DUI and the Drivers License Compact (DLC)
What is the Driver License Compact?
The Driver License Compact is an interstate agreement between 45 states to exchange information about DUI, DWI, traffic violations, and license suspensions of non-residents, including DUI offenses. In order for a driver's state to penalize him/her for an out-of-state offense, the driver's state must have the equivalent statute. If the driver's state does not have the statute, no action can be taken.
The American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrations (AAMVA) – which is the organization the member states of the Interstate Compact belong to – states:
"The Driver License Compact (DLC) is a major step necessary to maximize law enforcement efforts against drunk drivers and other serious traffic offenders. Serious offenses such as drunk driving, vehicle manslaughter, reckless driving, etc., are no less serious when committed in some other jurisdiction than when committed in the driver’s home state. The Driver License Compact was created to provide uniformity among the member jurisdictions when exchanging information with other members on convictions, records, licenses, withdrawals, and other data pertinent to the licensing process. Uniformity should ease administrative costs consistent with the concept which forms the basic tenet with the agreement that each driver, nationwide, have only one driver license and one driver control record (DCR)."
I have a non-Maryland driver’s license, what can I expect?
Maryland will attempt to punish you under its traffic laws. The State of Maryland can’t take away your out-of-state license but they can impose fines, jail time, and other punishments. Maryland can also revoke your right to drive in Maryland.
Your home state, if it is one of the other 44 states in the Drivers License Compact, will be notified of any conviction and can take your license away.
If you reside in a state other than Maryland and have a driver’s license that was issued in another state, and you have been charged with DUI in Maryland, you should consult with a Maryland DUI defense attorney who understands state laws and procedures right away.
I have a Maryland driver's license and was convicted of a traffic offense in another state. Will the conviction information and points be placed on my Maryland driving record?
If you received a conviction out-of-state, in one of the other 44 member states, that state is obligated under the terms of the Driver License Compact (DLC) to notify the MVA. (The five states that are not members are Massachusetts, Georgia, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Tennessee). Upon receipt of the information of a conviction in another state, the MVA will update your driver record.
For many types of violations, the MVA will only record the conviction information on your Maryland driver record but will not assess points. However, if you have been convicted of one of the serious violations identified in Article IV of the Driver’s License Compact, the MVA will record both the conviction information and the points associated with it just as if the offense took place in the State of Maryland.
The MVA may also take other actions such as suspending or revoking your license, in accordance with Maryland law.
What about the fees? Will Maryland assess me fees as if the offense occurred in Maryland?
The good news is, Maryland does not assess any fees for the report of an out of state conviction.