Do Speeding Tickets Show Up on Background Checks?

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Many people are concerned about whether or not civil infractions like speeding tickets show up on background checks or not. The truth is that it depends on the type and depth of check.

For many jobs a few random speeding tickets won’t show up on an employment background check, however if you have a history of driving under the influence, fleeing the scene of an accident, or any more serious offense that goes over to criminal records – those will likely show up.

For jobs related to driving, any pre-employment check will almost certainly include a specific section to check your driving record in which case a history of speeding tickets would show up on that very specific style of check.

Let’s keep dive into when speeding tickets will or won’t show up on a check, what role they play, and how much it might matter.

Do Speeding Tickets Show Up on Background Checks

Understanding Background Checks

When applying for a job, you may be asked to undergo a background screening. These checks are a normal part of a process that employers use to verify the information you provided on your application and to check for any criminal history.

There are different types of background checks, including:

  • Criminal
  • Employment
  • Pre-employment

A pre-employment check is conducted before you are hired for a job. This type of check is used to verify your identity, education, work history, and criminal history.

A criminal check is just like it sounds. This is used to check for any criminal history you may have. An employment check is used to verify your employment history, education, and other relevant information.

It’s important to note that not all traffic violations will show up on a background check. In general, they’re not considered criminal offenses and so will not be included in a criminal record. 

However, certain jobs, such as those that involve driving, may require a full check on someone’s driving record since that will be a major part of the position. Otherwise, this type of information isn’t likely to show up.

Speeding Tickets and Your Driving Record

As a driver, it is important to be aware of the impact that speeding tickets can have on your driving record. In this section, I will discuss how speeding tickets can affect your driving history and what to expect during a driving record check.

Impact of Speeding Tickets on Driving History

Speeding tickets are considered traffic violations and are typically not classified as criminal offenses. They can still impact your driving record and may be visible on a motor vehicle history or motor vehicle record.

Multiple speeding tickets or a combination of these and other violations can lead to points on your driving record, which can result in higher insurance premiums or even suspension of your driver’s license.

In that situation when the cumulative effects become that severe, it can end up on a traffic record because now it does become part of a criminal background check.

Driving Record Check

Employers may conduct driving history checks as part of their pre-employment screening process, especially if the job requires driving or operating company vehicles.

During a driving record check, the employer may review your motor vehicle history or motor vehicle record to ensure that you have a safe driving history.

If you have a history of multiple speeding tickets or other traffic citations, it may be a red flag to potential employers. It is important to be honest about your driving history during the hiring process and to take steps to improve your driving habits if necessary.

Speeding tickets can have a significant impact on your driving record and may be visible during a driving record check. It is important to drive safely and avoid accumulating points on your driving record to ensure that you have a clean driving history.

Types of Offenses on Background Checks

Types of Offenses on Background Checks

A single ticket for speeding is not going to appear on a criminal background check, so it’s not worth being worried about that. Understanding the difference between what traffic violations could impact job prospects versus those that don’t will tell you what should worry you versus what shouldn’t.

Minor Traffic Violations vs. Serious Offenses

There are two types of offenses: minor traffic violations and serious offenses. Minor violations are civil citations, while serious offenses are criminal citations.

Minor violations, such as running a stop sign or changing lanes without signaling, are not considered serious offenses. They are typically not included in background checks, and they do not appear on criminal records.

On the other hand, serious offenses, such as DUIs, reckless driving, and vehicular homicide or manslaughter, are considered criminal offenses. They are included in background checks and appear on criminal records.

Misdemeanors Vs Felonies

Criminal offenses are divided into two categories: misdemeanors and felonies. Misdemeanors are less serious offenses, such as traffic violations, while felonies are more serious offenses, such as vehicular homicide.

A conviction for a misdemeanor offense typically results in a fine or probation, while a conviction for a felony offense can result in imprisonment.

It is important to note that not all criminal offenses are created equal. Some offenses, such as hit-and-run or drag racing, are considered more serious than others and can have a greater impact on job prospects.

When it comes to background checks, these minor violations are typically not included, while serious offenses, such as DUIs and vehicular homicide, are included.

