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North Carolina Public Traffic Records

What are North Carolina Public Traffic Records?

Public traffic records in North Carolina are documents that contain the traffic or driving history of persons' resident within state limits. This traffic history includes traffic tickets, offenses, convictions, sentencing, etc. Traffic documents are a compilation of many (usually government-generated) documents and contain personal information.

A driving record accurately represents the driving history of a North Carolina motorist, as shown in North Carolina's Division of Motor Vehicles and courts records.

Are Traffic Records Public in North Carolina?

According to the North Carolina Department of Transport, driving records, and vehicle records are not public records. However, these documents can be obtained by paying a fee through the N.C Division of Motor Vehicles. Hence, anyone requesting the information online will be required to read and certify that they are entitled to personal data from the requested driving record under one or more of the permissible uses listed in the Federal Driver Privacy Protection Act.

N.C. General Statutes 20-43.1 and Chapter 123, Section 2721 of the U.S. Code (Driver Privacy Protection Act) require that personal information in DMV records be closed to the public. Such personal records include name, address, driver's license or ID number, social security number (SSN), phone number (customer number or control number), medical and disability information, and photographs.

However, persons with a vested interest may be able to find North Carolina traffic tickets upon request if they have the required information. Eligible persons include:

  • The driver or applicant themselves.
  • Government agencies in carrying out government functions.
  • Insurance companies.
  • Employers to verify the information for commercial drivers' licenses
  • Private toll operations, to identify drivers

The entire list of interested parties who can access your driving record is available on North Carolina's Department Of Transport website.

What do North Carolina Traffic Records Contain?

In North Carolina, a traffic record or driving records would generally include:

  • The name and address of the subject.
  • The subject's driver's license number.
  • The subject's driver's license validity status (valid, suspended, or expired) and license expiration date.
  • The subject's driver traffic violations.
  • All motor vehicle-related convictions.
  • Traffic wrecks information

Charges which are still pending will not appear on a record. The information presented on a traffic record in North Carolina may be subject to change depending on new convictions, license suspensions, revocations, or cancellations.

Does a Citation Go on Your Record in North Carolina?

While some traffic citations might go on an offender's record, tickets that result from traffic infractions or minor traffic offenses will not. In other words, only citations that are considered criminal offenses will go on record.

Additionally, for an individual convicted of certain motor vehicle violations in North Carolina, driver's license points accumulate on their driving record based on the type of offense committed.

  • A person faces likely suspension of their license if they accumulate 12 points in three years.
  • Eight driving points within three years after reinstatement of the driving permit can result in an additional suspension.

A driver can see their license status, including the number of points assessed on their record, through their MyDMV account.

The North Carolina Department of Transportation (DOT) uses a points system. It places points against offenders' driver's licenses for certain types of violations. A comprehensive list of the violations and issues is in the North Carolina Driver's Handbook.

Types of Traffic Citations in North Carolina

There are two main types of traffic citations in North Carolina:

  • Civil or Misdemeanor traffic citations, e.g., reckless driving, Driving Under the Influence (DWI), failure or refusal to stop at the scene of an accident, etc., which are usually resolvable without needing a court appearance.
  • Criminal or felony traffic citation which is punishable by jail time and hefty fines. Examples include frequent Driving While Intoxicated (DWI), Hit-and-run, Vehicular manslaughter, etc.

There are two different kinds of traffic violations. They are moving violations and non-moving violations. If the vehicle is in motion when committing the offense, that is a "moving violation." But if the car was not moving, it was a non-moving offense.

Some examples of moving violations include speeding, driving while intoxicated (DWI), running a red light, etc. Non-moving violations consist of parking illegally, leaving a vehicle unattended and running, having expired license plates/no license plates, etc.

North Carolina Traffic Citation Lookup

According to the North Carolina DMV website, a person may request to look up a copy of their driving record either offline or online.

A request can be made offline for a small fee. First, complete the driving record request form, including the appropriate price for the type of record requested. Then, return the completed form in person or by mail. To send it by mail, send it to the Department of Motor Vehicles, North Carolina (DMVNC).

For in-person delivery, deliver it to:

NCDMV Headquarters Building,
1100 New Bern Avenue,
Raleigh, NC 27697-0001.

When sending a request, it is essential to include the requester's full name, date of birth, driver's license number and specify the type of record you seek. Different documents have other uses, and some may require additional fees.

To make an online request, visit the North Carolina Online Records page.

Note that an interested party may get a summary of their driving record points for free online. The cost of getting one's own three-year or ten-year driving record at any time online is $6. To request a third party's full driving record, the said driver or third party must be aware and consent. The requester must prove a genuine reason for the request, as seen in The federal Driver's Privacy Protection Act 1994. Some conditions under which these records may be released include but are not limited to:

  • Investigations.
  • Government agencies.
  • Businesses to verify information.
  • Insurance companies.
  • Court proceedings.
  • Commercial driver's licenses, etc.

How to Lookup my North Carolina Traffic Records

Under Driver Privacy Protection Act, an entity may request an individual's driving or traffic record if there is a valid reason.

To submit a request, use the online public records request form.

North Carolina drivers may request records online, by mail, or in person at North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles headquarters.

