A chill, leisurely drive along the Crossroads of America - what a way to start your day.
But then peonies don't smell that sweet anymore, because you got a traffic ticket and your mood drops very low.
A traffic citation won’t look good on your driving record, that’s a given.
What if you need to apply for an insurance discount? Or what if you need it to complete your requirements when applying for a new job?
Worse, what if you’ve accumulated enough points to get your license suspended?
To find out where you stand, it’s a good idea to check your driving record every now and then.
In this article, we’re going to give you a complete 2021 guide on how to get a driving record in Indiana.
So let’s get straight to it.
What is an Indiana Driving Record?
If you’re registered with the State of Indiana, it’s easy to obtain a copy of your driving record
from the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles (IN BMV).
But before we go into the details of requesting a copy, I wanted to share some basic information about your driving record.
Each individual’s driving record is regularly maintained by the Indiana BMV. They update it every time you get involved with any traffic incident - like if you received a traffic ticket, a moving violation, a DUI report, or if you’re involved in a traffic accident.
It will reflect all other violations and entries impacting your record as well - including reinstatement fees owed to the BMV.
It will also include your personal information:
- Your full name
- Your address
- Your date of birth
- A short personal description
- License number (date of issuance and expiration)
Now, you can use this record to check your driver’s license points and tickets, DUIs, suspensions, and other traffic infractions. Your insurance company may also require this if you're applying for insurance, rate adjustments, and claim investigations. Or, a potential employer may need it for a background check.
What are the Types of Driving Records in Indiana?
In Indiana, there are 2 types of driving records:
The first one is called VDR or the Viewable Driver Record. This record is available online for free. You can use this for personal reference if you want to keep tabs on your record.
The other one is called ODR or the Official Driving Record. This is a certified copy of your driving record that includes a certification letter from the BMV. This is used for official purposes when an employer, a government entity, insurance company, or school admission office requires a certified driver record. The ODR may be purchased for $4.
How to Obtain a Driving Record in Indiana?
Obtaining a copy of your driving record in Indiana can be done online, through the mail, or in person.
If you’re unfamiliar with where or how to get one, then the process might seem difficult. But it isn’t at all.
Let’s show you how to obtain a driving record for each way.
This is the most convenient way to get a copy of your driving record.
If you want a copy of your VDR, you can simply view it here.
You just need to create an account with the myBMV official website. Once logged in, you can simply download your driving record and print it yourself.
Meanwhile, you can purchase your ODR for $4 on the same website. As easy as that!
Just take note that myBMV.com is unavailable every Sunday from 5 AM to 10 AM for their routine maintenance.
The process of ordering your record by mail is also simple but it may take a few days to complete.
So if you’re not in a hurry, you can order your driving record through the mail by following these steps:
- Print this form: Request for Certified Records (State Form 53789)
- Read it carefully then fill out the form
- Mail the form, along with your payment of $4 (money order, cashier’s check, business check, personal check made payable to BMV), to:
Indiana Government Center North
Room 402, 100 North Senate Avenue
Indianapolis, IN 46204
Now, if you don’t have the details of the driver’s license number, if you can’t open your myBMV account, or if you can’t wait for a few days to get a hold of your IN driving record - it’s best to order it in person.
The IN BMV branches are open for walk-in service but the process may be more tedious than the two options above, especially during the COVID pandemic.
First, you’ll need to secure an appointment online, and then comply with the schedule given to you.
Here are some reminders before you visit your local BMV branch:
- Double-check if you have all required documents for your transaction(s)
- Print and fill out the Request for Certified Records form (State Form 53789)
- Don’t forget to bring a valid ID and your driver’s license
- Check your local branch hours and come on time
- Make sure to pack your mask if you are not fully vaccinated
A Few Things to Note
- If you need to request for more than one copy of your ODR, you can only order them through mail or in person.
- If you are requesting for the ODR of another Indiana driver, you can only order it through mail or in person.
- You can only order the driving record of somebody else if you are a lawyer, part of a government agency, a member of the law enforcement, the parent or legal guardian of the driver, or are an employer doing a background check on the driver.
- If you are requesting for somebody else's driving record through mail or in person, you must submit a filled-out Request for Driver Records (Form 53789), and pay the $4 processing fee.
What To Do With Your Indiana Driving Record?
Once you’ve obtained a copy of your driving record, what should you do with it?
