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What is a Driver's License or Traffic Offence Check?

min read
A driver's licence check or Motor Vehicle Record (MVR) shows a candidate’s driving history and current licence status

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If you’re hiring a delivery driver as a prospective employee, a logical step would be to conduct a driver’s licence check. You want to ensure they’re not driving on an expired licence or have had their licence revoked. Their driving—good or bad—can affect safety and your organisation’s public reputation; verifying this information is crucial. 

So, if you’re evaluating a candidate’s legal eligibility to operate a vehicle for any business purpose related to your organisation, here’s how you can be confident about your choice.

What is a Drivers's licence check?

A driver's licence check is also called a Motor Vehicle Record (MVR) and provides a range of information related to a candidate’s driving history. It typically shows the current licence status, accident reports, suspended licences, and traffic violations, including reckless driving or hit and runs.

What type of candidates need a Driver's licence and Traffic Offence Check?

Driving licence and traffic checks are the best way to safeguard your business when you’re hiring:

  • Salespeople who drive company vehicles on sales visits
  • Commercial drivers such as bus, taxi, or limo drivers
  • Contract drivers for rideshare or food delivery services
  • Contractors who transport goods
  • Courier drivers
  • Care providers who transport clients
  • Removalists
  • Truck drivers
  • Volunteers who take people to and from events. 

Why are Driver's licence and Traffic Offence Checks important? 

You get the peace of mind that you and your drivers are licensed and safe. Reviewing your candidate’s driving records is essential for positions where employees will operate motor vehicles for business purposes. A licence check provides insight into whether a candidate is a safe driver. You also protect your organisation's reputation with confidence in the candidate's capability to drive responsibly.

Reasons why license checks are important

Driving record checks help you:

  • Minimise risk and maintain safety protocols by hiring qualified candidates with safe driving records
  • Safeguard company assets, employees, and customers
  • Maintain your organisation’s reputation and trust 
  • Protect your organisation against liability claims and fines 

What does a Driver's licence check show?

Here’s a short list of things you might learn from a licence and traffic offence check:

  • If the candidate’s licence is expired, suspended or revoked
  • Traffic offences and violations, including speeding tickets, demerit points, fines and negligent driving
  • Any kind of restrictions that may affect a candidate’s ability to drive legally
  • The type of vehicle the candidate is licensed to drive
  • Felony or convictions, such as Driving under the Influence (DUI)

Traffic rules vary for each country, for example, Australia has a Demerit Point Scheme with points added to the driver's record. Think about points as marks against you for poor driving decisions. The more points a driver has, the closer they are to losing their licence. Each state in Australia has its own rules for the maximum number of demerits allowed within a specific time frame.

How to conduct a Driver's licence and Traffic Offence Check?

Countries like the US allow you to access a candidate’s Motor Vehicle Record (MVR) directly through the Department of Motor Vehicles in the state that issued the license. 

The UK transport authorities allow an employer or person to check licence information using the last eight characters of their driving licence number and a check code from the driver. 

In Australia, the Australian National Character Check (ANCC) is a provider of Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Checks for the purpose of driver accreditation and licensing requirements across Australia. Anyone who intends to drive a public vehicle like a commercial passenger vehicle or other heavy vehicles in any state or territory in Australia must be accredited through “various” checks, in addition to possessing a valid Australian Driver’s license. 

To speed up the process, you could use a third-party background check provider. Xref has been in the business of candidate verification for over a decade and has The Trust Marketplace solution for the provision of such checks. 

Do I need to ask for candidate permission before conducting a Driver's licence and Traffic Offence Check?

Yes, you’ll need written permission from the candidate to run a licence check. Local laws in most countries maintain strict disclosure and authorisation requirements for conducting such checks. 

How long does getting a Driver's licence and Traffic Offence Check take?

It varies from country to country; usually, a turnaround time is approximately two to 20 working days, depending on the issuing authority.

What outcome can I expect from a Driver's licence and Traffic Offence Check?

A driver's licence check will assess the validity of a candidate’s current licence, including penalties, fines and violations. The outcome could give you a green light to hire the candidate or bring certain traffic-related concerns to your attention. You can then decide if these results are unfavourable and employing that person is not suitable or if employment could proceed, despite those outcomes.  

What does an unfavourable licence check mean?

You may find information that causes you to question whether or not to hire a candidate. It may be worth a conversation with the candidate to understand the results further. 

Before you take action, be aware of laws and regulations that may apply. While a reliable third-party background check provider can help you access relevant information on a candidate, you are responsible for having a fair and legal hiring process. 

What other verification checks should I conduct? ‍

Along with an employment verification check, you may choose or be required by law to conduct:


A driver's licence check can help identify candidates with unsafe driving records to help you assess the risk of potential and current employees. By gaining a complete and accurate picture of the safety of your drivers with these checks, you can protect your business from possible risks and build a culture of responsible driving in your workforce.

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