A Dial-in Search Account provides you with online access to DMV records. You can also use a Dial-in Search Account to request DMV records by mail. Any person or organization can apply for an account and a certification to use the service.
According to the NYS Vehicle and Traffic Law, the DMV must charge a fee to search DMV records. Private persons, commercial organizations, and not-for-profit organizations must pay a search fee. Any public organization, its officers, a volunteer fire company, a volunteer ambulance service, or a legal aid bureau or society, or other private entity acting pursuant to section 722 of the New York State County Law, that makes a search for a public purpose, is exempt from the search fee.
If you must apply for an account, complete form MV-15D. The instructions are on the forms.
The DMV evaluates your application. If your application is not complete, the DMV returns your application, provides an explanation, and includes more instructions. If your application is complete, the DMV sends you an account number, your passwords, and the user manuals.
When your application for the service is accepted, the DMV creates an account. Your account includes a seven-digit account number, your name and your mailing address. Your account number will never change. You enter this account number when you log in to the Dial-in system.
You can use your account to pay for the mail-order searches and the online searches. If you must pay a fee for the service, your account records your debits and your credits, and shows your account balance.
If you are not exempt from the search fees, you must include a deposit with your application. The law does not allow the DMV to provide the services and then collect the payment later ("trade credit"). There is a fee of $7 for each search that you make with the Dial-in service.
Your first deposit must be enough to pay for two months of searches. When the DMV accepts your application, your deposit is added to your new account balance. When you make a search, the DMV subtracts the search fee from your account balance.
You receive an account statement at the end of every month. Your account statement shows your total debits, total credits, and daily balances. Your account statement recommends an amount that you can send to the DMV for your account. Make sure that you send enough money to pay for the searches that you plan to make during the following month. If your account balance is equal to $0 (zero), the Dial-in system will not allow you to do searches. Make sure that you write your account number on your check or money order. The DMV returns any payment that does not match a valid account.
When the DMV accepts your application, the DMV creates your secondary password. You must enter your secondary password when you log in to the Dial-in system. You must change your secondary password at least every 60 days.
When the DMV accepts your application, the DMV creates your primary password. You must enter your primary password when you change your secondary password. Your primary password does not change.
You must supply the computer and the modem that you need to use the Dial-in service. You do not need a printer unless you plan to print your searches.
The Dial-in service began in 1984. The Dial-in system does not require the newest type of hardware or software. The installation and maintenance of the hardware and the software that you use for the Dial-in system are your responsibility. The DMV staff cannot help you with a computer problem.
The DMV mails you user manuals when your account is created. You can also request the manuals by telephone, e-mail, or you can download the manuals here:
If you receive an inquiry from the DMV about a dial-in search you performed, these FAQs will help you understand the inquiry.
What is the purpose of the DMV inquiry?
The inquiry is a request for business records required to establish a business purpose (permissible use) for a specific search that you recently performed. The Terms of Service of your Search Account require you to maintain these records and provide them to DMV upon request.
DMV conducts these inquiries to monitor compliance with the Dial-in Terms of Service.
What are acceptable business records?
A business record is:
Common examples of business records include invoices, retainer agreements, employment applications, consent forms, accident reports, and surveillance reports, and numerous other types of records.
The business records must exist prior to the search, and must establish the business purpose of the search. Look for records that answer the questions: "Why did I place the search?" and "How did I obtain the search criteria?"
What if I don't respond to the DMV inquiry?
If you do not respond to an inquiry about a Dial-in search, your search privileges can be suspended until you respond.
What if I don't have business records for this search?
You must respond to the inquiry whether or not you have business records that support your search. Your response will be considered an incomplete reply. You can complete an inquiry at any time if you send to the DMV the requested acceptable business records.
If I locate business records for a previous inquiry,will the DMV accept them now?
Yes, the DMV will accept business records at any time.
What if I did not perform the search that is the subject of the DMV inquiry?
If more than one person uses the Dial-in account, check with the other users to see if one of them performed the search. If none of the known users performed the search, contact us immediately.
What if I did the search for a client?
If you performed the search on behalf of a client, you will need to show evidence of the permissible use of your client, and your client-agent relationship.
What if I want to protect my client's confidentiality?
Currently, the DMV accepts records with the name of your client redacted. However, the records you send us must indicate the permissible use of your client, and the records you maintain in your office must identify the client.
How long does the DMV keep the business records I send you in response to a Dial-in search inquiry?
The DMV keeps the business records for five years, after which they are securely destroyed.
If a FOIL request is filed for my business records, will you redact them before releasing them?
The DMV redacts account numbers, Social Security numbers, home telephone numbers, photographs, and medical information from all released records. We also redact driver license numbers, dates of birth, and home addresses, unless a DPPA permissible use is established by the FOIL requester. If your business records contain other sensitive information, it is your responsibility to redact them before you send them to the DMV.
Will you tell a motorist if I searched their records?
Yes. Records of searches are public records. If a motorist asks the DMV if their records were searched, the DMV supplies them with:
The DMV does not disclose Dial-in account numbers.