Your Driving Record

What is a Driving Record?

According to the Washington State Department of Licensing, a driving record (also called a motor vehicle record or driver abstract) is “a history of violations, convictions, collisions, and departmental actions incurred by a driver over a period of time.”  Your driving record contains detailed information about your driving history and status.

Types of Driving Records in Washington

There are several different types of driving records available from the Washington State Department of Licensing, depending on who is requesting the record and for what purpose. 

Complete Driving Record

A complete record contains the full history including:

  • Convictions
  • Violations
  • Collisions
  • Suspensions
  • Revocations
  • Disqualifications
  • Deferred prosecutions
  • Failures to appear

The following parties are allowed to obtain a complete driving record:

  • The individual named on the record
  • Attorneys
  • Law enforcement and government agencies

Insurance Abstract

An insurance abstract shows the past 3 years of both commercial and non-commercial driving events such as:

  • Convictions
  • Violations
  • Collisions
  • Failures to appear

Insurance companies and agents can obtain insurance abstracts when creating or renewing auto insurance policies for an individual.

Employment Record

Employment driving records include:

  • Convictions
  • Violations
  • Collisions
  • Suspensions
  • Revocations
  • Disqualifications
  • Deferred prosecutions
  • Failures to appear

Current and prospective employers are able to get employment records when hiring drivers or individuals who will operate a vehicle for work purposes.

Alcohol/Drug Assessment Record

Chemical dependency assessment agencies can obtain a record showing any alcohol or drug-related incidents within the last 10 years.

How to Get a Copy of Your Washington Driving Record

There are three main ways for individuals to request a copy of their own driving record in Washington state:

  1. Visit any local Washington State Department of Licensing in person and request it, providing:
    • Photo identification
    • $15 fee payment
  2. Order a copy online by providing:
    • Washington driver’s license number
    • Social security number
    • Credit/debit card for $15 fee
  3. Mail in a request form along with:
    • $15 check or money order
    • Completed driving records request form

No matter which method you choose, be prepared to verify your identity and pay the $15 record fee to the Department of Licensing. 

Why You May Need Your Driving Record

There are several common reasons why an individual may need to obtain a copy of their official driving record: Employment Purposes – Many employers, especially those hiring drivers, delivery personnel, or roles that require operating a vehicle, will want to view your driving record as part of the screening process. Insurance Rates – Your driving record factors into the calculation of your auto insurance rates. Insurers use the record to assess risk and determine appropriate pricing. Correcting Errors – Driving records can sometimes contain incorrect information. Obtaining an official copy allows you to identify and dispute any errors or inaccuracies. Court Cases – If you are involved in a traffic violation case or other legal matter, the court may require a copy of your driving transcript.

By understanding the different types of driving records available and how to obtain your own report, you can be prepared whenever the need arises for employment, insurance, legal matters, or simply maintaining accurate driving credentials in Washington state.

There are many ways an experienced traffic attorney can fight your ticket for you.

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(425) 259 4972

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