Understanding motor vehicle reports.

What is a motor vehicle report (MVR)? When do employers need to care about MVRs? Let’s take a closer look.

What is an MVR?

An MVR is a background check report that provides an individual’s driving history. It may include information such as the following:

  • License details such as expiration date
  • Current license status
  • License class
  • Endorsements
  • Traffic violations
  • Accidents
  • Crimes involving a vehicle
  • Unpaid parking tickets

With the help of the information provided in an MVR, employers gain insight into an applicant’s safety and responsibility behind the wheel. Running an MVR on an applicant makes sense if they’ll be driving any vehicle while on the job.

Most state DMVs provide online MVRs, and background screening vendors include MVRs in their background screening packages, so obtaining an MVR is generally a straightforward process. Sometimes interpreting MVRs is unclear; individual states use different codes to report information. There are hundreds of codes, which is why using a professional background screening agency is the wisest choice for obtaining and using MVR information.

Most MVRs will look back between 3 and 7 years. While three years is the most common, some states look back farther. There’s no national database for driving records; you need to request an MVR at the state level. And, while every individual has one driver’s license and one driving record, it’s important to note that driving records do not necessarily carry over from state to state. If the applicant has moved between states, it’s a good idea to request MVRs from each individual state to make sure you get a complete picture.

What is Continuous Monitoring?

Reviewing an MVR before hiring a driver helps employers determine if it’s reasonable to trust a candidate to drive. But MVRs are in constant flux; continuous MVR monitoring lets you know if anything about your employees’ driving records has changed. If your driver’s license was suspended over the weekend or if your employee was charged with a DUI, you need to know, and you need to know sooner rather than later. Continuous MVR monitoring keeps you on top of your drivers to ensure your crew is safe and compliant and that you’re not exposed to potential lawsuits or brand damage from bad drivers. 

The Bottom Line

If your employees are driving for you, you need to run pre-employment MVRs prior to making hiring decisions and to continuously monitor MVRs to ensure your fleet of drivers stays safe. Talk to your background check vendor today for more information about MVR screening.