Do I Need a Texas Driving Record for Defensive Driving?

What Type and Why

Wait, There’s Such a Thing as a Driving Record?

Yep. Just like that “permanent record” your elementary school teacher held over your head, the state keeps a very careful accounting of all of your driving missteps. Keeping this record clean is important, as not doing so can cost you. Your insurance company will certainly pull a copy of your driving record before deciding how much to charge you for your premiums. 

What Types of Driving Records Are There?

How many? Turns out there’s a bunch!

  • Type 1 (Status Record): Name, date of birth (DOB), license status, and current address.
  • Type 2 (3-year Driving History): Name, DOB, license status, list of accidents and moving violations on record within the past 3 years.
  • Type 2A (Certified 3-year Driving History): Certified version of Type 2. This record is not acceptable for Defensive Driving Course (DDC).
  • Type 3 (Complete Driving History): Name, DOB, license status, list of all accidents and violations on record.
  • Type 3A (Certified Complete Driving History): Certified version of Type 3. This record is acceptable for a Defensive Driving Course (DDC).
  • Type AR (Abstract Driver Record): Certified abstract of complete driving record of a license holder.

I’ll be honest here, I have no idea why the state offers so many driving record versions.  I mean, seriously. Who’s going to order (and pay for ) a   “Type 1” to confirm their name, date of birth, license status, and current address? Aren’t all those things covered just by having a license?!?

If your court has asked you to provide one to complete the dismissal of your ticket, it’s the “3A” that you want. I guess it’s mostly because it’s “Certified,” meaning the state can charge a little more.

Will a Driving Record Show Defensive Driving?

The answer here is yes, eventually. To dismiss a ticket with defensive driving, a driver cannot have done so in the previous 12 months. That’s the reason the court asks for one, to make sure you’re not trying to game the system. 

The important thing to remember here is that the driving record you order in conjunction with taking a course now will NOT show the course you have just completed. Again, don’t worry; that’s a good thing. We would hate to see you go through the hassle of taking a course just to have the court tell you, “sorry, we’re not dismissing your ticket after all!”

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