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Mississippi Public Traffic Records
What are Mississippi Public Traffic Records?
A public traffic record or driving record in Mississippi is a collection of all public records pertaining to a motorist and their road use. It is a compilation of traffic tickets, accidents, license suspensions, and mailing addresses. From the moment the state issues or grants a driver's license to a person, such a person has a driving record.
Most states utilize a point system to monitor and penalize offending road users. When a driver accumulates more than a few points, their license is suspended or revoked. Insurance companies also keep an eye on driving records. The reason is not that they are out to get any driver, but because it helps them predict how much at risk of accidents an individual may be.
The more points a driver has on record, the more risk the driver poses and the more insurance coverage it will cost. It further translates into how much the person's premium is and how much it can go up after an infraction.
Are Traffic Records Public in Mississippi?
Yes, traffic records are public records in Mississippi. Under the Mississippi Public Records Act, interested persons may inspect, copy, and reproduce these public records. An interested person will have to request such traffic records from the relevant government agencies, such as the courts and the Department of Public Safety (DPS).
While it is immaterial what the purpose of the request is, the requestor's identity may affect access to the records. The reason is that some clauses in the Public Records Act exempt some materials from public disclosure. This exempt information includes the motorist's social security number, residential address, phone number, etc. Confidential information on a traffic record is typically removed or redacted.
What do Mississippi Traffic Records Contain?
Traffic records in Mississippi typically contain a person's traffic history and details. The information provided in the record includes but is not limited to the person's driver's license number, license renewals, sentences, and convictions (if any). Others are license suspensions, revocations, DUI fines, traffic violations, etc.
Does a Citation Go on Your Record in Mississippi?
Most traffic offenses are not criminal, but rather, civil and civil citations do not show up on a person's criminal record. A traffic ticket, for instance, is not a criminal citation, and minor traffic offenses are typically recorded as civil citations because they are not considered felonies or misdemeanors and thus, are not part of a criminal record.
However, a driving history check will show both major and minor traffic citations, including speeding tickets, for a set number of years. The State of Mississippi does not use a point system to monitor some traffic offenses; rather, the state records each moving violation on a person's driving record. Repeat offenders risk license suspension and revocation in extreme cases.
Some offenses do not accrue points, but those assigned points will go on a person's record. Such offenses are those which pose safety risks and are primarily criminal. Examples are hit and run, driving under the influence, and evading a law enforcement officer. Every subsequent violation attracts harsher penalties.
A driver with a suspended or revoked license will not be allowed to drive until the person satisfies all requirements to get the license back. To remove points from a driver's record, the driver must complete a defensive driving course.
Types of Traffic Citations in Mississippi
The major types of traffic citations in Mississippi are:
- Parking tickets which are issued for parking violations and filed with parking agencies. The recipient motorist may pay the ticket or contest it, and the recipient may visit the relevant traffic court to appeal or contest a ticket.
- Infraction tickets which are issued for minor traffic violations like speeding, running a red light, etc. Here also, recipients can decide to pay or contest the ticket.
- Misdemeanor traffic tickets which are issued for crimes more severe than minor infractions. These crimes are regarded as criminal offenses. They include driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, driving without a license, etc.
Mississippi Traffic Citation Lookup
The process of finding traffic tickets or citations in Mississippi is pretty straightforward. An interested person may search online by visiting the website of the appropriate traffic court. These courts have online search tools or portals that enable searchers to find traffic tickets. An alternative way to find traffic citations in Mississippi is to visit a local DMV office and make inquiries.
How to Lookup my Mississippi Traffic Records
The State of Mississippi has two available types of driving records. Residents can access either a certified Motor Vehicle Record (MVR) or a non-certified vehicle record. The non-certified motor vehicle record is available online, and the owner of the record is the only person who can view it. On the other hand, the certified motor vehicle record is accessible via mail or in person.
Non-certified MVR: The first step to getting this type of driving record is to visit the Department of Public Safety Website and click 'online record request.' The applicant will be required to provide personal information exactly as it appears on their driver's license.
This required information includes a nine-digit license number, last four digits of Social Security Number (SSN), first, last, and middle name, and date of birth. The last four digits of a driver's SSN can serve as an alternative where the driver does not know their license number.
After providing these details, click 'continue' to view the required information. Completing a transaction through this service implies that the applicant does so on their behalf. It attracts an $11 processing fee, and the applicant may pay through Mastercard, Visa, Discover, or American Express debit or credit cards.
Applications made online offer a one-time view of current records, which are accessible for twenty-four hours from the time of purchase. To retain a copy, the applicant has to print the MVR from the confirmation page of the transaction. So, it is advisable to have printing capacity before proceeding with the application.
Certified MVR: To get an MVR copy via mail, the applicant has to fill out a Consent to Release Records Form and forward it to the Department of Public Safety. A stamped, self-addressed envelope and a certified $11 check must be attached to the form to cover processing fees. The request for driving records may be mailed to the DPS at Mississippi Department of Public Safety, MVR-Driving Records, P.O. Box 958, Jackson, Mississippi 39205.
Alternatively, an applicant may request Mississippi driving records in person at the Department of Public Safety rather than wait for the postal service. The interested person may fill out the consent form and take it to the nearest DPS location. The applicant must go along with a driver's license copy and the mandatory $11 processing fee.
