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Pennsylvania Public Driving Records

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (DOT) is the government agency responsible for driver records. This agency acts as a Pennsylvania DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) in other states. They issue records upon request for employers, government agencies, and individuals.

The state offers five types of driving records. The basic information report does not include the driver's history. The state also offers a 3-year and 10-year report which does offer driving history. A full history is also available, along with a certified copy which must be obtained in person or by mail. Car insurance companies may use these reports to set insurance rates or decide whether or not to insure commercial drivers.

These records do contain personal driver information, and therefore, requestors must comply with all Driver Privacy Protection Act (DPPA) laws. Some of the personal information may include the driver's name, full address, social security number, date of birth, physical description, and if they hold a CDL, medical information. The other data includes accident history, license status, license points, traffic violations, driving convictions, license suspensions, revocations, and cancellations.

How to Request a Copy of Your Pennsylvania Driving History

The Penn DOT has an online services portal where individuals can get a copy of their own report. However, anyone needing a copy for someone else must get it either in person or through the mail.

The state has a downloadable form that can be filled out and sent in with payment (in the form of check or money order) to:

Bureau of Driver Licensing Driver Record Services
P.O. Box 68695
Harrisburg, PA 17106-8695

Motor Vehicle Records Cost

The state offers five main records to choose from. Each one carries with it a separate fee. The list of fees is as follows:

  • Basic information report - $11
  • 3-year record - $11
  • 10-year record (employment purposes only) - $10
  • Full history - $11
  • Certified record - $36

When obtaining records in person, the requestor may pay in cash, check, or money order. When paying online, they can use a credit card or debit card.

Driving Laws in the State

A resident must be 16 years or older to apply for their learner's permit. Then, after taking driver's education and taking a road and written test, they can earn their full driving license.

Some driving laws in the state from the DOT include:

"School zone signals are flashing yellow signals placed on the school zone speed limit signs. You must travel no faster than 15 mph when the yellow signals are flashing or during the time periods indicated on the sign. Exceeding the speed limit in a school zone will result in three (3) points on your driving record, and you will also be fined."

"A FOUR-WAY STOPsign means there are four stop signs at this intersection. Traffic from all four directions must stop. The first vehicle to reach the intersection should move forward first. If two vehicles reach the intersection at the same time, the driver on the left yields to the driver on the right. If facing one another, both can proceed with caution, watching for possible turns. "

"Turn on your headlights when traveling through a work zone, no matter what time of day. This is the law for allposted work zones, not just for active ones. Using your headlights makes your vehicle more visible to other traffic as well as to highway workers. If you are pulled over by police for a traffic violation in a work zone and your vehicle's headlights are not turned on, you will be fined an additional $25."

The state uses a point system for driving violations, and if someone earns 6, they are given a warning and must take a written test. After that, if they reach 6 more, they will lose their license and suffer further punishments.

Some examples of point violations are:

  • Violation of restriction on driver's license - wearing glasses, etc. Violation concerning license - 2
  • Failure to obey authorized persons directing traffic - 3
  • Obedience to traffic control devices warning of hazardous conditions -2
  • Failure to stop for a red light - 2
  • Failure to stop for a flashing red light - 3
  • Failure to yield half of roadway to oncoming vehicle - 3
  • Improper passing, overtaken driver to maintain speed; passing driver to pull in at safe distance Improper passing on the right - 3
  • Improper passing on the left, clear distance ahead - 3
  • Improper passing on a hill - 4
  • Improper passing at a railroad crossing or intersection. - 3
  • Improper passing at a bridge or tunnel - 3
  • Improper passing in a no-passing zone - 3
  • Following too closely - 3
  • Failure to yield to driver on the right at intersection - 3
  • Failure to yield to oncoming driver when making left turn - 3
  • Failure to stop for stop sign - 3
  • Failure to yield at yield sign - 3
  • Failure to yield when entering or crossing roadway between intersections - 3
  • Improper turning around - illegal U-turns - 3
  • Failure to obey signal indicating approach of train - 2
  • Failure to comply with crossing gate or barrier - 4
  • Failure to stop at railroad crossings - 4
  • Failure to stop when entering from alley, driveway or building - 3
  • Failure to stop for school bus with flashing red lights (60-day suspension) - 5
  • Driving too fast for conditions (if violation occurs in an active work zone and in - 2
  • Exceeding special speed limit in school zone - 2
  • Exceeding special speed limit for trucks on downgrades - 3
  • Failure to yield to pedestrian in crosswalk - 2
  • Failure to yield to pedestrian on sidewalk when entering from a driveway or alley Failure to yield to blind pedestrians - 3
  • Improper backing - 3
  • Careless driving - 3
  • Leaving scene of accident involving property damage only 4

Different Types of Driving Reports in the State

The state offers five main types of driving records, each for a fee. Each is listed below with the specifics of what it contains.

