Will a Car Accident Show Up on a Background Check? (Full Answer)

Background check repair icon.Written by Background Check Repair

Background Checks | June 17, 2024

A red car and a blue car in a head on collision with both drivers with question marks over their head wondering will a car accident show up on a background check report on the left and right of each driver.

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When applying for a job that involves driving, many people wonder will a car accident show up on a background check? The full answer depends on a few different factors.

The main thing that determines if a car accident is part of what shows up on a background check is the type of background check that is being conducted and the circumstances of the car accident itself.

As with all things involving background checks, there are a lot of small factors that can come into play. However, by knowing those little nuances and when a car accident will cause a problem on your background check is easy to learn.

The first thing to do is to run a records check on yourself (it only takes a few mins) to see what incidents are reported.

After that, people who are seeking driving jobs can follow this complete guide to learn how to clear up their background check report and ensure that their record is clear.

Do Car Accidents Show Up on Background Checks? (Do a Background Check Driving Record)

With so many different factors to consider, from where the accident took place, how long ago it was, what kind of background check is going to be performed, and more, trying to understand the answer to will a car accident show up on a background check, can get confusing.

Close-up view of the bumpers of two cars involved in an accident.

But, the key thing to remember is that if the driver was charged with a criminal act, the accident can show up.

In order to avoid this confusion entirely, a simple way to figure out what is going to show up on a background check is to perform one yourself. These days it is easier than ever to perform a background check, not only can individuals often run background checks on themselves for free, but they can often be completed in just a matter of minutes.

How To Perform a Standard Background Check (Will a Car Accident Show Up on a Background Check?)

There are many different kinds of background checks available, but most of the options that are available through online background check services are fairly similar. Generally, these services work by entering the name of an individual into dozens of different databases and returning all the information that is found to the requester.

This will include criminal history information and any court records that involve the individual being checked. Most online background check companies also include other public information such as addresses (via tax records) and social media profiles.

Since almost any public mention of an individual will appear on these background checks, it is a great first step in determining if there are any official records of a car accident taking place involving the individual. Although not all car accidents will have court records dedicated to them, many will.

For example, if the car accident involved a driver that was under the influence, there may be court documents that resulted from the individual’s DUI which may include mention of the accident.

To perform a standard background check on yourself, simply find an online background check service and follow the basic instructions. As mentioned, most operate very similarly and will usually require the name and city of the individual in order to return information on the correct individual. Once this information has been entered, the results should be available in just a few minutes.

Performing an MVR Check

Although it is always useful to know what exactly is going to show up on a background check, some individuals may be solely concerned with their driving history and if any car accidents are likely to appear as part of a pre-employment background check. Car accidents are not a common factor when it comes to determining if an individual is going to be a good fit for a job, but for jobs that involve driving of any kind such as UPS, or Amazon delivery drivers, then an accident on your record will have an impact on the likelihood of passing the background check.

An MVR check is basically a background check of someone’s driving history, rather than their criminal history. Most jobs that involve driving or the operation of heavy machineries such as a forklift or tractor will perform MVR checks on their employees in addition to standard background checks. This is largely to protect the company from putting a dangerous driver into a position where they could cause property damage or even physical harm.

MVR checks are performed through the DMV and examine an individual’s driving record. This will often include, accident history, moving violations such as speeding tickets, and any other driving-related information such as how many points they have accumulated on their driver’s license.

To perform an MVR check on yourself, simply access the website of your DMV and look for anything that relates to a driving record. This may be listed as a Motor Vehicle Record, Driving record, or something similar. In some jurisdictions, it may be necessary to contact the DMV directly to request this information. This kind of request is fairly common and the DMV should have no problem fulfilling the request. Keep in mind that a small fee is often required to obtain a copy.

What Shows Up on Screenings for Employment?

What appears on a pre employment background screening will depend on a few factors, mainly what kind of checks are being performed. The exact checks that are performed are usually determined by the job, as certain checks aren’t necessary for every job.

Will a Car Accident Lawsuit Show Up on Background Check?

A car accident lawsuit is unlikely to show up on a background check. In most cases, car accident lawsuits are civil suits, since most background checks only search criminal databases then this information would likely not be present.

If the car accident lawsuit is a criminal issue, such as one involving a DUI, then it is likely that it would appear on a background check.

