Information about Missouri drivers, vehicles, sex offenders, accidents, boats, and dealers.

Missouri Accident Reports

Within the state of Missouri, as with several states, there is a central repository for automobile accident reports or “crash” reports.  In Missouri it is the Highway Patrol. They receive the majority, if not all, of “crash” reports and house them in their central repository database.  Law enforcement agencies are required to send a copy of their accident report to the central repository within 90 days of the accident. From there, much of that information is removed from the report and put into a database that is subsequently accessible.

The central repository now views each law enforcement agency as one of three categories. The first or main category is Highway Patrol. They file all of their report online and in house so the critical data is ready and accessible in an extremely timely fashion, normally within 3 to 5 days.

The second category are what are referred to as L.E.T.S. (Law Enforcement Traffic System) reporting agencies. Simply put, these agencies file their police reports with the central repository on line which expedites accessibility immensely, normally within 3 to 10 days. 

Lastly, there are the paper reporting law enforcement agent these and the data from their accident reports is available and accessible anywhere between three weeks and 12 weeks.

Using the First InfoSource system, tour users have the ability, in many cases, to track down or specifically identify a police report number, agency or loss location so that they can have the mission-critical data in a timely fashion or at least be able to request the police report utilizing more specific data which will inevitably assist the law enforcement records clerks in their job which will expedite the police report retrieval.

Keep in mind that Highway Patrol and L.E.T.S. agencies are reporting in a timely fashion and doing so online.  With that stated, we recommend our users focus on those agencies when attempting to improve their access to mission critical data. In order to know who is a L.E.T.S. reporting agency you can access the master list here:

L.E.T.S. Agencies:


If you need help obtaining full physical reports in tough to get jurisdictions we can highly recommend Redline Report Service at:

Master Add Records

In the state of Missouri, the Department of Revenue often times creates what they call a “master add” record which are normally driving records that end with the letters MA.  There are a variety of reasons why these are created, but mainly as placeholders for someone who has done something wrong and the state cannot match it up to their actual driving record, for whatever reason.

We have 8.3 million driving records with 830,000 master add record which equates to 10% of the total database.

When you're looking at habitual offenders then we could see possibly as high as 20% of those people as having a second record that needs to be combined with their actual driving record. Without having those combined we do not have a true picture of that person's driving history.

With the above stated, this creates a great need to search for the person's driving record and any other placeholder records by name within a city or name within a partial zip code or even name and year of birth or name and date of birth rather than specific driver’s license number. (Often times the master add records do have the correct year of birth or even the specific date of birth.)

We have a new user tutorial which details our recommended way for searching effectively for driving records through our system. We think it is worthwhile for you and your staff to review this document. Not only will it help in finding master add records, but will also help with finding the correct driving record on people with names that are spelled in a non-traditional fashion etc.

As always feel free to reach out to us if you need any assistance.



Zip Codes and the Importance of Understanding 3 digit (and even 2 digit) partial Zip Code Searching

From the 1930s to the early 1960s, the volume of mail — particularly business mail — grew significantly, and the need for a better system became apparent. On July 1, 1963, the USPS introduced the ZIP code. In 1967, ZIP codes became mandatory on all mail.

Making Sense of the Zip Code

  • The first digit represents the state. Numbers increase as you move west. Several states share each digit — 2, for example, represents the District of Columbia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia.
  • The second and third digits represent regions within the state — the first three digits create the Sectional Center Facility (SCF) code. SCFs are the regional headquarters for mail sorting and distribution.
  • The fourth and fifth digits represent more specific areas, like post offices and postal delivery zones within a city or town.
  • ZIP + 4 has four extra digits that identify a specific segment of the five-digit delivery area — like a city block, office building or individual high-volume mail receiver.
  • See below on 3 digit Zip Codes and SCF’s.

What does the term “ZIP Code” mean?

A ZIP Code is a five-digit number that identifies a specific geographic mail delivery area. The acronym ZIP refers to Zone Improvement Plan, a plan implemented by the USPS in the early 1960’s to improve the sorting and delivery of mail.

How many ZIP Codes are there in the United States?

