New Yorkers drive to, from, and through Pennsylvania pretty often for work, entertainment, and other reasons. When in another state, you must abide by the rules and laws as established by that specific jurisdiction, which also means you must suffer the consequences established by that state when you violate those rules. When it comes to traffic offenses, however, that's not always the case. A common question often arises when a New York driver is ticketed in Pennsylvania, what happens? There is some confusion as to whether or not the rules of New York apply or the rules of Pennsylvania apply because both states are members to the Driver License Compact.
If you live in New York but drive to or through Pennsylvania, here's an overview of what you should know in case you are stopped for a traffic violation in Pennsylvania.
The Driver License Compact: Sharing Driver Information
Like most states, Pennsylvania and New York are members of the Driver License Compact (DLC). Pennsylvania became a member in 1996 while New York has been a member since 1965. Forty-four states are currently members of the DLC. As members, states share data with each other. This information is used for convictions or suspensions, revocations, or limitations on driving privileges.
So, if you are a New York resident and you drive to Philadelphia and are ticketed for a moving violation, Pennsylvania will provide that information to the State of New York. How each member state implements the DLC varies state to state. In New York, though the information may be received, it doesn't necessarily mean that it will be recorded and applied to the detriment of the New York driver.
Ticketed in Pennsylvania: What New York Drivers Should Expect
Only certain types of traffic offenses committed in a DLC-member state by New Yorkers will be recorded in New York. The offenses that matter to New York include:
- Alcohol-related violations, like driving under the influence (DUI)
- Drug-related violations, like possession of marijuana or another controlled substance
- Criminal driving offenses involving criminal negligence, homicide, or assault.
For New Yorkers who are cited or charged with a Pennsylvania traffic offense, this means:
- You will receive 0 points on your New York driving record for moving violations occurring in Pennsylvania -- even if those moving violations in Pennsylvania were worth one or more points to a Pennsylvania driving record.
- Though you may not receive points on your driving record in New York, your auto insurance company will still learn about the driving violation when it conducts a state-wide search for your driver's abstract – meaning your insurance rate may still increase.
- You will still have to pay the fines imposed by Pennsylvania for the moving violation.
- If you fail to answer a Pennsylvania ticket (e.g., by paying the fine), then New York may suspend your driving privileges, and they will remain suspended until you answer for the Pennsylvania ticket.
- For New Yorkers who are 21 years old or older and who committed an alcohol or drug-related driving violation in Pennsylvania, your license could be revoked for at least 90 days. For New Yorkers who are under the age of 21 and who committed an alcohol or drug-related driving violation in Pennsylvania, your license could be revoked for at least one year.
- If you are a New Yorker and convicted in Pennsylvania of a driving offense that involves criminal negligence, homicide, or assault, your New York State driver's license will be revoked.
Are you a New York Resident Cited for a Traffic Offense in Pennsylvania? Get Help Today
If you have a New York State driver's license but are ticketed with a traffic offense in Pennsylvania, the consequences can be severe. You risk, at a minimum, higher auto insurance premiums if you don't fight the traffic offense. Contact respected traffic offense attorney Joseph Lento either online or at 215.535.5353 to learn more about what your options may be.