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December 20, 2010

Speeding Tickets: Do They Follow You From State to State?

Q: Speeding Tickets: Do Speeding Tickets Affect Your Driver's License Status in another state?
A: Yes, and here is how:

There are three major databases that keep track of your driver's license information: the National Driver Register (NDR), the Driver License Compact (DLC) and the Non-Resident Violator Compact (NRVC).
The NDR was created by The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) in 2000. The organizations primary purpose is to prevent commercial motor vehicle-related fatalities and injuries. This includes both commercial drivers and regular drivers. The list keeps track of drivers who have had their licenses revoked, suspended or who have been convicted of serious traffic violations. The data is collected and submitted nationwide to the NDR and every states as well as the District of Columbia is obligated to check the NDR before issuing out a drivers license.

The DLC and NRVC are responsible for how your tickets actually follow you.

The NDR, DLC and NRVC are products of the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA). This organization is a non-profit organization and it is tax-exempted. The AAMVA develops programs in motor vehicle administration, law enforcement and highway safety. Though the organization forms policies for such things are laws against radar and laser detector use, it is up to each individual state to ratify and join any provision.

The DLC is responsible for making a violation in another state effective/equivalent to a violation in your home state. For example, if your license was suspended in Virginia and you currently live in Maryland, your license will also be suspended in Maryland and points will be issued to your driving record.

The NRVC works similarly than the DLC, except that it will not add points to your driving record. If we follow the example above and you get a ticket in Virginia and you live in Maryland and do not pay the ticket, Maryland will suspend your license until you handle the issue in Virginia, without adding any points to your driving record.

A new organization will be forming called the Driver License Agreement (DLA). Any state that becomes a member of the DLA will submit to its regulations. The DLA will require all member states to take action even if the home state doesn't have the same statute under which you were ticketed out of your home state. For example, if you are issued a careless driving citation in Virginia but your home state does not have such a violation, then your home state will look for the closest equivalent citation it could issue and assess points and penalties based on that. The AAMVA is working to make the DLA international. In the near future the DLA will include South America, Europe, Australia and Africa.

The DLA also requires that all member states make all information available to non-member states as well. Though the DLA is in its early stages, it is inevitable that all states within the US, Canada and Mexico will become members.