The biggest challenge for felons after returning home is finding a job. Those with a job history of driving employment may seek a position as a driver.
This blog post will cover whether or not DMV runs background checks.
- Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV)
- National Driver Register
- What Is in a Background Check?
- What This Means for Felons
- Can You Run a Background Check on Yourself?
- Tips for Getting a Driving Job
Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV)
The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is an agency responsible for vehicle-related issues. This includes “vehicle registration, safety, and emissions inspections; issuing driver’s licenses and ID cards; keeping driving records; title transfers; bills of sale; and selling personalized license plates.”
The DMV is not one nationwide agency, but 50 agencies with policies including the laws of the 50 states. Each agency follows the laws of the state in which it is located. There are different names for this official agency in various states.
In Maryland, for example, the Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) is part of the Department of Transportation. Louisiana has the Office of Motor Vehicles (OMV). In Kentucky, it is called the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. The Motor Vehicle Division is part of the Department of the Georgia Department of Revenue.
National Driver Register
The National Driver Register (NDR), recorded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), is a computerized national database of all licensed drivers in the U.S. showing which have lost the right to drive or have been convicted of a serious traffic offense.
The NDR is one way for states to share information about driving violations and to prevent a driver with a suspended license in one state from going to another state to obtain a license.
A driving record is a public account of various aspects of your driving history. Every state’s motor vehicle agency (DMV, MVA, or OMV) maintains driving records for all licensed drivers within that state.
These records go back at least three years depending on the state and include:
- Basic identifying information (name, address, and gender)
- Driver’s license number and state of issuance
- License classifications and endorsements
- Driver’s license status and expiration date
- Violations and convictions, including information on traffic tickets and speeding tickets
- Penalties like points, fines, suspensions, and revocations
- Number of collisions
What Is in a Background Check?
An employer will view driving records, credit reports, and educational records in addition to criminal offenses. Background information helps an employer to determine a candidate’s past mistakes, character, financial fitness, and to identify hiring risks for security and safety for the company.
The criminal record review of a background check includes examining criminal history files for any criminal offenses, which will reveal all convictions and non-convictions, including cases not prosecuted or those dismissed. Convictions can be reported without a time limit while a non-conviction will show up for seven years.
A crime will not show up on a background check if a felon has his or her record expunged.
Employers might request access to someone’s driving record as part of an employment screening. A driver’s license agency might require a background check before someone can obtain a certain license, such as a commercial driver license.
There are many driving jobs that might request driving records:
- Bus drivers: Applicants with criminal records in most cases will be rejected.
- Commercial drivers: Federal law requires all hazardous materials (Hazmat) drivers to pass a criminal record check, which includes fingerprinting.
The background check from the DMV is provided to the requesting person in a Motor Vehicle Report. It verifies that an applicant has a driver’s license and provides additional information such as license type, current status, standing, and possible restrictions. It may also provide information regarding reckless behavior including substance abuse, repeated traffic violations, failures to appear, and unpaid fines.
Employers who review an applicant’s driving background through the DMV don’t want someone who won’t succeed after starting a job. This is considered to be a “bad hire,” which is someone who:
- Doesn’t produce quality work
- Has a negative attitude
- Doesn’t work well with other employees
- Doesn’t deal well with customers
- Doesn’t have the skills they stated on an application
- Has attendance problems
- Is dishonest on the job
The last category is the biggest issue for felons. Their criminal history can be a problem even if they are committed to living an honest lifestyle.
What This Means for Felons
During the application process, an applicant will be asked to consent to a pre-employment background check. Any employment offers that are made will be contingent upon passing this background check. An applicant will also need to consent to a pre-employment drug screening.
Many companies do hire felons, but they typically do not hire anyone with a violent or sexual offense. They usually don’t employ individuals with a conviction of theft or forgery.
For other crimes, companies may consider an applicant based on:
- The nature of the offense and the circumstances
- Length of time since the conviction
- Work experience
- An applicant’s skills related to the job for which they are applying
The background check is run for a company to protect itself, its employees, and its customers. In evaluating the results, they look for discrepancies between the report and their responses on the application. They also evaluate the nature of any criminal offenses discovered by the report.
A felon would have the best chance at getting a driving job at many companies by having his or her record expunged.
Can You Run a Background Check on Yourself?
Doing a background check on him or herself before applying at any companies will allow a felon to know exactly what will be discovered when they do their review. A felon with any questions can contact an attorney. It is essential to take action and not risk taking a chance on the results.
There are different kinds of personal background checks that a felon can run:
- Driving records for any job involving driving, such as a truck driver
- From the court in which he or she was charged
- A credit report which will help determine how financially-responsible an individual is
- An educational report through the National Student Clearing House
For someone wanting to do a background check on themselves, especially for driving-related offenses, there are places that can help.
Tips for Getting a Driving Job
Suggestions for a felon to increase his or her chances to be hired are:
- Arrive early to practice answers to basic interview questions
- Dress appropriately
- Make a positive first impression on the interviewers
- Show a friendly, courteous, and energetic personality
- Make consistent eye contact with the hiring representative
- Sit with straight posture
- Speak clearly
- End each interview with a firm handshake
- Express gratitude for the interview
A felon shouldn’t hide the fact that he or she has a felony conviction if it comes up. It is never good to lie about one’s past on an application. This could result in not being considered for a job if a company finds out about it.
A felon must take responsibility for past actions and explain how he or she is putting his or her life in order. Doing his or her own background check allows a felon to know what an employer will see on his or her record.
A felon needs to remember that he or she is not defined by his or her crime. We are not defined by our mistakes but in how we recover from them. He or she must be willing to see him or herself in a different light, ready to establish an honest life.
The best opportunity for success in a new life begins with having support from family and friends.
So, what do you think about this blog post about whether or not the DMV runs background checks? Have you or someone you know had the DMV run a background check? What was that like and were they successful in being hired? Please tell us in the comments below.