What are Delaware Public Traffic Records?
Delaware public traffic records are official documents containing state residents' traffic and driving history, including their traffic tickets, violations, convictions, license information, etc. Public traffic records are created and maintained by various government agencies. In Delaware, these custodian agencies are the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and Delaware courts. Interested members of the public may access these records by querying relevant agencies in person, online, or via mail.
Are Traffic Records Public in Delaware?
Yes, traffic records are considered public records in Delaware. Per Delaware's Freedom of Information Act, the general public is guaranteed access to public records maintained by government bodies in the state. However, since these public records typically contain the driver's personal information that is considered confidential, their personal information may be redacted or withheld from public view. Personal information is protected by the provisions of the federal (freedom of information act) and Delaware Code Title 21. Motor Vehicles § 305.
Confidential information includes any personal information that can be used to identify an individual. This includes their social security number (SSN), photograph, name, address, telephone number, and medical or disability information.
What do Delaware Traffic Records Contain?
Typically a Delaware traffic record contains the following information;
- The personal information of the subject
- Traffic tickets
- Traffic violation
- License status (suspended, revoked, void, or valid)
- Convictions and sentences stemming from traffic violations
- Traffic accidents
Does a Citation Go on Your Record in Delaware?
Some traffic citations may be included on offender records in Delaware. Under Delaware code title 21 section 808, citations for civil traffic violations are not reported to the state DMV except in cases where the vehicle is a commercial vehicle. Hence, civil violations or infractions do not go on an offender's records.
However, citations for criminal (misdemeanor and felony) traffic violations can go on an offender's record. Delaware uses a point system to keep track of an individual's traffic violations in the state. Most of the offenses included in the state point system are criminal traffic violations. Some examples of these violations include reckless driving or aggressive driving, DUI, and driving offenses resulting in severe injury or death.
Types of Traffic Citations in Delaware
In Delaware, there are primarily three types of traffic citations that can be issued for traffic violations:
- Parking tickets: these types of tickets are issued for parking violations. Recipients of parking tickets can either pay the designated fine or contest the ticket. Each Delaware county has specific agencies that handle payments and appeals for parking tickets.
- Infraction tickets: These tickets are issued for minor traffic offenses, including running a stop sign. A recipient may pay the ticket or contest the ticket in court in response to an infraction ticket.
- Misdemeanor tickets: These tickets are issued for criminal traffic offenses when the offender is not immediately taken into custody. An example of this type of offense includes driving while intoxicated (DWI).
Delaware Traffic Citation Lookup
Inquiries about Delaware traffic citations can be made at the court indicated on the ticket. Inquirers may visit the court's physical address and query the clerk's office. Alternatively, some courts may provide online search portals that can be used to lookup citations on their official website.
The hours and location page on the state judiciary website can be used to obtain information regarding different court addresses, working hours, and contact information. Information retrieved from this website may aid inquirers in looking up their traffic citations.
How to Lookup my Delaware Traffic Records
To lookup Delaware traffic records, interested persons can request copies of traffic records from the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Traffic records contain details of an individual's driving and traffic history in the state. Requestors may obtain a personal traffic record or make third-party requests for another person's driving record. However, the DMV does not release specific personal information without the express written consent of the record holder. Hence, when requesting another person's records, a personal information release form must be completed and sent along with the record request. Interested parties can make a Delaware driving record request online, in person, or by mail.
For online requests, a copy of the requester's driving record can be purchased through their "MYDMV" account on the DMV website using a major credit or debit card. If the requester does not have an "MYDMV" account, an account can be created on the website (create an account). To make driving records request in person, interested parties may visit any DMV office to request a three(3) year, five(5) year, or full record. Alternatively, requests for driving records may also be sent by mail.
For request via mail, requestors would need to complete the personal information release form and have the form notarized with a seal or stamped (or presented in person at any DMV office). Requests must be mailed along with a stamped, self-addressed envelope to reduce processing time. Requests should be made to:
Division of Motor Vehicles
ATTN.: Driver Licence Administration
P.O. Box 698
Dover, DE 19903
The cost for requesting driving records either in-person, online, or by mail is $25.00 for a three(3) year, five(5) year, or full record.
Delaware 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 record.
Delaware Traffic Violations
A Delaware traffic violation is any act that contravenes the state's traffic laws. These violations can range from minor offenses like parking tickets to significant crimes like DUI or hit and run. Traffic violations can result in points being added to the offender's driving record, and accumulating too many points can lead to a license suspension. A traffic violation may also result in a criminal conviction in some cases.
