How The Driver’s License Compact Affects Pennsylvania Drivers

Pennsylvania is one of 46 states participating in the Driver’s License Compact (DLC), an agreement whereby member states commit to uphold and enforce its terms to further the pursuit of a single system for driving records and driver’s licenses. This allows motorists to only have one driver’s license to operate a motor vehicle legally in every state.  

Pennsylvania joined the DLC on January 1, 1995. Its membership in the compact was adopted into Pennsylvania law on December 10, 1996.

Pennsylvania-licensed drivers who commit a driving offense in another state may have their driving privileges suspended in Pennsylvania, as well as the state where the offense was committed.

Pennsylvania is bound to uphold and enforce the following major provisions of the DLC:

  • The “one driver license” concept, which requires drivers to surrender an out-of-state driver’s license when applying for a license in a new state;
  • The “one driver record” concept, which requires that a driver’s state of residency maintains a complete driver’s record to determine driving eligibility in the home state, as well as for any nonresidential operator’s privilege in other states;
  • Reporting of all appropriate, relevant information including traffic convictions and license suspension/revocations of out-of-state drivers to the home state licensing agency; and
  • The assurance of uniform and predictable treatment of drivers by treating offenses committed in other states as though they have been committed in the home state.

The following offenses, if committed in a member state, will be treated as though the offense had occurred in Pennsylvania and the appropriate sanction will be imposed under the applicable provisions of the Pennsylvania Vehicle Code. While some states may impose a term of suspension which is less than or greater than that of Pennsylvania, PennDOT will impose the suspension term according to the provisions of the Pennsylvania Vehicle Code.:

  • Manslaughter or negligent homicide resulting from the operation of a motor vehicle (§ 3732);
  • 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 (§ 3802)
  • Failure to stop and render aid in the event of a motor vehicle accident resulting in the death or personal injury of another (§ 3742);
  • Any felony in the commission of which a motor vehicle is used (Crimes Code and Dangerous Drug Act Offenses).

Minor traffic offenses such as speeding, red light, stop sign, etc. will be reported to PennDOT, but not appear on a driving record, unless the individual is a holder of a commercial driver’s license (CDL). Points are not assessed to a Pennsylvania driving record when a Pennsylvania driver is convicted of a point related offense in a DLC member state.

If a Pennsylvania motorist is convicted of a serious traffic offense in a DLC member state, this state is required to report the conviction to PennDOT. Upon receipt of the conviction, PennDOT will mail an official notice of suspension containing the date that the suspension will begin to the suspended Pennsylvania motorist.    

Since 1956, our practice has evolved litigating personal injury cases and building a body of knowledge and expertise that unquestionably provides our clients with an incomparable advantage. Powell Law has an established 115-year-old reputation throughout northeastern Pennsylvania. Contact Powell Law at call (570) 961-0777. The consultation is FREE.

How The Driver’s License Compact Affects Pennsylvania Drivers

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