Motor Vehicle Records (MVR) - Helping your clients identify concerns

An excellent tool your clients can use to protect their organization from risks associated with suspect driving records is a policy to obtain and review current MVRs for each driver. This can provide them with an indicator that can be helpful in determining what kind of risk that person presents to their organization when they are behind the wheel.

MVR driver information is maintained by each state and can be obtained either directly from the state or from an MVR vendor company. This should be done initially for all new drivers by ordering MVRs for every state in which they’ve held a driver’s license for the past 3 years and annually thereafter in their current state. 

An important aspect of this policy is determining the criteria on what constitutes an acceptable driving record. This is best done when basing the criteria on the individual’s record of violations instead of basing it on a point system since not all states assign points and others do not assign the same points to each violation. This kind of system is based on the frequency and severity of motor vehicle violations.

Examples of major violations can include:

  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol and/or the refusal to take a blood/breath test
  • Negligent vehicular homicide
  • Any felony involving the use of an automobile
  • Fleeing or attempting to elude the police; failure to stop and report an accident in which the driver was involved
  • Reckless, negligent, careless or aggressive driving
  • A violation in connection with a fatal accident
  • Driving under a suspended, revoked, or expired license
  • Leaving the scene of an accident - hit and run
  • Permitting an unlicensed person to drive
  • Operating a motor vehicle without the owner’s permission
  • Racing or excessive speeding of 20 mph or more over the speed limit
  • Following too closely or tailgating
  • Erratic lane-changing
  • Moving violations in school or construction zones

Examples of minor violations might include:

  • Failure to obey sign
  • Speeding less than 20 mph over the speed limit
  • Failure to yield
  • Illegal turn
  • Parking violations

Once accidents and violations have been classified, many organizations use some type of tool to evaluate each driver’s record. A grid like one below is an example of how to go about evaluating an MVR record within the past three years:

No. of minor violations    No. of at-fault accidents
    
 0     
1
    
2
    
3
0
  Clear   Acceptable
  Borderline
  Unacceptable
1   Acceptable   Borderline   Unacceptable
  Unacceptable
2   Borderline   Unacceptable   Unacceptable    Unacceptable 
3 or more
  Unacceptable   Unacceptable    Unacceptable    Unacceptable 
Any major violation
  Unacceptable    Unacceptable    Unacceptable
  Unacceptable 

Motor Vehicle Records are an important tool in protecting your clients’ organization from driver risks. It is a critically important piece of information they should use in determining which drivers are eligible to drive for their organization.

The information provided in this article is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be considered as all encompassing, or suitable for all situations, conditions, and environments. Please contact us or your attorney if you have any questions.

For safety or risk management questions or suggestions, please contact Markel.

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