Will a Vehicle Police Report Show Up on a Background Check?

Police reports in general will not show up on a background check. The majority of background checks use criminal databases that rely on court documents.

Police inspector checking the damage on the car involved in an accident along with the car owner to make a police report.

In the case of a police report, there would be no court record of the information unless charges were filed.

Will a Traffic Warrant Show Up on Background Check for Employment?

It is possible for a traffic warrant to appear on most background checks. The majority of jobs will only perform local criminal history checks on applicants, these kinds of checks are unlikely to check for warrant information.

However, some jobs may perform more thorough checks such as FBI identity history summary checks,1 in which case it is far more likely for a warrant to be uncovered.

Will a Civil Lawsuit Show Up on a Background Check?

Civil lawsuits are unlikely to show up on a background check. Most background checks work by running an individual’s name through various criminal databases which will not include information from civil lawsuits.

Will a Hit and Run Show Up on a Background Check?

Assuming the individual was apprehended for committing a hit and run, then it is likely to appear on a background check.

Close-up view of a traffic report form.

When it comes to answering the question of: will a car accident show up on a background check? The answer is usually no because accidents and minor traffic violations only appear on MVR checks as they are not considered “Crimes.”

However, serious traffic offenses that result in a misdemeanor or felony charge, such as a hit and run, will show up on a criminal history check. This information will also appear on an MVR check as it was a traffic-related crime.

Does a Non Reportable Accident Go on Your Record?

Non-reportable accidents will normally appear on your record. The exact laws for what is considered a non-reportable accident will vary, but in most states, an accident is considered non-reportable if there is under $1,000 dollars in property damage and no injuries.

Non-reportable accidents will usually not involve the police at all so there will be no police report of the incident. However, most states require all accidents to be reported to the DMV.2 In most states failing to report an accident is considered a misdemeanor crime.

Assuming the individual reported the accident, then the accident will be present on the individual’s MVR. However, it will not appear on a criminal history check, unless an MVR check is performed.

Do Insurance Companies Run Background Checks Before Issuing Policies?

Most insurance companies will run basic background and credit checks before issuing an insurance policy to a new customer. This is fairly standard practice for all types of insurance as it allows the insurance company to properly assess risk and determine which policy the individual qualifies for. As always, companies performing credit checks must abide by FCRA regulations.3

Will One Accident Impact a Background Check for Employment?

One accident is fairly unlikely to impact a background check for employment. Most people with the question of will a car accident show up on a background check are concerned about a particular accident affecting their chances of getting a job that involves driving. However, there is generally little cause for concern, even for jobs wherein driving a car is part of the daily responsibilities.

Accidents, just like speeding tickets, are extremely common, and having just one of these on your record is unlikely to play a major role in the hiring process. Most companies that screen applicants’ driving records are trying to determine if the individual is a relatively safe driver or if they are reckless to the point of it being an issue of liability.

Having multiple accidents and speeding tickets is where individuals should be concerned as it will likely stand out to any hiring managers.

Screenshot of driver record requestor release form and affidavit for intended use for Colorado Dept of Revenue.
Regardless of if there is one or several accidents on your driving record, having a prepared response for any questions the hiring manager may have about the incident is always a good idea. Being sure to demonstrate how you have become a safer driver since the incident will go a long way when it comes to getting hired.

What Is an Acceptable Driving Record for Employment With a Vehicle (What Is Considered a Bad Driving Record for Employment)?

What exactly is considered a bad driving record for employment will vary depending on the job. For example, jobs that require the individual to occasionally drive a company car will be far less concerned with an individual’s driving record as opposed to jobs that require constant driving such as delivery drivers.

In general, there will be a few key areas that will be checked as part of a driving record check. The first is if there are any felony or misdemeanor traffic offenses on the record. Charges involving racing, excessive speeding, or any other serious traffic crimes will be seen as a major red flag and will usually be a disqualifier for many jobs.

The next thing hiring managers will check for is accident records. Again, having a few minor accidents is usually not a major cause for concern but the more accidents on the record, the more the hiring manager is likely to be concerned and may impact the odds of getting hired.

Finally, the last thing that will be looked at as part of an MVR check is the amount of moving violations on the individual’s driving record. Just like with accidents, having one or two speeding tickets on your record is unlikely to be a major factor. However, having numerous speeding tickets and other moving violations such as running stop signs or red lights, will have an impact.