Motorists cited for a traffic violation in Delaware will be required to appear in court. At their court appearance, they will have the opportunity to plead guilty or contest the charges against them. If they choose to contest the charges, their case will be set for trial. If they are found guilty of a traffic violation, they will be subject to the penalties prescribed by law. These penalties can include fines, points on their driving record, and in some cases, jail time.
Delaware License Plate Lookup
License plates are a significant part of Delaware traffic records because they help identify the car and driver involved in a traffic incident. Interested persons can conduct a Delaware license plate lookup using the Delaware Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) website.
To lookup license plates on the DMV website, the requestor will need the license plate number and the last four digits of the vehicle identification number (VIN). The DMV website will then display the vehicle registration information for that license plate. This information can include the car's make, model, and year and the name and address of the registered owner.
To lookup license plates for a specific purpose (such as insurance or law enforcement), requestors can contact the Delaware DMV and request a copy of the traffic records. There is a fee for this service, and the requesting party will need to provide information about why they are asking for the records.
How to View Traffic Case Records for Free in Delaware
In Delaware, courts maintain official traffic case records in both electronic and paper formats. These records can be viewed in person by visiting or contacting the appropriate court where the traffic case was heard. Interested persons would need to either visit or contact the superior court, a court of common pleas, or a justice of the peace court in the county where the case was heard or where the traffic offense occurred. The Delaware judiciary hours and location page can be used to obtain information about different courts in the state, including courts' locations and hours of operation.
Inquirers may visit appropriate courts and request paper copies of traffic case records in person from the court's clerk. Alternatively, traffic case records may be viewed and searched online through the state judiciary's CourtConnect portal. On this online portal, cases are searched using the names of parties to a case, businesses' names, case types, or judgments against entries.
How Long do Traffic Offenses Remain on Public Records in Delaware?
The length of time traffic offenses can remain on an offender's public records depends on the type and severity of the traffic offense. Generally, traffic offenses remain on an offender's Delaware driving record for a minimum of two years. However, less severe traffic offenses assigned a few traffic points can stay on an offender's driving record for one year. On the other hand, serious traffic offenses such as driving while intoxicated (DWI) can stay on an offender's DMV driving record for five (5) years.
According to the retention schedule of Delaware's Department of Transportation, records of traffic tickets/electronic listing for both out-of-state drivers and Delaware drivers are retained for five(5) years. Afterward, arrest tickets are destroyed, and electronic listings are transferred to the Delaware Criminal Justice Information System (DELJIS). Nonetheless, records of dismissed tickets are typically destroyed after the ticket's dismissal.
Notwithstanding, the retainment of records of traffic offenses committed by commercial drivers is usually longer. Records of traffic offenses that resulted in the suspension or lifetime revocation of a commercial driver's license are retained by the agency for ten(10) years, for active cases. After which, the records would be transferred to the State Records Center for 70 years; then are destroyed. Nevertheless, records of lifted/reinstated case files are retained at the agency for the current year and other subsequent case records are transferred to the State Records Center for 80 years.
How to Remove Traffic Records from Public Websites in Delaware
Per Delaware's Freedom of Information Act, public records, including traffic records, can be requested and viewed by the general public. As a result, these records may be made available through government websites and databases as well as public websites run by data brokerage firms. These records being made available for public viewing may impose certain liabilities to record holders. Hence, making their removal from public websites much beneficial to record holders.
Petitioning a court for the expungement of relevant records is one of the most effective ways of removing traffic records from public websites. However, the petitioned record would have to be applicable for expungement under Title 11 of Delaware Crimes and Criminal Procedure. The state of Delaware does not offer complete expungement of records. Rather, expunged records are sealed and are usually inaccessible to the public but may be viewed by courts and law enforcement agencies in the lawful performance of their duties.
Alternatively, traffic records may be removed from public websites by subscribing to opt-out services provided by some of these websites. When using the opt-out method, record subjects are advised to target those that appear more relevant to web search engines like google. Interested parties may also obtain a new P.O. Box and a personal phone, then update their records with relevant government agencies such as the DMV with their new information. This would help protect their personal phone number and home address from public view.
Do Motoring Offenses Affect Criminal Records in Delaware?
Certain motoring offenses can affect an offender's criminal record in Delaware. These offenses are mainly traffic violations that are deemed criminal offenses per state. Criminal traffic violations include misdemeanor and felony motoring offenses. However, civil traffic violations(infractions) are less likely to appear on an offender's criminal record.
Certain liabilities may be imposed on an offender for having criminal traffic violations on their record. These include increased insurance premiums, loss of driving privileges, and limitations in finding employment. Criminal traffic violations may appear on an offender's driving record and background checks, including felony convictions.