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New York Public Driving Records

The New York Department of Motor Vehicles (NY DMV) is the agency in charge of all driving records. They provide these records to individuals who want a copy of their own and companies performing background checks, verifying insurance information, or other purposes.

The state provides three types of reports. They are a standard driving record, a commercial driver's license (CDL) driving record, and a lifetime driving record. When requesting someone else's history, the person must provide proof of eligibility, the person's consent using a special form, and they must comply with all Driver's Privacy Protection Act (DPPA) laws.

Driver records in New York contain personally identifiable information (PII) such as the driver's name, address, social security number, date of birth, eye and hair color, and height and weight. If the person has a CDL, it may also contain medical information. The records also contain driving record information such as car accidents, license status, license class, endorsements, restrictions, traffic violations, parking tickets, citations, moving violations, any DUIs, and other details.

How to Request a State Driving History Report

The state of New York provides a few different ways that requestors can obtain copies of driving history reports.

An individual can get a copy using the online portal MyDMV. When ordering online, the requestor must pay by credit card and can then print a copy of their driving abstract.

They may also download the correct form (MV-15 or MV-15C) and send it in with payment by mail. They can pay by personal check and mail the completed application to:

MV-15 Processing
NYS Department of Motor Vehicles
6 Empire State Plaza
Albany, NY 12228

A NY driver may also visit any local DMV office to obtain a drivers record called a driver abstract. They will need to bring proof of identity (driver's license or other ID), payment (cash, check, money order, credit card), and a completed application.

Anyone requesting a copy of someone else's records can get a copy using a dial-in service, or if they need them frequently, they can sign up for the state's License Event Notification Service (LENS). They may also contact the Freedom of Information Act (FOIL) office to get a copy using the MV-FOIL form.

Motor Vehicle Records Cost

Individuals can get a copy of their standard, CDL, or lifetime driving abstract for $7 when ordering online. They will have five days to download and print the report before it expires.

If they order through the mail, the cost for each record is $10 and may be paid by personal check or money order. The fee is also $10 if they visit a DMV office to get records.

Bulk users of the LENS system may be exempt (law enforcement and government agencies), but others like employers must pay $10 per record. There is no discount for bulk records.

Driving Laws in the State

When moving to New York, new residents have 30 days to turn in their out-of-state driver's license and apply for a NY one. Prior to applying, most new drivers will need to complete a 5-hour Pre-Licensing Course and pass a driving test. Drivers must be 16 before applying for their Junior license. Then they can apply for a Senior license when they turn 17.

Some restrictions for a Junior license include:

  • You cannot drive with more than one passenger under the age of 21 unless they are members of your immediate family
  • You and each passenger must wear a seat belt: one per person. Every child passenger must use a correct child restraint. (See: Chapter 8, "Seat Belts, Child Safety Seats, and Air Bags")

The state has a demerit point system, and some typical violations are:

  • Speeding MPH not specified - 3 points
  • Speeding MPH over posted limit:
  • 1 to 10 - 3 points
  • 11 to 20 - 4 points
  • 21 to 30 - 6 points
  • 31 to 40 - 8 points
  • More than 40 - 11 points
  • Reckless driving - 5 points
  • Passing a stopped school bus - 5
  • Inadequate brakes - 4 points
  • Following too closely (tailgating) - 4 points
  • Use of mobile telephone or portable electronic device while operating a motor vehicle - 5 points
  • Improper passing, unsafe lane change, drove left of center, or drove wrong direction - 3 points
  • Violation involving a traffic signal, stop sign, or yield sign - 3 points
  • Failing to yield right-of-way - 3 points
  • Railroad crossing violation - 5 points
  • Leaving the scene of an incident involving property damage or injury to domestic animal - 3 points
  • Safety restraint violation involving a person under 16 - 3 points
  • Inadequate brakes (while driving employer's vehicle) - 2 points
  • Any other moving violation - 2 points

Different Types of Driving Reports in the State

The state of NY has three different types of driving records. They offer a standard (limited time frame) report, a CDL for commercial drivers, and a lifetime record that goes back to when they first got their license.

Standard Driving Abstract

According to the NY DMV, the standard driving abstract will show only the last few years of information, including:

  • Most suspensions and revocations are only displayed on the driving record abstract for 4 years from the date the suspension or revocation ended. Suspensions for a chemical test refusal are displayed for 5 years from the date of suspension
  • Accidents and most traffic convictions are only displayed until the end of the year in which the accident or conviction occurred, plus 3 additional years
  • Convictions for operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DWI) are displayed for 15 years from the date of conviction. Convictions for DWAI are displayed for 10 years from the date of conviction
  • Some serious violations, such as vehicular homicide, may be displayed permanently

Commercial Driving License (CDL) Record

According to the NY DMV, the information contained on a CDL report includes:

