At some point in a person’s life, they may take a road trip out of
the state. Whether it’s for business or pleasure, many people drive
across state borders.
But what happens if you commit a traffic violation while driving through
another state? Do you have to attend a court hearing or pay the fine?
And will an out-of-state traffic ticket impact your home-state driving record?
Understanding Interstate Traffic Violation Compacts
Most states are members of one or more interstate traffic violation compacts,
which are agreements for each member state to share information and follow
specific protocol when handling out-of-state traffic offenders.
The following are the main agreements regarding out-of-state violations:
Driver’s License Compact (DLC) – Created in 1961, there are currently a total of 45 states and
the District of Columbia that are members of the Interstate Driver’s
License Compact. All members exchange information on license suspensions
and traffic violations. The five states that do not share driving records
include Georgia, Massachusetts, Michigan, Tennessee, and Wisconsin.
Nonresident Violator Compact (NVC) – Established in the late 1970s, the NVC helps member states ensure
that out-of-state traffic offenders pay their fines and otherwise comply
with the terms of their citations. If an out-of-state motorist fails to
abide by the citation terms, the member state which issued the ticket
reports the noncompliance to the motorist’s home-state. All states
have joined except Alaska, California, Michigan, Montana, Oregon, and
The National Driver Register – The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration keeps track
of all motorists with license suspensions and serious traffic violations.
When an individual applies for a driver’s license, or renew an old
one, his or her state’s DMV will check the national database and
use the information they discover to determine whether to uphold or deny
you driving privileges.
Contesting an Out-of-State Ticket
If you receive an out-of-state traffic citation, you must first determine
whether to fight the ticket or pay it. In most cases, you can avoid going
to court by paying the ticket within a specific time period (often 21
or 30 days). You can either pay it online, by mail, or in person at the
courthouse. On the other hand, contesting a ticket means going to court
or hiring an attorney to attend on your behalf.
If you’re interested in hiring experienced legal representation in
order to fight your traffic ticket outside of Texas,
contact our Fort Worth criminal defense attorney at
Jerry Loftin & Associates for a
free consultation today.