Receiving a Speeding Ticket with an Out of State Driver’s License

The added complication of receiving an out of state speeding ticket in North Carolina or South Carolina can be extremely costly and confusing, but here are a few points to remember to save yourself some time and confusion.

An Attorney Can Go to Court in Your Place

Traveling across the country, or even the state, is expensive. Often times, you are told by the ticketing officer that you must show up personally to your court date—this is rarely true. An attorney can be authorized to appear on your behalf so that you do not have to travel from across the country, or even elsewhere in the state, to the county where you received your ticket.

You Can Receive License Points and/or Insurance Increases from Out of State Tickets

Another complication of receiving an out of state speeding ticket is trying to figure out if and how your driver’s license and insurance will be affected by a ticket you received out of state. This area of the law is largely controlled by whether and to what extent your state has adopted the Driver License Compact (“DLC”) and/or the Non-Resident Violator Compact (“NRVC”). North Carolina and South Carolina have adopted both compacts.

Generally, if your home state has adopted the DLC, your traffic offense will transfer from North Carolina or South Carolina to your home state and be treated as if the offense occurred in your home state. For example, if you have a South Carolina driver’s license and are convicted of speeding 80 m.p.h. in a 65 m.p.h. zone in North Carolina, you will have 4 points assigned to your South Carolina driver’s license. This is because the South Carolina assigns 4 points to your driver’s license for driving 11 m.p.h to 24 m.p.h. over the speed limit.

However, not all states have the same traffic offenses as the Carolinas. So, if your home state does not have a commonly ticketed traffic offense in the Carolinas, the violation may not transfer to your home state to adversely affect your driver’s license. Many times, attorneys can negotiate your traffic ticket to an offense that will not transfer points to your home state.

In North Carolina, your ticketing officer may have also suggested a Prayer for Judgment Continued (“PJC”), which can be very useful for North Carolina licensed drivers but detrimental to drivers licensed outside the state. If you have an out of state driver’s license, do not request a PJC because it may not have any effect in your home state.

Which States Have Adopted a Version of the Driver License Compact?

Adopting States: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District Of Columbia, 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.

Non-Adopting States: Georgia, Massachusetts, Michigan, Tennessee, and Wisconsin.

But, even if your home state has not adopted the DLC, adverse consequences can still arise. First, your automobile insurer can still increase your premiums even without points being assigned to your driver’s license. Second, your home state may have adopted the NRVC, which allows your home state to penalize your out of state violation for reasons such as failure to appear (“FTA”) and failure to comply (“FTC”), which can result in license suspension and increased fines.