Mississippi Traffic Violations
A traffic violation in Mississippi is any infraction of the state's traffic laws. This can include something as minor as speeding or failing to signal when turning.
Most traffic violations are handled through the court system, and offenders will have the opportunity to contest the ticket if they believe they were wrongly cited. If they plead guilty or are found guilty by the court, they will be required to pay the associated fine and may also face other penalties.
Mississippi License Plate Lookup
License plates are used to identify the registered owner of a vehicle and help law enforcement officials track down vehicles involved in crimes or accidents.
There are a few different methods to adopt to look up Mississippi license plates. The Mississippi Department of Public Safety offers an online search tool useful for looking up license plates. Requestors will need the plate number and the state in which the vehicle is registered to use this tool. Another way to lookup license plates in Mississippi is by using the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS). This system is a collaborative effort between the federal government and state governments that allows users to view information about a vehicle, including its title history and registration information. Requestors can access NMVTIS online or through several different third-party websites or services. These websites and services typically charge a fee for access to their databases, but they can offer a more comprehensive search than the online tools provided by the state.
How to View Traffic Case Records for Free in Mississippi
Various courts maintain official records of cases in different formats. As such, interested persons who want to view traffic court records may visit the Traffic courts or Traffic Division of the relevant court in the county where the offense occurred, and the case was heard. In Mississippi, the relevant courts that handle traffic violations are Municipal Courts, while Justice Courts may also handle traffic offenses outside a municipality.
There are 237 Municipal Courts in Mississippi, and interested parties may visit the courthouses in person to view the electronic or paper records. Ordinarily, the court clerks maintain the court case records, yet, some courts also allow public access to electronic traffic case records. Some courts allow remote access to electronic records, and interested persons may view traffic case records via these websites.
Alternatively, there is an option of the Mississippi Electronic Court (MEC), which maintains the online court records of most courts in Mississippi. The MEC was selected as the case management system in the state because it is already in use in over 200 bankruptcy courts and federal districts. The implication is that most judges are familiar with it, and it ensures a seamless transition to an online database system. So, interested persons may query the MEC for court records in Mississippi.
How Long do Traffic Offenses Remain on a Public Record in Mississippi
The nature and severity of a traffic offense determine how long it will stay on the public record. Generally, the Mississippi Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) maintains all a driver's history and information for three years.
Under the Local Government Records Office, the Department of Archives and History also has general records retention schedules for public records in Mississippi. These retention schedules can also be found in Section 39-5-9 of the Mississippi Code and represent the minimum time necessary to keep the records.
In the case of traffic offenses, or traffic ticket books containing all issued tickets in the state, the records retention schedule provides for a three-year retention period from the release date of an audit. Sometimes, the records may need to be kept for a longer period than that provided by the general records schedule.
Such instances include the record being part of an ongoing investigation or litigation. In this instance, the records must be kept for at least twelve months after the case has been settled, regardless of the retention schedule.
These public records cannot be destroyed earlier than the provided retention period. After the minimum retention period expires, the records can only be disposed of if there are no extenuating circumstances. The disposition of the records must also be done in a manner consistent with the record.
For instance, confidential records must be disposed to guarantee confidentiality. In some cases, a municipality may elect to transfer the records to a history organization or a public library instead of destroying some records. However, before making such a transfer, the municipality must seek the consent of the Local Government Records Office.
How to Remove Traffic Records from Public Websites in Mississippi
The Public Records Act regards records created by government agencies in Mississippi as public records. These records include traffic records, and as such, these records are expected to only be available on government databases and websites.
However, these records are also found on public websites held by individuals and agencies in most cases. The consequence of this availability on public websites is that the owner of the record may be unfairly exposed to the public, creating room for risk. So, it is beneficial to have these records removed from unauthorized third-party sites, as a person's right to privacy supersedes the public's right to access information.
The best way to have a public record removed from the internet is to have it sealed and expunged by the courts. It is possible to expunge a record in Mississippi, especially criminal records, but not every record is eligible for expungement.
Under § 99-19-71(1) of the Mississippi Code, misdemeanor offenses may be expunged except for a traffic violation. Alternatively, the affected person may opt-out of people-search sites by removing listings in their name.
Do Motoring Offenses Affect Criminal Records in Mississippi?
Generally, motoring offenses can affect criminal records in Mississippi. These offenses may be civil or criminal traffic offenses, and while civil offenses are minor and penalized as such, criminal offenses are regarded as felony or misdemeanor crimes. Minor traffic or motoring offenses, also classified as traffic infractions, are civil, not criminal, and do not affect a person's criminal record.
On the flip side, criminal traffic violations can result in a permanent criminal record. These criminal offenses often involve injury, risk or injury, harm to another person, and even repeat offenses. This can also result in different consequences like increased car insurance premiums, loss of driving privileges, employment, and career limitations.
For example, suppose there is a criminal motoring offense on a person's criminal record. In that case, such a person may be unable to get into employment that involves driving or other similar fields. If the person is already employed in a field involving driving, it may impact their position. The reason is that some employers demand a clean driving record, especially for transportation employment.
Also, some employers can use an employee's driving record to determine if the person has unstable behavior or if the job will be done properly by such a person. Delivery or truck drivers, for instance, do not need downtimes resulting from a traffic violation that can affect the ability to drive across state lines. It can also cause a lack of faith in the driver by the company, which may reflect in the company's insurance coverage, and in extreme cases, lead to a termination of employment.