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The Driver’s License Compact

What is the National Driver’s License Compact?

The National Driver’s License Compact or Interstate Driver’s License Compact, as it is alternatively referred to, is a system whereby nearly all of the nation’s states exchange information with each other about offenses committed by drivers from out of state.

The only states that have not yet signed up to the compact are Georgia, Massachusetts, Wisconsin, Tennessee and Michigan

This means that if you hold a Kansas driver’s license and are convicted of a DUI offense in Montana, that your state motor vehicle department will be notified about the prosecution and penalties imposed.

The compact now records information about all traffic offenses

The compact was originally intended to convey information about serious offenses only, such as DUI / DWI and vehicular manslaughter, but has now been extended in most cases to include all traffic offenses, including speeding and careless driving.

You may wonder why this is so important to know about and the answer is that your own state will know of previous offenses, even if they had happened in another state and can impose tougher penalties on repeat offenses. In other words, any offense taking place anywhere in those 45 states that use the compact can affect the way you are penalized anywhere else. It also means that if you have committed an offense in one state, but hold another state driver’s license, your own license will record points that have arisen as a result of the offense in the other state.

The only offenses that might not be reported through the compact are offenses that are not recognized as such by your home state.

What is the National Driver Register?

Similar to the National Driver’s License Compact is the National Driver Register. This is a database held by the National Traffic Highway Safety Association. It records information about license suspensions and serious charges such as DUI or vehicular manslaughter. If a person commits an offense in a particular state, then the state motor vehicle department will send a record of he offense into the NTHSA and it will be recorded on the National Driver Register.

The significance of this is when you apply for a license in a new state or reapply for a license, then the state motor vehicle department will be able to have access to the register to find out if a previous license has been suspended or revoked. Your application may or may not be denied – it all depends on whether the two different states have reciprocal agreements in place or not.

You have the right to find out what record is held by the register

You can normally find out whether you have a record on the register or not from your own state motor vehicle department for free by putting in a request. The request may take a period of time and, if you have had a charge recently, it may take a month or so for it to show up on the register.

If you have any worries about how an offense in one state is likely to affect you in your own home state, then it makes sense to contact an attorney to let you know what the situation is and what your rights are.


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