocations, and cancellations), driving convictions, and Good Points (one point awarded each year without any driving convictions). The report will also show vehicle and license plate information. This report only shows the last five years.
10-Year Record (certified or non-certified)
The ten-year record will contain personally identifiable information such as the driver's name, address, social security number, and birth date. It will also include license class and status, issue date, expiration date, withdrawals (suspensions, revocations, and cancellations), driving convictions, and Good Points (one point awarded each year without any driving convictions). The report will also show vehicle and license plate information. This report only shows the last ten years.
Full History Record (certified or non-certified)
The full history report will show everything the other reports will show but going back to the first license held. The certified version will include a seal from the DMV validating its official nature.
Criminal Driving Offenses
Criminal driving offenses are those that are serious and potentially life-threatening to the driver or someone else. They usually result in the driver losing their license, having to pay a fine, and spending time in jail or prison. Commercial drivers may face harsher penalties. Some examples of these crimes are:
- Reckless driving
- Excessive speeding
- Avoiding an officer or not obeying an officer
- Hit and run
- Driving with a suspended license
Civil Driving Offenses
Civil driving offenses are far less serious and usually result in only a warning or a traffic ticket. Some examples of these types of crimes include:
- Running through a red light
- Parking in a no-parking zone
- Broken taillights
- Not wearing a seat belt
- Failure to yield to a pedestrian
State Department of Motor Vehicles Driving Records Statistics
According to the Washington D.C. Police Department, some interesting driving statistics include:
- For 2021 there have been 23 driving fatalities
- 2020 saw only 17 driving fatalities
- Driving fatalities are up 35%
- The MPD Major Crash Unit recorded 41 traffic fatalities in 2006; two additional traffic fatalities that occurred in DC in 2006 were recorded by the Park Police, for a total of 43 traffic fatalities in the District of Columbia in 2006
- One of the 2014 traffic fatalities is from a crash that occurred on US Park Police territory (Rock Creek Parkway) on 5/22/14
- Two of the 2016 traffic fatalities are from a crash that occurred on US Park Police territory (Rock Creek Parkway on 7/9/16)
- Two of the 2018 traffic fatalities are from a crash that occurred on US Park Police territory
- One fatality in 2020 occurred on US Park Police jurisdiction (12/20/20)
Driver License Record Search Frequently Asked Questions
Below are some frequently asked questions about state driving records.
Who Can Get a Copy of Your DC Driving Record?
The state strictly follows DPPA laws and only allows someone with written authorization from you to get a copy of your driving record. These include insurance companies, government agencies, law enforcement, or attorneys. They can use the DMV website to place an order for a driver's record.
Can I Use the Online Systems to Get BMV Records?
Yes. You can easily use either the non-certified or certified portal to purchase a copy of your own driver history.
What Information Do I Need to Get a Motor Vehicle Report (MVR)?
You will need your full name, social security number, driver's license number, and birthdate to purchase a copy.
Does the State Use a Points System?
Yes. The state uses two, point systems. One is for keeping track of violations, and then the state awards one Good Point to every driver with no violations each year.
Helpful State Driving Record Links
Disclaimer: The materials presented here are for informational purposes only. The information is taken from state and local resources, and is current as of the most recent site update. Changes made by state and local departments and agencies after our latest update may render some information and fees outdated, and may cause links to break and forms to be unavailable. Infotracer strongly encourages you to visit the relevant state and local resources to ensure you have the most recent information.