Blog

How Can Out of State Drivers Fight Traffic Tickets?

You’re having a great family vacation in New York: you just saw the Empire State Building, took a stroll around Central Park, and saw the Lion King – which exceeded your expectations. As you leave the city and head back home in your car, you can’t stop thinking about coming back to New York City. On the way out, you make a right turn at a red light – something you do every day back in your home state; however, you are pulled over and issued a disobey red light ticket. This story happens all too often for out-of-state drivers in New York. While most out-of-state drivers who receive traffic tickets in New York think it’s easier and cheaper to just pay the traffic ticket instead of returning to New York to fight it, this could not be further from the truth.

The Driver’s License Compact

The Driver’s License Compact (DLC) is an agreement among states that obligates those states to share an individual driver’s driving record. The DLC sets out to ensure that each driver has only one legitimate license at a time and that each state has an individual driver’s accurate driving record. A total of 45 member states have agreed to the compact, including New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Washington D.C. The DLC is committed to reporting all traffic convictions and license suspension/revocations of out-of-state drivers to the home state licensing agency. The traffic violations committed in other states are treated as though they have been committed in the home state. It is important to note that some states vary in terms of driver’s license suspensions when compared to New York, meaning that an offense in New York could net drivers a suspension even if that same offense wouldn’t have the same consequences in their home state.

Out-of-State Tickets

The DLC agreement between states ensures that a traffic ticket issued to a non-state driver will be returned to the home state of the driver. When a state suspends an out-of-state driver’s license, it is highly likely that the driver’s home state will honor the suspension. The state that issued your driver’s license will most certainly find out about any traffic ticket that you received in another state. However, not all states penalize out-of-state tickets the same as New York.

How states treat out-of-state convictions

Most of the 50 states record all out-of-state traffic violations on the driver’s driving record and assigns points onto that driver’s license. It is important to know that a few states, such as Pennsylvania and Colorado, do not record violations for what they consider minor offenses, like a speeding ticket. New York has a unique law regarding out-of-state tickets in that if a New York resident receives a minor traffic ticket in Quebec or Ontario, New York State will assess the proper points to the driver’s license. New Jersey has a unique law as well as the state adds 2 points for most out-of-state traffic convictions, even if the points total for the traffic violation might have been a different amount in New York.

What happens if I receive a traffic ticket in another state?

Your New York State Driver License will be suspended if you fail to answer a ticket for a moving violation in every state except for Alaska, California, Michigan, Montana, Oregon and Wisconsin. Drivers who fail to answer a moving violation in New York State may also have their license suspended in their own state (except for the states listed above). If you commit any alcohol or drug related driving violation and are convicted of that violation in any other state or the provinces of Ontario and Quebec in Canada, your New York State License will be suspended for 90 days. However, if you are under 21 and are convicted of one of these out-of-state violations, your license will be revoked for one year. The NYS DMV also records all out-of-state convictions of New York drivers for criminal negligence, homicide, or assault that stem from the operation of a motor vehicle. It is possible that New York State will revoke your New York State Driver License as a result of these convictions.

How a NY Traffic Ticket Attorney Can Help

A lot of drivers think the easiest course of action to pursue after receiving an out-of-state traffic ticket is to just pay the fine and accept the penalty. As we’ve shown though, this can have dire consequences for your driving record. But what if traveling back to New York to fight a traffic ticket is not an option for you? A New York traffic ticket attorney can help by making the appearance in court for you, so you do not have to worry about taking the time and effort to travel back to New York. A New York traffic ticket lawyer can fight all NY traffic tickets, even for out-of-state drivers, and may help to avoid consequences such as points on your out-of-state driver’s license or even license suspensions. Please contact us immediately at 212-227-9008 if you are an out-of-state-driver and receive a traffic ticket in New York.