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Guide To Ohio MVR & Driving Record Checks

Illustration showing outline of state of Ohio

Employers may use an Ohio driving record check as part of a pre-employment screening to gain insight into a candidate’s driving history and determine eligibility to drive. Ohio motor vehicle reports (MVRs) help organizations make informed hiring decisions, mitigate risk, and save on insurance. In some cases they may also be required by law, depending on the role. This guide to MVR reports in Ohio provides key information on how to check an Ohio driving record and which federal, state, and local laws may apply. 

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What Is An Ohio MVR?

An Ohio motor vehicle report, also called an Ohio driving record check, reveals basic information about a candidate’s driving history including drivers license class and status, accident records, and moving violations convictions. Any Ohio employer may choose to run an Ohio MVR as part of a background check, however certain regulated positions may legally require an Ohio driving record. For example, school bus drivers are subject to motor vehicle reports in Ohio. 

In addition, commercial driving positions that are federally regulated by the Department of Transportation (DOT) require a DOT background check, which includes obtaining motor vehicle records from the last three states where a candidate held a license or permit. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), which is part of the DOT, also requires employers that operate certain types of vehicles, including commercial trucks, vehicles that transport hazardous materials, and passenger vehicles with a seating capacity for nine or more passengers, to perform driving record checks. 

Types of Ohio Motor Vehicle Records

Ohio driving records are maintained by the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV). There are multiple types of motor vehicle records available in Ohio. These include:

  • 3-year Driving Record Abstract: This 3-year record includes all moving violation convictions, accident reports, and any other instances that resulted in a driver license disqualification, suspension, or revocation. 
  • 2-year Unofficial Copy of Individual Driver Record: Individuals are permitted by the Ohio BMV to view an unofficial copy of their driving record from the last two years online. This record is consistent with the Ohio point assessment and suspension law and includes moving violations and accident reports as well as any actions that led to license suspensions, revocations, or other disqualifications in the last two years. 
  • Driving Record History: An Ohio driving record history includes all moving violation convictions, accident reports, and acts that resulted in license suspensions, revocations, or other disqualification. 
  • Driver License History: An Ohio driver license history is a record of issuance dates for current and previously-held driver licenses and state identification cards. 
  • Driver Record for Employer of a CDL Holder: Companies that employ commercial driver license (CDL) holders can request this record to review federally-required driver history and medical examiner certification information. 

How To Get A State of Ohio Driving Record

Individuals can request an Ohio driving record through the Ohio BVV’s online record request or by mailing in BMV Form 1173. Employers can choose to conduct a driving record lookup in Ohio directly or by using a consumer reporting agency (CRA), like Goodhire. Partnering with a qualified background check provider for Ohio MVR reports can help employers streamline their screening process for faster recruiting and hiring while easing the administrative burden of your HR team. 

Employers that partner with a CRA to check Ohio driving records are required by federal law to comply with the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). This means that when employers search for a candidate’s Ohio driving record reports, they must provide written notice of the intent to conduct the search, receive written consent from the candidate, and follow the adverse action process should information on the MVR be the reason the candidate is disqualified from the role. FCRA violations can result in penalties and put employers at risk for lawsuits, so many choose to partner with an FCRA-compliant background check provider. 

Why Employers Should Order Ohio MVRs

Employers should check Ohio driving records to make informed decisions about qualified candidates and their eligibility to drive for a role. An Ohio MVR may also help employers mitigate risk, safeguard employees and customers, and protect against liability claims and higher insurance premiums or the ability to have a commercial auto insurance policy. 

While Ohio driving record reports show many types of incidents, including moving violation convictions and traffic accidents, criminal convictions unrelated to driving may not appear. Employers may wish to conduct a criminal background check for a more comprehensive screening that will report any misdemeanor and felony convictions.

Ohio Driving Record Laws To Know

When conducting an Ohio MVR, employers are required to comply with federal, state, and local regulations. If you are unsure of which Ohio driving record laws apply, it is good practice to follow the strictest guidelines and consult with legal counsel. Here is what you need to know about Ohio driving record laws:

Driver Privacy Protection Act (DPPA)

Under Federal Statute 18 USC 2721, or DPPA, a candidate’s personal information is protected by limiting who can see that information. The DPPA limits the use of a driver’s motor vehicle record to only specific purposes and protects the privacy of drivers’ personal information.

Ohio Driver’s Privacy Protection

Anyone that requests a copy of Ohio driving records directly from the BMW, including employers, must complete the BMV Record Request (BMV Form 1173).  In some cases, the driver must provide consent in writing by completing the Notarized Written Consent Release Personal Information (BMV Form 5008). The requester must state if they meet one or more DPPA exemptions and specify which one(s) along with a verifiable identifier or relevant documentation. 

The BMV also will not release any Social Security numbers under most circumstances or residential address information about peace officers, except in accordance with the law. 

Get An Ohio MVR Check

An Ohio MVR may be part of your pre-employment background check process for roles that require operating equipment or vehicles for business purposes. Motor vehicle records provide insight into a candidate’s driving history, which can help you reduce risk and promote safety for your employees and customers. 

GoodHire offers Ohio background checks and driving record checks as part of our 100+ screening options. Our user-friendly online platform, built-in workflows, and compliance tools help you streamline the process with both accuracy and quick turnaround times. Get started.

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The resources provided here are for educational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. We advise you to consult your own counsel if you have legal questions related to your specific practices and compliance with applicable laws.

About the Author

As GoodHire’s managing editor, Sara Korolevich produces educational resources for employers on a variety of employment screening topics, including compliance and screening best practices, and writes about GoodHire’s company and product news. Sara’s experience stems from 20+ years working as a B2C and B2B PR and communications professional.