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Driver License Compact

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Driver License Compact
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Member jurisdictions: 45
Issue(s): Licensure

The Driver License compact is an interstate compact among 45 states. Only Michigan, Wisconsin, Georgia, Massachusetts, and Tennessee are not members.

Text of the compact

The legislature of each member state passes the laws with certain modifications, but the core of the legislation remains the same.

Article I: Findings and Declaration of Policy

  1. The party States find that:
    • (a) The safety of their streets and highways is materially affected by the degree of compliance with state laws and local ordinances relating to the operation of motor vehicles;
    • (b) Violation of such a law or ordinance is evidence that the violator engages in conduct which is likely to endanger the safety of persons and property;
    • (c) The continuance in force of a license to drive is predicated upon compliance with laws and ordinances relating to the operation of motor vehicles, in whichever jurisdiction the vehicle is operated.
  2. It is the policy of each of the party statte to:
    • (a) Promote compliance with the laws, ordinances, and administrative rules and regulations relating to the operation of motor vehicles by their operators in each of the jurisdictions where such operators drive motor vehicles;
    • (b) Make the reciprocal recognition of licenses to drive and eligibility therefore more just and equitable by considering the overall compliance with motor vehicle laws, ordinances, and administrative rules and regulations as condition precedent to the continuance or issuance of any license by reason of which the licensee is authorized or permitted to operate a motor vehicle in any of the party states.

Article II: Definitions

As used in this compact:

  1. “State” means a state, territory or possession of the United States, the District of Columbia, or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
  2. “Home state” means the state which has issued and has the power to suspend or revoke the use of the license or permit to operate a motor vehicle.
  3. “Conviction” means a conviction of any offense related to the use or operation of a motor vehicle which is prohibited by state law, municipal ordinance, or administrative rule or regulation, or a forfeiture of bail, bond, or other security deposited to secure appearance by a person charged with having committed any such offense, and which conviction or forfeiture is required to be reported to the licensing authority

Article III: Reports of Conviction

The licensing authority of a party state shall report each conviction of a person from another party state occurring within its jurisdiction to the licensing authority of the home state of the licensee. Such report shall clearly identify the person convicted; describe the violation specifying the section of the statute, code, or ordinance violation; identify the court in which action was taken; indicate whether a plea of guilty or not guilty was entered or the conviction was a result of the forfeiture of bail, bond, or other security; and shall include any special findings made in connection therewith.

Article IV: Effect of Conviction

  1. The licensing authority in the home state, for the purpose of suspension, revocation, or limitation of the license to operate a motor vehicle, shall give the same effect to the conduct reported, pursuant to Article III, as it would if such conduct had occurred in the home state, in the case of convictions for:
    • (a) Manslaughter or negligent homicide resulting from the operation of a motor vehicle;
    • (b) Driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcoholic beverages or a narcotic to a degree which renders the driver incapable of safely driving a motor vehicle;
    • (c) Any felony in the commission of which a motor vehicle is used; or
    • (d) Failure to stop and render aid in the event of a motor vehicle accident resulting in the death or personal injury of another.
  2. As to other convictions, reported pursuant to Article III, the licensing authority in the home state shall give such effect to the conduct as is provided by the laws of the home state.
  3. If the laws of a party state do not provide for offenses or violations denominated or described in precisely the words employed in subdivision (a) of this article, such party state shall construe the denomination and description appearing in subdivision (a) hereof as being applicable to and identifying those offenses or violations of a substantially similar nature, and the laws of such party state shall contain such provisions as may be necessary to ensure that full force and effect is given to this article.

Article V: Applications for New Licenses

Upon application for a license to drive, the licensing authority in a party state shall ascertain whether the applicant has ever held, or is the holder of, a license to drive issued by any other party state. The licensing authority in the state where application is made shall not issue a license to drive to the applicant if:

  1. The applicant has held such a license, but the same has been suspended by reason, in whole or in part, of a violation and if such suspension period has not terminated
  2. The applicant has held such a license, but the same has been revoked by reason, in whole or in part, of a violation and if such revocation has not terminated, except that after the expiration of one year from the date the license was revoked, such person may make application for a new license if permitted by law. The licensing

authority may refuse to issue a license to any such applicant if, after investigation, the licensing authority determines that it will not be safe to grant to such person the privilege of driving a motor vehicle on the public highways.

  1. The applicant is the holder of a license to drive issued by another party state and currently in force unless the applicant surrenders such license.

Article VI: Applicability of Other Laws

Except as expressly required by provisions of this compact, nothing contained herein shall be construed to effect the right of any party state to apply any of its other laws relating to licenses to drive to any person or circumstance, nor to invalidate or prevent any driver license agreement or other cooperative arrangement between a party state and nonparty state.

Article VII: Compact Administrator and Interchange of Information

  1. The head of the licensing authority of each party state shall be the administrator of this compact for his state. The administrators, acting jointly, shall have the power to formulate all necessary and proper procedures for the exchange of information under this compact.
  2. The administrator of each party state shall furnish to the administrator of each other party state any information or documents reasonably necessary to facilitate the administration of this compact.

Article VIII: Entry into Force and Withdrawal

  1. This compact shall enter into force and become effective as to any state when it has enacted the same into law
  2. Any party state may withdraw from this compact by enacting a statute repealing the same, but no such withdrawal shall take effect until 6 months after the executive head of the withdrawing state has given notice of the withdrawal to the executive heads of all other party states. No withdrawal shall affect the validity or applicability by the licensing authorities of states remaining party to the compact of any report of conviction occurring prior to the withdrawal.

Article IX: Construction and Severability

This compact shall be liberally construed so as to effectuate the purposes thereof. The provisions of this compact shall be severable; and if any phrase, clause, sentence, or provision of this compact is declared to be contrary to the constitution of any party state or of the United States or the applicability thereof to any government, agency, person, or circumstance is held invalid, the validity of the remainder of this compact and the applicability thereof to any government, agency, person, or circumstance shall not be affected thereby. If this compact shall be held contrary to the constitution of any state party thereto, the compact shall remain in full force and effect as to remaining states and in full force and effect as to the state affected as to all severable matters.

See also

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References