The National Driver Register:

A Valuable Licensing Tool That Needs To Be Improved

CED-78-129: Published: Jun 15, 1978. Publicly Released: Jun 15, 1978.

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The National Driver Register (NDR) was authorized in 1960 to provide state driver licensing authorities with a central index of relevant information pertaining to individuals who have had their driving privileges suspended or revoked. Participation in the program is voluntary, and all states, territories, and federal agencies can participate; however, NDR information can only be provided to these parties in connection with their driver-licensing functions. The program is administered by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

All 50 states and some territories submit information to NHTSA on individuals whose driving privileges have been suspended or revoked. Some states are selective as to the type of data they submit, and some states do not always submit the type of information requested by NHTSA. Reasons for not submitting complete information to NHTSA include: (1) legal restrictions precluding the submission of certain data and state use of register information; (2) insufficient accurate data provided by NDR; (3) length of time of NHTSA response to inquiries; (4) the cost of processing data for the NDR program; and (5) data from NDR sometimes being available from other sources. NDR officials have done little to periodically determine whether the driver registration system is accomplishing its original objectives or helping states and other licensing authorities with their responsibilities. The present system has not accomplished its basic objective of preventing states from licensing individuals whose driving privileges have been suspended or revoked in other states.

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