Do traffic tickets follow me into every State? DMV reciprocity.

Most states in the U.S. have reciprocal agreements with each other regarding motor vehicle violation convictions of drivers. The shared information may be about a minor offense, such as a speeding ticket, or a major offense, such as a DUI.

The main reciprocal agreements, with regards to traffic violations, are the Drivers License Compact (DLC) and Non-Resident Violator Compact (NRVC). There is also the Drivers License Agreement (DLA); however, it doesn’t yet have the state membership that the other two compacts currently have.

Drivers License Compact (DLC)
This is a list of states that belong to the Driver License Compact. An agreement between these states basically says you have only ONE drivers license record.  States that are members of the DLC are required to report traffic ticket convictions received by a motorist back to the state where the driver is licensed. The driver’s home state then determines if the traffic offense will be placed on the person’s driving record and if any points will be assessed.

The members include all states except: Georgia, Massachusetts,  Michigan, Tennessee, Wisconsin.
These Non-compact states and should NOT share DUI conviction information, but they may. Even if your state isn’t part of the DLC, an out-of-state ticket may still follow you home, because most of these states have informal agreements with other states to exchange information regarding traffic tickets. Receiving a ticket in one of these states does not guarantee that it will not be reported to your home state. Department of motor vehicle representatives in these five states generally notify an out-of- state driver’s home state, even though they are not required to, and are generally notified if their own drivers received violations in other states as well.

Non-Resident Violator Compact (NRCV)
The Non-Resident Violator Compact requires member states to suspend the driver’s license of those who get traffic tickets for moving violations in other states and fail to pay them or otherwise legally take care of them.  The NRVC states communicate with one another if you get a ticket out of your home state.

NRVC members include all states except:  Alaska, California, Michigan, Montana, Oregon, Wisconsin
Again, though, each state may have its own agreements with other states and may still suspend or penalize a driver who doesn’t pay their out-of-state traffic ticket.

Two States are on both lists: Michigan and Wisconsin. 

Driver License Agreement
In the effort to establish a one-driver, one-record system, the Driver License Agreement (DLA) hopes to combine the DLC and NRVC and become a more efficient and effective agreement for the jurisdictions to share and transmit driver and conviction information.

States haven’t gravitated to the DLA, however — only Arkansas, Connecticut and Massachusetts have signed up as members. There is legislature in other states pending though. Unlike the DLC and NRVC, the provinces and territories of Canada, as well as the states/federal district of Mexico, can participate in the DLA.

National Driver Register
There is also the National Driver Register (NDR) that all states and the District of Columbia take part in. The NDR contains records on those who have had their licenses revoked or suspended, or who have been convicted of serious traffic violations (such as a DUI) throughout the United States.

When a person applies for a driver’s license, the state DMV should check to see if that individual’s name is in the NDR file. If that person has been reported to the NDR as a problem driver, a license may be denied until the issue has taken care of and their license has been reinstated in the state that has the hold on their license.

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