If you are not licensed in North Carolina, but have received a traffic citation in Washington County, there is a good chance this ticket could affect your license in your home state. 45 of the 50 states in the US are part of a reciprocal agreement, called the Drivers License Compact (DLC), that allows them to share speeding ticket or traffic citation information with each other.
Every state is unique in their specific Department of Motor Vehicle rules and Department of Insurance regulations, but a traffic related conviction in NC has a good chance of being translated to your home state and impacting you accordingly. Based on your state of residence, a speeding ticket in Washington County may be placed on your driving record, leading to the assessment of license points, and an increase to your auto insurance rates.
Drivers License Compact (DLC)
The 45 current members include:
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wyoming.
The 5 states not in the DLC are:
Georgia, Massachusetts, Michigan, Tennessee, Wisconsin.
National Driver Register (NDR)
If you have received a citation in Washington County, NC, one other important factor to consider as an out-of-state driver is the National Driver Register (NDR). All 50 states, and also Washington D.C., are members of the National Driver Register. The NDR keeps records of drivers who have had their driving privilege suspended in any state as well as records of all serious traffic convictions, such as Driving While Impaired.
This sharing of information can be particularly harsh for out-of-state drivers who get a ticket in NC, because North Carolina is known as one of the more punitive states when it comes to traffic law. Due to NC’s comparatively harsh traffic laws, it’s surprisingly easy to accidentally plead yourself into a license suspension or a criminal conviction. For example, any conviction of speeding over 80 mph (which we all know is not hard to do with many 70 mph zones throughout NC) results in a suspension of your North Carolina driving privilege and a criminal record. Simply speeding 71 mph in a 55 mph zone would do the same.
We often hear folks that are licensed outside of North Carolina who say that they’ll just pay off their ticket because they don’t want to deal with the hassle. Or worse, that they plan not to show up in court at all! Not handling a ticket received in North Carolina may result in the Court issuing a Failure to Appear and potentially, depending on the nature of the charge, an Order for Arrest! Aside from having an outstanding warrant for your arrest, the Failure to Appear may ultimately lead to suspension of your North Carolina driving privilege, which, per the NDR, can suspend your driving privilege in your home state.
Do not pay any speeding or traffic ticket without first consulting a traffic attorney. While it might be tempting to just pay off your own ticket, doing so is the same as admitting guilt. This could result in negative outcomes like an increase to your monthly insurance premium, the addition of detrimental points to your license, or even the suspension of your license! While receiving a citation is certainly stressful, at iTicket.law we want to make it as painless as possible.
Obviously, there is a lot to consider as an out-of-state driver after you’ve received a traffic ticket in Washington County. At iTicket.law, you can rest assured that a team of seasoned professionals is handling your case, with the number one goal of seeking to save you time and money in the long run.*
That said, while our traffic lawyers have decades of combined legal experience, we are only licensed to practice in North Carolina. This means that all of their legal recommendations are made with seeking the best possible outcome based on NC DMV and DOI laws. If you are licensed out of state, we strongly recommend that you take a brief moment to run the suggestion of our attorneys by your home state’s insurance agent and/or DMV representative to confirm that it will have the maximum benefit possible.