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Judge John E. Turner (Ret.)

The laws for out-of-state driver's license suspension

A driver's license suspension is often one of the penalties assessed after a conviction for driving under the influence. Drivers in Washington who have been subjected to a driver's license revocation for DUI or for another reason often have questions about the status of their driver's license if it is valid in one state but has been revoked in another.

Understanding the details of this situation is important as the ability to drive can impact work, family functions and living one's life. The Driver License Compact allows a person's driving history to be accessible to member states. With this agreement, the states will share information as to driver's license actions such as a suspension, revocation and traffic infractions.

Under the DLC, an offense that happens in a different state will be treated as if it happened in the state in which the license was issued. A suspension in a state that is a member of the DLC will likely result in a suspension in another state. If a driver attempts to be licensed in a new state, the suspension from the old state will not allow a new license to be issued.

Massachusetts, Michigan, Wisconsin, Tennessee, and Georgia are states who are not part of the DLC. Drivers who try to get a license in these states even if they are under suspension in another state will have a better chance. For there to be a penalty assessed for an offense that occurred in another state, the state that issued the driver's license must punish drivers for the same act. Drivers who have are concerned about issues regarding a driver's license suspension should discuss their case with an experienced legal professional.

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