Should my agent provide me with MVR’s?

The short and quick answer, No.

Let’s review what information is contained in a Motor Vehicle Report (MVR), what other options are available, and when and who it should be ordered.

What is a Motor Vehicle Report (MVR)?

A Motor Vehicle Record (MVR) is a report of someone’s driving history usually for the last 5 years, as reported from your state Department of Motor Vehicles.  Information on this report may include driver’s license information, point history, violations, convictions, and license status.

What is a Driving Record Abstract?

Some states such as Ohio, will provide a free 2 year “Abstract,” or Unofficial 2-Year Driving Record.

How long do violations stay on an MVR?

Minor violations stay on your driving record for 3 years from the time of the incident, but major violations stay on for 5 years.

An insurance agent, broker, company, or employer may all order an MVR, but for different purposes.

The Agent or Broker

An agent, broker, or insurance company may ONLY order an MVR for underwriting purposes.  Agents typically review driving records when adding a new driver, and prior to the policy renewal.  However, they can not share the contents of the MVR with a client unless the agency follows all requirements of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).  An agency should only disclose whether a driver is approved or denied for driving.

Employers

As employers, commercial insureds not only have a right to conduct background checks on potential and active employees, but in today’s legal climate, they have a duty to do so.  As part of the employment application process, the employer is the only one who has a legal right to run an MVR.

It should be the responsibility of an employer to request an MVR on each applicant at the time of application for employment.  Applicants should be informed that employment is subject to the receipt of an MVR that meets recommended guidelines.  Employers should purchase MVRs directly at any credit agency, or through an applicant screening vendors.

Should an Employer use a Driving Record Abstract instead of an MVR?

No.  The danger is you can obviously miss any violation over 2 years old, and serious violations that occurred in the 4 to 5 year range.

Recommended Driver Guidelines

If you have questions about what drivers & records will be acceptable on commercial or business insurance policies, please check out my article; Business Auto Insurance Driver Guidelines.

Summary

As with many insurance related items, the answer is both complicated and simple.  If an employer needs to run an MVR on a potential employee, the insurance agent or agency should not be involved in the internal application and screening process.  Employers should use an employee background or screening service.  Your insurance agent or agency is only able to run a Motor Vehicle Report (MVR) for employee underwriting purposes once they are an employee.

Vendor Recommendation

We recommend Safe Hiring Solutions, for background checks and screening including SSN Verification, National Criminal Database, National Sex Offender Search, County Criminal Search, Federal District Court Search, and Motor Vehicle Reports.  These screenings typically run around $23 to $32 per applicant and there are more services available.

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me using any of the options below to discuss.

JOHN DUMBAUGH

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