If you live in Illinois, you probably drive in other states on a regular basis. So it is smart to know what can happen to your Illinois driver’s license if you are caught speeding or driving under the influence (DUI) in another state.
Many people are not aware that there are two systems that allow states to share information about drivers: the National Driver Register and the Driver License Compact.
The National Driver Register
Federal law requires all states to report driver’s license suspensions and revocations to a central database called the National Driver Register (NDR). The purpose of this database is to prevent a reckless driver whose license is revoked in one state from getting a new license in another state.
For example, suppose your Illinois driver’s license was revoked for DUI, and you later move to Texas and apply for a driver’s license. Before issuing you a license, the Texas driver’s license bureau will run your information through the NDR. Until you have cleared the Illinois revocation, your name will come up in the NDR as ”not eligible,” and Texas will not issue you a driver’s license.
The Driver License Compact
Virtually all states in the U.S. participate in the Driver License Compact, which was designed to enforce the principle of “One Driver, One License, One Record” nationwide. Under the rules of the Compact, any moving violation that you commit in any state will be reported to the driver’s license authority in your home state.
In other words, if an Illinois resident gets a ticket out-of-state for speeding, DUI, or any other moving violation, that ticket should eventually show up on their Illinois driving record.
That out-of-state ticket will count on your record just as if you had gotten the ticket in Illinois. If Illinois law says your license should be suspended or revoked as a result of that ticket, then you can expect to receive a letter from the Secretary of State’s office informing you of your license suspension or revocation.
Can I Be Punished by Two States for the Same Ticket?
If a non-resident gets a traffic ticket in Illinois, they have to pay Illinois fines and penalties for that ticket the same as an Illinois resident would. Similarly, if an Illinois resident gets a speeding ticket in another state such as Iowa, the Illinois resident would pay the penalties defined by the laws of Iowa.
In other words, when it comes to fines, jail time, and most other penalties, the rules of the state where the offense occurred will apply.
Things get a little more complicated when the offense is punishable by a driver’s license suspension or revocation. Suppose that you, an Illinois-licensed driver, get ticketed for DUI in Wisconsin. Wisconsin has the power to suspend your right to drive in Wisconsin, but not in any other state.
However, when the Illinois Secretary of State’s office finds out about your out-of-state DUI through the Driver License Compact data-sharing program, Illinois will suspend or revoke your Illinois driver’s license in accordance with Illinois law.
Get Help From a Skilled Will County, IL Traffic Violations Attorney
If you are a resident of Illinois who is facing a costly out-of-state traffic ticket, you may need to consult with two attorneys. An attorney located in the state and county where the offense occurred will know how best to fight the ticket. In addition, a Joliet traffic ticket defense lawyer can work with an out-of-state attorney to ensure they understand the applicable Illinois laws, providing you with the best defense strategy. Your Illinois lawyer can also provide assistance in Illinois Secretary of State hearings, working to help you avoid having your license revoked or suspended. To schedule a free consultation, call the Law Offices of Jack L. Zaremba at 815-740-4025.