There are approximately 43,000 ZIP Codes in the United States. This number fluctuates from month to month, depending on the number of changes made.

How many changes are made to ZIP Codes monthly?

It varies from month to month and from year to year. Because of the schedule that the USPS uses to implement ZIP Code changes you may see a tendency for some months to consistently have more changes than others. ZIP Code changes are reported by the USPS in the form of addresses that have new or changed delivery information. While there are certainly many changes to ZIP Codes at the carrier route level many of these will have no impact on the 5-Digit ZIP Code boundary.

Where did ZIP Codes come from?

In the 19th and first half of the 20th century, mail was primarily transported by rail throughout the country and consisted mostly of personal correspondence. The growth of business and the use of mail as a sales and marketing tool rapidly changed the country and by 1963 business mail constituted 80% of the total volume. This was a direct result of the invention of the computer, which allowed companies to purchase and maintain large databases of customers and prospects. This eventually lead to an explosion of advertising, bills, statements etc. that were delivered by mail.

On July 1 in 1963 the Post Office implemented a new program aimed at taking advantage of new transportation systems now available (namely Interstate highways and air in addition to rail). Sectional Center Facilities (SCFs) were created, each of which was a central distribution point for 40-150 surrounding post offices.

A five-digit code was assigned to every address in the country. The first digit designated a general postal area (see map below), beginning in the northeast (0) to west coast (9). The next two digits referred to one of the Sectional Center Facilities accessible to common transportation networks. The final two digits designated individual post offices or postal delivery zones.

Postal Area Map ©Copyright TTG, Inc., 2010

What is a three-digit ZIP Code?

This refers to the first three digits of a 5-Digit ZIP Code. The first digit (0-9) designates the general area of the country with numbers starting lower in the east and increasing as you move west. For example: 0 covers Maine while 9 refers to California. The next two digits referred to one of the 450+ Sectional Center Facilities (SCFs) in the US.

Postal Areas (first digit of the 5-Digit ZIP Code)


Connecticut (CT), Massachusetts (MA), Maine (ME), New Hampshire (NH), New Jersey (NJ), Puerto Rico (PR), Rhode Island (RI), Vermont (VT), Virgin Islands (VI)


Delaware (DE), New York (NY), Pennsylvania (PA)


District of Columbia (DC), Maryland (MD), North Carolina (NC), South Carolina (SC), Virginia (VA), West Virginia (WV)


Alabama (AL), Florida (FL), Georgia (GA), Mississippi (MS), Tennessee (TN)


Indiana (IN), Kentucky (KY), Michigan (MI), Ohio (OH)


Iowa (IA), Minnesota (MN), Montana (MT), North Dakota (ND), South Dakota (SD), Wisconsin (WI)


Illinois (IL), Kansas (KS), Missouri (MO), Nebraska (NE)


Arkansas (AR), Louisiana (LA), Oklahoma (OK), Texas (TX)


Arizona (AZ), Colorado (CO), Idaho (ID), New Mexico (NM), Nevada (NV), Utah (UT), Wyoming (WY)


Alaska (AK), American Samoa (AS), California (CA), Guam (GU), Hawaii (HI), Oregon (OR), Washington (WA)


What is the difference between a 3-digit ZIP Code and an SCF?

An SCF (Sectional Center Facility) is a postal facility that serves as the distribution and processing center for post offices in a designated geographic area, which is defined by the first three digits of the ZIP Code of those offices. This facility may serve more than one 3-digit ZIP Code range.

3-digit codes refer to the first 3 digits of the 5-digit ZIP Code. For instance, the ZIP Code 55144 has a 3-digit of 551. Any ZIP Code starting with 551 would be grouped into this 3-digit area.

How many 3-digit ZIP Codes are there?

There are approximately 900 3-digit ZIP Codes in the United States.

Do other countries have ZIP Codes?

Other countries do have methods for distributing mail using various coding schemes (often referred to using the more generic term "Post Codes") they do not have "ZIP" Codes as defined by the USPS. For example, Canadians use a 6 digit coding scheme with a mix of characters and numbers called “FSALDU” where the FSA is similar to a US 5-Digit ZIP Code and the LDU is similar to a US ZIP+4.

