Yes Virginia, Your Out-of-State Speeding Ticket Does Matter

Along with the age-old question, “If a tree falls in the forest, and there’s nobody around to hear, does it make a sound?”, one of the most talked-about vehicle subjects is what happens when a driver is the unfortunate recipient of an out-of-state speeding ticket.

A common misconception is if a speeding ticket is received in another state, it won’t show up in the driver’s home state. Unfortunately, that notion 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. And, in addition to the fines you’ll pay, the violation on your driving record may affect the cost of your car insurance.

Interstate Agreements: The Driver’s License Compact and the Non-Resident Violator Compact.

Getting hit with an out-of-state speeding ticket will most likely affect you in your home state under interstate agreements called the “Driver’s License Compact” and the “Non-Resident Violator Compact.” Outside of Michigan and Wisconsin, almost every state has entered into one or both agreements, according to the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators.

These agreements enable the exchange of information between various states’ DMVs to report when a non-resident has committed a traffic violation or received a license suspension.

When the information is received by the driver’s home state, the violation is then considered as being committed in the driver’s state, employing the applicable home-state laws to the out-of-state offense. The action taken would include, but not be limited to, points assessed on a minor offense such as speeding and suspension of license or a major violation such as DUI.

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 maintains information on all drivers in the United States, along with their driving records. NDR is a computerized database of information about drivers who have had their licenses revoked or suspended, or who have been convicted of serious traffic violations such as driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs. State motor vehicle agencies provide NDR with the names of individuals who have lost their privileges or who have been convicted of a serious traffic violation.

When a person applies for a driver’s license renewal, the state’s DMV checks to see if the name is on the NDR database. If a person has been reported to the NDR as a problem driver, or hasn’t paid off an out-of-state speeding ticket, the license may be denied.