One thing you can do is check the accuracy of your driving record. Make sure that everything listed there is valid, especially the points you’ve accumulated.
If you’re not sure how to read your driving record, here’s a detailed explanation of the abbreviations and all the things that you’ll find on it:
- If your ODR was issued before December 8, 2013, download this Driver Record Legend
- If your ODR was issued on or after December 8, 2013, download this Driver Record Legend
In case you find any inaccurate information that you need to correct, reach out to the Indiana BMV at (888) 692-6841 and request to have it fixed. Keep in mind that these inaccuracies may increase your insurance rates, result in unnecessary fines, and even license suspensions, if not addressed immediately.
What are Driving Record Points?
Indiana law assesses a point value for each conviction of moving violations, depending on how serious the offense is.
This point value will stay active on your driving record for two years from the date it was recorded. Unless, of course, you take action to remove it from the conviction date (we’ll talk about this later).
If you’re not familiar with the point system in Indiana, here’s an example of how many points will be given for the specific infractions below:
- 2 to 6 points for driving over the speed limit
- 2 points for failing to utilize headlights when needed; not having signal lights or brakes
- 4 points for unsafe lane changes and improper U-turns
- 6 points for failure to yield, following too closely and disobeying stop or yield signs
- 8 points for failing to yield to emergency vehicles; racing; and driving with a suspended license
Accumulating a certain number of points in your driving record within a given period (for example, 8 points or higher within 2 years) may result in getting your driver’s license suspended or revoked - and this means additional 8 points in your driving record.
Knowing this, you’ll see why it’s important that you monitor these points regularly to ensure that your driving privileges are still intact.
If you want additional reading on this, the Indiana Administrative Code or IAC Title 140, Article 1 discusses the probation and suspension categories in depth.
How to Improve Your Driving Record?
Great news! You can take an Indiana Defensive Driving course to remove points from your record.
Note: just make sure you ask the IN BMV if they will accept this course to remove points. You don’t want to spend time studying for nothing.
You can request for point removal once every three years, wherein you’ll be eligible to remove at least 4 points.
If so, here are some of the best online traffic schools where you can take an Indiana Defensive Driving course:
- MyImprov Traffic School - This school is approved by the Indiana BMV, state, and accepted by ALL courts. They offer instant certificate filing, automatic reporting to the BMV, and an open-book quiz that covers only 6 short chapters! The course is 100% online. Plus, it is the most fun and engaging course you can find out there as it’s co-written by professional comedy writers. You’ll get to enjoy hilarious jokes in between lessons!
- Aceable - This school is also approved and accepted by the Indiana BMV. Plus, their course is state-approved for car insurance discounts. With Aceable, you’ll be able to complete their 4-hour Basic Driver Safety Program (BDSP) using their top-rated app for on-the-go learning.
What’s more, the course materials are very modern and fresh as compared to other courses out there. Plus, you can opt for one free month of Allstate® Roadside Services upon purchase of their course.
- GoToTrafficSchool - This school offers the most affordable defensive driving course in Indiana (also approved by the BMV). However, you may find their materials a bit bland if you compare them to the others on our list. But since it doesn’t offer that kind of fancy, extra learning aids, you’ll be able to complete their course faster (I’d recommend this if you’re in a hurry to finish the course).
- Indiana Driver Safety Program - What’s unique for this school is that they offer both online and in-class Indiana Driver Safety Program. And yes, they are approved by the BMV. They even have an option for a DVD/workbook format. So if you’d like to consider another type of learning format, definitely check out their classes.
Take your pick!
I guess after all this, you get the idea of how important it is to ensure your driving record is clean.
Obtaining a copy of your driving record once in a while will help you keep that in check. Thankfully, it’s really easy to get hold of these records in Indiana.
Here’s a quick recap on the three ways to request for your driving record:
- Order Online:
- Order through Mail: Fill out this form: Request for Certified Records (State Form 53789) and mail it, along with your payment of $4 to the Indiana Government Center North, Room 402, 100 North Senate Avenue, Indianapolis, IN 46204.
- Order In Person: Secure an appointment online and visit your local BMV branch on schedule. Bring your completed Request for Certified Records form (State Form 53789), $4 payment, a valid ID, and your driver’s license.
Also, don’t forget that you can remove at least four points from your record once every three years by completing an Indiana Defensive Driving course!
We hope this article has been a great help to you!