Does Speeding Ticket Show Up on Background Check? (Only This Type)

Background check repair icon.Written by Background Check Repair

Background Checks | September 14, 2022

Does speeding ticket show up on background check reports a man with a question mark over his head wonders while looking at a computer screen that shows a background check with a speeding car getting a costly ticket.

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Many people who are about to be screened for employment wonder, does speeding ticket show up on background check?

Getting a traffic citation can be a frustrating experience, especially for individuals who are in the process of looking for a new job, a new home or another position that involves a background check.

Luckily, most types of background checks will not uncover speeding tickets. In fact, usually only one type of screening will see it...those that involve a Motor Vehicles Report (MVR report).

However, these types of infractions will also show up on certain security clearance checks. And, if the result of the speeding also caused your arrest, then the arrest and related incident will show up.

The easiest and fastest way to determine whether a a speeding ticket will be part of what shows up on a background check is to learn how to get a background check on yourself before someone else runs one.

Will a Speeding Ticket Show Up on My Background Check?

When individuals are wondering Does speeding ticket will show up on a background check, they are likely referring to the criminal history check that is a part of most routine pre-employment background checks these days.

Generally, speeding tickets will not show up on most background checks, but there are some exceptions: Background checks that include an MVR check, misdemeanor traffic offenses, and those that resulted in an arrest.

MVR Checks

MVR checks are not something that are part of most background checks. In fact, most individuals will have never undergone a Motor Vehicle Record check as part of a job. MVR checks are most used for jobs that require driving a car or operating heavy machinery like tractors or fork lifts. This means that delivery drivers and certain construction jobs are the only jobs that are commonly subject to MVR checks.

An MVR check will uncover any driving related offenses a person has committed. This includes traffic citations of any kind as well as parking tickets.

Colorado MyDMV screenshot with yellow arrows pointing to vehicle services link and how to request your personal vehicle record.
Keep in mind that even for jobs that require driving, having a speeding ticket on your record will likely not be a disqualifier.

Misdemeanor Traffic Offenses

Normally, traffic citations are considered minor offenses, which means they are not really considered a “crime.” This is why they will now show up on most criminal history checks as technically no crime was committed. However, a more severe traffic offense will show up on a criminal history check if the offense committed was a misdemeanor or felony.

Misdemeanor traffic offenses are relatively uncommon but they do happen. Usually, they involve excessive speeding or other kinds of reckless driving for a traffic offense to become a misdemeanor.

Related Reading: Do traffic violations show up on criminal background check reports?

Since criminal history checks will include misdemeanors, any traffic violations that were considered a misdemeanor will show up on a pre-employment background check.

Are Speeding Tickets Public Record? (Does a Speeding Citation Go on Your Record?)

Speeding tickets are generally public record in the United States. In most states, the local court will have records of all traffic citations as they are normally filed through the courts. However, they will likely not show up on most background checks as they are not considered a crime in the eyes of the law.

Do Employers Care About Traffic Misdemeanors on Your Record?

The majority of employers will not care too much about traffic misdemeanors. When it comes to misdemeanors appearing on a typical background check, employers are only interested in misdemeanors that would potentially affect job performance or be a liability to the company. This is why a common misdemeanor that companies will look out for is theft, as hiring an individual with a theft conviction can pose a financial risk to the company. However, most driving misdemeanors will not affect most jobs.

The obvious exceptions are jobs that require driving or the operating of heavy machinery. If an individual has a record of reckless driving, then having this person drive a company car or operate heavy machinery as part of their work carries a significant legal risk to the company, should that employee cause someone harm.

Do You Have to Report Speeding Tickets on Job Applications? (Will a Speeding Ticket Keep Me From Getting a Job?)

Does speeding ticket show up on background check, is one of the most common questions that individuals have before a background check. Hardly any jobs will care about a speeding ticket.

Speeding tickets are highly common infractions and are seldom a factor in a job. Some jobs that require lots of driving will likely run an MVR check which will reveal traffic infractions such as speeding tickets. However, even in this case only having numerous speeding tickets is likely to have an effect on employment opportunities.

Department of Transportation Background Checks: Requirements and Disqualifications

The US Department of Transportation3 has developed their own background check to ensure that unsafe drivers are not put in positions that could potentially cause harm to other individuals by driving recklessly. The DOT Pre-employment Screening Program4 (PSP) has a number of checks that are performed to ensure that companies are hiring the safest drivers possible to prevent crashes and fatalities on the road.

DOT pre employment screensing program screenshot with yellow arrow pointing to information about PSP program and a link for requesting your records to see will speeding ticket show up on background check.

The PSP uses crash and road side inspection data from the last 5 years as well as a number of other databases to determine how safe a specific driver is. This is done primarily using MVR data and another of other databases. Misdemeanors and felony traffic violations will reflect poorly on the individual, however there are currently no laws regarding the hiring practices of individuals who will be driving as part of their employment such as truck drivers and delivery drivers.

Clean Driving Record Meaning: What Infractions Show Up on Background Checks?

