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Do Restricted Driving Privileges Transfer State-to-State?

Few things are more inconvenient than restricted driving privileges, so many people hope to get around them by transferring to another state where they have not been punished. Unfortunately, it generally does not work like that.

Under the Driver License Compact (DLC), there is the principle of “One Driver, One License, One Record.” This means that even though the states individually issue licenses, the same record of your driving history is reported in all 45 other states, as well as DC. Pennsylvania is a member, and even the non-member states (Wisconsin, Georgia, Michigan, Tennessee, and Massachusetts) have some treaties to report the offense. If you are driving in that state under a license that has been suspended as a non-resident, you are committing a crime.

If you officially move to another state, you generally face the same problem. Under the compact, any traffic offenses that occur in a member state are reported across all member states, so when you go to change your license, it will show that you have restricted privileges. If your license is restricted in a member state, it will almost always be restricted in any other member state to which you relocate, unless the original infraction is not against the law in that state.

What If I Apply for a Brand New License?

Some people try to get around this by applying for a new license. This generally doesn’t work, as your name and social security number is still in the system under the old license. When you apply for a driver’s license, the DMV checks first to see if the name appears on the National Driver Registration database, which contains names of people who have had their license suspended or revoked. This will flag any new application and usually leads to a rejection.

In rare cases, a person with a Pennsylvania license who moves to a non-DLC state will be issued a new license free of restrictions regardless, but that license will only be valid within the state. If you try to use the new license in a DLC state, your name will be flagged, and you may find yourself facing the same consequences as if you violated the original restrictions.

As you can see, restrictions on driving privileges do transfer state to state. Even worse, if Pennsylvania affords you a restricted license, it is only valid within the state, as those qualifications are not permitted under the DLC. You won’t be able to drive out of state under any circumstances. That’s why it’s so important to fight driving restrictions to begin with. If you are accused of a serious traffic offense that could lead to restrictions on your license, call the Columbus traffic attorneys at Luftman, Heck & Associates today at for a free consultation on your case. Find out how we may be able to protect your driving privileges and ensure you aren’t without necessary transportation.

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