Shuman Roy is an entrepreneur, business owner, and musician. He started RoysNoys, LLC in 2013 as a music production and education service company. He also offers small business consulting and advisory services to help businesses get from start-up mode to turn-key operations. Shuman earned his M.B.A from the Stern School of Business in 2001 and has an undergraduate degree from Manhattan College in ...

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Written by Shuman Roy
Content Writer & Entrepreneur Shuman Roy

Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity-backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Joel...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder, CFP® Joel Ohman

UPDATED: Jun 3, 2022

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Car insurance companies use a number of tools to determine how much to charge you for insurance coverage.  One of the most commonly used reports is the “MVR,” or “motor vehicle record.”

An MVR is a report that contains information regarding your personal driving record, including the tickets and accidents you have been charged with during your driving history. This could include speeding tickets, if you ran a red light, and in some cases, if there was an associated accident. It also includes tickets for driving without a license or driving without proof of insurance and any license suspensions. This is true whether your traffic violations were earned in your personal car or company vehicles.

Do MVRs follow you from state to state?

The MVR is a national report that every insurance company has access to, and it follows you from state to state. So even if you move to a new state and get a new drivers license, your MVR will preserve the old history and any license status issues in your old state.

For example, a speeding ticket you received in Georgia will be on an MVR if you move to Florida. Similarly, any DUI or other serious marks would also follow you.

So don’t think you can avoid the scrutiny simply by packing up and moving elsewhere.

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Does a motor vehicle report give you a grade?

Essentially, the number of tickets and accidents you have correlates with the number of insurance claims you are expected to file in the future.

Ultimately, more accidents and tickets means your insurance company is more likely to have to pay a claim of some kind. The tickets (and associated points) do expire over time when you avoid tickets for a certain period.

This is similar to how a credit report works.  If someone has a proven history of not paying back loans, creditors will charge more interest on the money they lend, as it carries greater risk. If your MVR is spotty, especially if DUI and other criminal records are involved, you’ll pay a premium to be insured.

How many years of history do insurance companies look at?

The type of car insurer you choose will determine how much of an effect your driving record will have on your car insurance rate. Many companies only look at three years, especially when you have a pretty clean record. Some companies may look at a longer range, especially when the check is part of the hiring process for a potential employee who will be covered by commercial insurance.

Preferred insurers may review your driving record for five years.  This means any ticket or accident you had within that time frame will likely bump up your rate. If you have a DUI or other severe record, it could stay on your record and be relevant for much longer. Any time the state requires proof of insurance beyond the norm, it will red flag your account. Many insurers may refuse coverage even if your record is otherwise clean.

In some cases, an insurance company may also deny coverage if you’ve had too many tickets or accidents.

If you do not qualify for a preferred insurer, you may look to a non-standard insurer, who typically looks at a three year driving history.

Overall, they rate similarly to the preferred companies, but you can expect to pay more overall, as you represent a higher risk of filing a claim.

There are also companies that do not look at MVR’s when determining your car insurance rate.

They assume a certain amount of risk per person who fits their program, and charge accordingly.

Additional reports used to determine your car insurance rates are the C.L.U.E. reportvehicle history reports, and financial responsibility reports.

It is recommended that you obtain additional quotes to determine if you are currently being overcharged for your car insurance.

(photo: Marco Verch)