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What Happens To My License If I Get A DUI In Another State?

You were visiting family in another state or maybe you were on a vacation and you were pulled over by police and charged with DUI. If you plead guilty or are convicted of DUI in that state, you will lose your license to drive in that state. Well, what happens to your license in your home state? The Interstate Driver’s License Compact is an agreement between the 45 member states to trade information concerning specific traffic violations and crimes including DUI and vehicular manslaughter.

What is the Interstate Driver’s License Compact?

The Driver’s License Compact was created in 1961 and Nevada was the first state to become a member. Twenty-seven states joined in the sixties and the rest joined sporadically until Kentucky was the last state to join in 1996. The District of Colombia is also a member of the Compact. The five states that are not members are: Georgia, Massachusetts, Michigan, Tennessee and Wisconsin. The Driver’s License Compact will soon be replaced by the Driver’s License Agreement. There are three states who are members of the DLA: Connecticut, Arkansas and Massachusetts. The DLA incorporates more traffic violations (including minor ones) and enforces tougher fines and penalties against drivers that commit violations that fall under the DLA. For example, someone driving through a DLA member state gets stopped by police for their windows having illegally dark tint. Even though their window tint is legal in their home state, they will still face fines and penalties from the state where the violation took place and will be forced to remove the tint from their windows when the driver goes back to their home state even though the driver has left the state where the violation took place.

How does the Driver’s License Compact work?

If you are arrested, charged and convicted for DUI in the state of Florida but you reside in Texas, the state of Florida will notify the state of Texas of your DUI offense, and Texas will treat the DUI conviction as if it took place in the state of Texas. At the beginning of the Compact, only serious offenses such as DUI offenses were shared; now, minor violations are communicated back to your home state. So, if you are given a citation for speeding in Florida, the violation and points could be charged to your Texas driver’s license. Not every driving violation will convey back to the driver’s home state. For example, a careless driving charge in one state may not convey to the driver’s home state if that state does not have a law or statute for the same offense. Therefore, the driver’s home state will take no action.

Driver’s Compact and DUI License Suspension Guidelines

After a DUI, the length of your license suspension will depend on your home state and the state of your conviction. If your home state’s DUI penalties declare that your license should be suspended for one year, but the state where you were convicted of the DUI requires an 18 month suspension, pursuant to the Interstate Compact, your home state will likely honor the 18 month suspension. When you find yourself in this situation, you will receive a letter from your state detailing your rights to appeal and the procedures to follow. Don’t think that a DUI in another state cannot follow you home. If you are convicted of a DUI in one state, it will affect your ability to drive in your home state as well.