Are there different kinds of ZIP Codes?

The USPS differentiates ZIP Codes as "standard" and "unique". A standard ZIP Code is one that is an established and usual ZIP Code, while a unique ZIP Code is one that only delivers to one specific large entity (such as a hospital, university or other unique delivery location).

What does “Unique” mean when referring to a ZIP Code?

A unique ZIP Code is a ZIP Code which includes only addresses within one specific large entity, for example a university, air force base or other large mail generating organization.

What is a ZIP+4 Code?

This refers to the 5-digit ZIP code plus a 4-digit add-on number which identifies a geographic segment within the 5-digit delivery area, such as a city block, office building, individual high-volume receiver of mail, or any other distinct mail unit. The purpose of +4 codes is to aid efficient mail sorting and delivery. Business mailers are the primary users of ZIP+4’s, because mailers who mail in bulk on the ZIP+4 or carrier route level can receive rate discounts.

Can ZIP Codes go across State, County, political jurisdictions and metro areas?

Yes, they can and do, however, this is not the norm. ZIP Codes rarely cross state lines but do more frequently cross county lines. You can see this yourself by viewing a ZIP code map. The reason for this is that ZIP Codes are service delivery areas and do not necessarily need to adhere to other geopolitical boundaries. For example, it may be more efficient to service a particular area from one post office even though it is in a different State or County.

How are boundaries for ZIP Codes defined?

The USPS does not define boundaries for ZIP Codes. Instead ZIP Codes represent groups of delivery points (addresses), designed for efficiency of delivery. In most cases ZIP Codes resemble spatial areas since they comprise contiguous streets and address ranges. However, this is not always the case. In rural areas, ZIP codes can be collections of roads (rural delivery routes) that in reality do not look much like a closed spatial area.

Are there areas of the nation that are not covered by a ZIP Code?

Yes, in sparsely populated rural areas where there is no mail delivery (deserts, mountains, lakes) ZIP codes are not defined. This creates unsightly "holes" in the ZIP Code boundary data. Some vendors have created polygons to fill in these holes and have given them their own arbitrary numerical designations - typically outside the range of numbers used by valid ZIP Codes.

What this means for Users of First InfoSource

Instead of being tied down or forced to run multiple searches in multiple cities our users can run two or three-digit partial zip codes to narrow the search down to a specific localized area, county or zone. This allows more precise and accurate hitting of records, particularly with the more common names.

Users can use partial ZIP Code searching in combination with another full or partial identifier such as a year of birth, partial name, etc.

How VINs work

Every car or truck since the 1981 model year has a unique 17-digit Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) filled with important details, ranging from its engine type to where it was built. The VIN is like a car's Social Security number. You need it when you register your car, buy insurance and bring it in for repairs (so the shop can order the right parts). The police will use it to identify your vehicle if it's stolen. If you are shopping for a used car, you'll need its VIN to run a vehicle history report. Finally, you can use the VIN to check for any recalls of a used car you're considering. Just put the VIN in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's free VIN Look-up Tool and you'll know for sure.

VINs have been used by American automakers since 1954, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, but for years, there was no standardization so they were extremely difficult to decipher. Things are much easier now, but you still need to know the format in order to make sense of those 17 numbers.

Where To Find the VIN
You can find a car's VIN in three major locations: on the driver-side doorjamb, on the firewall in the engine bay and beneath the windshield on the driver side.

Dissecting the VIN
As an example, we're using the VIN from a 2013 Cadillac ATS. Here is the VIN and its breakdown, section by section: 1G6AF5SX6D0125409

World Manufacturer Identifier (1G6) 
The first three digits make up the World Manufacturer Identifier.