Online: To make a request online, the requester and the license holder (if different) must provide:

  • Their Full names.
  • Their date of birth.
  • Their valid North Carolina ID card number or driver's license.
  • Their Social Security number, U.S. Visa number, or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number.
  • By mail: To order a driving record by mail, print out and fill out the appropriate forms. Mail it to the given address on the form, along with a signed money order or check made payable to the North Carolina DMV.

In-person: To request a driving record in person and receive the Certified driving records immediately, deliver the filled forms and payment to:

State-Operated Raleigh Central Service Office License Plate Agency,
4121 New Bern Ave.
Raleigh, NC 27616.

North Carolina Traffic Violations

A traffic violation in North Carolina is a criminal offense that can result in points being added to the offender's driver's license, as well as fines and potential jail time. Depending on the severity of the offense, offenders may also have their license suspended or revoked. Some of the most common traffic violations in North Carolina include speeding, running a red light, and driving under the influence (DUI). If convicted of a traffic violation, offenders will be recorded on their driving record, affecting their insurance rates.

Offenders who accumulate enough points on their driving record could lose their license. If convicted of a DUI, offenders will face mandatory jail time, a lengthy license suspension and other penalties. If convicted of multiple traffic violations, or if an offender has a history of traffic violations, they may be deemed, habitual offenders.

North Carolina License Plate Lookup

North Carolina license plate lookups can help a person find out the registered owner of a vehicle and the make and model of the vehicle.

In North Carolina, license plate lookups can be conducted online through the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) website. To look up a license plate, a person must enter the license plate number and the state in which the vehicle is registered.

Once the search is conducted, the results will show the registered owner's name, address, and other information about the vehicle. If the vehicle is registered in another state, the results will show the name and address of the registered owner in that state.

How to View Traffic Case Records for Free in North Carolina

Interested parties may view North Carolina traffic case records if they:

  • request their driving records or motor vehicle reports (MVR) from the Department of Motor Vehicles
  • directly ask the court to provide them.

This vehicle report contains all the traffic offenses, convictions, and other related records information. The service request may be made online or in person.

Also, criminal traffic cases information in the North Carolina court system is accessible through the public, self-service terminal. These terminals are located at the clerk of court's office in any county. Using this terminal, the interested party may search for cases by the defendant's name, the case number, the victim's name, or the witness's name.

In addition, a person can access paper files for court cases by visiting the county where the case is located and going to the court clerk's office to make the request. A fee is required if one must obtain copies of the court documents.

Another way to view traffic case records for free in North Carolina is to perform online searches using unaffiliated third-party websites.

How Long do Traffic Offenses Remain on Public Records in North Carolina?

The North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles collects reports of final convictions and findings of responsibility for traffic violations from the North Carolina court system. The DMV can use this data to assess points or take other action against the driver's license of persons convicted for traffic violations.

In North Carolina, there is no certainty on how long tickets will stay on a person's record. However, the state will suspend a driver's license if they get 12 points in 3 years. In general, the length of time it takes to keep a traffic offense on public record depends on the type of offense (misdemeanor or criminal) and the person's behavior during that period. Suppose they do not get additional citations or accumulate extra driving points during this period. In that case, the points already earned may stay on record for only about three years. But if the person gets additional tickets during that time, those points will be added to the total.

Public records in North Carolina always remain on a person's history until the person petitions the court to have it sealed or expunged.

How to Remove Traffic Records from Public Websites in North Carolina

Traffic records from public websites in North Carolina can be removed or sealed through the process of expunction. An expunction is a legal procedure used to delete a criminal charge or conviction from a person's record and seal or destroy the state's arrest, charges, and conviction records. Although an expunction might not relieve a convicted person from all consequences of their offense, an expunged record becomes publicly unavailable.

For a list of expungement statutes, visit the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) website. It is essential to use the petition forms applicable to the general law to seek an expunction to avoid delays or rejection of your request. To file for a traffic offense expunction,

  • Contact the court clerk in the county where you were charged and fill out a petition form to initiate the expungement process.
  • Next, fill in all required information on the form, including personal and court information, charges, docket numbers, etc.
  • Before completing the petition form, it may be helpful to obtain a copy of your background check and criminal history information.
  • You must include all charges, corresponding docket numbers, and file numbers on the petition form. Additionally, the file numbers and offenses need to be included in detail in the appropriate location on the petition form.

There is a $175 filing fee payable to petition for expunction. Persons whose charges the court dismissed or those that ended in a "not guilty" verdict are not required to pay this fee. Persons who cannot afford the cost may fill out a form to file without payment of a fee. Expunctions may take a long time to process.

Note that an expunction does not automatically mean that private sources will remove it from their public database. So if such information is still available through private sources, such as websites that compile criminal record information, contact those sources directly with information about the expunction. If the court has approved the expunction or sealing request, but the information is still available through the court system sources, notify the clerk of the court's office in the county that granted the expunction.

Do Motoring Offenses Affect Criminal Records in North Carolina?

In North Carolina, the Violation of state traffic laws can be a criminal offense. Some traffic violations are considered minor offenses. These are called traffic infractions and are penalized by traffic record points and fines. Other traffic violations are considered severe crimes and are punishable by jail time, license suspension, and hefty fines.

Both convictions of criminal traffic violations and being found guilty of multiple infractions over a certain period have the potential to go on a person's record.