Although a law enforcement officer may issue a citation for a traffic infraction, it can still be confusing trying to figure out what infractions show up on a background check. Many individuals will have questions like Does speeding ticket show up on background check? As well as questions regarding other kinds of infractions like parking tickets.

Does Speeding Ticket Show Up on Background Checks for All Jobs or Only Some?

Speeding tickets will not show up on most background checks. Some jobs will run an MVR check if the position requires driving or operation of heavy machinery, in this case they will show up. However, standard background checks will only show speeding tickets that were considered misdemeanors.

Do Non Moving Violations Go on Your Record Forever?

Most non-moving violations will not go on your record. Since almost all non-moving violations are considered minor infractions, they will not show up on a criminal record. The exception is MVR records which will show non-moving violations.

Do DOT Violations Go on Your Record and for How Long?

DOT violations will usually only show up on a record if a misdemeanor was committed. Otherwise MVR checks will show all driving related violations and infractions.

Do Red Light Violations Go on Your Driving Record and Impact Employment?

Red light violations will go on a driving record. Although most minor infractions will not show up on a background check, driving records will include any traffic violations, no matter how minor.

Do Toll Violations Go on Your Driving Record?

A toll violation may show up on your record, however it is unlikely to have any affect on your license or on employment. Toll violations are usually considered non-moving infractions so they will have little to no effect on your driving record but will still be present.

Will Driving Without a License Show on Background Check Report for Employment?

Driving without a license carries a slightly different charge in each state, however it is usually considered a misdemeanor. For example, Colorado considers it a class 2 misdemeanor.1 This means that it will certainly be present on a background check, the same as all misdemeanors. Of course, if the crime was committed when the individual was a minor, it is likely that the crime will be expunged.

Does a Citation Show Up on a Background Check When It Involved Traffic Violations?

Citations will not show up on most background checks. Only misdemeanors and above tend to show up on most criminal history checks. Most citations are given for minor infractions, so they will only be present on MVR checks.

Does Careless Driving Show on Background Check?

Careless driving will show up on a background check if there the charge was for misdemeanor careless driving. However, the majority of careless driving charges are minor infractions, rather than misdemeanors.

Do Parking Tickets Show Up on Background Checks When Applying to Driver Jobs?

Parking tickets will almost never show up on a background check. Although they will be present on an MVR check, they will be considered non-moving violations and thus will be looked over by most employers, even for jobs that require driving.

Criminal CitationMVR ReportBackground Check
SpeedingYesNo (Unless misdemeanor offense)
Parking TicketYesNo
Reckless DrivingYesNo (Unless misdemeanor offense)
DUIYesYes
Toll ViolationYesNo
Driving Without LicenseYesYes
Red Light ViolationsYesNo

Steps for How To Check If I Have a Clean Driving Record

For any job that requires a background check, it is always a good idea to perform a background check on yourself, in order to be aware of what employers may ask about, as well as fix any mistakes that may appear. The same is true for jobs that may require a driving record check. Although driving record checks are relatively uncommon, if the job requires the use of heavy machinery, or driving a company car for any reason, there is a good chance that a driving record check will be performed.

Related Reading: Do warnings go on your driving record?

The most reliable way to know what to expect from a driving record check is to perform a driving record check on yourself using your state’s DMV. The process for each state will be slightly different, however the first place that individuals should look is the website of the DMV or equivalent in their state.

In most cases, the DMV will have an option for individuals to obtain their Motor Vehicle Record (MVR) The process is extremely simple and generally involves entering some basic information as well as a driver’s license number into an online form. At the end of the process, an electronic copy of the MVR will be made available.

CO Dept of Revenue Screenshot with yellow arrows pointing to request a driving record title, the request type menu button, and where to enter and verify information about the driving record.

For example, individuals in the state of Colorado can visit the Colorado DMV website2 to obtain an MVR report. The first step is to decide the method you prefer to receive the MVR. The online option is generally the easiest and fastest option, however individuals who prefer to request by mail or in person will also have options available to them.

For an online MVR simply follow the provided link to the online form to enter in the information required to make a request. Keep in mind that every state, including Colorado, will require a small fee to obtain a copy of the report.

With the report in hand, be sure to look it over for anything that may be incorrect, so that it may be corrected with the DMV. Assuming everything looks correct, the next thing that individuals should do is to look over the report for anything that stands out or would stand out to an employer.

Misdemeanors are the first thing that individuals should check for, as well as anything that appears to be a recurring offense, such as numerous speeding tickets.

Related Reading: Will I pass a background check with a misdemeanor?

Finally, individuals should prepare responses in case a hiring manager makes any inquiry about their driving record. Just as with a criminal record, it is best to enter an interview prepared, in order to reassure the hiring manager that the offenses are a thing of the past and that steps have been taken to move forward and become a better driver, etc.

What Is Considered a Bad Driving Record for Employment in Most States?

What is considered a bad driving record for employment will depend on the employer and for the position that is being applied for. Similar to a criminal history record, there will be certain infractions that appear as part of a driving record check that will automatically disqualify an individual from certain jobs.

