An updated iiX analysis confirms that motor vehicle report (MVR) fees have continued to increase over the past decade, during which time state registry fees reached a cumulative 50 percent rise nationwide. Across the country, the average MVR fee stood at $9.64 as of January 1, 2017, compared with roughly $6.50 ten years ago.
Our ten-year analysis of fees revealed that MVR costs grew at an average annual rate of 3.9 percent. MVR costs vary dramatically by state, and many states have increased MVR fees. In total, 36 states and the District of Columbia increased MVR fees over the past decade.
Last year, the following states increased their fees: Alaska (from $5 to $10), Louisiana ($16 to $18), Michigan ($8 to $11), North Carolina ($8 to $10), Vermont ($17 to $18), and Virginia ($7 to $8). Tennessee will change its MVR fees from $7 to $7.50, effective April 1, 2017.
Increases have impact on employers
Since employers rely on MVR reports to screen job applicants—especially in industries such as trucking and transportation—these fee hikes can have a significant impact. Compared with other background screening tools, MVR reports are relatively inexpensive and return results quickly. Therefore, they’re often ordered to screen for the best candidates. A review of employee MVR reports is critical when evaluating prospective employees whose jobs require them to spend time behind the wheel. Such reviews may even be mandated by Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulations, requirements of educational entities and state or local healthcare boards, and other government protocols.
Methods to manage costs and risks
There are many ways for employers to save on the rising cost of ordering MVRs while still managing risk accurately.
One new initiative we’re involved in is the Texas Driver Record Monitoring Service (DRMS) pilot, which is expected to launch in June. iiX is working with Texas to enable employers to monitor the driving records of Texas-licensed employees for adverse activity, such as a driver’s license status change or a new moving violation. If you do business in the state of Texas and would like to participate in the one-year pilot, you can sign up here.