If you’re ready to switch up your car insurance, you may need a motor vehicle report. Even if your new insurance provider doesn’t request one, it may be helpful for you to review before you shop. Here’s everything you might need to know about your MVR:
What is a motor vehicle report?
A motor vehicle report or MVR is also known as your driving record. Consider the MVR your driving report card which documents everything from traffic tickets, accident reports, DUI convictions, driver’s license points, vehicle-related crimes, and more. Your MVR also includes driver’s license details, such as the driver’s license class, restrictions, endorsements, and personal information like your age, height, or weight.
Why does my car insurance company need a copy of my MVR?
Your car insurance rates are largely based on how risky you might be as a driver on the road. If your MVR indicates that you’re prone to accidents or speeding violations, an insurance company may need to factor those things into the premium you pay. If you have had major violations like DUIs, it can severely impact the rate insurance companies are likely to offer you, compared to a clean record with no history of violations.
Depending on which state you live in, certain items may be removed from your MVR after some time. For example, some violations like a DUI stick around longer, while other violations like a speeding ticket may be expunged sooner. Whether or not violations are stricken from your record after a certain amount of time, most car insurance companies will only take a close look at the most recent years detailed on your MVR.
How do I get a copy of my MVR?
You can call or visit your local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to request a copy of your MVR, but if you’re applying for car insurance, that carrier will contact the DMV themselves to get a copy. Ordering a copy of your MVR can be useful, as knowing all the details of your history can help you estimate how much money you’ll likely be paying for insurance premiums.
The downside of ordering a copy is that it’ll likely cost you anywhere from $5 to $25, depending on which state you live in. A little tip: request an uncertified version, as it often costs less than an “official” version. You might not be able to use it for a job interview or a court appearance, but it will have all the information you need to understand your history and approximate your car insurance rate.
Michelle Konstantinovsky is a San Francisco-based freelance journalist, UC Berkeley alumna, and Metromile customer.