What are Idaho Public Traffic Records?
Public traffic records in Idaho are official documents that contain the driving and traffic histories of commercial and noncommercial driver license holders. For example, a driver's personal information, traffic fines, accidents, license status, traffic infractions, and so on. The Idaho Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and courts share the task of compiling and disseminating these records to members of the public.
Are Traffic Records Public in Idaho?
Yes, traffic records created in Idaho are available to the general public under the Public Records Act. This statute grants every individual the right to view and copy any public record created and maintained by state agencies. As such, traffic records can be examined or requested during an agency's business hours unless otherwise stated by law.
One such law is codified at Section 49-203 of the Idaho Statutes. Under this legislation, the personal information in a driver's traffic record is barred from release and use, except for a legitimate purpose (e.g., for use in research activities) or with the driver's approval. This information includes the driver's residential address, phone number, photograph, digitized signature, medical or disability information, and social security number.
What do Idaho Traffic Records Contain?
Idaho traffic records contain the following information:
- Driver's license information (including the license number, class, and status)
- Traffic accidents
- Driver's license suspensions, revocations, and disqualifications
- Traffic violations and convictions
Does a Citation Go on Your Record in Idaho?
The State of Idaho defines a citation (also called a Uniform Citation or traffic ticket) as any ticket, summons, or other official document issued by the police for a traffic violation bearing an order requiring the motorist to respond. (Idaho Code Ann. §49-2501)
When an Idaho license holder or resident receives a citation in the state or another jurisdiction (including Canada), it can be added to their traffic record by the Idaho Transportation Department's (ITD) Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV). However, the citation must be for a moving violation, i.e., an offense that occurred while a vehicle was being operated. The Idaho DMV does not include non-moving violations (for instance, parking and equipment violations) on people's traffic records.
Types of Traffic Citations in Idaho
One responsibility that all motorists have in Idaho is to drive safely and follow the traffic regulations established by the state. Adhering to the traffic laws not only benefits a driver and helps them keep a clean driving record, but it also protects other road users from the severe harm or loss that could result from a traffic violation.
When any driver fails to obey the traffic rules in Idaho, one of these traffic citations may be issued by a local or state police officer:
Citation for Infraction: In Idaho, infractions are minor, non-criminal traffic offenses with a maximum penalty and no possibility of imprisonment. When cited for an infraction (also referred to as a civil public offense), an offender will be required to pay a fine, which is more like a fee than a criminal fine. The infraction fines, which consist of a fixed civil penalty and court costs, are outlined in the Idaho Infraction Fee Schedule.
It should be noted that the stipulated civil penalty cannot be increased, reduced, suspended, or withheld by any court. Furthermore, an offender may not be arrested or required to post bail for an infraction.
Persons cited for infractions in Idaho can typically resolve their citations by paying the fine. Usually, no court appearance is required unless an offender wants to challenge their infraction charge.
Citation for Traffic Misdemeanor: Idaho regards a traffic misdemeanor as a criminal offense with a possible jail term. Anyone cited for such an offense must appear in court for an arraignment on or before a particular date and time—the applicable court being the one located in the county where the alleged offense transpired. Nonetheless, offenders have the option of moving their arraignment to a more convenient county.
Like a civil infraction, someone cited for a traffic misdemeanor in Idaho will be expected to pay a fine to the state. However, this fine will be considerably higher and assessed after completing court procedures.
Generally, defendants in traffic misdemeanor proceedings are advised to keep the court dates indicated on their citations. Failure to appear as mandated can cause a magistrate judge to issue a warrant for an individual's arrest, which triggers a "failure to appear" charge and possibly incarceration if they cannot post the bond specified on the warrant. The individual's driver's license can also be suspended for a failure to appear.
Idaho Traffic Citation Lookup
One way to look up a traffic citation in Idaho is to contact or visit the magistrate division of the district court with authority to resolve the case. Interested parties can use the Idaho County Courthouse Directory to retrieve the courts' street addresses and contact numbers.
Alternatively, individuals can search the Idaho iCourt Portal to obtain citation information. To access the system, the requester must provide one of the following:
- A case party's name
- Citation number
- Driver's license number
- Case number
How to Lookup my Idaho Traffic Records
Any Idaho driver's license holder who wishes to look up their traffic record (or driver record) can forward an online or mail request to the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD).
Parties interested in obtaining their traffic records immediately can access the ITD's online Driver License Record (DLR) Search site and provide the following information where specified:
- Access purpose (the reason for the request). For example, court proceedings
- Driver's license number
- DD number
- Driver's first and last name
- Driver's date of birth
Using the DMV's online portal to acquire a traffic record attracts these fees, which can be paid with a Visa or Mastercard:
- $7 for lookup
- $9.56 for a printable copy
- $21 for a certified copy
Interested parties should complete the Idaho Motor Vehicle Driver's License Record Request form and mail it to the address below:
Idaho Transportation Department
P.O. Box 34
Boise, ID 83707
Phone: (208) 334-8736
Fax: (208) 287-3885
Each search is subject to the following non-refundable fees
- $7 to look up a record
- $7 per document for photocopies
- $21 for a certified copy
Requesters should note the Idaho Transportation Department does not accept cash for mail requests, only money orders or checks made payable to the department.
