You traveled out of your home state to visit another part of the country and you got a ticket, now what? Well, for starters you can’t run and hide! The misdemeanor will find you, and it isn’t something you should ignore. You can be penalized by your home state for ignoring your offense, and nobody wants to pay double for one wrong-doing, or worse, have your car insurance go up too.
As much as we all hope our light crimes will mysteriously disappear, it’s best to learn how our country’s ticket systems interact.
How Your State knows you’ve been MisbehavingThe Driver License Compact
The DLC, or Driver License Compact is an interstate system used to share information on driver’s traffic violations and out of state driver’s license suspensions. This system is used by 44 states and Washington D, C. Even the states that do not participate in the DLC have similar systems and compacts that bind those states. What does this mean? It is nearly impossible to get a traffic offense while out of your home state and not have them find out about it in a relatively quick amount of time.
Nonresident Violator Compact
The Nonresident Violator Compact is a different interstate system. With this system, the state you received the traffic violation in will notify your home state if they did not receive the fine for your infraction. Watch out! They may even start the process of having your license suspended if you do not pay! Do not worry if you received a ticket in Florida, Florida Traffic School is arguably the easiest course to pass!
How States Report Your Traffic Violation
Some states add points to your record for an out-of-state violation. If you are a New Yorker, then you are one of the lucky ones who DOES NOT have to worry about points being added to your record. However, beware, some states are harder on an out-of-state DWI than your home state would be.
Pay or Fight Your Out-of-State Traffic Ticket
You may think that the easiest thing to do is to pay the fine. After all, the only actions you would have to take is:
1. Check the back and see where to mail the fine to.
2. See how much the fine is, mail that amount to the correct address.
Whereas, if you decide to fight the ticket you may have to travel and hire a lawyer. You may even end up paying as much if not more for a lawyer than you would have if you just paid the fine.
The third option is to take an out-of-state online traffic school. You will still have to pay fines, but at least the points from the traffic violation will not go on your record. In Arizona, chances are paying for AZ traffic school (which includes the court fees), will come out less than just paying the fine. Just remember:
1. Call the court which gave you the ticket first to make sure they accept traffic school for ticket dismissal and/or fine reduction.
2. Take the online traffic school course which corresponds with the state that you got the misdemeanor in!Car Insurance
There really isn’t any way to know how the out of state misdemeanor is going to affect your auto insurance, at least not right away. The following three factors must be taken into consideration first:
• What state you were pulled over in
• Insurance laws in the home state
• How your insurance company handles your certain situation
Bonus Knowledge: National Driver Register
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration retains all drivers who have had criminal traffic violations, and those who have had their driver’s licenses suspended, cancelled, and denied.
Which means if you apply for a license in a new state or try to renew your license in your home state your state’s DMV has to check the national databases, when they find your violation your driving privileges will be revoked. Even if you take a NY defensive driving course. The fine must be paid first and in some cases you may have to wait a specific amount of time to get your license back.