What is the National Driver Register (NDR)?

The National Driver Register (NDR) is a computerized database of information about United States drivers who have had their driver’s licenses revoked or suspended, or who have been convicted of serious traffic violations, such as driving under the influence or drugs or alcohol.The records are added and maintained and deleted by the motor vehicle agency (MVA) of the state that convicted the driver or withdrew the driver’s license.

State motor vehicle agencies provide NDR with the names of individuals who have lost their privilege or who have been convicted of a serious traffic violation. When a person applies for a driver’s license the state checks to see if the name is on the NDR file. If a person has been reported to the NDR as a problem driver, the license may be denied.

When a person applies for a driver’s license, either as a new applicant or as a renewing applicant in a participating state, the state MVA must check if the name is on the NDR’s Problem Driver Pointer System (PDPS) (as required by federal regulation—see 23 CFR 1327.5(b)(1)). If a person has been reported to the NDR by any state as a “problem driver”, the prospective licensing state must investigate the driver’s history from the state that added the NDR record. Depending on the results of the investigation and the state’s own laws, the prospective licensing state may be required to deny the license. Thus, this “PDPS check” enables the state MVAs to prevent someone with a suspended or revoked driver’s license in one state from obtaining a driver’s license in another state. The PDPS check also makes it harder for a person to obtain more than one driver’s license at any one time.

Note that not all records on the NDR are correct. Some may have been added in the past incorrectly for misdemeanor violations, such as not returning license plates in New York state. Some records may identify the wrong driver. Some records for specific convictions may have met data retention requirements and are eligible for deletion. A driver must contact the state that added the record to have that state delete an incorrect record.

The NDR system is not network-connected to any other system or group of systems within DOT, State DMVs have access to the NDR system through the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA) telecommunications network. AAMVA maintains access and security control to its network. State DMVs maintain access and security controls to their own systems. State DMV users can submit an inquiry on an individual, receiving back from NDR information on possible matches that includes all available PII in the NDR system. DMVs use this PII to determine the match and grant or refuse a driver’s license based on this information.

According to National Drivers Register officials, problem drivers’ records posted to the NDR database by the states are made available to all states in the U.S. Information supplied by one state to the NDR is obtained by another state from the NDR using the first four letters of the driver’s first and last names, date of birth, and, often, if it is published, that driver’s SSN and/or license number.

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