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Ohio Public Driving Records

The Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) is the government agency in charge of driving records. This agency issues them upon request in accordance with Driver Privacy Protection Act (DPPA) laws. Individuals and companies can request a driver history for someone as long as they have the subject's consent. The BMV acts like an Ohio DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) in other states.

The state offers two different versions to choose from. The first is a certified 3-year report that shows the current issue date of the Ohio driver's license, the license status, accident history, driving offenses, moving violations, traffic violations, and any revocations and suspensions. Along with the driver's record, these reports also show personal information such as the driver's name, address, social security number, date of birth, and physical description. CDL records may contain medical information as well. The second type is an unofficial 2-year record showing the same data but for a shorter period. The state also has another kind of report that shows driver license history (all licenses, types, and issue dates).

Ohio allows individuals and companies to get copies using its online portal. They also allow someone to pick these records up in person at any deputy registrar licensing agency, and they could also get them through the mail. Insurance companies may use these reports to set insurance rates and make decisions about insuring motorists.

How to Request a Copy of Your Ohio Driving History

The state has two main types of driving history records and allows people to request them by using the online portal, mail, or in person.

They have an online portal where requestors can get a copy of the 2-year unofficial report or the 3-year certified copy. After filling out the required information and paying the fee, they can then print a copy instantly.

A user can also print out the driving records request form (BMV 1173) and mail it in with payment to receive a report.

Another way to get records is to visit any deputy registrar licensing agency and get them in person.

Motor Vehicle Records Cost

The cost for a BVM records in the state of Ohio is $5. Payment can be made by credit or debit card if ordered online and by check or money order if paid in person. By mail, the state allows requestors to pay by check or money order.

Driving Laws in the State

Teens age 15 and a half can visit a driver exam station to take the driving and vision tests to get their probationary driver's license. At that time, the driver must show proof of:

  • Full legal name
  • Date of birth
  • Social Security number (if ever assigned)

Before getting their probationary license, the driver must also complete driver education and log 50 hours of supervised driving with a parent or guardian. Ten of those hours must be at night. The license must be held for at least six months before applying for a full, unrestricted license.

The Ohio BMV has put together a driving manual to help new drivers learn the rules of the road. A sampling of laws from that manual include:

Drive on the right half of the roadway except:

  • When overtaking and passing another vehicle, proceeding in the same direction
  • When driving on a road divided into three or more marked lanes
  • When driving on a road designated and posted with signs for one-way traffic
  • When otherwise directed by a police officer or traffic control device
  • When an obstruction makes it necessary for you to drive left-of-center. Yield the right of way to all vehicles traveling in the proper direction on the unobstructed portion of the highway

When a road has been divided into four or more marked lanes, or where traffic within municipalities is lawfully moving in two or more continuous lines in the same direction, the following rules apply:

  • A vehicle shall be driven as closely as possible within a single lane of traffic it shall not be moved from the lane until the driver has first determined that such movement can be made safely. A turn signal must be given before lane changes
  • On a roadway divided into three lanes, a vehicle shall not be driven in the center lane except where that center lane is devoted exclusively to traffic moving in the direction the driver is proceeding

Upon the approach of an emergency vehicle displaying flashing lights and an audible signal, the driver must immediately drive to a position parallel to the right edge or curb of the road or highway and stop. Driver must be careful not to block intersections. All vehicles must remain in this position until the emergency vehicle has passed or when directed otherwise by a law enforcement officer.

In Ohio, it is legal to turn right after stopping at a red traffic signal, but only when:

  • There is no sign posted at the intersection forbidding right turns on red
  • You have come to a complete stop and have allowed all crossing traffic and all pedestrians to proceed through the intersection and,
  • You can clearly see that the turn can be completed safely

A driver must stop:

  • Behind the stop line or crosswalk at any stop sign or at a red traffic signal
  • Behind the stop line or crosswalk at any red traffic signal where right or left turns on red are permitted. The driver may only proceed with a legal turn on red after coming to a full stop and yielding the right of way to all crossing traffic and to all pedestrians crossing the intersection
  • At a flashing red traffic signal, yielding to all traffic that does not have to stop
  • At a sidewalk, or if there is no sidewalk, at a point prior to entering the roadway, when emerging from an alley, driveway, or private road on a business or residential district. Drivers must yield the right of way to any pedestrian on the sidewalk
  • Before entering an intersection, if there is not sufficient space on the other side to accommodate the vehicle. The law applies whether or not a traffic signal gives the driver the right to proceed
  • At the approach of a public safety vehicle (such as a police car, fire engine, or ambulance), displaying flashing lights and sounding a warning signal, unless the vehicle is traveling in the opposite direction on a divided highway. Drivers should move as far as possible to the right of the road and remain there until the emergency vehicle has passed

A driver must yield the right of way:

