The state to state DUI and traffic ticket transfer

The biggest question our firm gets when advising clients on the ramifications their Vermont traffic ticket or DUI suspension is whether or not the violation will be transferred from Vermont to their home State.  The clear answer to this riddle is that in most cases Vermont will report the violation to the home state pursuant to the Driver’s License Compact it shares with a vast majority of other States.  However, there are some exceptions to this rule that make the laws not as clear cut as they seem.

“The New York State DMV does not record out-of-state convictions of moving traffic violations of New York State non-commercial licensed drivers, except for traffic offenses committed in the provinces of Ontario and Quebec in Canada.”   This does not absolve a New York driver from taking responsibility for their tickets in other states, as New York will suspend someone’s license for failing to satisfy a ticket issued another jurisdiction.  Further, the law leaves out the possibility of the violation itself transferring, which means that although points can not be assessed, the violation itself can still be used against you for insurance purposes.  See the article on the Vermont reporting system for more information on how easy it is for companies to pick up on Vermont violations even when no points are assessed.

New Jersey on the other hand holds a blanket policy for the transfer of points. “Members in this compact exchange all violation information. Out-of-state moving violations are worth two points. For example, if you receive a speeding ticket in Florida, you will get two points on your New Jersey driving record for that violation.”  The key to this law is the definition of a “moving violation” which is “any violation of vehicle laws that is committed by the driver of a vehicle, while the vehicle is moving“.  So, for New Jersey drivers, the key to avoiding the points is to find a Vermont violation that does not fit this criteria, or is too vague for New Jersey to be able to equate to a moving violation.

As is illustrated above, there are a lot of moving parts when it comes to out of state drivers analyzing the ramifications of their Vermont traffic ticket or DUI citation.  Understanding all of the consequences surrounding the ticket is the major component in figuring out how to best minimize or eliminate them.  Although there is no set answer for this, allowing yourself at least the opportunity to change the violation’s face value may save a lot of hassle and expense in the future.