Drivers License Records

Have you ever wondered whether a traffic ticket or criminal driving violation from one state will show up in the state from which you obtained your license? This article will try to address this question and provide you with some insight into the information sharing process between the various states.

There are four databases that keep track of your driver’s license information: The National Driver Register (NDR), also known as the Problem Driver Pointer System (PDPS), the Driver License Compact (DLC), the Non-Resident Violator Compact (NRVC), and the Driver License Agreement (DLA).

(1) The National Driver Register (NDR): This database was created by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and is about ten years old. It keeps track of both commercial and regular drivers who have had their licenses revoked or suspended, or who have been convicted of serious traffic violations such as DUI. Every state submits information to the NDR and each is required to check the database before granting a license.

Your home state will check the database approximately three to six months before your license is scheduled for renewal. If it locates a problem in another state that has not been resolved (e.g. unpaid ticket or suspended driving privilege), it will notify you. You will then have to resolve the issue before your home state will renew your license.

Various entities can access some of the information in the database. An employer of commercial drivers is notified of anything reported to the NDR within the past three years. You can find out if you’re listed in the NDR by calling the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration directly at (202)366-4800.

(2) The Driver License Compact (DLC): This is an agreement entered into by those states that wish to participate and it is up to an individual state to join in any given provision of the agreement. It was created by the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators, which is a nonprofit that develops model programs for vehicle administration and safety.

The DLC agreement treats a violation in one state as an equivalent violation in your home state. In other words, as a result of this agreement, your home state will assess points against your license, in accordance with the penalty received from the state in which you received the ticket or charge. A DUI drivers license suspension resulting from a DUI conviction would likewise result in a suspension of your license in your home state.

(3) The Non-Resident Violator Compact (NRVC): This database is also the product of the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA) and likewise permits individual states to select which of its various provisions will be enforced.

The rules employed by the NRVC are not as severe as those of the DLC. If you receive a ticket in another state and don’t pay it, your home state will suspend your license until the ticket is paid, but it will not issue points or penalties on your license as is the case with the DLC.

Note: As of 2010, not all states are members of the DLC or NVRC: Georgia, Wisconsin, Tennessee, and Massachusetts aren’t members of the DLC. Wisconsin, California, Montana, Oregon, and Alaska are not a part of the NVRC. Michigan is not a member of either compact.

(4) The Driver License Agreement (DLA): This agreement is also a product of the AAMVA. Any state signing the agreement permits the DLA regulations to supersede any of its own state laws that stand in contradiction to it.

The DLA also requires a state to take action even if the home state doesn’t have the same statute as the one you received a ticket for. This could result in you receiving points on your record for an offense which is similar, yet greater than the ticketing state! For example, if you receive a ticket for Careless Driving and your home state does not have this violation, the home state will be required to find the closest comparable violation, such as a Reckless Driving, and assess penalties based on this more serious charge. In addition, the DLA requires member states to make all information available to member and non-member states alike; including the sharing of information such as social security numbers.

Note: The AAMVA is promoting the acceptance of this program nationwide as well as internationally. Fortunately it is in its infancy and only three states are members at this time: Connecticut, Arkansas and Massachusetts.