What are Indiana Public Traffic Records?
Public traffic records in Indiana are official documents pertaining to the driving and traffic history of road users in the state. These records contain traffic tickets, offenses, license suspensions, fines, and other information related to road or vehicle use within state limits. Different government agencies generate and maintain public traffic records, including the state's courts, police departments, Indiana's Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV), and the Department of Transportation. However, the BMV is the central repository for driving or traffic records in Indiana.
Are Traffic Records Public in Indiana?
Traffic records are public in Indiana. According to the Indiana Access to Public Records Act, interested members of the public may access records generated and maintained by any government agency in the state. They do not need to be a citizen of Indiana to access these records, and they may make record requests without revealing intent.
Notwithstanding, selected traffic record information may be confidential and inaccessible to the public. They include social security numbers and financial information. If a traffic record contains confidential information, the record custodian must inform the requesting party whether all or parts of the information they requested is non-disclosable and remove or redact confidential information from said record.
What do Indiana Traffic Records Contain?
Traffic records in Indiana contain the subject's traffic history, including information such as:
- Citations or tickets
- Traffic violations
- Reinstatement fees
- Traffic ticket fines
- Court-ordered suspensions
- License number
Does a Citation Go on Your Record in Indiana?
Indiana Law enforcement officials issue citations or traffic tickets for different traffic offenses. Some of these offenses, especially those that result in penalty points, show on the offender's driving record. Indiana's BMV monitors road users and traffic offenses through a point-based system. Per state law, drivers are penalized for moving violations with point values that correspond to the severity of the violation.
Often, citations that go on a record involve offenses that reflect the offender's driving safety habits or those that involve the risk of harm or injury to another party. Non-moving violations such as parking violations do not typically go on the offender's driving record since they do not result in points. Such offenses are penalized only with fines, suspension, probation, and similar penalties.
Types of Traffic Citations in Indiana
The state of Indiana issues traffic tickets or citations for various offenses. The most common types of traffic tickets in Indiana include:
- Parking tickets: the state issues parking tickets for non-moving traffic violations such as parking in a no-parking zone, parking in an unloading zone, and parking in a construction area. Typically, parking tickets are only penalized with fines. Recipients may respond to the ticket by paying it or requesting a hearing to contest or dispute the ticket in the presence of an administrative judge.
- Infraction tickets: Like parking tickets, infraction tickets also do not result in imprisonment. However, depending on the severity of the offense, receiving an infraction ticket may result in points on the offender's driving record.
- Misdemeanor tickets: misdemeanor traffic violations are more serious than infractions and parking offenses. In Indiana, misdemeanor traffic violations are criminal offenses. As a result, receiving a misdemeanor ticket impacts the offender's driving record. In addition, misdemeanor traffic violation convictions may also appear on the offender's criminal record since they are criminal offenses. Penalties resulting from receiving a misdemeanor traffic ticket include imprisonment, expensive fines, increased insurance premiums, license suspension, probation, and community service.
Indiana Traffic Citation Lookup
To look up a traffic citation in Indiana, interested persons may use available online search tools such as Indianapolis' search website. The site allows users to look up traffic tickets using the ticket number and the name, and the date of birth of the driver. Interested parties may also look up traffic tickets by requesting information from local police departments, traffic, circuit, or superior courts in the county where the ticket was issued.
How to Lookup my Indiana Traffic Records
Interested parties may look up Indiana traffic records online or in person. One of the available online channels is BMV's Viewable Driver's Record website. Through this website, the BMV offers driving records at a glance. Users must create BMV accounts to get access to information on this website. Alternatively, interested parties may request official driver records (ODR). This is a certified version of the viewable driver's record, and it comes with a certification letter from the BMV. Interested parties must create user accounts to access this information and will be required to pay $4 for certified copies.
Requesting parties may also use the driver license record search to obtain traffic records. Users must have In.gov accounts and pay $10 to access information on this website. However, there are different access levels on the site. For instance, only users with In.gov accounts can access basic information. Requesting parties may subscribe by paying a $95 yearly fee to access more information. This grants access to personal information in BMV records.
To look up Indiana traffic records in person, requestors may visit local BMV offices or submit requests to the County Clerk in the county where the ticket was issued. The County or Court clerk maintains court records in each county and is mandated by law to make public records available on request. Some county clerk websites offer electronic access to case files and records; interested parties may look up traffic records through these websites.
