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Mistakes on Motor Vehicle Records (Driving Records)

The good news is that errors on driving records (also known as “MVRs”) are relatively rare as compared to Infraction/Misdemeanor/Felony record database reports or employment history information. MVRs have more identifiers (than the typical name and date of birth on Infraction/Misdemeanor/Felony records) and are usually more fact-based (you received a ticket and were or were not found guilty) than an employment history.

The bad news is that if there is any error, it can be a real pain in the elbow to get corrected. In fact, it can be a pain to obtain a copy of your MVR. Even if you obtain your “complete DAC Report,” the MVR will only be part of the report if one of DAC’s clients has ordered the MVR on you within the past 60 days. If you are registered with DOTJobHistory (www.dotjobhistory.com) you may order and obtain your MVR on-line or if not, obtain it directly from your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles.

This past month I received an email from a client detailing his nightmare of trying to get a MVR record straightened out.

On the 23rd of Jan 2009 I went to the VA DMV and turned in my Fl CDL for a VA CDL. I turned in my truck with X Company because I was going to work for another Company. They called me the day before my report date and said I was not acceptable because of my Driving Record. A little upset they didn't tell me this before I had quit my job but life goes on. Two more Companies turn me down, I am now confused because I have a million safe miles.

Finally I get with Y Company, and I am glad that I have had trouble because I am sure at this point Y Company is the best suited Co. for me. Well I am not acceptable; at least they have the decency to tell me why. VA has reported that my license was suspended in May of 1991 and restored on Jan 23, 2009 eighteen years latter on the day I turned in my FL CDL. Well I contact VA DMV and they tell me this is what FL is reporting to them. Three days on the phone and unable to get a human being (their automated man on the phone actually gets rude with you if you enter the wrong information)

I drive to Tallahassee. The problem is not FL, their records are incorrect but nothing that would prevent employment. Back to VA and the VA DMV would not even look at the documents I had and said it was MA reporting for a ticket received on 5/27/1991 in NH. I call NH they actually answer their phones and treat you like a person. They assure me they have no record of me at all… none, nada. So I try to contact MA, their system is not geared around Internet or phone so I drive to MA. Two days in the MA DMV, I finally get a certified copy of my record and talk to a suspension officer and he assures me that MA is not reporting me and I am a "safe driver” in MA.

Back to VA, I go to my local DMV and we get on the phone with Richmond, they won't even look at the documents I have driven 3000 mi to get. The woman in Richmond is rude and will not admit that it is a mistake that VA made, she hangs up on us. The branch manager is amazed, feels for me tremendously and suggests I go to my State Representative. I contact Kathy Byron, VA Delegate (representative) by e-mail and leave a message on her answering machine. She calls me the next day, can't believe what I am going through, she had already called DMV and they deny all responsibility. Kathy wants me in her office 11AM the next morning. I show up 15min early and her husband appears, a regular looking Joe and says his wife and he talked about this at dinner and he couldn't believe what was going on. I think there is hope here!! A few min latter Kathy Byron appears at 11AM on the nose (I’M getting impressed and hopeful) greets us and we all go into her office, after normal pleasantries she calls DMV and gets a conference call going. DMV has no choice to listen, we fax copies of all my documents to them and they say they will take care of it and call back. I go home and an hour latter Kathy calls me to inform me that my record not only has been and that someone’s head is on the chopping block. This whole process has taken seven weeks and I am looking forward to getting back to work. I don't think DMV realizes we were within weeks of losing our home and being homeless. 

I spoke with Jim Klepper, President of Drivers Legal Plan (www.driverslegalplan.com) on this issue. Jim and I have known each other since the 1990s and while our respective companies help commercial drivers in different ways, his thoughts mirrored mine: this was a unusual case but the key is for drivers to be pro-active. Your CDL is one of your most important assets as a commercial driver. Know what it is shows and if you are charged with something take steps to prevent it from being put on your record instead of trying to repair the damage after the fact.

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