1. #1
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    Default Bad Driving Record

    I know that a bad driving record can make it hard to get a job as a firefighter. At the DMV website, it says that all traffic violations will fall of your record after five years (other than a DWI/DUI or reckless driving violation, which both take at least 10 years, and I have neither of these). In the last five years, I've only had one driving ticket, but before that, I had quite a few.

    My question is, can a fire department find out about traffic violations that happened over five years ago? If you're sure that they can, I'd like to know how.

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    In NJ, if they order a Certified DL Abstract, they get it all. If they run it by computer, it will only show the violations that have not been dropped due to a period of clean record. I think it is three years clean and things start falling off.

    If you are not sure if the violations are still there, I would tell the truth. If they find them and you didn't disclose them, that would make it appear as though you are lying.

    (When cap'n bobby tells you it is OK to hide things like this, tell him to go jump in a lake).
    PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

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    Oh and he WILL!! Not jump in a lake, although it would be funny!
    I.A.C.O.J. Charter Member
    "Chet, get an inch and a half on that!"

    "Not for fame or reward,Not for place or rank. Not lured by ambition or goaded by necessity. But in simple obedience to duty as they understood it. These men suffered,sacrificed,dared all, and died. Let us never forget our fallen friends."

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    I've got a good number of tickets under my belt... less than 10, more than five. I'm 30 years old and my last ticket was three years ago. I turned in a background packet last week disclosing every ticket I've ever gotten, even those from over 10 yrs ago. I'll be honest, I'm pretty nervous, but I also know of two people hired by the same department who have DUI's in their past. None of my tickets are very serious so all I can do is pray. You and I appear to be in the same boat.

    The one thing departments absolutely will not overlook is dishonesty. If I don't clear backgrounds, I'll know it wasn't due to dishonesty and I can keep trying to be a firefighter since I'll gain more clean time on my driving record as time goes on. If you lie about your driving record and they find out about it, forget it - you're blackballed. Every department you apply to will have access to the information dug up in prior background investigations.

    That's my take, anyway.

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    The tone of your question implies that you are considering hiding your tickets. If so, you are missing the point of the background investigation. We are looking to hire honest, forthright people. We also know that everyone (including myself) has made mistakes.

    Will they find it? Most likely yes. Ironically, people change. You have demonstrated that you have. In the last 5 years you have one ticket. This demonstrates a change in attitude and behavior. We have all done stupid things. A background investigator is looking to identify people who CONTINUE to make poor decisions. You changed 5 years ago (probably before you decided to become a firefighter).

    Attempting to lie, or cover it up makes you a liar. In your case it most likely would not have cost you a job, however, it did identify your propensity to conceal the truth. That would certainly cost you the job.
    Paul Lepore
    Battalion Chief
    www.aspiringfirefighters.com
    Paul Lepore
    Battalion Chief
    www.aspiringfirefighters.com

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    The application and background packet will ask you in several different ways, “Have you ever”. Computers don’t forget. If you don’t put it down they find it your immediately eliminated from the hiring process.

    "Captain Bob" www.eatstress.com

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