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How Does the Driver License Compact Affect DUIs?

By Aditi Mukherji, JD | Last updated on

The Driver License Compact is an interstate agreement between 45 states to exchange information about license suspensions and traffic violations of non-residents, including DUI offenses. Its theme is "One Driver, One License, One Record."

The five non-member states are Maine, Michigan, Wisconsin, Georgia, and Tennessee. All other states, and the District of Columbia, are members.

So what does it mean if your state has (or has not) signed on to the Driver License Compact? Here are a few DLC provisions and how they can affect DUI convictions:

Driver License Compact

Under the DLC, an out-of-state vehicular offense will affect your driving record as if it had been committed in your home state.

The major provisions of the DLC include:

  • "One driver license." You must surrender an out-of-state driver's license when you apply for a new license.
  • "One driver record." Your home state must maintain a complete record for each driver to determine your driving eligibility in your home state, as well as your driving privileges in other states.
  • Reporting. Any information about an out-of-state traffic violation will be reported back to your home state.
  • Uniformity. Your home state will treat an out-of-state offense as if it had been committed at home. Essentially, your home state's law will apply to your out-of-state offense.
  • Equivalent statute. Your home state can't penalize you for an out-of-state offense unless there's an equivalent offense on the books in your home state. If your state doesn't have a statute that's equivalent to the other state's law, then no action can be taken.

Effect on DUIs

Under the DLC, if you commit a traffic violation -- including a DUI -- in a member state, then your home state's vehicle code will apply to your out-of-state offense.

For example, if you're convicted of DUI in another state and get your license suspended in that state, then that state will inform your home state about your DUI conviction and license suspension. As the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation explains, your home state will likely also suspend your license because of your DUI and may impose other penalties as well, pursuant to your home state's laws.

To learn more about how the DLC may affect your out-of-state DUI, it may be best to speak to an experienced DUI attorney in your area.

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