Written by attorney Randolph H Wolf

Out of State Traffic Ticket Guide

There has long been contention over how to deal with out of state traffic tickets. Many will tell you to toss it because it won't follow you home; unfortunately, this is a fallacy, and unpaid or uncontested tickets can cause you grief in your home state and with your insurance company.

There are three databases that exist solely to track you and your driver's license. The National Driver Register, known as the NDR and also called the Problem Driver Pointer System, was invented by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration a decade ago. This system is for keeping an eye on anyone who has a suspended or revoked license, or who has been given a DUI for drugs or alcohol. The NDR does not prevent you from getting a license, but if you show up as a problem driver in any state, you may have a hard time receiving one.

The Driver's License Compact, or the DLC, is a nation wide database that makes information on license suspensions and traffic violations by out of state drivers available. And although only 44 of 50 states, plus the District of Columbia are subscribers to the DLC, all states adhere to the rules and have similar agreements. The DLC basically makes any violation committed in another state the same as a violation in your home state. For example, if you have an unpaid ticket from a weekend in New Jersey, but are a Florida resident, Florida will suspend your license and even charge you a suspension reinstatement fee if the ticket is paid after the Florida suspension date. In reverse, let's say you receive a ticket in Florida, and live in Pennsylvania. The PA DOT will add points to your license, and may suspend it as well.

The Non-Resident Violator Compact, known as the NRVC, works in a similar manner to the DLC, but only works in suspensions and does not hand out points and penalties on your license. The way that states process the violations differ, and the violations have to be shared by both states for your home state to take action. There are a handful of states that don't participate in the NVRC -- Georgia, California, Tennessee, Massachusetts, Oregon, Wisconsin, Montana, and Alaska. New Jersey participates in both the DLC and the NRVC.

Wherever you receive a traffic ticket, take care of it immediately. That can mean paying it or fighting it, but realize that in most cases, pleading guilty and paying a ticket will result in points on your license. And with a new iron clad law called the Driver License Agreement gaining more and more participators, there will be almost no loopholes to evade out of state tickets.

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