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DUI with Out of State Driver’s License

out of state driver's licenseDo states share driver’s license information?

Licensing agencies in most states participate in an interstate agreement where information such as a license suspension or DUI conviction will be reported. Under the agreement, violations committed by non-residents will be forwarded to the state in which the person is licensed, which is referred to as the home state. The home state treats the offense as if it had been committed at home and will apply home state laws to out-of state-offenses.

The National Driver Register (NDR) is a database of information about drivers who have had their licenses suspended, or who have been convicted of a driving related offense. State licensing agencies provide NDR with the names of individuals who have had their license suspended or who have been convicted of a serious traffic offense. When a driver applies for a license, the state checks to see if the name is on the NDR file. If a person has been reported to the NDR as a “problem driver,” the license may be denied. The type of action that the driver’s home state will take will vary from state to state.

Which states do not share driving records?

Georgia, Wisconsin, Massachusetts, Michigan, and Tennessee are not part of the interstate agreement. If you hold a license from one of these states and get a DUI in Washington State, your out-of-state license may not be affected. However, your ability to drive in WA State may be impacted.

I was arrested for DUI in Washington State and have an out-of-state license. Will I lose my license?

If you are a resident of Washington and hold an out-of-state license, you can lose your privilege to drive in Washington as a result of a DUI arrest or conviction. In most cases, your suspension will also be reported to your home state, which means that once you return home, you may face consequences in that state.

If you are not a resident of Washington and got a DUI while visiting, you should check with your home state department of licensing to make sure that your license is still valid. Even if you don’t reside in Washington, the offense could be reported to your home state and affect your license there.

Can I get a temporary ignition interlock license so that I can drive during my suspension?

If you have an address in WA State, you can apply for an ignition interlock license with the Department of Licensing, which is essentially a temporary license that you can use during your suspension. If you are not a resident and hold an out-of-state license, you will not be able to obtain the ignition interlock license, which means that you must not drive in the state of Washington during your suspension. Your privilege to drive in other states will depend on the status of your license in your home state. If Washington does not report the suspension to your home state, your license will remain valid for driving in other states. However, if Washington does report the suspension to your home state, you will need to comply with any restrictions imposed by your home state.

I lived in Washington with a Washington license, got a DUI, and am now moving to another state. If I apply for a license in that state, will it be suspended?

If the suspension was reported on the NDR database, you most likely will not be able to obtain a valid license in a new state until your requirements with Washington’s Department of Licensing have been met. For example, if you left Washington during your suspension and never paid the reinstatement fee at the end of your suspension, you will need to clear your license with Washington before you can be issued another license in a new state.

I lived in Washington, had an out-of-state license, got a DUI, and am now moving to a third state. If I apply for a license in that state, will it be suspended?

Under an interstate agreement, most licensing agencies share information on an internet database. Theoretically, your suspension should be noted on that database, which may prevent you from obtaining a new license in another state. However, if Washington State only reported the suspension to the state where you had a license at the time, the new state may not be aware of the suspension and issue you a license.

In what state should I hire a DUI lawyer?

You should hire an attorney who is licensed in the state that you were arrested for DUI. At Beckwith DUI Law, we understand the unique challenges that driver’s face when they are dealing with out of state licensing issues. We have defended over a thousand military members as well as other out of state residents on DUI criminal charges. We defend clients in King County, Pierce County, and Thurston County.