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Friday, May 11, 2012

Driving Records May Contain Errors

Have you checked your Driving Record?
A survey of driving records conducted by the Insurance Research Council (IRC) in 2002 showed that one in five convictions for traffic violations may be missing from motor vehicle records.

 The IRC looked at driving records in four states, Connecticut, Florida, Ohio, and Washington. The study showed that convictions for driving infractions were either incorrectly entered or were missing from driving records. The error rate in the four states were as follows:

  • Connecticut – 22% of convictions were missing 
  • Florida - 21% of convictions were missing 
  • Ohio - 14% of convictions were missing 
  • Washington - 10% of convictions were missing 

According to the IRC, "The analysis was limited to those traffic citations that resulted in convictions, either from fines paid without contesting the charges or from guilty findings in court. It did not include any tickets dismissed through traffic school, court supervision, or any other legal methods that prevent traffic violations from appearing on MVRs." The article went on to say that "convictions for traffic violations issued to out-of-state drivers appeared even less frequently on motorists' driving histories."

What this means for motorists is that unsafe motorists, who would normally be charged higher premiums if their driving record were up to date, are getting away with paying lower insurance premiums. As a result, safe drivers have to pay higher premiums to make up the difference.

What the news release didn't really discuss was whether or not those records are being entered incorrectly into another driver's record. All it would take is the entry of one wrong number by a harried DMV employee to send the conviction off into another driver's record. All drivers should review their driving record periodically just to make sure that the record is correct and that there are no entries that shouldn't be there.

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