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What is the DLC and How Does It Work?

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General Information Regarding the DLC

California was the fifth state to join the DLC in 1963; currently, there are 44 states in the DLC. The Driver License Compact (DLC) is an alliance or agreement between some states, territories, and a few Canadian provinces that obligates member states to notify a motorist's resident state, or the state in which the driver is licensed, regarding the motorist’s convictions and suspensions due to driving infractions in the visited state. Additionally, when a driver with an infraction fails to appear when required or to otherwise resolve the violation, the licensing state will get notified.

The original concept, “One Driver, One License, One Record” never fully caught on with all states. Some states may have preferred autonomy, could not get the approval of their state legislature, or funds were not available. Unlike the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) the DLC lacks enforcement authority from any official federal agency but relies on voluntary reciprocal enforcement by member states.

The Driver’s License Agreement (DLA) has a vision to replace the DLC and the Non-Resident Violator Compact (NRVC), which would not require legislative approval or specific law, just an agreement to join. However, only three states (Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Arkansas) have joined the DLA in the twelve years since its adoption.

How the DLC Works

How well the system works depends mostly on member states’ actions upon notification; most are reciprocal, but some only act on major offenses. Likewise, the wording of the offense can have a significant impact. Take, for instance, a state that does not have a careless driving charge may not act on a reported infraction of that violation, while other states would consider it the same as a reckless driving charge and assess points on the license equal to that state’s assessment for that charge.

Although DLC member states are obligated to act on reported infractions, misdemeanors, and felonies from all states within 15 days of an action, some states only enforce minor infractions from neighboring states or Canadian provinces. CA has a strong reciprocal bond with Oregon and Arizona (Nevada dropped out of the DLC in 2007 anticipating the DLA), Washington state with Oregon and British Columbia, and Maine with Quebec.

The DLC requires member states to identify the driver convicted or suspended; describe the details of the violation; name the court; dates of arrest and convictions; reveal the individual’s plea, or if the conviction resulted from paying the fine or forfeiture of bond; and include any special judgments. Such as; was the driver operating a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) or hauling hazardous material (HAZMAT) when cited? Although these will get reported to the FMCSA anyway.

How suspensions are handled by the home state depend primarily on whether the suspension was issued by the court or whether it an administrative action by the state DMV. Insurance company notifications are supposed to have the same effect as the home state procedures. Therefore, the best response for the out-of-state driver is to resolve the ticket before leaving the state because some states will not act if the fine was paid on a minor infraction. However, all drivers should consult with a traffic ticket attorney personally regarding any ticket as technicalities and traffic law changes could mean a dismissal or reduced charge.

Traffic Attorneys for Barstow, CA

Although this is an information piece summarizing the DLC, if you have problems with an unresolved ticket from another state, particularly those drivers in Barstow who make frequent drives to Vegas, give Bigger & Harman the opportunity to resolve the issue for you. Similarly, when you receive a ticket on I-15 or 40, call Bigger & Harman, (661) 349-9300, before you decide just to pay the fine. Bigger & Harman could save you points on your driving record and a lot of money on fines and higher insurance premiums.

Send them an email, today attorney@biggerharmanlaw.com. Furthermore, you can visit their Facebook page, read reviews and feedback on Avvo, Nolo, or Yelp to find out what your friends and neighbors thought of their service.

Se habla Español 661.349.9755.

References

Issue Brief 9: The Driver License Compact .pdf dated October 2015