California Driving Record

A California driving record is under the management of the same state-level government agency that issues driver’s licenses, the State of California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Each CA DMV driving record states detailed information about the subject of the report. A CA DMV record search will note moving violations the motorist received and the amount of points deducted by officials from the driver’s license for the offense.


1: Order Your California Driving Record Online

Online California driving records are available through secure third-party providers for a nominal fee. These driving records contain past violation convictions (including DUIs), driving demerit points, restrictions and endorsements, driver’s license status and any administrative actions that you have incurred from the state of California. To receive your driving record quickly and easily, simply fill out a convenient request form here. Online driving record orders are processed in minutes, giving you access to your personal driving history report instantly.

2: By mail

For those who would rather not apply for driving records online, mailing in an application is also an option. To do so, you must fill out the California Department of Motor Vehicle’s record request form. Once completed, submit this form and payment (in the form of a check) to the Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) Headquarters in Sacramento. This option is favorable for those who do not have a pressing need for their driving records. However, for those who need their documentation quickly, ordering by mail is inconvenient because of the long processing time. Also, fulfillments can be delayed if incorrect or incomplete information is provided on the application.

3: Via a DMV office

Drivers can order driving records in CA in person at a local DMV office if they cannot apply online or by mail. This is the most cost-effective option available to motorists. However, long wait times and having to visit during office hours are inconveniences associated with the process. If you plan to obtain California driving record documentation in person, be sure to contact the specific DMV office in advance to ensure that it processes record requests, and remember to set up an appointment. 



Drivers can check driving records to verify the accuracy of the report, as this information is accessible to the public and interested parties such as car insurance providers, potential employers and court law officials. It is important to know how to check driving records, because your driving report follows you throughout your life.  Your personal driving history in CA will also travel with you if you move to a different state. Checking driving records should be a routine occurrence to verify that your data is correct. Incorrect DMV driving history can negatively affect the motorist if the error causes him or her to lose permission to operate a vehicle on public roads, or if it raises his or her car insurance rate. To find out more about how to check your driving record in California, read the comprehensive information below:

  • What is on my California driving record?
  • Why do I need a copy of my California driving record?
  • How do I get my California driving record?
  • What do points on my California driving record mean?
  • What are the different types of driving records in California?
  • What is not included on California driving records?

What is on my California driving record?

When you check your driving record in CA, you will notice a number of items included in the report, such as your personal information and driving history. Your CA drivers record illustrates the current status of your license (active, expired or suspended), any endorsements, residential address, height and weight (as listed on license) as well as details about any moving violations and accidents such as violation date, courthouse and docket number. A driving record check in California contains:

  • Which branch issued the license and when.
  • Previous traffic violations within a specific timeframe.
  • Previous accidents within a specific timeframe.
  • Any driving under the influence (DUI) reports.
  • Any previous license suspensions or revocations.

A police record of an infraction will note the offending motorist’s license number, full name, date of birth and other identifying factors to link circumstances like tickets and collisions to the driver’s record. However, understanding the information on the police record check can be confusing, as the transfer of data is done in code. For instance, code 23103 signifies a reckless driving violation, while code 23104 stands for reckless driving causing bodily injury. Motorists arrested from a driving violation, such as driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol, will also find conviction dates, any failures to appear at court and results of each case. Interested parties can look up police record codes online to discover the violation for the section code listed.

Why do I need a copy of my California driving record?

Like checking police reports, credit scores and background verifications, requesting a personal driving record in California is the best way to confirm that information is correct. Getting driving records should be part of your annual or bi-annual routine to prevent consequences of inaccurate data.  Your personal driving record is a reflection of your ability to follow state and local laws, driving skills and, to some, your character. Motorists should remember that they are not the only interested parties who check your driving record.

“Who else wants to get my driving record and why would they care?” you might ask. Besides the DMV that will suspend or revoke your license for not following state driving laws, your personal driving history is of high concern to your car insurance company too. California DMV and car insurance providers have a symbiotic relationship. Since the state has a required minimum liability law, local DMVs confirm coverage with the stated provider in return for reporting any violations by the policyholder back to the company. Your insurance company may raise your premium amount as you accumulate points on your license. The more serious the offense, the higher insurance companies raise rates. For instance, a seatbelt violation may not influence your rate, whereas a DUI or accident may cause rates to skyrocket.

Commercial drivers understand how important a clean driving record is professionally. Employers of commercial driver’s license holders check police records as well as driving records and may fire or refuse employment to a commercial driver with a poor history. Other employment opportunities that rely on driving record lookups include valet attendants, ride-share drivers, field service technicians, vehicle service attendants, couriers, pizza deliverers and any position with a company car.