This is usually a case of company policy, rather than state or federal laws, however there are certain jobs such as school bus drivers and drivers of other sensitive groups that will have strict disqualifiers. For example, there are now laws that prevent individuals with certain driving records from becoming a UPS or Amazon driver, however company policy may disqualify certain individuals.

Related Reading: Do parking tickets go on your record?

Some of the most common disqualifiers for jobs that require driving include DUIs, a suspended license, as well as many misdemeanor and felony traffic infractions. Once again, this will depend on the job. For example, certain misdemeanor spending infractions may be overlooked if the reason for the MVR check is because the job requires individuals to occasionally operate a forklift or similar piece of equipment.

Outside of more serious infractions, there are other things that may appear on a driving record that will be considered red flags by many employers. As mentioned earlier, any repeat offenders will be cause for concern. Even if the infractions are relatively mild, having a lot of them will still appear bad on a MVR.

Screenshot of common traffic violations points with yellow arrows pointing to title, the description, and the number of points for an infraction.

One of the things that many employers will look for is the amount of points that an individual has accrued on their license. Although the driving point system is not something that is used in every state, for the ones that do, this will give employers a pretty good overview of how safe of a driver the individual is.

The last thing that an employer will look at when determining how safe of a driver an applicant is is their accident record. Although not all accidents are the result of unsafe driving, it is still something that many employers will consider heavily. This is especially true for jobs that require individuals to drive with other individuals in the car such as bus drivers, taxi drivers or similar positions. In these cases, an individual’s accident record will likely play a bigger role than it normally would.

Although they will likely show up on a driving record, virtually every employer will almost completely ignore any non-moving violations that appear as part of an MVR. This will include parking tickets, toll booth violations, expired plates, etc.

Related Reading: Does a citation go on your record?

Since so many traffic infractions are seen as minor or extremely common, it can be hard to quantify exactly how many infractions would be considered too many for most employers. This is also the reason so few companies have a strict list of disqualifiers when it comes to driving records.

The most important thing to do is to be prepared for any potential questions about your driving record and explain the steps you have taken to become a more safe driver.

Getting a traffic ticket can be frustrating enough, especially when you are unsure of how it will affect your current or future employment. Knowing how to answer questions like “does speeding ticket show up on background check,” can help you be prepared for any background check that may be required.

Frequently Asked Questions About Does Speeding Ticket Show Up on Background Check Reports?

Will a Speeding Ticket Show Up on My Background Check?

Yes and no, a speeding ticket will not show up as part of a typical criminal history check that is performed as a condition of employment. Minor speeding infractions are not considered a crime, and thus will not show up on most criminal history checks. However, some jobs will require that individuals also pass a motor vehicle record check as a condition of employment, in which case speeding tickets will be present.

Should I Admit a Speeding Ticket on Job Application?

Admitting a speeding ticket is rarely necessary on a job application, and the majority of employers will not even be interested in this information. For jobs that perform a driving record check, speeding tickets will show up on the check, and being honest and upfront about what’s on your record is always a good idea.

How Many Years for Clean Driving Record?

Although it varies by state, most driving records are cleared after 7 years. This may not be the case if the traffic infraction resulted in a misdemeanor, however all other information such as speeding tickets or non-moving violations will be removed after 7 years in most cases.

Do Arrests Show Up on a Background Check or Just Convictions?

Arrests will be present on a background check. Most background checks work by checking court and criminal databases for the name of an individual. When this happens, anything that matches the name of the individual will be present on the check including arrests, charges, and convictions.

Does a Clean Driving Record Mean No Speeding Tickets?

For most cases, yes, a clean driving record is a driving record that has no moving infractions of any kind, although non-moving infractions are usually ok. Keep in mind that even for jobs that require a MVR check, having a speeding ticket will not necessarily disqualify the individual from the job, however it is possible the hiring manager will ask about the ticket.

How Many Years for Clean Driving Record?

In most states, a clean driving record can be obtained after 7 years of clean driving. Most states only keep driving record information for 7 years, so a speeding ticket that is older than 7 years will not be present on the majority of checks.

What Is a Clean Driving Record for CDL?

In general, a truly clean driving record is required for a CDL, meaning no DUIs or moving infractions of any kind in the last 7 years.

Do Traffic Misdemeanors Show Up on Criminal Background Checks?

Yes, any kind of misdemeanor will be present on a criminal background check, unless the misdemeanor has been expunged, sealed, etc.


References

1State of Colorado. (2016). Colorado Revised Statutes 2016. Colorado. Retrieved July 4, 2022, from <https://leg.colorado.gov/sites/default/files/images/olls/crs2016-title-42.pdf>

2State of Colorado. (2022). Motor Vehicle Record. Colorado Division of Motor Vehicles. Retrieved July 4, 2022, from <https://dmv.colorado.gov/motor-vehicle-record>

3U.S. Department of Transportation. (2022). Department of Transportation. U.S. Department of Transportation. Retrieved July 14, 2022, from <https://www.transportation.gov>

4U.S. Department of Transportation. (2022). Pre-Employment Screening Program. FMC SA. Retrieved July 14, 2022, from <https://www.psp.fmcsa.dot.gov/psp/Public>

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