  • Position one represents the nation of origin, or the final point of assembly. For instance, cars made in the U.S. start with 1,4 or 5, Canada is 2, Mexico is 3, Japan is J, South Korea is K, England is S, Germany is W and Sweden or Finland is Y.
  • Position two tells you about the manufacturer. In some cases, it's the letter that begins the manufacturer's name. For example, A is for Audi, B is for BMW, G is for General Motors, L is for Lincoln and N is for Nissan. But that "A" can also stand for Jaguar or Mitsubishi and an "R" can also mean Audi. It may sound confusing, but the next digit ties it all together.
  • Position three, when combined with the first two digits, indicates the vehicle's type or manufacturing division. In our example, 1G6 means a Cadillac passenger car. 1G1 means Chevrolet passenger cars and 1GC means Chevrolet trucks. There have been many variations on the World Manufacturer Identifier as brands have come and gone. This Wikipedia page has a list of WMI codes.

Vehicle Descriptor Section (AF5SX6) 
Digits 4 through 9 make up the Vehicle Descriptor Section.

  • Positions four through eight describe the car with such information as the model, body type, restraint system, transmission type and engine code.
  • Position nine, the "check" digit, is used to detect invalid VINs, based on a mathematical formula that was developed by the Department of Transportation.

Vehicle Identifier Section (D0125409) 
Digits 10 through 17 make up the Vehicle Identifier Section.

  • Position 10 indicates the model year. The letters from B-Y correspond to the model years 1981-2000. There is no I, O, Q, U or Z. From 2001-'09, the numbers one through nine were used in place of numbers. The alphabet started over from A in 2010 and will continue until 2030.

Is it confusing? Yes. So here's a list of the model years since 1981: B=1981, C='82, D='83, E='84, F='85, G='86, H='87, J='88, K='89, L='90, M='91, N='92, P='93, R='94, S='95, T='96, V='97, W='98, X='99, Y=2000, 1='01, 2='02, 3='03, 4='04, 5='05, 6='06, 7='07, 8='08, 9='09, A=2010, B='11, C='12, D='13, E='14, F='15,G='16, H='17, J='18

  • The letter or number in position 11 indicates the manufacturing plant in which the vehicle was assembled. Each automaker has its own set of plant codes.
  • The last 6 digits (positions 12 through 17) are the production sequence numbers. This is the number each car receives on the assembly line. In the case of our Cadillac ATS, it was the 125,409th car to roll off the assembly line in Lansing, Michigan.


Jury Awards $22.7M for Fatal Fleet Crash Involving Missouri Based Employer

A wrongful death lawsuit filed in Cook County, Ill., against a Missouri-based food refrigeration systems company and a former company fleet driver has resulted in a $22.7 million jury award.

The case revolved around a May 2012 fatal crash on Interstate 294, the southern part of the Tri-State Tollway in Illinois. Aaron Swenson, a 31-year-old private investigator, was stopped in morning traffic in a construction zone when a fleet van driven by Hussmann Corp. employee Adam Troy rear-ended Swenson’s car and rammed it into a truck stopped ahead. Read More...

CTRL F blog post

Dan Russell, a search anthropologist at Google, has discussed about the time he spends with random people studying how they search for stuff. One statistic blew my mind. 90 percent of people in their studies don't know how to use CTRL/Command + F to find a word in a document or web page! I probably use that trick 20 times per day and yet the vast majority of people don't use it at all.

"90 percent of the US Internet population does not know that. This is on a sample size of thousands," Russell said. "I do these field studies and I can't tell you how many hours I've sat in somebody's house as they've read through a long document trying to find the result they're looking for. At the end I'll say to them, 'Let me show one little trick here,' and very often people will say, 'I can't believe I've been wasting my life!'"

I can't believe people have been wasting their lives like this either! It makes me think that we need a new type of class in schools across the land immediately. Electronic literacy. Just like we learn to skim tables of content or look through an index or just skim chapter titles to find what we're looking for, we need to teach people about this CTRL+F thing.

Google itself is trying to teach people a little something with their campaign, but the ability to retrieve information via a search engine is actually much bigger than the search engine itself. We're talking about the future of almost all knowledge acquisition and yet schools don't spend nearly as much time on this skill as they do on other equally important areas.

First InfoSource allows for the most broad and wildcard capable searching in the industry. We encourage users to run by broader search terms and then use CTRL+F to narrow their search. It’s all the same cost! Whether we return one result or 90 it’s the same cost. Thus rather than not hitting records and taking your staffs valuable time we encourage you to run partial names and partial zip codes in order to hit your potential record on the first search and then use this “find” feature to locate the exact record you need.

