Before we get to the list of DMV offices, let’s talk about the DMV, which stands for the Department of Motor Vehicles. The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is a government agency overseeing various motor vehicle registration, driver licensing, and regulation aspects. It operates at the state or regional level in the United States, with each state having its own DMV or similar agency.
The acronym DMV is not used in every state. Some states use Motor Vehicle Department, Motor Vehicle Commission, Motor Vehicle Services, Driver Services, etc.
The primary function of the DMV is to ensure the safe and lawful operation of motor vehicles on public roads. It accomplishes this by issuing driver’s licenses, learner’s permits, and identification cards to eligible individuals after they pass the required tests and meet specific criteria. The DMV also maintains records of registered vehicles, including ownership information, vehicle identification numbers (VINs), and license plates.
Additionally, the DMV handles vehicle registration and titling processes, which involve assigning license plates and documenting legal ownership of vehicles. This includes collecting registration fees, taxes, and other charges related to motor vehicles. The agency is responsible for verifying that vehicles meet safety and emission standards, and it may conduct inspections or require periodic testing for compliance.
The DMV also plays a crucial role in enforcing traffic laws and regulations. It can suspend or revoke driver’s licenses and vehicle registrations for various reasons, such as traffic violations, driving under the influence (DUI), or failure to maintain proper insurance coverage. The DMV works closely with law enforcement agencies and provides them access to driver and vehicle records for identification and enforcement purposes.
In recent years, many DMV services have become available online, allowing individuals to renew their licenses, register vehicles, and perform other transactions conveniently. However, certain activities still require in-person visits to a local DMV office, such as taking driving tests, obtaining certain licenses, or resolving complex issues.
The state government handles driver licensing and vehicle registration in the United States in all states but Hawaii. In Hawaii, individual counties perform DMV functions such as driver licensing and vehicle registration. In Canada, driver licensing and vehicle registration are handled at the provincial government level.
DMV Record Searches
Motor vehicle driving records contain information on an individual’s driving record, including current and resolved court-ordered suspensions, citations, violations, and other entries impacting your driving record. If you are a detective conducting a background check, you must note that federal and state laws prohibit obtaining an individual’s driving record without their consent.
Employers conducting background checks may request a vehicle driving record with a signed authorization form from the individual.
- To obtain a copy of your entire motor vehicle driving record, contact the respective DMV office of each state you were licensed in
- Each state has slightly different guidelines and requirements for requesting driving records, so call or check the state DMV website first.
- The approximate cost is usually provided on the State DMV website
Searching for Public Records? Run a Background Report
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List of Services Provided by Motor Vehicle Departments
Following are links to State DMV websites. Use the State DMV websites to find such information as:
- Obtain a copy of your own driving record
- Renew your vehicle registration, get a new license plate, pay ad valorem tax
- Obtain a vehicle title
- Research a vehicle’s history
- Renew your driver’s license or ID card
- Driver license reinstatement
- Order licenses plates and specialty licenses plates
- Find office locations, check wait times, and make appointments
- Pay traffic tickets, court citations, and court fees
Many of these services can be completed online and apply to all drivers, including motorcyclists and commercial drivers. In addition to these services, many state websites provide access to state driving laws, motor vehicle laws, organ donor information, and more.
List of DMV Office Websites by State
- Alabama State Department of Revenue – Motor Vehicle Division
- Alaska Department of Administration – Division of Motor Vehicles
- Arizona Department of Transportation – Motor Vehicle Services
- Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration
- California Department of Motor Vehicles
- Colorado Department of Revenue
- State of Connecticut – Department of Motor Vehicles
- State of Delaware – Division of Motor Vehicles
- District of Columbia Department of Motor Vehicles
- Florida Department of Highway Safety
- Georgia Department of Driver Services
- Hawaii Motor Vehicle Information
- Idaho Division of Motor Vehicles
- Illinois Driver Services
- Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles
- Iowa Department of Transportation
- Kansas Department of Revenue Division of Vehicles
- Kentucky Transportation Office – Motor Vehicle Licensing
- Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles – Public Safety Services
- Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles
- Maryland Department of Transportation – Motor Vehicle Administration
- Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles
- Michigan Department of State -Vehicle Services
- Minnesota Department of Public Safety – Driver and Vehicle Services
- Mississippi Department of Public Safety – Driver Services
- Missouri Department of Revenue – Driver Licensing
- Montana Department of Revenue – Motor Vehicle Division
- Nebraska DMV
- Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles
- New Hampshire Department of Safety
- New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission
- New Mexico Motor Vehicle Division
- New York Department of Motor Vehicles
- North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles
- North Dakota Department of Transportation
- Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles
- Oklahoma Department of Public Safety
- Oregon DMV
- Pennsylvania Department of Transportation Driver and Vehicle Services
- Rhode Island Department of Revenue
- South Carolina Department of Public Safety
- South Dakota Department of Public Safety – Driver Licensing
- Tennessee Online Driver Services
- Texas Department of Motor Vehicles
- Utah State Tax Commission
- Vermont Agency of Transportation
- Virginia DMV
- Washington State Department of Licensing
- West Virginia Department of Transportation
- Wisconsin Department of Transportation
- Wyoming Department of Transportation
While the specifics may vary by jurisdiction, the Department of Motor Vehicles serves as a vital institution for promoting road safety, ensuring compliance with vehicle-related laws, and facilitating the smooth functioning of transportation systems.
Other Helpful Links for Vehicle Background Checks
- American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA) – This automobile association develops programs in motor vehicle administration, law enforcement, and highway safety.
- Drinking and Driving Info – learn about the dangers of driving while intoxicated (DWI) and driving under the influence (DUI)
- License Plate Search – Learn about the legal issues surrounding searching for license plates.
- Social Security Numbers – If you’re verifying social security numbers, read our overview on SSN Numbers.
- Vehicle Identification Number – Read our helpful overview of VIN numbers
- Look up Used Car Blue Book Values
Beware of sites offering “free criminal background checks” services, such as free driving records and vehicle identification number checks (free VIN checks).
Duplicate Driver’s License and Replacement ID Request
Replacing a Lost Driver’s License
If you lose or misplace your driver’s license, you may obtain a replacement, also known as a duplicate driver’s license, from a driver exam station.
All states in the U.S. use the National Driver Register to determine if a driver’s driving privilege is suspended in any other state before a license is issued. If a driver’s license is suspended in another state, a duplicate license will not be issued until that suspension is no longer in effect.
If you’re looking for free records, you’re out of luck. Every state will charge some fee for processing, copies, and mailing. Don’t believe it if you encounter a site or an investigative tool that claims it can provide free record searches.
Please comment below if you have any questions about this DMV office list.