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Georgia Public Traffic Records
What are Georgia Public Traffic Records?
Georgia public traffic records are official records that contain information concerning an individual traffic history in the state. This driving history includes traffic violations, citations, suspension, and convictions relating to or committed by the subject of the record. In Georgia, public traffic records are maintained by both state courts and the state Department of Driver Services (DDS). Interested and eligible members of the public are allowed access to public traffic records generated and maintained by either of these agencies.
Are Traffic Records Public in Georgia?
Yes. Georgia Open Records Act (ORA) grants the general public access to public records generated and maintained by several government agencies in the state. However, per Title 50-18-70 of the ORA, certain information can be deemed confidential. Hence, selected information can be restricted from public view.
Examples of restricted information include motor vehicle accident reports, drivers' social security numbers, and license information. Although traffic records may contain confidential information, these types of records are still considered public records. Confidential information in public records is usually redacted or omitted.
What do Georgia Traffic Records Contain?
Traffic records are equivalent to Motor Vehicle Reports (MVR) in Georgia. An MVR typically contains extensive information concerning a subject's driving history and other related information. This information includes, but is not limited to;
- Traffic violation tickets
- Reported accidents
- Violation points added to drivers' licenses
- Drivers license suspension and revocation records
Does a Citation Go on Your Record in Georgia?
Specific types of citations can go on an individual record in Georgia. When an individual is convicted of a traffic violation, the state's courts report the conviction to the DDS. The DDS uses a point system to keep track of individual traffic offenses in the state. The type and the severity of the traffic offense determine the number of points added to the offender's driving record. These points range from two (2) to six (6). Drivers can have their license suspended when they accumulate up to 15 points in 24 months.
Types of Traffic Citations in Georgia
In Georgia, there mainly three types of traffic citations:
- Parking tickets: These types of tickets are issued due to parking violations. The process for paying and contesting parking tickets is unique to the city/county where these tickets are issued. There is no central agency that handles parking tickets in Georgia. For example, the city of Marietta provides a valuable online resource that offers guidance for paying or appealing parking tickets.
- Infraction tickets: These types of traffic violations are deemed minor offenses. An example of such offenses includes speeding. Some infraction tickets may only require an offender to fix parts of their vehicle, such as faulty head and tail lights. These types of infractions are called fix-it infractions.
- Misdemeanor tickets: These types of tickets are issued for serious traffic violations. These violations typically cause or threaten injury, death, and destruction of property. Hence, they are generally considered criminal offenses.
Georgia Traffic Citation Lookup
A centralized database is maintained and managed by Georgia's judicial council, specifically for looking up traffic citations. Interested members of the public can look up citations by providing their name and date of birth or the name of the city/county where the citation was received.
How to Lookup my Georgia Traffic Records
In Georgia, Interested persons can look up their traffic records by requesting a Motor Vehicle Report (MVR) from the Department of Driver Services (DDS). This report contains information about an individual's driving history in the state. This typically includes all traffic offenses committed in the state, convictions, citations, and other similar information.
Interested pay request their records by
- Using the Online Services:
In this case, the requestor will have to create an online account with the DDS. Inquirers may request a three-year or seven-year certified or uncertified MVR through this method for a small fee. Payments can be made online or by mail using the payment coupon made available after the end of every transaction on the site. Cashier checks and money orders addressed to the DDS can also be used when making payments by mail.
- In-person Requests:
Individuals may request a lifetime MVR in person at any DDS customer service center. A three-year or seven-year certified or uncertified MVR may also be requested. In-person requests are made using the Motor Vehicle Request Form (DDS-18). The requesting party will be required to fill out an original copy of the DDS-18 form by providing the full name, date of birth, and license number of the licensee. In cases where a third party request is made, the requester must indicate on the DDS-18 form, show proper identification, and provide the driver (subject of the record) signature.