Indiana Traffic Violations
Indiana traffic violations are offenses that occur while operating a motor vehicle. These offenses can range from minor infractions to more serious crimes. The provisions for these offenses are specified in the Indiana Code and these laws are enforced by the Indiana State Police.
The penalties for traffic violations in Indiana can vary depending on the offense. Typically minor offenses are penalized with a fine, while more serious offenses may result in jail time, license suspension, or both. The specific penalties for each offense are listed in the Indiana Code.
Some of the most common traffic violations in Indiana include:
- Reckless driving
- Failure to yield
- Running a red light
- Driving under the influence (DUI)
Indiana License Plate Lookup
Like other Indiana traffic record information, license plates are essential for identifying vehicles and motorists, especially those guilty of traffic offenses. Indiana license plate lookup is available through the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV). Requestors can access the BMV's license plate lookup tool on their website. The tool allows them to search by license plate number or by the owner's name. Using the tool, requesting parties may also view a map that shows the owner's registered address.
How to View Traffic Case Records for Free in Indiana
Persons interested in viewing case records for free may visit the courthouse where the case was filed. In Indiana, Circuit, Superior Courts, local town and city courts typically handle traffic cases. Alternatively, requesting parties may visit the County Clerk, who is the record custodian of the county, to view traffic case records at no charge. While viewing traffic case records at courthouses comes at no cost, the court may charge to produce copies or record them in different formats. The Indiana Judiciary has a directory where interested parties may find contact information for courts in the state.
Interested parties may contact the Indiana State Library to find court records that are not maintained by county clerks or other court record custodians. This online resource allows users to contact the state librarian online and search the library's digital collection for traffic case records.
Alternatively, interested parties may search case records online through the My Case website. This site allows users to search case records using citation number, court, case number, or case type. Requesting parties may also search using the record subject's name, business name, and date of birth. Advanced search options further allow users to filter using filing date and case status.
How Long do Traffic Offenses Remain on a Public Record in Indiana
Traffic offenses remain on public records in Indiana for varying lengths of time. The length of time a traffic offense remains on a public record depends on the nature and severity of the offense. Some traffic offenses, such as parking violations and other non-moving violations, don't show on the offender's public records. On the other hand, moving violations, including every traffic offense that requires a point assessment, show on the offender's public record.
Generally, traffic offenses remain active on public records in Indiana for about two (2) years. After two (2) years, the points remain on the offender's record, but the points become inactive and therefore no longer count towards license suspensions. Traffic offenses can stay up to ten (10) years on the offender's driver's license. In cases where a traffic offense is criminal, the traffic offense also appears on the offender's criminal record for up to ten (10) years, even after the points become inactive. However, it is possible to seal eligible traffic offenses.
BMV offers different ways to reduce points, including driver safety programs that apply four-point credits to the offender's driving records. The credit can only be applied once every three (3) years.
How to Remove Traffic Records from Public Websites in Indiana
Traffic records are public information in Indiana, except otherwise designated by state or federal statutes. Hence, members of the public may access traffic records through government-sponsored channels and third-party websites or search engines.
To remove traffic records from public websites in Indiana, interested and eligible parties may petition the court to seal or expunge such records. Sealing or expungement applies to both criminal traffic offenses and infractions in Indiana. Expunging a traffic infraction in Indiana restricts access to the record by unauthorized individuals or non-criminal justice organizations (IC 34-28-5-15). The waiting period for infraction expungement is one (1) year after the conviction. If there is no conviction, the record subject may petition the court for expungement after 30 days. Requesting parties may file the petition for expungement in the county where the traffic violation occurred.
Interested parties may also remove traffic records from public websites by typing their names into search engines and opting out of third-party information websites. While many third-party websites offer opt-out at no charge, some may charge processing fees.
Do Motoring Offenses Affect Criminal Records in Indiana?
Motoring offenses affect criminal records in Indiana; however, not all motoring offenses do. Motoring offenses can be broadly classified into civil and criminal motoring offenses. Civil motoring offenses are mostly infractions and are punishable by fines, probation, community service, and other penalties except for imprisonment. On the other hand, criminal motoring offenses are penalized with imprisonment, fines, license suspension, and other types of penalties.
While civil motoring offenses do not affect criminal records and may not result in points on the offender's driving record, criminal offenses do. Criminal motoring offenses are penalized as traffic offenses; they are also penalized as criminal offenses and stay on the offender's criminal record long after the assessed points become inactive.