How do I get my California driving record?

If you are wondering how to get your driving record in California, you must first determine which driving record you require. A CA driving record search can be official or unofficial and can date back three, seven and 10 years. These factors determine where to get driving records, as only certain types are available through specific methods.

For the most convenient experience, you can order printable driving records online through a trusted third-party provider, such as Online orders allow applicants to print driving records from the convenience of home just minutes after ordering. As such, printable driving records in California are advantageous for motorists who need to obtain documentation quickly. Furthermore, online driving records in CA will feature all of the following details: past traffic violations, driver’s license status, driver’s license endorsements, driver’s license restrictions, administrative actions and demerit points.

“Can I find my driving record in California without printing it?” Once you know how to pull your driving record information, you may choose to view, print and save the document. Many applicants do not need to print their driving record request results, as they are simply verifying accuracy.

“Where can I get a copy of my driving record in California for professional purposes?” Driving record applicants who need to know how to find driving record information and need a certified copy must visit a local DMV office or order driving records via mail. To find out how to obtain driving records in person, fill out the application form and submit it at the local office. To order driving records by post, applicants can mail the driving record request form to the state office.

What do points on my California driving record mean?

Your driving abstract in California will note any points accrued on your license. What is a driving abstract point? Points on CA abstract driving records are an expression of acquired tickets and accidents. The state sets a specific number of DMV driving abstract points for each infraction. In California, officials designate either one or two points depending on the severity of the offense. For instance, one-point violations include driving in the bicycle lane, disobeying flashing signals and having an open container of marijuana in the car while driving. Two-point violations consist of reckless driving while evading a peace officer, speeding over 100 miles per hour and driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

If a driver history abstract accumulates too many points, the motorist may lose his or her license. The state considers the motorist a negligent operator if he or she accumulates four or more points within 12 months, six points within 24 months or eight points in 36 months. However, minors may have their license suspended for earning only two points in a year. Likewise, commercial driver license holders are subject to one and half times the point normally issued to Class A and B drivers. Depending on the severity of the violation, points can fall off your lifetime driving record after three to 10 years.  

It is important for you to know how to get a copy of your driving record to verify that the points on your CA license history are accurate. For example, a twin or similar looking sibling can use your confiscated driver’s license to speed. Even a stranger can furnish a stolen driver’s license when pulled over by a peace officer. Since the officer addresses the ticket to the name listed on the license, you are technically the responsible party. This can result in a domino effect where an unpaid ticket becomes a court appearance then a bench warrant, leading to your arrest despite you not being the actual offender.

What are the different types of driving records in California?

When applying for a copy of driving records, applicants should be aware of which type of record to request. A certified copy of driving records is the official record type, which may be a requirement for bureaucratic purposes. Certified driving records are only available in person at local DMV offices or by mail.

The state DMV provides multiple forms for checking CA driving records, each application requesting specific information. Form INF 1125 is the application assigned to requesting your own driver’s license or state-issued identification record. Applicants can write “certified driver record” at the top of the document to request an official report of their own driving history in person or by mail. Form INF 70 will also furnish information found on the motorist’s driving license history, but it differs from the 1125 form since this application is for requestors other than the subject of the record.

California offers a 10-year history record check (form DL 939) that is available for commercial drivers who are renewing or applying for a new CDL. The state requires this drivers record for disclosure of any previously-held licenses from other states. Likewise, interested Class A and B license holders can also request a National Driver Register (NDR) record check from the CA DMV or the national Department of Transportation (DOT) in Washington D.C., depending on whether the inquirer is a potential employee or the subject of the record. Qualified employers will get a copy of driving records that includes the last three years.

What is not included on California driving records?

Although a DMV driving record in CA is like a motorist’s background check, it will only have the criminal violations that are associated with driving. An online driving record is not the same as an online police record. For instance, while a CA driving report states whether local courts convicted the motorist of a DUI, it does not mention time served in incarceration or the exact blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level. A police record report or background check does list the details of any criminal charges. A driving record also does not state the current status of your vehicle. DMV driving reports only mention the status of the motorist’s license at the time of the request. To find out about your vehicle or vessel’s registration, you must request that information separately. A California motor vehicle record (MVR) may sound like the history of your car or truck, but it is actually another way of referring to a driver’s history. Motorists who want to discover whether their vehicle is road-legal can register as a certified user on the CA DMV website to verify online, or visit a local DMV office to make an in-person request. A vehicle history report, or VIN check, is beneficial when checking on your current automobile or inquiring about a potential new purchase.