- By mail:
Similar to in-person requests, requestors can obtain a lifetime, 3-year, or 7-year certified MVR by requesting via mail. Requesters can either request using the DDS-18 form or by writing a letter. Requests made by mail must include the full name on the requester's driver's license and their driver's license number, date of birth, and receiving mail address. All required information and accompanying information should be enclosed in a self-addressed stamped envelope addressed to;
Georgia Department of Driver Services
Post Office Box 80447
Conyers, GA 30013
When making a third-party request (requesting an MVR of another person), the requester may be required to provide the driver's signature along with their request. Several payment options are accepted when requesting records by mail. This includes credit cards, checks, money orders, and cashier's checks. When paying using credit cards, a Credit Authorization Form must be included with the request. Money orders, checks, and cashier's checks must be made payable to the DDS.
Non-certified MVRs are only available for viewing and may not be presented as official documentation. These types of MVR are available for 30 days after the date the request was made.
On the other hand, a certified MVR is used for employment purposes, insurance agencies, and other purposes. A certified MVR is essentially a stamped version of an MVR that has been authorized by the DDS. a certified MVR cannot be viewed online and can only be collected in person or by mail. Requesters can expect to pay a $6.00 fee for a 3-year MVR and $8 for a 7-year and a lifetime MVR.
Businesses are also provided the option of making bulk MVR requests (up to 50 requests per month). Interested persons may visit the Bulk MVRs (for partners) to obtain more information on these types of MVR requests.
Georgia traffic case records may also be available from third-party websites since they are considered public records. Unlike government sources or websites, third-party websites do not have geographical limitations. Hence, interested parties may access these websites from anywhere in the world. However, some third-party websites may require registration or subscription to access traffic records.
Georgia Traffic Violations
There are a variety of traffic violations in Georgia. The most common traffic violation is speeding. Speeding is defined as driving at a rate of speed greater than the posted limit or faster than is reasonable and prudent under the conditions. Other traffic offenses include but are not limited to:
- DUI / DWI
- Hit and run
- Reckless driving
- Running a red light or stop sign
Depending on the offense, penalties can range from a simple fine to jail time. In some cases, points may also be added to the offender's license, resulting in an increase in insurance rates or even a suspension of your license.
Georgia License Plate Lookup
In Georgia, license plates can be used to track down the owner of a particular vehicle. This can help track road traffic offenders and witnesses. Additionally, Georgia license plate lookups can also be used to find information about a car or driver. For example, a person might want to check if a particular driver has a valid license or if a vehicle is registered in Georgia. This is why license plate information is typically included in Georgia traffic records.
Requestors can use the Georgia Department of Revenue online portal to look up license plates in Georgia. The portal allows requestors to search for license plates by plate number or by the owner's name. They can also view a list of all registered vehicles in Georgia and information about each car. This information includes the make and model of the vehicle, the year it was manufactured, and its registration expiration date.
The Georgia Department of Revenue's online portal can be a helpful tool to track down the owner of a specific car. However, if the requestors need to find information about a driver or car that is not registered in Georgia, the portal will not be of much use. In this case, the requesting party may consider using a public records database. A public records database allows you to search for information about people and businesses in the United States. These databases typically contain a wealth of information, including driver's license records, vehicle registration information, criminal records, etc.
How to View Traffic Case Records for Free in Georgia
Georgia courts maintain records of traffic cases. These courts include state, superior, municipal, and probate or recorder courts. The type of court that handles a traffic case depends on where the citation was issued. Requestors who intend to view traffic case records will have to visit the courthouse where the traffic case was heard or view the record online on the court's website.
In-person requests for traffic case records are made by visiting the appropriate courthouse with jurisdiction over the desired case and submitting a written request to the court clerk. The inquirer will need to specify the requested record by providing details of the case, including the names of parties involved or the case number.
Alternatively, requestors may use the E-Access Court Record portal to access court records online without visiting the physical location of any court. All that is required is a stable internet connection and a device (computers, tablets, or smartphones). However, requesters would have to create/register an account to access these sites. The information used in registering an account includes the inquirer's first name, last name, email address, and password. To initiate a traffic case search, the inquirer must provide the case number or the name of the parties involved in the case.
How Long do Traffic Offenses Remain on Public Records in Georgia
In Georgia, traffic offenses can remain on a public record for varying lengths of time depending on the type of the offense, its severity, and other factors surrounding the traffic offense. Generally, accumulating an excess of 15 points within two years can lead to DDS suspending an offender's driving privileges in the state. Usually, after two years, points may be removed from the offender's driving record. However, the violation can remain on the offender's public records for longer than two years, depending on the traffic violation.
