Will an Out-of-State Ticket Follow You Home?

You’ve gotta love legal questions. No matter what the question is, the answer is usually “it depends.” This is one of those scenarios.

Clients who have a driver’s license from another state usually ask me how a Virginia conviction will affect their driving record. If I could accurately predict that, I’d be rich. I could do nothing but answer that question all day long for drivers all over the country.

This question is complicated because each state controls their own driver’s licenses. However, most of the states are members of the Driver’s License Compact. That’s an agreement among the states that they will share conviction and suspension information with each other. The Compact aims to have a single, complete record for each license holder.

For any situation where a driver gets a ticket away from their home state, we have to consider a series of questions to figure out what will happen to their driving record.

1. Are both states members of the Driver’s License Compact? If so, the convicting state should report the conviction information to your home state. If not, the inquiry usually ends; your out-of-state conviction probably won’t hit your record.

2. Will your home state record the conviction on your record? Just because a state is a Compact member, that doesn’t mean they put every out-of-state conviction on the driving record. For example, New York typically doesn’t record minor traffic infractions that were committed in another state (I’m only licensed in Virginia, so double check that with the NY DMV or a NY attorney). Also, DMVs aren’t exactly famous for keeping perfect records. Even though a state may have a policy of recording convictions, things get lost.

3. If the conviction hits your record, how will that affect your points? Convictions and points are two separate things. Many people don’t understand that. A conviction could go on your driving record without incurring any points. According to my understanding of Maryland’s rules, the judges assess points; if you get an out-of-state conviction, no points will be put on your MD driving record (again, check with a MD attorney to be sure).

Now you may be wondering how this analysis applies for a Virginia driver. The answer probably won’t shock you: no one can hide from the Virginia DMV!

Virginia is a member of the Compact. Out-of-state convictions will go on your record. And you’ll get demerit points as if the offense occurred within the Commonwealth.

Ok, so it’s a complicated question unless you’re a Virginia driver.

Photo by Serolynne

Andrew Flusche

My name is Andrew Flusche. I am a traffic and misdemeanor defense lawyer in Virginia. I limit my practice to traffic tickets and misdemeanor defense, so I know the ins and outs of these offenses. I literally wrote the book on reckless driving in Virginia which you can get on Amazon here or download for free here. I opened my practice in 2008 after earning my Juris Doctor degree from the University of Virginia School of Law. Since then, I have earned over 600 5-star reviews from happy clients on Google, Yelp, and Facebook. If you’ve been charged with a misdemeanor offense in Virginia, please don’t hesitate to contact me. Your initial consultation is always free, and you'll talk directly with me about the details of your case.

What's Next?

Get Free Answers

Andrew wrote the book on reckless driving. It’s the most-reviewed Virginia reckless driving resource on Amazon.com.

Get Your Free Copy

Andrew wrote the book on DWI. It’s jam-packed full of answers for your case.

Get Your Free Copy

Our special report about driving on suspended explains six critical issues to possibly fight in your case.

Get Your Free Copy


We provide free consultations for cases in our area. If we can't help, we'll do our best to connect you with someone who can.



Contact Andrew & Fitz