Use the table below to see the common jobs that will be impacted by a bad driving record.

JobMoving violationsAccidentsMisdemeanor and felony traffic violations
Delivery Driver (UPS, Amazon, etc.)Some impact on employment chancesSome impact on employment chancesMajor impact on employment chances
Passenger Transport (Uber, Taxi, etc)Some impact on employment chancesLarge impact on employment chancesMajor impact on employment chances (Likely disqualified)
Construction (Tractor, forklift, etc. )Some impact on employment chancesSome impact on employment chancesMajor impact on employment chances (Likely disqualified)
Bus Driver (School bus, city bus, shuttle bus, etc,)Large impact on employment chancesLarge impact on employment chanceMajor impact on employment chances (Likely disqualified)
Other Driving jobs (Plumber, electrician, etc. )Low impact on employment chancesSome impact on employment chancesMajor impact on employment chances

Background checks are always stressful, especially when you don’t know what to expect. Performing a background check on yourself and knowing the answer to questions like: will a car accident show up on a background check? Will help tremendously when preparing for a job interview and background check.

Frequently Asked Questions About Will a Car Accident Show Up on a Background Check

How Long Does It Take for an Accident To Show Up on Your Driving Record?

An accident will show up on your driving record fairly quickly after it occurs in most cases. In more serious accidents it will show up once the police report has been filed on the issue and the DMV has been notified of the accident. For non-reportable accidents, the accident will appear in your driving record once it has been reported to the DMV, most states require accident reports be completed within 30 days of the accident occurring.

Does a Citation Show Up on a Background Check?

A citation will not show up on most background checks. Typical background checks will include a criminal history check, which will not include traffic citations or anything below a misdemeanor charge. However jobs that require driving or operating heavy machinery will usually perform an MVR check, in which case the citation will show up as part of the check.

If I’m in a Car Accident, Can My Job Fire Me?

A job can fire you for being in a car accident, but it is extremely unlikely and will depend heavily on the circumstances. The first factor will be the reason for the accident, if the accident was caused because the individual was under the influence or committing a serious traffic violation such as street racing, then it is more likely to be fired. Individuals who work jobs that require driving are likely to have more strict employers when it comes to possibly getting fired for getting in a car accident.

However unless the accident was your fault due to negligence or illegal activity, it is highly unlikely to be fired for it.

Can a Non Reportable Accident Show Up on Your Driving Record?

Yes, non-reportable accidents will show up on a driving record. A non-reportable accident essentially means there is no reason for a law enforcement report of the accident as there was minimal damage and no injuries. However, despite the name, the accident must still be reported to the DMV by the individuals involved in the accident.

Will Accidents on My Driving Record Show Up on an Employment Background Check?

Accidents on your driving record will only show up on an employment background check if the employer performs an MVR check. Most accidents, unless they involved a misdemeanor or felony, will not appear on a criminal history check and will only be present on a driving record check.

How Can I Remove a Non Fault Accident on Driving Record?

There are a few different ways to remove non-fault accidents, but the options available will depend on the state. Sometimes the accident will be removed after taking a safe driving class, whereas other times can be expunged if a proper request is submitted.

Do Employers Care About Car Ticket Misdemeanors on Your Record?

Employers will always care about a misdemeanor on your record, regardless of what it was for. How much the employer cares will depend on the crime, the job, and the individual’s attitude towards the crime.

Who Is at Fault in a Non Reportable Accidents?

Fault will normally be decided by the insurance companies of the drivers involved in the accident.


1FBI Federal Bureau of Investigation. (2022). Identity History Summary Checks. Services. Retrieved July 23, 2022, from <https://www.fbi.gov/services/cjis/identity-history-summary-checks>

2Colorado Department of Revenue Division of Motor Vehicles. (2022). If a Police Officer Was Present at the Scene. Report an Accident. Retrieved July 23, 2022, from <https://dmv.colorado.gov/report-accident>

3Federal Trade Commission Protecting America’s Consumers. (2022). Fair Credit Reporting Act. Statutes. Retrieved July 23, 2022, from <https://www.ftc.gov/legal-library/browse/statutes/fair-credit-reporting-act>

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