Idaho traffic case records may also be available from third-party websites since they are considered public records. Unlike government sources or websites, third-party websites do not have geographical limitations. Hence, interested parties may access these websites from anywhere in the world. However, some third-party websites may require registration or subscription to access traffic record
Idaho Traffic Violations
A traffic violation in Idaho is any violation of the state's traffic laws. These violations can range from minor infractions, such as speeding, to more serious offenses, such as DUI or hit and run. Depending on the severity of the crime, a traffic violation can result in a fine, points on your driver's license, and even jail time.
Idaho's most common traffic violations are speeding, running a red light or stop sign, and failure to yield. These violations generally result in a fine and points on offender's driver's licenses. More serious offenses, such as DUI or hit and run, can result in jail time and a suspension of the offender's driver's license.
Persons cited for a traffic violation will have the opportunity to contest the citation in court. If they choose to contest the citation, they will need to appear in court on the date specified on the citation. At the court hearing, offenders will have the chance to present their side of the story and argue why they should not be found guilty of the violation. If the judge finds that they are guilty of the violation, they will be required to pay the fine and may also face other penalties, such as points on their driver's license.
Idaho License Plate Lookup
License plates are a significant component of Idaho traffic records because they help law enforcement identify the vehicles involved in a traffic incident or crime. By looking up license plates in Idaho, interested persons can get information about a vehicle's registered owner, such as name and address. They can also find out if a car has been reported as stolen. To lookup license plates in Idaho, requestors can use the Idaho Department of Transportation's online vehicle registration database. The requesting party will need the license plate number and the vehicle's identification number (VIN). Requestors can also search for license plates by county.
How to View Traffic Case Records for Free in Idaho
In Idaho, the courts maintain traffic case records electronically and in paper formats. Under the state's Public Records Act, the public can inspect these records at no cost. Therefore, anyone interested in viewing traffic case records for free in Idaho can visit the court having jurisdiction over a traffic case (i.e., the county court where a case was handled).
Members of the public can also access the Idaho courts' iCourt Portal online to inspect traffic case records for free. By clicking "Smart Search" and inputting a defendant's name or case number where indicated, an individual can view the following details:
- Case information: case number, parties, presiding court, filing date, case type, case title, etc.
- Charge information: offense description, offense level, the citation of the statute violated, etc.
- Disposition events: the court's verdict and sentence
- Events and hearings
- Financial information: total financial assessment and the total payments and credits.
How Long do Traffic Offenses Remain on a Public Record in Idaho
The Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) does not have a standard retention period for traffic offenses that appear on public driving records. Typically, these records are maintained indefinitely. However, the ITD retains points entered onto driver records for traffic offenses for three years from a conviction date.
How to Remove Traffic Records from Public Websites in Idaho
Traffic records are open to the public under Idaho's Public Records Act. As such, state agencies are mandated to provide public access to the records (which they do at their offices and through online databases) unless the law restricts access. The availability of such records also means that third parties can collect them in bulk from their custodians (the state agencies) and publish them on public sites. Hence, record owners who want to remove their traffic records from the internet will have to remove them from government and third-party websites.
To take down a traffic record from government websites (particularly a traffic crime record), a record owner can petition the court to expunge (remove) or seal (conceal/redact) their record. However, an expungement is only available in limited circumstances in Idaho—for example, if a defendant was acquitted at trial or convicted of a juvenile offense—and the courts rarely seal records unless for privacy or judicial reasons. Hence, it is prudent to seek legal advice when opting for any procedure. An experienced attorney can also provide other methods to mitigate the effects of a record on the offender's life. For example, a case dismissal under Idaho Code § 19-2604 or a reduction from felony to misdemeanor (if applicable).
Many third-party websites provide opt-out procedures for persons who want to stop the dissemination of their records. A record owner can often complete such a process within a few minutes to delete their record. However, it is always possible that a traffic record will reappear or be listed on another site, given that the deletion did not occur at the official custodian's office.
Do Motoring Offenses Affect Criminal Records in Idaho?
Motoring offenses may affect criminal records in Idaho. The State of Idaho regards certain motoring ("traffic") offenses as criminal violations. For example, failure to remain at an accident scene, reckless driving, and driving under the influence (DUI). The implication of assigning the criminal designation to some motoring offenses is that an individual will face criminal charges and penalties, and an offense will appear on their criminal record if the court convicts them. Given Idaho's limited expungement laws, a criminal traffic offense has the potential to remain on an offender's record forever.