The Driver's Privacy Protection Act (DPPA) restricts access to DMV records that contain personal information. For example, the DPPA restricts:
You must have a DPPA permissible use to request DMV records that contain personal information. Personal information includes name, address, or Client ID Number (Driver License Number). You must certify that you have a permissible use when you request records that contain personal information. You must complete the certification section on the form that you use to request the record. Make sure that you read the FAQs about the DPPA before you request a record. Read the text of the DPPA and the DPPA permissible uses that are listed on form MV-15DPPA.
Note: You can order an abstract of your driver record online. You cannot request the DMV records of another person through the DMV web site or by e-mail. To request DMV records, you must use one of the methods that are listed in the menu below.
The DMV records that are frequently requested are driver abstracts, registration abstracts, title abstracts, and accident reports. You can use an online transaction to order and access accident reports, or use form MV-15 (Request for Driver and/or Vehicle Information) to request many types of DMV records. You can use form MV-198C (Request for Copy of Accident Report) to request a copy of an accident report that a motorist or the police filed with the DMV.
If a record that you need to request is not listed on form MV-15 or on form MV-198C, use form MV-15F (Freedom of Information Request Form).
You can order an abstract of your driver record online.
A driver abstract shows:
The DMV collects your Social Security Number (SSN) when you apply for a NYS driver license. Your SSN does not appear on records or documents issued by the DMV.
Note: The DMV lists an accident on the records of every driver in the accident. An accident that appears on a driver record does not assign the fault to that driver. The DMV does not determine the fault in an accident.
The DMV normally deletes a driver record after the driver license expires and is not renewed for five years. An incident that appears on the record can require the DMV to keep the record for more than five years. (More information is available below.)
The date you first received your NYS Driver license. If you take a road test to receive your original NYS driver license, your driver record displays a "probation start" date and a "probation end" date. These dates are displayed on your driver record for nine years.
The probation start date is the date that you passed your road test. The probation start date is normally the date that your first NYS driver license was issued.
Important: If you took a required road test after a revocation, the date of that road test becomes the probation start date displayed on your record. The original probation start date does not show on your record, and your record will not show the date your first license was issued.
An abstract of your driver record that is printed within nine years of the probation end date will display the probation dates. An abstract of your driver record that is printed more than nine years after the probation end date does not display the probation dates.
A driver who exchanges a driver license from another state or a Canadian province to receive a NYS driver license does not serve a probation period. The abstract of the NYS driver record does not display a probation start date or a probation end date.
If the abstract of your driver record does not display the probation dates, the DMV cannot provide information about the date that your first driver license was issued.
Accidents, convictions, suspensions and revocations. Accidents, convictions for moving violations, and the suspensions or the revocations of your driver license remain on your driver record for these time periods:
Note: Employers and organizations frequently ask for a driver abstract that shows all the activity for the previous 10 or more years. The DMV cannot provide a driver abstract that shows information that is different from the information that is described above.
A registration abstract contains the information about a vehicle, the name and the mailing address of the registrant, and the expiration date of the registration.
A title abstract contains the information about a vehicle, the name and the mailing address of the vehicle owner, and the information about the current lien.
How to Read and Understand a DMV Record
Read this section completely. Not all DMV records are available by the same method.
Note: If you were required by an organization or agency to obtain your driving record abstract for employment, for a background check or to meet another requirement, make sure that the date the abstract is issued meets the requirements of the organization. Many organizations will not accept an abstract unless it was printed or issued within the past 30 days. If the organization does not accept the abstract because of the date it was issued or printed, you must purchase another abstract.
For information about what appears on a driving record abstract, how long records are kept and how to read an abstract, read What is on a DMV Record.
At the DMV web site
To immediately download, print and save your own certified driving record abstract, and also receive a copy by mail, use the MyDMV Get My Driving Record application (requires sign up). The fee is $7.00.
To receive a copy of your own abstract only by mail, use the Driver Abstract Order transaction (no sign up required). The fee is $7.00. Allow two weeks for your driver abstract to arrive by mail.
You can order an abstract of your own driving record, registration abstract, or title abstract by telephone. You must provide the information from your driver license to prove your identity and you must use a credit card to pay the fees. There is a search fee of $10 and a processing fee of $5. The total fee is $15. Allow two weeks for your driver abstract to arrive by mail.
