Tito Bucheli


March 27, 2024

Edited By

Fausto Bucheli Jr
Image Credit: Pixabay

Cruising down the open road in Texas offers a sense of freedom, but navigating the legalities of driving requires a clear understanding of your driving record. This record, also known as a Motor Vehicle Report (MVR), plays a significant role in your driving privileges and car insurance rates in Texas. In this article, Cheap Insurance unpacks everything you need to know about your Texas driving record, empowering you to take control and maintain a clean history.

Key Takeaways:

  • Your Texas MVR is a vital document containing your driving history, impacting auto insurance rates and license privileges.
  • Texas uses a point system for traffic violations, and accumulating too many points can lead to license suspension.
  • Understanding the difference between points and infractions on your MVR is crucial.
  • Regularly requesting your MVR allows you to monitor accuracy and address any errors.
  • Maintaining a clean driving record through safe driving habits translates to lower car insurance costs and peace of mind.

What is a Texas Driving Record (MVR) and Why is it Important?

Your Texas MVR is a detailed document maintained by the Texas Department of Public Safety (TxDPS) that chronicles your driving history in the state. It serves as a comprehensive record for 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 driving record¬†typically translates to lower auto insurance premiums.
  • Employers: Depending on the job requirements, potential employers may request your MVR to evaluate your driving safety, especially for positions involving driving responsibilities.

What Information Does My Texas MVR Include?

Your Texas MVR provides a wealth of information about your driving activity in the state. 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 C – 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 (if applicable). Texas 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¬†car 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.
Image Credit: Pixabay

Decoding Your MVR: Points vs. Infractions

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, such as¬†speeding, or 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.

Your MVR will list both the infraction and any associated points.

How Long Does My Driving History Stay on My Texas Record?

The good news? Points typically stay on your Texas driving record for three years from the date of the violation’s disposition, such as conviction, completion of traffic school, etc. After three years, the points are automatically removed and no longer impact your record.

This three-year window applies to most moving violations. However, some serious offenses, such as Driving While Intoxicated (DWI), may stay on your record for longer periods.

How Does the Texas Point System Work?

Texas 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 1-15 mph over the limit = 2 points, speeding 20 mph or more over the limit = 3 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 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 decided by a judge.

Remember: Completing a court ordered traffic school program might remove points from your record, even after they initially appear.

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

Accidents themselves don’t carry points on your Texas 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 car insurance premiums.
  • Not-At-Fault Accidents: These accidents typically won’t affect your auto 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 Get a Copy of My Texas Driving Record?

Obtaining a copy of your Texas MVR is a straightforward process. Here are the available methods:

  • Online: The Texas Department of Public Safety (TxDPS) website offers a convenient online portal to access your MVR . A fee applies for online access.
  • By Mail: Download and complete the TxDPS Request for Driving Record form and mail it to the address provided on the form. Processing times may be longer compared to the online option.
  • In-Person: Visiting your local county Clerk of Court office is another way to obtain your MVR. Fees may vary by location, so it’s wise to call ahead and confirm the process and associated costs.

What are the Different Types of Texas Driving Records?

There are actually two main types of driving records available in Texas:

  • Driving Record (MVR): This is the standard report discussed throughout this article. It details your traffic violations, points, accidents, and license history. It’s a public record accessible upon request.
  • Crash Report: This report focuses specifically on the details of any accidents you’ve been involved in, including date, location, contributing factors, and parties involved. Crash reports are typically not public information and may require specific authorization to access.

Contesting a Traffic Ticket and Its Effect on Points

If you choose to contest a traffic ticket, 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.

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 TxDPS, this report details your traffic violations, points, accidents, and license history. It’s a public record.
  • 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 auto insurance provider.

Understanding these differences helps you recognize that your 
car insurance rates may be influenced by factors beyond just your driving record points.

Image Credit: Pixabay

Maintaining a Clean Driving Record in Texas

A clean driving record in Texas offers a multitude of benefits:

  • Lower Auto Insurance Rates: Insurance companies reward safe drivers with lower car insurance premiums.
  • Avoiding License Suspension: Accumulating too many points can lead to license suspension, possible loss of¬†car insurance in Texas, causing significant inconvenience.
  • Peace of Mind: Knowing your driving record is clear allows you to drive with confidence.

By following these tips and staying informed about Texas’s driving laws and point system, you can take control of your driving record to enjoy the advantages of being a safe and responsible driver on Texas roads, and find the¬†
cheapest car insurance.