Why You Shouldn't Ignore Motor Vehicle Violations From Other States

The United States is comprised of fifty states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and other territories. Each jurisdiction has its own agency for licensing drivers even though roads cross borders. In Connecticut, that is the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). DMV (and any of its counter-parts in another state) can only directly suspend a license that it has issued. It can however suspend the non-resident operating privileges of a non-resident driver. If that happens, it is possible, if not probable, that the suspension will be reported to the driver's issuing state. That state could then suspend the person's license, often until all issues, including the original suspension, are resolved. That is because states share drivers' license information with one another. There is a compact of which most states (over 40) are members. Additionally, a driver typically cannot get a driver's license in another state if there is a hold or other issue on the license last issued. 

Going back to the original point, ignoring a ticket from another state is a bad idea because it could easily follow you. Failing to respond to a ticket--whether it be pleading or paying--can trigger a suspension of a license or non-resident operating privileges. Additionally, it could lead to a criminal charge. It is a misdemeanor in Connecticut to fail to respond to a ticket. Most often courts will just administratively "14-140" suspend the driver. I did have a case a while back in which my client missed a ticket and was surprised to find an arrest warrant charging the misdemeanor failure to respond. We cleared it up but it would have been better avoided. Recently I had a client who lived in Florida and had his Connecticut non-resident operating privileges suspended because someone used his identity when stopped up here. That suspension put a hold on his Florida license. I was able to straighten it out with the courts and DMV so he's good now but it still required some navigation and perseverence. 

Here's a video I made of this issue. It was shot in my basement. Check out and subscribe to my YouTube channel for more. 


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