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Drunk Driving and Pennsylvania's Drivers License Compact

Forty-six states have united together through the Driver License Compact (DLC) agreement. This agreement is an effort by participating states to maximize their law enforcements efforts. Pennsylvania became a member of the Driver License Compact  in 1996 (Pennsylvania law as Act 1996-No. 149 on December 10, 1996). According to the major provisions of the Driver License Compact the member states are untied together to enforce the laws of other states.

What are the major provisions of the Driver License Compact?

  1. Drivers are required to surrender their out-of-state license when they apply for a new license in a new state.
  2. Drivers have a completed driver’s license record which is kept in their state of residence to determine their driving privileges in that state and their privileges to operate their motorized vehicle in another state.
  3. Participating states are required to report all traffic convictions, including license suspension/revocations of out-of-state drivers to their home state licensing agency.
  4. Violations and penalties for drivers who reside in participating states will result in penalties that equal those which would have been imposed if the penalties were committed in their home state.

Arrested for drunk driving in another state, how does this affect my Pennsylvania Driver’s License?

  Drivers who are arrested for operating a motorized vehicle in another state (which is part of the Driver License Compact) under the influence of drugs or alcohol to such a degree that makes it impossible for them to safely operate the vehicle (drunk driving) will have their Pennsylvania driver’s license suspended. Other driving violations will also result in a license suspension including manslaughter or negligent homicide resulting from the operation of a motor vehicle, failure to stop and render aid in the event of a motor vehicle accident resulting in the death or personal injury, and any felony in the commission of a crime with a motorized vehicle.

How long will my driver’s license be suspended in Pennsylvania if I get DUI in another member state?

  Drivers will have their driver’s licenses suspended for one year if the violation is the driver’s second drunk driving conviction. Drivers who have not had a previous drunk driving conviction (assuming the violation occurred after 2/1/2004) will not have their license suspended.

How does the process work after a drunk driving traffic violation?

  Driver License Compact states have agreed to report suspensions to the home state (assuming the home state is a member of DLC) after the driver has been convicted of a serious traffic violation. When the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation gets the notification they will send the driver an official notice of suspension including the first date the suspension. Drivers must then surrender their license to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. The suspensions in both states generally do not start at exactly the same time, and drivers may continue to drive in Pennsylvania until they receive their notice of suspension. Drivers who have questions about their right to drive in the state of Pennsylvania may contact them via their website or write to them at the following address:   PA Department of Transportation In-State Bureau of Driver Licensing P.O. Box 68618 TDD In-State 1-800-228-0676 Harrisburg, PA 17106-8618 Telephone Number: 1-800-932-4600
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