It is important to understand the difference between misdemeanor and felony offenses and the potential consequences of a criminal conviction.

How Speeding Tickets Affect Employment

How Speeding Tickets Affect Employment

As someone who has received a speeding ticket, you may be wondering whether it could affect your job prospects.

In this section, I will explore the relevance of speeding tickets in employment and provide insights into how potential employers may view traffic violations.

Job Applications & Traffic Tickets

When you are applying for a job, you may be asked to disclose any and all past criminal convictions. These are referring to crimes in criminal court and unless specifically asked, generally won’t include minor issues. 

While traffic violations are usually not considered criminal offenses, they may still be relevant to certain job positions.

For example, if you are applying for a job that involves driving a company car or delivering goods to clients or customers, your potential employer may view your driving record as an indicator of your ability to perform the job safely and responsibly.

Driving-Related Jobs

If you are applying for a job that involves driving, such as a delivery driver or a truck driver, your driving record may be particularly important to your potential employer.

In these roles, you may be responsible for transporting goods or people, and a bad driving history could increase the liability risk for the company.

It is also worth noting that some companies may have their own policies regarding driving violations. For example, they may have a limit on the number of points you can have on your license or require you to complete defensive driving courses before you can be hired.

While speeding tickets may not always show up on background checks, they may still be relevant to certain job positions.

It is important to be honest about your driving record during the job application process and to be aware of any company policies regarding traffic violations. 

Proactive Measures

If you’re that concerned about what past traffic issues show up on any of your records, the quickest way to know is to run checks on yourself.

This can be an excellent way to see what does, and what violations don’t show up on a basic or even in-depth record check.

Conducting a Self-Check

As someone who wants to ensure that their background check is clean, it is important to conduct a self-check. This means that you should pull your own driving record to see if there are any pending or unpaid tickets that may show up on a background check.

In most states, you can request your driving record through the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) or the Department of Transportation (DOT).

Keep in mind that driving record and background checks are often two different things. Most basic traffic violations show up on driving record checks but not on your normal non-specialized check.

Traffic & Background Check FAQs

Will a speeding ticket show up on a background check?

In most cases, no. Speeding tickets are typically considered civil citations and are not included in criminal records.

The one exception would be if there were enough in a short time to result in a license suspension or they were brought up as part of a criminal court case involving a more serious driving infraction.

Will an unpaid ticket show up on a background check?

If an unpaid ticket has resulted in a criminal citation, it may show up on a background check. It is important to pay fines and resolve any outstanding tickets to avoid potential risk.

Can fines or damages from a violation affect any job-related background checks?

Fines and damages are not typically included in criminal records. However, if the violation is severe enough to result in a criminal citation, it may be considered a red flag for employers.

Can speeding tickets or other traffic issues make me ineligible for a job?

It depends on the job. If the job requires driving, any traffic violation may be a concern for employers.

Additionally, if the violation is severe enough to result in a criminal citation, it may make you ineligible for certain jobs.

Who can see my driving record?

Your driving record is typically only accessible by law enforcement, insurance companies, and potential employers with your consent.

How long do traffic violations stay on my record?

The length of time that driving citations or other violations stay on your record varies by state. Minor violations such as speeding tickets stay on your record for 3-5 years. More serious violations such as DUIs may stay on your record for up to 10 years.

Can I have a violation expunged from my record?

It depends on the state and the severity of the violation. In some cases, it may be possible to have a driving violation expunged from your record. It’s best to consult with a legal professional to determine your options.

Will Speeding Tickets Affect Your Job Prospects? Final Thoughts:

In most situations having a few speeding tickets is not going to affect your chance of employment, and they won’t appear on background checks that most employers use for screening.

Those are generally considered civil infractions so as long as you don’t have more serious driving infractions, or have so many tickets that you ended up with a suspended license, then you shouldn’t worry too much.

Written by Shane Dayton

Shane, an MFA grad and seasoned online writer, specializes in security and privacy, using his vast state-to-state travel experiences to guide readers through the complexities of information safety in a digital world. Read more of Shane's articles.