Drivers that receive tickets out of state are often unsure whether the ticket they received will be applied against their driving record. This page is designed to answer many of the questions that drivers from Virginia, North Carolina, and other nearby states may have when receiving a ticket in another state.
Questions like the following are common:
- Will points be applied against my license?
- If points will be assessed will it be the amount my home state would apply? Or what the state I received the ticket would apply?
- Will my license be suspended if I'm convicted?
The Driver License Compact between 45 states in the U.S. provides the answers to many of these questions.
Driver License Compact
The purpose of the Driver License Compact is to facilitate the exchange of information regarding the conviction of traffic violations of non-resident drivers between member states. Generally, states that are members of the compact must report convictions of traffic violations in their state and report the conviction to the driver's home state. The
home state must then apply the conviction as if it occurred in the home state for purposes of license suspension/revocation and application of points against the driver's license. Non-moving violations are not included.
Members and Non-Members
45 states are members of the Driver License Compact. Georgia, Massachusetts, Michigan, Tennessee and Wisconsin are not members
The licensing authority of each state that is a member of the compact reports a conviction of a driver from other states that are members of the compact to that state's licensing authority. The report describes the violation, including the statute violated, the court, and the plea entered. For Virginia residents convictions from other states will be applied as if the conviction was entered in Virginia with respect to the following offenses for license suspension/revocation purposes:
(1) Manslaughter or negligent homicide resulting from the operation of a motor vehicle;
(2) Driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or a narcotic drug, or under the influence of any other drug to a degree which renders the driver incapable of safely driving a motor vehicle;
(3) Any felony in the commission of which a motor vehicle is used;
(4) Failure to stop and render aid in the event of a motor vehicle accident resulting in the death or personal injury of another.
Reporting Requirements for Minor Violations
In VA's version other convictions (any offense related to the use or operation of a motor vehicle which is prohibited by state law, municipal ordinance or administrative rule or regulation…) from out of state will be applied as if they occurred in VA.
Maryland drivers who receive tickets in Virginia will only receive points if convicted of one of the 4 major violations listed in the section above. If convicted of another offense the driver will not receive points but the Maryland licensing authority will record the violation on his driving record. (Colorado, New York, Nevada, Maryland, and Pennsylvania only apply points for major violations).
The home state will look to convictions in a party state that have different definitions of the four more serious convictions to find offenses of a substantially similar law.
When Applying for a Driver's License
Before issuing a driver's license the licensing authority of the home state must check to see whether the applicant already has a license in a party member state.
VA will not issue a license if the driver:
- Currently holds a suspended license
- License is revoked, except where 1 year has passed since date of revocation but can look to see if it would not be safe to issue license
- Currently has a license in another party state and has not surrendered the license
North Carolina's Requirements
North Carolina must report to another member state a conviction for the same offenses listed in the VA code but unlike VA not solely for the purpose of a license suspension or revocation. § 20-4.24. A party state must report to another member state a conviction for any other offense and may suspend a license if the driver is convicted of an offense listed in § 20-26(A). § 20-23. The offense will be given same effect as if it occurred in home state. § 20-4.24.
When Applying For a Drivers License in North Carolina
North Carolina may not issue a license if the license has been revoked, but may allow an application if more than one year has expired since revocation. North Carolina may not issue a license if the applicant holds license in other member state.
License Suspensions in North Carolina for Virginia Traffic Tickets
If a reciprocating licensing authority, such as Virginia, reports to NC DMV that a NC license holder has not complied with a citation issued in a reciprocating state his license will be suspended. North Carolina automatically revokes license for conviction of any offense listed in NCGA § 20-17. http://www.ncleg.net/EnactedLegislation/Statutes/PDF/BySection/Chapter_20/GS_20-17.pdf
NC will maintain records of residents from another member state if convicted of:
- exceeding a stated speed limit of 55 miles per hour or more by more than 15 miles per hour
- driving while license suspended or revoked
- careless and reckless driving
- engaging in prearranged speed competition
- engaging willfully in speed competition
- hit and run driving resulting in damage to property
- unlawfully passing a stopped school bus, illegal transportation of alcoholic beverages
- and the offenses included in G.S. 20-17
Restricted Licenses for Non Virginia Residents
Non VA residents are allowed to be granted a restricted license. VA courts cannot require non VA residents to physically surrender their out of state license.