Did you have a routine traffic stop a couple of months ago? Are you worried that it would affect your upcoming driver’s license renewal?
To check the status of your driver’s license, all you need to do is:
- Go to the Online Portal of Your Local DMV
- Provide the Information Required to Log In
Usually, you do not need to pay any fees for inquiries. This means you have to avoid scam sites that say they will assist you in checking your DL status.
Read on to learn more about checking driver’s license status online and protecting yourself from scammers.
How to Check Driver’s License Status Online
Checking your driver’s license was quite different many years ago than now. Before, if you want to check my driver’s license status, you have to go in person to your local DMV. This means spending a bit of time queueing depending on how many people are there.
You may also have to deal with a usually irate person behind the counter. If you deal with dozens of already irate people for your entire shift, you would be irate, too.
Fortunately, these days, you can check the status of your driver’s license even without a personal visit. You can check it from the comfort of your own home. You do not also need to spend a single cent.
Here is how:
1. Go to the Local DMV’s Online Portal
There is no centralized DMV portal for the whole country, so search for the one for your state. Also, the domain addresses have different structuring. It is best to follow the address printed on your license card.
2. Provide the Information Required to Log In
Most DMV websites would open to a splash screen that asks for a couple of pertinent information before allowing you to make an online driver’s license status request. Usually, you will be asked to provide your full name and driver’s license number.
There are also times when the DMV would also ask for your SSN. After filling up all the required blanks, click on submit. This will redirect you to a page containing your driver’s license information.
What Information Can You Get When Checking Driver’s License Status?
What kinds of information can you expect to find on your driver’s license status page? Here are just a few of them:
1. Driving License’s License Status
This is what you originally wanted to verify in the first place. You can find out if your license is still valid, suspended, or if it is already revoked. You would be surprised at how many drivers are on the road with revoked licenses. Some of them do not even know that there is an issue.
Were you pulled over a couple of years ago but forgot whether you settled the fine or not? Then checking your driver’s license status page online is one way to know for certain.
2. Accumulated Driver Violation Points
Many states incentivize good driving by giving points for every traffic offense. The worse the offense, the more points your driver’s license will unfortunately get. Collect enough points within a certain period, and your license will be suspended for an indefinite amount of time.
Some traffic violations, like speeding, will have a variable point system according to the severity of the violation. For instance, going 5 miles over the speed limit accounts for fewer points compared to going 15 miles over.
However, you can only gain access to this information if you purchase your driving record. This means you will need to pay a small fee.
3. Validity of License or Student’s Permit
Of course, this information is on the license card itself, but it is also available online. This is useful if you have an older child learning to drive. You can go online to check if their student’s permit is still valid. You can also do so to find out if they can already change to an actual license.
4. Registered Address
It is also possible to check your registered information online. If you recently moved, you can change it for a fee.
5. Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Certification Status
If you applied for a CDL, you could check your status online. This can give you more convenience if you intend to work as a commercial or public transfer driver. The reason is the CDL application is a requirement for that purpose. You can view if your application is still pending or already approved.
6. DMV Documents’ Mailing Status
If you ordered a printout of your complete driving records, you could check its delivery status online. In case of delayed delivery, you can sometimes chat with customer support to fix the issue.
Can You Apply for a Driver’s License Online?
You can do a lot of things using the DMV online portal. However, note that applying for a driver’s license is not one of them. All states require that the person applying for a driver’s license appear in person in their local DMV office.
Still, you can save time by filling out the application form online before heading to the DMV. Here are the steps:
1. Create a DMV Online Account
If you don’t have an online account yet, you will need to sign up for one. Open the DMV online portal and fill out the necessary fields.
The DMV uses a 2-factor authentication as proof of your identity. Provide an email address and a phone number to verify your identity via a phone call or text message.
2. Fill Up the Online Application Form
Get your important personal information ready, such as:
- Current address,
- Date of birth, and
- Social security number.
If you cannot complete your online application form, you can log in to your DMV account later.
Afterward, you can continue where you left off. Expect online applications to be automatically stored in the DMV’s system for a year.
3. Visit Your Local DMV to Complete the Rest of the Process
As mentioned earlier, you will need to visit your local DMV office to process your application personally. Visit in person because you have to submit your biometric information. After that, you should complete a theoretical test in the presence of the DMV.
Do All DMV Offices Follow the Same Protocols?
Provide Similar Information
Even though they are federal-state handled, all DMV offices follow the same protocols, except for minor details. For instance, if you want to check your driver’s license status online, it is required to provide similar information. This is necessary regardless of what state you are in.
You can also find some things that are maybe different from one state DMV to another, including:
- Ability to fax required documents,
- Mail-in transactions, and
- Certain services like cost estimates.
DMW Websites Do Not Look the Same for All States
Also, state DMV websites do not look remotely like each other since different offices maintain them. Some are not even updated as frequently as they should be. Other DMV sites are also somewhat harder to navigate compared to others.
How to Check License Status in Other States
- Go to mydmv.arkansas.gov and create a profile
- Navigate the page until you see the Record of License Status shortcut, and click on it.
- Supply the information needed, such as your name, date of birth, license number, and the last five digits of your SSN. Click submit.
