By

Tito Bucheli

Updated

March 28, 2024

Edited By

Fausto Bucheli Jr
Image Credit: Pixabay

Cruising through the majestic landscapes of Colorado is a joy. Motor Vehicle Report (MVR), plays a significant role in your and car insurance rates. In this article¬†Cheap Insurance¬†equips you with the knowledge to understand your Colorado MVR and provides tips to maintain a clean record, ensuring smooth sailing on Colorado’s roads.

Key Takeaways:

  • Maintaining a clean Colorado MVR offers benefits for lower auto insurance rates and avoiding license suspension.
  • Understand the difference between points and violations on your MVR.
  • Safe driving habits like obeying traffic laws and avoiding distractions are key to a clean record.
  • Completing a defensive driving course or waiting for points to expire (after 24 months) can help remove them.
  • Your MVR and insurance reports differ; the latter considers factors beyond driving record points.

Why Should You Care About Your Colorado Driving Record?

Your Colorado MVR is more than just a piece of paper; it’s a chronicle of your driving history in the state. It holds weight with various entities, including:

  • Law Enforcement: Law enforcement uses MVRs to verify your license validity, identify potential risks during traffic stops, and investigate accidents.
  • Insurance Companies: Insurance companies rely on your MVR to assess your driving risk profile, directly impacting your¬†auto insurance¬†rates. A clean record typically translates to lower auto premiums.
  • Employers: Depending on the job requirements, potential employers may request your MVR to evaluate your driving safety, especially for positions involving driving responsibilities.
 

Maintaining a clean driving record offers a multitude of benefits:

  • Lower Insurance Rates: Safe driving habits reflected in a clean MVR can lead to significant savings on your¬†car insurance in Colorado.
  • Avoiding License Suspension: Accumulating a high number of points within a specific timeframe can result in license suspension, possible loss of car insurance, causing a major inconvenience.
  • Peace of Mind: Knowing your driving record is clean allows you to drive with confidence and focus on enjoying the beautiful Colorado scenery.
Image Credit: Pixabay

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What is a Colorado Motor Vehicle Report (MVR)?

Your Colorado MVR is a detailed document maintained by the Colorado Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) that chronicles your driving activity in the state. It serves as a comprehensive record accessible upon request.

What Information Does My Colorado MVR Include?

Your Colorado MVR provides a wealth of information about your driving history. Here’s a breakdown of the key details you’ll find:

  • Driver License Information: This section displays your license details, including issuance date, class (e.g., Class D – Regular Driver’s License), endorsements (e.g., motorcycle), and any restrictions you may have.
  • Traffic Violations and Points: This section lists any traffic violations you’ve been cited for, along with the associated points assigned for each offense. This will also list any¬†speeding tickets. Colorado uses a point system, and accumulating too many points within a certain time frame can lead to license suspension.
  • Driving Accidents: Your MVR will reflect any accidents you’ve been involved in, including whether you were determined to be¬†at fault. This information is crucial for insurance companies when assessing your risk profile.
  • License Suspensions or Revocations: If your license has ever been¬†suspended¬†or revoked due to violations or other reasons, this will be documented on your MVR.

Decoding Your MVR: Points vs. Violations

It’s important to understand the distinction between¬†points¬†and infractions on your MVR:

  • Infractions: These are the specific traffic violations you were cited for (e.g., speeding, running a red light).
  • Points: Not all violations carry points. Points are assigned only for specific, more serious infractions. The point value for each violation is defined by law.

How Does Colorado’s Point System Work?

Colorado employs a point system to assess driving behavior. Here’s a basic overview:

  • Points Assigned: Specific traffic violations carry a designated number of points as defined by law (e.g., speeding 1-19 mph over the limit = 4 points, speeding 20 mph or more over the limit = 6 points).
  • Point Accumulation: Points are added to your driving record upon conviction for the violation (e.g., paying the fine or pleading no contest in court).
  • License Suspension: Accumulating a specific number of points within a set timeframe can lead to license suspension. The exact thresholds vary depending on the timeframe:
    • 12 points within 12 months
    • 18 points within 24 months
    • 24 points within 36 months

When Do Points Typically Appear on My Colorado Driving Record?

The timeframe for points appearing on your driving record depends on how you handle the traffic citation:

  • Paid Fine/No Contest: Points typically appear within 30-60 days of paying the fine or pleading no contest in court.
  • Contested Ticket: If you choose to contest the ticket and go to court, points won’t be added to your record until the case is adjudicated (decided by a judge).

At-Fault vs. Not-At-Fault Accidents: Impact on Points

Accidents themselves don’t carry points on your Colorado driving record. However, the accident report will indicate whether you were deemed at fault for the collision.

  • At-Fault Accidents: While not directly impacting your driving record points-wise, at-fault accidents can raise a red flag for car insurance companies, potentially leading to higher premiums.
  • Not-At-Fault Accidents: These accidents typically won’t affect your vehicle insurance rates or driving record. However, it’s wise to keep a copy of the accident report, especially if the other driver disputes fault.

How Can I Avoid Getting Points on My Colorado Driving Record?

The most effective way to keep your Colorado driving record clean is to prioritize safe driving habits. Here are some tips:

  • Obey Traffic Laws: This seems obvious, but it’s the foundation of safe driving. Always follow the speed limit, use turn signals properly, and avoid distractions while driving.
  • Drive Defensively: Be aware of your surroundings and anticipate the actions of other drivers. Leave ample following distance and avoid aggressive driving behaviors.
  • Be Aware of Construction Zones: Slow down and pay extra attention when driving through construction zones. These areas often have reduced speed limits and increased hazards.
  • Stay Alert and Avoid Distractions: Put your phone down! Texting, talking on the phone (without hands-free), or eating while driving can significantly increase your risk of accidents.

 

The Difference Between a Driving Record and Insurance Reports

While driving records and insurance reports share some similarities, there are key distinctions:

  • Driving Record (MVR): Issued by the Colorado DMV, this report details your traffic violations, points, accidents (fault or not-at-fault), and license history. It’s a public record accessible upon request.
  • Insurance Reports: Compiled by insurance companies, these reports consider a broader range of factors beyond your MVR. This can include years of driving experience,¬†car type, and even your¬†credit score. Insurance reports are not public records and are typically only accessible by you and your insurance provider(s).

Contesting a Traffic Ticket in Colorado

If you choose to contest a traffic ticket in Colorado, points won’t be added to your record until the case is settled. However, contesting comes with potential risks:

  • Losing the Case: If you lose the case in court, the judge may uphold the original citation and the associated points will be added to your record.
  • Increased Fines: In some cases, contesting a ticket and losing can lead to a higher fine than the original citation amount.
 

Carefully weigh the risks and benefits before deciding to contest a traffic ticket. Consulting with a legal professional can be helpful in navigating the process.

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Benefits of Maintaining a Clean Driving Record in Colorado

A clean driving record in Colorado offers a multitude of advantages:

  • Lower Car Insurance Rates: Insurance companies reward safe drivers with lower premiums, potentially saving you potentially saving you hundreds of dollars annually.
  • Avoiding License Suspension: Accumulating points can lead to license suspension, causing significant inconvenience and impacting your ability to drive. You might have to get an SR22 certificate.
  • Peace of Mind: Knowing your driving record is clean allows you to navigate Colorado’s scenic roads with confidence and focus on enjoying the journey.
 

By following the tips outlined in this article and prioritizing safe driving habits, you can take control of your driving record to qualify you for the cheapest car insurance in Colorado. Remember, a clean record is an investment in your safety, financial well-being, and overall peace of mind as you explore the beautiful state of Colorado.