To order by telephone, call the DMV at 1-518-486-9786 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. on weekdays that are not State holidays.
You can use form MV-15 to order a driving record abstract by mail. Make sure that you have a DPPA permissible use for the information. If your request for a driving record abstract does not include a DPPA permissible use, you will receive only a masked abstract. An explanation of a masked abstract appears below. You must include a photocopy of your proof of identity and a personal check or money order to pay the search fee of $10. Personal checks or money orders must be made payable to "Commissioner of Motor Vehicles".
Send these items to the address that is listed on the form.
If form MV-15 does not list a record that you need to request, you can use form MV-15F.
By Mail - When You Renew Your Driver License
The renewal notice for your driver license includes the option to order your own driving record abstract. To order an abstract, mark the blue box on your renewal notice. Add the search fee of $10 and the renewal fee. Send one personal check for the total amount of the two fees. Personal checks or money orders must be made payable to "Commissioner of Motor Vehicles". Your driving record abstract is sent separately from your driver license. Wait two weeks for your driver abstract to arrive by mail.
At a Local DMV Office
You can request a driver abstract at your local DMV office. You must show your proof of identity, complete form MV-15C, and pay the search fee of $10. Personal checks or money orders must be made payable to "Commissioner of Motor Vehicles".
At the Customer Service Counter of the DMV Central Office (Albany)
You can use form MV-15C to request a driver abstract at the Customer Service Counter, Room 136, Swan Street Building, Empire State Plaza, Albany. You must provide your proof of identity and pay the search fee of $10. You must certify that you have a DPPA permissible use. The driver abstract is delivered immediately
You can use form MV-15 to request a registration abstract or a title abstract at the Customer Service Counter, Room 136, Swan Street Building, Empire State Plaza, Albany. You must provide your proof of identity and pay the search fee of $10. You must certify that you have a DPPA permissible use. A registration abstract or a title abstract is delivered at the Customer Service Counter after 1:00 p.m. on the next business day.
You can request a driver abstract that does not show personal information (a masked abstract). A masked abstract contains information about:
A masked abstract does not show the personal information of the driver. A masked abstract is available by mail or at the DMV Customer Service Counter of the Central Office in Albany.
You can use an online transaction to order and access accident reports, or use form MV-198C (Request for Copy of Accident Report), to request a copy of an accident report that a motorist or the police filed with the DMV. There is a search fee and a fee for a copy of the report. If the transaction or form MV-198C does not list a record that you need to request, you can use form MV-15F.
If you need to access DMV records frequently, you can open a Dial-In Search Account or participate in the License Event Notification Service (LENS).
Dial-In Search Account
The Dial-In Search Account allows you to use your computer and a modem to access DMV records. Learn how to open a Dial-In Search Account.
License Event Notification Service
LENS can give you important information about the driver records of your employees or volunteers. LENS automatically notifies you of any driver license events that occur. Learn how to open a LENS account.
If you are already a LENS customer and know your user ID and password, you can verify they will work with the soon-to-be-released Web-based LENS transaction.
The DMV normally does not provide a history of the ownership or the mileage of a vehicle. The Driver's Privacy Protection Act (DPPA) protects the personal information that is listed on DMV records. To request a vehicle ownership history, you must certify that you have a DPPA permissible use for the information.
A NYS record only shows ownership history for NYS, not other US states. The record does not include odometer readings from each annual vehicle inspection. The record does not indicate if the vehicle was in an accident.
There are private companies that can use DMV records and other sources to search vehicle ownership history. These companies normally remove the personal information from a record to comply with the DPPA. You can search the Internet for these companies.
The National Driver Register (NDR) is a database maintained by the Federal government. The NDR lists:
Motor vehicle bureaus in the US provide the NDR with the names of persons who lose the privilege to drive or who were convicted of serious traffic violations. When a person applies for a driver license, the motor vehicle bureau will search for the name in the NDR. If a person was reported to the NDR as a problem driver, the driver cannot get a driver license. You can use form NDR-1 to search the NDR. Information from the NDR must comply with the DPPA.
You can get more information about the NDR at the web site of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.