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The Interstate Driver License Compact – the mechanism by which your New York State moving violation is recorded to your home state’s driving record

The Interstate Driver License Compact is a compact used to exchange information concerning license suspensions and traffic violations of non-residents and forward them to the home state where the driver is licensed. The theory isone driver, one license, one record. “State” includes the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, a US possession or territory, or a providence of Canada. The only states that are not part of the compact are Georgia, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Tennessee.

With limited exception the home state can, but is not compelled to, administratively treat the offense as if it had been committed in the state of licensing. This includes, but is not limited to, point assessments, license suspensions, and license restrictions. This reporting exchange is also the mechanism by which an insurer obtains out of state convictions of its insured to include them as part of the insurance company’s demerit system utilized to increase insurance premiums. Unlike the DMV’s, you can rest assured that your insurance company does not care where you accrued your speeding conviction they will use it as justification to raise your insurance rates.

Joining the interstate compact merely requires the state ratifying the provisions of the compact into their motor vehicle laws. NY VTL § 516 is where the compact is enacted into the law of NY. The compact mandates that all state licensing authorities report to the licensee’s home state licensing authority the violation of which the licensee was convicted, including the foreign state’s statute, name of the court, if the licensee forfeited bail, bond or security, and whether the conviction was by default or otherwise. The foreign state should also include information of any “special findings.” For example, in a speeding case a reportable special finding would be the speed limit of the road and how fast the licensee was convicted of traveling.

For the following convictions the compact requires that the home state licensing authority give the same effect to the reported conduct for the purposes of suspension, revocation, or limitation of the license to operate as though it occurred in the home state:

• Manslaughter / Negligent Homicide resulting from use of a motor vehicle
• DWI whether alcohol or drugs
• Any felony whereby a motor vehicle was used in the commission of the felony
• Failure to stop to render aid in the event of a motor vehicle accident resulting in death or personal injury

Even if the laws of the home state do not mirror image the foreign offense, the home state must construe the foreign statute as being applicable to the substantially similar home state offenses to ensure full force and effect be given to the interstate compact.

The compact requires that, upon application for a new driver’s license the licensing authority ascertain whether the applicant has ever had, or is the holder of a license to drive by another state which is party to the compact. The licensing authority is prohibited from issuing a license if the applicant:

• Currently has a suspended or revoked driver’s license or privileges in another state.
• If the applicant is revoked, after 1 year subsequent to the revocation date the applicant may proffer an application in the new state. The new licensing authority must deny the application if in its opinion they determine that it will not be safe to grant licensing privilege to the applicant.
• The applicant currently has a valid driver’s license in another state. In that instance, the applicant must surrender the home state license for the applicant state’s license.

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