  • When directed by a yield sign
  • When crossing or entering a through highway from a smaller, less-traveled road
  • To a vehicle approaching from the right at an intersection of two smaller roads without a traffic control device
  • To a pedestrian in a marked crosswalk or at an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection
  • On the approach of a public safety vehicle
  • For all vehicles which are part of a funeral procession. Each vehicle in the funeral procession must have its headlights lit and must display a purple and white pennant
  • To ongoing traffic when making a left turn
  • To traffic approaching an intersection before making a right turn at a red light
  • When a school bus is stopped on a roadway to pick up or drop off any passengers, the following regulations apply to other drivers on the roadway:
  • When a school bus driver is preparing to stop the bus, he or she activates four amber lights—two on the front and two on the rear of the bus. These lights continue to flash until the bus is fully stopped. Other vehicles are not required to stop during this preliminary stage of the eight-light warning but should prepare to stop as soon as the bus comes to a full stop. When the bus comes to a full stop, the amber lights stop flashing, and four red lights—two in the front and two in the back—start flashing while the children enter or leave the bus. In addition, a stop arm with flashing red lights is automatically extended beneath the window on the left side of the bus
  • If the bus is stopped on a street or road which has fewer than four lanes, all traffic approaching the bus from either direction must stop at least 10 feet from the front or rear of the bus and remain stopped until the bus begins to move or the bus driver signals motorists to proceed
  • If the bus is stopped on a street or road which has four or more lanes, only traffic proceeding in the same direction as the bus must stop

Different Types of Driving Reports in the State

The state has various types of driving and motor vehicle records, but the three main ones are a three-year, two-year, and complete driving history. They also offer employers CDL reports for CDL drivers and driver license history report.

Three-Year Certified Driver Abstract

The three-year driving record abstract report will show the driver's most recent license issuance along with all moving violation convictions, accident involvement reports, and other actions that result in license suspensions, revocations, or other disqualifications.

Unofficial Two-Year Driving Record

This record is not to be used for official purposes but includes all moving violation convictions, accident involvement reports, and other actions that result in license suspensions, revocations, or other disqualifications for the last two years.

Driving Record History

This record is a complete record going back to the first license the driver received and covers all moving violation convictions, accident involvement reports, and other actions that result in license suspensions, revocations, or other disqualifications which are maintained in the Ohio BMV database.

Criminal Driving Offenses

Criminal driving offenses are serious issues that usually net the offender some time in jail or prison, the loss of their driver's license, along with steep fines and other court-ordered punishment. Some examples of criminal driving offenses in the state are:

  • Reckless driving
  • Driving with a revoked or suspended license
  • Hit and run
  • Vehicular homicide
  • Vehicular manslaughter
  • Texting while driving
  • DWI/DUI/OVI
  • Street racing
  • Vehicular assault
  • Fleeing a police officer

Commercial drivers may face harsher penalties including having to take a defensive driving course.

Civil Driving Offenses

Civil driving offenses usually result in just a warning or a fine. Some examples of civil driving offenses include:

  • Failure to stop at a red light or stop sign
  • Parking illegally
  • Illegal U-turn
  • Driving the wrong way down a one-way street
  • Not yielding
  • Speeding
  • Driving with an expired registration or plates

State Department of Motor Vehicles Driving Records Statistics

The state of Ohio takes driver safety very seriously and therefore tracks all data so they can implement new safety programs and rules.

Some statistics for 2019 from the Ohio State Highway Patrol include:

  • Fatal Crashes - 1,041
  • Traffic Fatalities - 1,155
  • Motor Vehicle Fatalities - 1,003
  • Unbelted Fatalities - 474
  • Non-Motorist Fatalities - 152
  • Pedestrians Killed - 128
  • OVI-Related Fatal Crashes - 529
  • OVI-Related Fatalities - 597
  • Motorcyclist Fatalities - 160
  • Helmeted Deaths - 45
  • Commercial Motor Vehicle-Involved Fatalities - 153
  • January is the month with the largest number of crashes
  • Friday is the most dangerous driving day of the week, with far more crashes than any other day of the week
  • The hours of 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. are the most dangerous for driving in Ohio

The top reasons for accidents were:

  • 60,896 were caused by alcohol
  • 99,390 caused by commercial vehicles
  • 98,372 were caused by deer
  • 71,035 were due to distracted driving
  • Drugs caused 23,833 accidents
  • 209,511 accidents happened because someone failed to yield
  • 524,133 were due to elderly drivers
  • 14,222 were pedestrian-related accidents
  • 70,265 accidents were caused by people running through a red light or stop sign
  • 6,278 were school-bus-related accidents
  • Speed issues caused 168,388 accidents
  • 220,766 accidents were caused by teen drivers
  • 262,714 accidents involved people who did not use their seat belts
  • 28,275 took place in work-zone areas
  • 502,072 accidents were youth related

Driver License Record Search Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some frequently asked questions about state driving records.

Who Can Get a Copy of Your Ohio Driving Record?

Only people who can prove a legal reason and comply with DPPA laws may have a copy of your Ohio driving report. You can always get a copy of your own driving record.

Can I Use the Online Systems to Get BMV Records?

Yes. The web portal was designed to allow Ohio drivers to view their driving record online at any time.

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

When requesting a driving record, you will need your name, date of birth, driver's license number, social security number, license plate number, and VIN, or this information for the subject of the report, if you are not ordering your own.

Does the State Use a Points System?

Yes. The state of Ohio uses a point system to keep track of minor driving violations and more serious ones. If you accumulate 12 points in two years, you may lose your 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.