DON’T LOSE IT! – Medical Certification Required for CDL Drivers

Effective January 30, 2015, all drivers with a commercial driver’s license (CDL) must have a current medical certification registered with the Missouri Department of Revenue and Missouri Department of Transportation. (The original deadline was January 30, 2014, and that was extended to January 30, 2015).

All CDL holders must provide information to their state driver’s license agency (SDLA) regarding the type of commercial motor vehicle operation they drive in or expect to drive in with their CDL. Drivers operating in certain types of commerce will be required to submit a current medical examiner’s certificate to their SDLA to obtain a “certified” medical status as part of their driving record. CDL holders required to have a “certified” medical status who fail to provide and keep up-to-date their medical examiner’s certificate with their SDLA will become ”not-certified” and they may lose their CDL.

It is the drivers’ responsibility to keep their medical certification up to date. Drivers who do not submit a medical certification prior to it expiring will find that their CDL license will be downgraded to a non CDL license. They’ll lose their commercial motor vehicle operation privileges. In order to regain the CDL a driver will have to complete all written and skills tests all over again.

While registering the certificate is the responsibility of the individual driver, employers have a stake in the matter. They stand to lose valuable drivers who fail to comply with the regulation. So it’s in the employers’ interest to inform their drivers of the requirement. Follow up and make sure all commercial motor vehicle drivers have taken steps to keep their CDL in force.

Each state is handling the matter of medical certificates differently. For specific state-by-state requirements for drivers and information related to how a state is handling the Medical Certification requirements, and to determine whom to contact for additional information, click on the following link:{687D99D3-FFB5-4B76-BD6F-F5EF54728BE0


Don’t Let Your Drivers Get Downgraded!

Many drivers have called and coming in because they have received a downgrade letter in the mail from the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).  If you failed to return your self-certification letter to tell the DMV the type of driving you engage in or expect to, that is usually the reason for that dreaded letter (see earlier post for information on how to self-certify).   If you did fill out and return the self-certification letter, not keeping a current and valid medical examiner’s certificate on file at the DMV is the other reason for a downgrade notice.  

If you are or employ a CDL driver who allows medical certification information that the state has on file to expire, it could cause the driver or carrier to receive a serious violation. The driver’s CDL could also be downgraded, meaning the driver would no longer hold a commercial driver’s license. This downgrade will happen within 60 days of the medical certification expiring. Drivers with a downgraded CDL could result in violations and fines for the carrier, whether the issue is discovered through an audit or at the roadside. Click here to read more.

As an employer or driver, you have a lot of responsibilities to make sure you or your drivers are safe and productive on the road. A duty of all commercial drivers is to abide by Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) requirement to obtain a medical examiner’s certificate. Below is a list of questions and answers on what to do in order to make sure you or your drivers don’t get downgraded so you can stay on the road and productive!

What if the driver’s medical certificate expires before providing a new one?

If a driver’s medical certificate expires before providing a new one, the Department of Revenue will notify the driver that he/she is no longer medically certified to operate a commercial motor vehicle and remove the CDL privileges from the driver’s license.

What should a driver do if his/her medical certificate is about to expire?

If a driver’s medical certificate is about to expire, the driver must have a new medical examination and obtain a new medical certificate. This medical certificate should be provided to the Department of Revenue.

How can a driver get his/her CDL privileges back?

First, the driver must obtain a medical examiner’s certificate and provide to the Department of Revenue. If the variance waiver has expired, the driver must renew with FMCSA. Retesting may be required if the driver let the CDL license remained expired for more than six months.

How can you as an employer ensure that your drivers don’t get downgraded?

  • Track your drivers’ medical expiration dates, as they appear on the driver’s motor vehicle report, or MVR – it is what the state has on file that matters!
  • Get the driver in for his/her physical 30 days in advance of the expiration of the medical certification information on his/her MVR.
  • Have the driver submit a copy of the new medical card to the state licensing agency the same day as the physical is passed.
  • Run an MVR 12 or 13 days after the exam or use the Missouri License Monitor Program through First InfoSource at for automatic updates.