  • Expanded driver history information - convictions, suspensions, revocations, and other licensing actions in any state committed in any type of vehicle
  • Medical Certification Status information and Self-Certification information:
  • Medical Certification Status: (Certified/Not Certified/Not Required)
  • Self-Cert Type: (NA; NI; EA; EI)
  • Medical Examiner's Certificate information for drivers who must maintain a valid medical examiner's certificate on file with DMV:
  • Date Medical Certificate Posted to License Record: mm/dd/yyyy
  • Med Cert Issue Date: mm/dd/yyyy
  • Med Cert Expiration Date: mm/dd/yyyy
  • Medical Examiner's Name:
  • Medical Examiner's Licensing Jurisdiction Code:
  • Medical Examiner's License or Certificate Number:
  • Medical Examiner's Specialty Code:
  • Medical Examiner's National Registry Number: (Required for all Med Certs issued on or after 5/21/2014)
  • Existence of any Restrictions on Medical Certification: Corrective Lenses; Hearing Aid
  • Existence of any Medical Variance on Medical Certification: Diabetes Waiver; Vision Waiver; Hearing Waiver; Seizure Waiver; Skills Eval Certificate; Qualified by Operation
  • Medical Variance/SPE Certificate Effective Date (if applicable): mm/dd/yyyy
  • Medical Variance/SPE Expiration Date (if applicable):  mm/dd/yyyy

Lifetime Driving Record

A lifetime driving record will contain all the information from the standard report but will go back until the person first obtained their driver's license.

Criminal Driving Offenses

Criminal driving offenses are very serious and will result in harsh punishments, including steep fines, jail time, the loss of a driver's license, and sometimes even court-ordered programs such as taking a defensive driving course or community service.

A few offenses that will result in a mandatory suspension or revocation are:

  • Aggravated driving while intoxicated (Agg- DWI), with .18 of one percent blood alcohol content (.18 BAC): minimum one-year revocation
  • Driving while intoxicated (DWI), with .08 of one percent blood alcohol content (.08 BAC): minimum six-month revocation
  • Driving while ability impaired by alcohol (DWAI): 90-day suspension
  • Driving while ability impaired by drugs (DWAI-drug): minimum six-month suspension
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs out-of-state (DUI): minimum 90-day to six-month revocation, depending on the conviction
  • Three speeding and/or misdemeanor traffic violations within 18 months (based on the date of violation, not the date of conviction)
  • Three "passing a stopped school bus" violations within three years
  • One violation of "leaving the scene of a personal injury or fatal accident"
  • One "participating in a speed contest" violation. Conviction of a second speed contest violation within 12 months results in a revocation of at least one year
  • Your driver's license will be revoked for at least one year if you operate or allow another person to operate your uninsured vehicle or if the DMV receives evidence that you were involved in a traffic crash without being insured. If the insurance coverage for your vehicle has expired, you must turn in the license plates and registration to a motor vehicle office. If the vehicle is removed from the road and not being driven, you must return the plates, or you can face civil penalties or registration suspension and/or license suspension

According to the NY DMV, "Your driver license will also be suspended indefinitely if you fail to file an accident report, submit a bad check or incur a credit card chargeback for DMV fees, fail to pay child support, fail to pay taxes or fail to fulfill a court judgment that results from a traffic accident. This suspension will be in effect until you correct the condition that led to the suspension."

Insurance providers often use driver records to set insurance premiums and decide to insure drivers or not. Criminal driving offenses may hinder someone's ability to get insured.

Civil Driving Offenses

Civil driving offenses are far less serious, usually resulting in only a warning or a ticket the driver must pay. Some examples of civil driving offenses in the state are:

  • Parking illegally
  • Driving the wrong way down a one-way street
  • Running a red light
  • Not stopping at a stop sign
  • Failure to yield
  • Illegal U-Turn

State Department of Motor Vehicles Driving Records Statistics

The state of New York keeps track of all driving events so that they can devise programs to improve driver safety on all roads and highways. Some interesting driving statistics for the state include:

  • On average, there were 1,098 deaths each year due to unintentional motor vehicle traffic-related injuries, killing 5.6 of every 100,000 New Yorkers. The rates were highest for males, and New Yorkers ages 65 and older, followed by those 20-24
  • The rate of deaths due to unintentional motor vehicle traffic-related injuries decreased from a high of 8.4 per 100,000 residents in 2001 to a low of 4.9 in 2014
  • On average, there were 12,093 hospitalizations each year due to motor vehicle traffic-related injuries, hospitalizing 61.5 of every 100,000 New Yorkers. The rates were highest for males and New Yorkers ages 20-24, followed by those ages 65 and older
  • The rate of hospitalizations due to unintentional motor vehicle traffic-related injuries has decreased from a high of 87.5 hospitalizations per 100,000 New Yorkers in 2002 to 57.0 in 2014
  • On average, there were 136,913 emergency department (ED) visitseach year due to unintentional motor vehicle traffic-related injuries, requiring the treatment of 696.6 of every 100,000 New Yorkers. The rates were highest for females and New Yorkers ages 20-24, followed by ages 15 – 19
  • The rate of ED visits due to unintentional motor vehicle traffic-related injuries decreased from 778.7 ED visits per 100,000 New Yorkers in 2005 to 685.8 in 2008. They increased to 731.0 in 2010, followed by a decrease until 2013, when the rate increased to 737.0. In 2014 the rate decreased to 683.1

Driver License Record Search Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some frequently asked questions about state driving records.

Who Can Get a Copy of Your Driving Record?

Anyone with a signed consent form can get a copy of your record. They must, however, comply with DPPA laws.

Can I Use the Online Systems to Make a Driver History Request?

Yes. Individuals can use the MyDMV online system to quickly and easily get a copy. The report will only remain available for five days to copy or print, though.

What Information Do I Need to Get a Motor Vehicle Report (MVR)?

When ordering a copy, you will need a copy of your ID (driver's license), social security number, and birth date.

Does the State Use a Points System?

Yes, and they dole out points for violations. If a person earns too many points quickly, they may lose their license.

Helpful State Driving Record Links

Below are some 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.