Basic Information Record

According to the Pennsylvania DOT, this record contains only the driver's name, address, driver number, date of birth, and class of license.

3-Year Record

The 3-year record contains the driver's name, address, driver number, date of birth, class, license status, as well as Departmental actions and violations for the past 3 years from the date request is processed.

10-Year Record

The 10-year record contains the driver's name, address, driver number, date of birth, class, license status, and Departmental actions and violations for the past 10 years from the date request is processed. A 10-year record is for employment purposes only. This report is for employment purposes only.

Full Driving History

The full driving history includes the driver's name, address, driver number, date of birth, class, license status, Departmental actions, and violations for the completehistory of the driver on file in Pennsylvania.

Certified Record

The certified record includes the driver's name, address, driver number, date of birth, class, license status, as well as Departmental actions and violations for complete history of the driver on file in Pennsylvania certified by the Department.

Criminal Driving Offenses

Criminal driving offenses in the state are quite serious and may include a license suspension, steep fines, some time in jail or prison, and a safety exam. Some examples of serious criminal driving offenses include:

  • Excessive speeding (31 or more mph over the speed limit)
  • DUI/DWI
  • Driving without a valid license
  • Vehicular manslaughter
  • Passing a school bus
  • Leaving the scene of an accident
  • Failure to stop at a railroad crossing
  • Evading an officer

Civil Driving Offenses

Civil driving offenses are much less severe and usually end up with only a warning or a small fine. Some examples of civil driving offenses include:

  • Speeding (less than 31 mph over the speed limit)
  • Illegal parking
  • Failure to yield
  • Tailgating
  • Failure to stop at a red light or stop sign
  • Illegal U-turn
  • Failure to obey a traffic cop

State Department of Motor Vehicles Driving Records Statistics

Some interesting driver statistics from the Pennsylvania DOT are:

  • Driver distraction and inattention to road and traffic conditions are responsible for 25 to 30 percent of police-reported traffic crashes. This adds up to approximately 1.2 million crashes every year
  • Research has found a normal, undistracted driver fails to notice an important road event such as another driver making a mistake, three (3) percent of the time. An adult dialing a cell phone misses the same event 13 percent of the time. A teenager dialing a cell phone misses it 53 percent of the time
  • In the U.S., one (1) person dies every half hour, and one (1) person is injured every two (2) minutes because someone was drinking and driving
  • In Pennsylvania and across the nation, drinking drivers are responsible for thousands of traffic deaths and injuries. Approximately 40 percent of all traffic deaths involve drinking drivers
  • Recent Pennsylvania statistics show that 30 percent of drivers ages 16 to 20 who died in motor vehicle crashes had been drinking. This is despite the fact that here in Pennsylvania, as well as in every other state in the U.S., there are zero-tolerance laws, meaning you may not drink if you are under age 21
  • A female who weighs 110 pounds will have a BAC of .03 after drinking just 8 oz. of light beer – that's less than one full bottle or can. A 140- pound male will have a BAC of .025 after a full 12 oz. bottle or can of light beer
  • Drugs other than alcohol are involved in approximately 20 percent of deaths among motorists each year
  • According to the NHTSA 2013-2014 Roadside Survey of Alcohol and Drug Use by Drivers, nearly 1 in 4 drivers tested positive for at least one drug that could affect safe driving skills
  • 43% of drivers killed in crashes tested positive for drugs… 37% tested positive for alcohol
  • Prescription drugs can also affect driving. Talk to your doctor when starting any new medication, and make sure you are aware of any potential side effects
  • For 2017, 7.2% of all 16-year-old Pennsylvania drivers were in reportable crashes in Pennsylvania

The top ten reasons for crashes within the state are:

  • Driving too fast for conditions
  • Proceeding without clearance after stopping
  • Improper or careless turning
  • Improper driving
  • Inexperience
  • Tailgating
  • Speeding
  • Over or under compensating at a curve
  • Distractions
  • Sudden slowing or stopping

Driver License Record Search Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some frequently asked questions about state driving records.

Who Can Get a Copy of Your PA Driver Record?

Only people with a valid, legal reason and your consent can get a copy of your driving record. Those who do must have your name, social security number, driver's license number and license plate. An example might be insurance companies.

Can I Use the Online Systems to Get BMV Records?

Yes. However, only individuals can get a copy of their 3-year and 10-year reports online. Any other reports must be obtained in person or through the mail.

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

According to the Penn DOT, you will need your name, date of birth, driver's license number, and the last four digits of your social security number to get a copy of your record.

Does the State Use a Points System?

Yes. The state keeps track of all driving violations, and after a driver earns 6 points, they will get a warning letter and must take a written driving safety exam. If they earn another 6 points, they will have to attend a hearing, lose their license for 15 days, and take another exam. Any additional points may result in a loss of license for 30 days or more.

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.