Anyone that has a driver’s licence in Ontario has a driving record, though many do not know what it looks like or what may be contained within it. If you are looking to learn more about the specific details of your driving history, there are several types of records that you can order. In this article, you will learn how to get a copy of your driving record, the type of records available, the costs associated and when you’ll need it.
What is a driving record?
Your driving record is your history as a licensed driver in Ontario. Regardless of the licence type, it can be used by organizations, such as car insurance companies, employers, and schools.
Types of records in Ontario
There are several types of driving records you can get through the Ontario Ministry of Transportation (MTO). The most common record requests are:
- Three-year uncertified or certified driver’s record: Used when an employer or other party requests a copy of your driving history (drivers abstract).
- Driver’s licence history: Used when your insurance company requests a copy of your driving record to confirm completion of driving school.
- Five-year uncertified driver’s record: Used by insurers to confirm driving history.
- Complete driver’s record: Commonly requested by insurance providers.
- Driver’s licence check: Used to confirm that your driver’s licence is valid.
Other types of records available:
- Five-year certified record: You need this if you apply to drive in a province outside of Ontario.
- Extended driver’s record search: Used as a supporting document in court.
- Driver confirmation letter: Used when applying to drive outside of Ontario.
What’s included in your driving record?
The following is a list of items that appears on Ontario records and abstracts:
- Date of birth
- Driver identification details
- Driver’s licence number
- Class of licence
- Licence status
- Endorsements and restrictions
- Issuing date of the driver’s licence
- The expiry date of the driver’s licence
- Renewal date of the driver’s licence
In addition, an Ontario driving record will also show a history of:
- Traffic violations
- Demerit points
- Cancelled or suspended licenses
- Active fine suspensions
- Criminal code, highway traffic act convictions suspensions and reinstatements
For a complete run-down of each type of driving record available, please click here.
How much does a driving record in Ontario cost?
Typically, an uncertified Ontario driving record costs $12. You can get a certified driver’s abstract for $18 through Service Ontario. The cost for a complete drivers record is $48 (uncertified) and $54 (certified).
A certified record has an embossed seal from the Ministry of Transportation and is typically required for legal reasons only.
Where can I get a copy of my Ontario driving record?
You may order a driver’s record in Ontario by mail, fax, or in person:
You will need the following information to order a copy of your driving history online in Ontario:
- Your full name
- Your driver’s licence number
- Your date of birth
- Your credit card information (for payment)
To order your driving record online, visit the Ontario Ministry of Transportation website and click on the “Order a Driving Record” link.
You will need to visit the nearest Service Ontario location with your payment ready.
By mail or fax
To order your driving record by mail or fax, you will need to download and complete the record search application form. Send the completed form along with your payment to the MTO Information Service Office. For the complete address, please click here. After you have paid with your credit card or via cheque, the record will arrive at your registered address in 15 business days.
What is a driver’s abstract?
A driver’s abstract is a summary of your driving history, and it may be requested by employers, insurance companies, or other organizations. It does not include all the information on your driving record, but it can give you an idea of your overall driving history. Your driver’s abstract provides details for the previous three years. Extended driver’s abstracts can show your driving information for the past five years. The information on the abstract can vary from province to province.
Important: Contrary to popular opinion, driver’s abstracts do not show your accidents.
When is a driver’s abstract needed?
You may require a driver’s abstract when:
- Procuring or renewing insurance: It is checked by insurers when looking to obtain or renew. Your driving history is one of the many factors used by insurers when determining your premium.
- Applying for a job: This applies if you’re required to drive as part of your employment (including taxi drivers, sales jobs, truckers, and delivery services).
- Driving out-of-province: If you are moving to another province, territory or country, a copy of your driving history will be needed to procure insurance.
- Checking your own record: If you are curious about your record or want to check when a ticket or accident is set to come off your driving history.
Driver’s licence check
You may be wondering how your insurance company can check your driving record to confirm your licence status? Insurers may have access to one of several databases containing that information. It’s important for them to know if your licence is currently valid because it can affect several things—such as your eligibility to drive and the validity of your car insurance policy. However, for privacy reasons, your current residential address is not included in most cases. Your Ontario driving record will also not include tickets for non-moving violations or any criminal history beyond driving, although most non-moving violations (parking tickets) won’t affect your car insurance rates anyway.
How to get longer-term driving records
If you are interested in retrieving your driving record for a longer term, you are able to do so online. Through the Ontario website, you are able to receive a five-year, extended or complete longer-term driving record or document. You are also able to receive your longer-term driving record through the mail or in-person by visiting a ServiceOntario Centre. A longer-term record will generally include:
- Name (as it appears on licence)
- Driver’s licence number
- Date of birth
- Class (example, G or M)
- Expiry date
- Licence status
- Specific driving conditions (example, requirement to wear glasses or contact lenses)
- Demerit point total
- Any convictions/suspensions under the Highway Traffic Act for the past three years
- Any convictions/suspensions under the Criminal Code of Canada for the past five years
Before you go about ordering your longer-term record, you should see which type you will need. There are two types of records, a certified driving record for $18 dollars or an uncertified record for $12 dollars. A certified driving record will come with an embossed seal of approval from the Ontario Ministry of Transportation. These are generally only needed during specific legal situations. An uncertified driving record will generally meet most people’s needs.
Your Ontario driving record is an important document in Ontario. It is a copy of your driving history, and is the single biggest factor that underwriters consider for your auto insurance rates. As we’ve discussed, you may order a driving record online, in person, or by mail. If you are at all concerned about your current insurance rate, start by speaking with one of our isure brokers. Before you start shopping for quotes, having your driving history or abstract in front of you may give you some extra information and peace of mind.