Do Traffic Violations Show Up on Background Checks?

When people experience a car accident, there are a number of concerns that immediately cross their minds; first and foremost is their own health and wellbeing, and anyone else involved in the accident. 

After checking for any injuries and that anyone else involved in the incident is physically okay, a call for a policeman or medical assistance if any help is needed is made. Then, we tend to focus on the cost of damage caused by the accident, and that call we need to make on our car insurance. 

But one thought that hardly crosses our minds until much later down the line is whether a car incident that resulted in traffic violation charges could impact your future job opportunities. Here’s a little more information on how traffic violations could impact your career prospects, including some information on whether traffic violations will appear on any background checks carried out on you by prospective employers.

Will Traffic Violations Show Up on Your Background Check?

Most employers will conduct background checks on any potential criminal history that you may have before offering you the position that you’re applying for. This tends to be the last step carried out in the recruitment process before you receive an official offer. 

Put simply, most employers want to be assured that they’re hiring someone with a clean history and a good record of past behaviour in regards to the law. While not all jobs will check your driving record and citations, some will—especially if the position involves driving.

Now, something small, such as a ticket for going five miles per hour over the limit, isn’t likely to affect your ability to get the job. However, infractions such as a repeat history of traffic offenses or outright reckless driving could easily result in misdemeanor or felony charges which would show up. Unpaid criminal citations concerning traffic violations are also reported.

How Will a Traffic Violation Impact Your Chance of Getting a Job?

If your violation is serious enough, it may disqualify you from getting the job. For example, if your violation is a definite criminal offence, you may have trouble securing the job you’re looking at—especially if the role involves driving. Less serious violations are less likely to hinder your prospects. When considering whether your traffic violation will impact your chances, consider the following questions:

  • How long ago did you get the violation? Most traffic violations will drop off your record after seven years. The longer ago the violation occurred, the better your chances of being offered the job.
  • Do you have multiple violations? One violation could be incidental, and a prospective employer may give you the benefit of the doubt. However, multiple violations over a short space of time indicate recklessness or a lack of regard for others. Employers are less likely to ignore this.
  • Have you paid a fine for the violation? Paying your fines is an indicator that you take responsibility for your mistakes, and disregarding them can escalate to criminal offenses, so those are noted by employers. By not paying, you can also lose your driver’s license which may impede an aspect of your work, or in the least, impede your ability to commute.
  • What are the traffic violation policies of the company you’re applying to? Some companies are very strict in regards to employee traffic violations. Others are not. It’s a good idea to look into the policies of companies you’re interested in working for before putting the effort into applying for the job!

What to Include In Your Application

When applying for new jobs, you may need to include certain driving history information as part of your application. This could include incidents such as:

  • DUI
  • Evading police
  • Hit and run
  • Driving on a suspended license

So to sum up, traffic violations can show up on your background check, but don’t automatically assume that this disqualifies your job candidacy. Many people have traffic violation records, and different companies have different policies regarding them. Depending on the job you’re applying for, there are likely other more pivotal factors contributing to whether you’re a good fit for the job or not.