According to the approved Division of Archives and History retention schedule and the official judicial branch records retention schedules, dismissed misdemeanor traffic case files are retained for three years after the case closure. Misdemeanor traffic violations can stay on record for five years after completing all appeals related to the case, or the right to appeal becomes void. If a misdemeanor traffic offense case is transferred to a higher court for trial or another lesser court, the case record will remain on file for seven years after the offender's court appearance. On the other hand, felony traffic violation cases files remain on record for 25 years after the completion of all appeals, and the right to appeal has been revoked.
Other records, such as traffic citation logs which contain a listing of parking tickets and other traffic citations issued in the state along with court dates and related fines, are retained for five years. Traffic citation warning for malfunctioning or non-functioning vehicle equipment remains on record for two years. Uniform traffic citations, summons, and accusations (documents regarding traffic violations) remain on record for two years.
Records of DUI (driving under the influence) cases are retained for ten years after a court's disposition. These records include both notices and photos regarding an offender's second subsequent DUI conviction that was sent to local newspapers.
How to Remove Traffic Records from Public Websites in Georgia
Traffic records are considered public records in Georgia. As such, these records are usually accessible through government agencies' websites, at the agencies' physical locations, or online and through third-party sites that serve as intermediate data brokerage firms. As a result, subjects of such records can have their records open to the scrutiny of employers, landlords, insurance agencies, and other relevant third parties. Therefore, most record subjects consider removing these records from public sites.
Filing for expungement of records is one of the effective ways of removing records. Record expungement (also known as record restriction) helps to restrict records from being viewed for non-criminal justice purposes. The prosecuting attorney of the case would have to approve the request for expungement to get started with the expungement process. The process for expungement differs depending on the case and its peculiarities.
For arrests that occurred before July 1, 2013, applications for expungement are made at the arresting agency. The agency may charge a fee for processing the application. While these fees generally differ by agency, these agencies cannot charge more than $50. Applications typically consist of three sections. Section one would be completed by the applicant, section two by the arresting agency, and section three by the prosecutor. Once completed, the prosecutor would add the application into the Georgia Crime Information Center (GCIC) database. Subsequently, a notification will be sent to the arresting agency informing them of the successful expungement/restriction. If the prosecutor cannot add the application to the GCIC database, it is sent back to the arresting agency. The requester would then need to send the approved application to the GCIC. The approved application along with the required fees can then be sent by mail to:
Georgia Crime Information Center
P.O. Box 370808
Decatur, GA 30037-0808
The requester would then be notified by email when the restriction has been placed on their record.
There is no specified application process for arrests after July 1, 2013. Instead, the prosecutor can approve the record expungement at the offender's sentencing. The request would then be noted in the sentencing records and forwarded to the court.
Another method is to pay a service fee to a public website to opt out of appearing on the search results of that particular site. The sites independently determine these fees for this process. However, not all public sites offer this service, and paying on one site would not reflect on others. In cases where the records cannot be completely removed, personal identifying information would be removed. Sites that should be targeted are those that show up amongst the first search results on search engines.
Do Motoring Offenses Affect Criminal Records in Georgia?
Yes, motoring offenses can affect criminal records in Georgia. Motoring offenses are classified as civil or criminal offenses. Civil offenses, also known as infractions, are deemed minor offenses. The penalties for these offenses are not as severe as criminal offenses. These types of offenses are not included in the offender's criminal records in the state.
On the other hand, criminal offenses can be categorized as misdemeanors or felony crimes. These types of offenses can reflect on the offender's criminal records. They are considered criminal traffic violations since they are likely to result in injury, death, and destruction of property.
Criminal offenses usually appear on an offender's background check, criminal records, and driving records. This can lead to several unwanted consequences such as the offender's ability to find work, applications for licenses, increases in insurance premiums, and extreme cases, loss of their driving privileges in the state. Repeat offenders may have their minor offenses upgraded to criminal offenses, which may be featured on their criminal records.