Does a DUI transfer from state to state? Most likely, yes it will. Sometimes things fall through the cracks when government agencies are trying to co-ordinate out of state traffic matters but don’t bet on it. There are a couple of different ways the licensing state can find out about that North Carolina DWI or other driving related charges. So what states share DUI information? And how do they do it? In addition to the large compacts listed below, states can make agreements with other states to share license information.
Driver’s License Compact states (DLC)
This is probably the most common way that you hear about. Only five states do not belong to this compact: Georgia, Massachusetts, Michigan, Tennessee and Wisconsin. The other 45 are required, per the compact, to report convictions to the licensing state. The common misconception of people that live in the non-member states is that their out of state conviction will not impact their driver’s license, generally they are wrong, there are other ways for the licensing state to get that information.
Non Resident Violator Compact (NRVC)
The NRVC requires states to suspend their citizen’s driver’s licenses for moving violations when they are notified by the state issuing the citation that the offender has not taken care of the citation. 44 states are members of this compact; only Alaska, California, Michigan, Montana, Oregon and Wisconsin do not belong to this compact.
Driver’s License Agreement (DLA)
This agreement was thought up after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 and is supposed to take the place of the other older compacts and can include driving records from other countries. Member states are required to report traffic convictions, and treat their citizens as if the infraction happened within the licensing state. So far, the DLA has not caught on; only Connecticut, Arkansas and Massachusetts have joined.
National Driver Register (NDR)
All states use the NDR; if you are convicted of a serious traffic offense like a DWI or had your license suspended, it is reported to the register. When you go in for a renewal, the DMV is supposed to check the NDR to determine if you are eligible for a license renewal; there is a good likelihood they will catch a DWI and deny your renewal.
Where The Out Of State License May Be An Advantage
Even if the states share information about violations, DWI’s etc., it still may be an advantage to have an out of state driver’s license. North Carolina has some of the toughest DWI laws in the nation. The licensing state can only enforce its laws not the laws of North Carolina. For example, a first offense DWI in North Carolina will result in a one-year suspension. If the driver has a South Carolina Driver’s license, they will receive their license suspension from South Carolina, which is only 6 months long for the first offense. The same applies for high-risk drivers; if you blow over a .15 in North Carolina on a Breathalyzer you are considered a high-risk driver and will require an Interlock or similar device in your vehicle to obtain a Limited Driver’s Priviledge. South Carolina does not require the Interlock device until the second DWI. To determine the potential outcome with your driver’s license, you have to consult the laws of your licensing state.