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What happens when you get an out-of-state speeding ticket?
Many of us assume that if we're driving in another state and get pulled over for a speeding ticket, it won't follow us home. Unfortunately, that assumption is wrong. Getting pulled over for a speeding ticket in another state is, in most ways, just like getting pulled over in your home state.
Here's a general breakdown of what will typically happen if you get an out-of-state speeding ticket:
The Driver's License Compact and the Non-Resident Violator Compact
An out-of-state speeding ticket will likely still affect you in your home state under interstate agreements called the "Driver's License Compact" and the "Non-Resident Violator Compact." Almost all 50 states have entered into one or both, with the exception of Michigan and Wisconsin, according to the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators.
These two compacts allow one state's DMV to exchange information with another state's DMV when a non-resident has received a license suspension or committed a traffic violation.
Once the information is forwarded to the driver's home state, the offense will then be treated as if it were committed in the driver's state, applying the relevant home-state laws to the out-of-state offense. This is commonly done with out-of-state DUIs and other traffic offenses, including speeding tickets.
The National Driver Register
Not only are out-of-state speeding tickets usually transferred to your home state, but they can affect your driver's license privileges as well.
Under the National Driver Register ("NDR"), the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration keeps track of all drivers in the United States, along with their driving records. This includes traffic violations like speeding.
How does this work? Every state, and the District of Columbia, submits information to the NDR. In turn, they are also required to check the NDR before granting any license privileges.
For example, let's say you got an out-of-state speeding ticket while driving in Nevada, but you hold a California driver's license. The California DMV will check the NDR first, when you are attempting to renew your license. If the NDR shows that you haven't paid off your Nevada speeding ticket, then the DMV will likely make sure you resolve this issue first before they'll grant your renewal.
If you have more specific questions about an out-of-state speeding ticket you've received, you may want to call an experienced traffic ticket lawyer near you.