If you want to receive a printout of your records via mail, paying a minimal fee for postage is necessary.
- Go to dmv.ca.gov and create a profile.
- Navigate the page from Home>Customer Service>Vehicle or Driver’s Records Requests>Driver’s Record Request.
- Log into your account, fill in the necessary details, and click submit.
- Prepare to pay $2 for the processing fee. Wait for the records to come via mail, which usually arrives after one business week.
In California, it is much cheaper to go the online route. Personally filling your request will cost $5 instead of just $2.
- Go to txdmv.gov and create an online profile.
- Navigate the page and then find the request open records.
- Provide your name, license number, and the last four digits of your SSN.
- Pay $2 for a printed copy.
- Wait for two working weeks for the printout to get mailed to your house.
Again, how to check a driver’s license status online? To check the status of your driver’s license, driving privilege, and violation points online, go to the local DMV’s online portal. Then, log in to the site by providing the required information.
What Does Revoked or Suspended Driver’s License Mean?
The words “suspended” and “revoked” on your driver’s license status can become heartbreaking. However, which of the two is better? What does it mean if your driver’s license was suspended or revoked?
Revoked Means Your License Is Canceled
If you see in your driver’s license status that your license has been revoked, it means a canceled license. In that case, you may not apply for a new one ever or after a certain period has passed. This means you can no longer legally drive. If you do, you can get charged with a criminal offense.
Suspended License Status Means You Can’t Drive for a Certain Time
If you see a suspended license status, you can’t use your driving privileges after a certain time passes. To recover your license after getting suspended, redo the entire process of applying for a new license. However, you can only do so after the imposed suspension has expired.
You don’t have to worry about your license showing these two ominous words if you have a spotless driving record.
DMV’s Other Online Services
You might not know this yet, but many services are available at the online DMV. Here are just a few of these additional driver’s license services:
1. Real ID
All DMV offices now offer the option to get a REAL ID license instead of the standard one. The difference is that the Real ID is a federally-accepted form of identification.
Your driver’s license will hold the same bearing as your passport. It is also an acceptable and valid form of identification for all federal transactions.
2. Reinstate Driving Privileges
Do you have a suspended or revoked driver’s license? Then you can get it reinstated without personally visiting the local DMV office. Just visit the DMV website.
Find the option that lets you access a page where you can submit the necessary documents. This is also where you will pay the fees electronically.
3. Study Materials
If you still have a learner’s permit, you should pass a practical and theoretical knowledge test. This is necessary before you can get your driver’s license. To help you prepare for the theoretical tests, get some practice questions and tests directly from the DMV website.
Some DMV sites even provide a few test questions in their guides. It is good to check them out, even those not in your state.
4. License Renewal
Renewing your license no longer requires waiting for hours in line. Nowadays, you can do it from the comfort of your home via the online portal. If you have a Real ID driver’s license, you can complete the entire process online. You can have your new license card mailed to your home.
5. License Replacement
Have you lost or severely damaged your driver’s license card? Then you can request a replacement card online. Just log into your account, provide the necessary information, and pay the required fees. After that, wait for a couple of weeks for the replacement card to come in the mail.
If you applied for a change of address, wait at least two working weeks before applying for a replacement card. This can assure you that you already have updated information in the system upon checking.
Driver Points System
Most DMV offices use a point system to tag negligent drivers. The number of points applied to a person’s driving record will depend on the severity of the violation. Some states might apply points differently, but they usually share the same bracket, like:
1. 1-point Violations
The DMV assigns one Negligent Operator point for convictions that involve the safe operation of motorized vehicles on the highway. These include:
- Over speeding
- Unsafe vehicle
2. 2-point Violations
Two-point violations are more serious because they significantly increase traffic safety risks. Some of these violations include:
- Reckless driving
- Driving under the influence
3. Out-of-State Convictions
The DMV will also assess negligent operator points that the drivers receive outside their state. These also include the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and Canada.
There are instances wherein the state or territory where the conviction was made uses a different point system. In that case, your local DMV will assess the violation using its system. Depending on the severity of the conviction, it could still be grounds for the driver’s license revocation or suspension.
What Is Reflected on the Driver’s Records?
The driver’s records will only contain reportable information, no personal information whatsoever. By law, the report will only list the convictions from the last three, seven, or ten years. There will also be departmental actions (revoked or suspended) and broad details about vehicular accidents.
Can You Get the Driver’s Records Mailed to You?
If you go through the online route, you will only be able to view the report on your computer. You have to print it yourself if you have a printer. Suppose you want the printout request mailed to your address; print out the request form. Fill it up and send it with the payment to the DMV office.
How Can You Correct Errors in Your Driver’s Records Information?
If you found incorrect information in your driver’s record, report your concerns. Correct the errors corrected by filling up the Incorrect Record Form. Once done, you can submit it to your local DMV. You can do this both online and in person.
If you want to check the status of your driver’s license, all you need to do is:
- Go to the Online Portal of Your Local DMV
- Provide the Information Required to Log In
Be careful when you find websites claiming that they can “assist” you in getting your driver’s license status. Often, they will be overcharging you by a significant amount. Also, doing it yourself is much easier nowadays because of the internet.