About Motor Vehicle Records

An MVR is a catchall term for a motor vehicle record that is maintained by a state's Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) or other agency that is responsible for the administration of driver licenses and the registration of motor vehicles.


While sometimes referred to as a driving history record, the term MVR is also used to describe vehicle registration and title records. In all instances, an MVR is an official state record and carries with it certain restrictions and responsibilities regarding its use.

Permissible Uses of Motor Vehicle Records

The use of a Motor Vehicle Record is protected by the federal Driver's Privacy Protection Act (18 U.S. Code § 2721) and applicable state law, which may be more restrictive than the DPPA. When used in connection with an employment or insurance transaction, an MVR is subject to compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act guidelines.


If you are considering using a motor vehicle record in the normal course of business you should consult with your attorney about your compliance responsibilities under FCRA and applicable law.

Accessibility of Motor Vehicle Records

If a business can demonstrate it has a legitimate need for a Motor Vehicle Record consistent with a permissible purpose allowed by a state and the DPPA, it can choose to obtain the record directly from the DMV or through an approved vendor. A state's website will likely provide information about the use of its motor vehicle records and how to obtain one.


Businesses that use these records on a regular basis may want to consider engaging a vendor to access Motor Vehicle Records. Using a vendor will require an account and involve service fees but access is usually available via the Internet, turn around time is instant or same day and a single account gets you access to most states.