Reciprocity And You
How Virginia Can Suspend Your Out of State License
People who don’t live in Virginia are always told not to get a ticket inside of the great Commonwealth. Virginia’s fines and penalties are higher than most other states and our DMV will find you. Not only will they find you, they will order you to return to Virginia to take an 8 hour Driver Improvement Program (Check out ours) If you ignore the letter, like so many do, thinking that it’s too much of a hassle to go back to Virginia and the state you live in has no idea that you got a ticket; Virginia will have your license suspended in your home state. If you’re an Alaskan and you get a ticket in Virginia, don’t bother unpacking at home because you’re coming back. Oh, and not all of the classes that you can be ordered to take are online. In fact, some don’t even exist in an online format. This is on purpose, you are being punished for failing to follow Virginia’s traffic laws and we believe in punishment as a form of recompense for your personal failures.
Or so you thought…
This bit of bureaucratic magic is done through compacts and agreements between states and it’s commonly referred to as reciprocity. Virginia has it with all 50 states and American territories, because we don’t do anything halfway. Virginia happens to be the hardest place to get and keep a driver’s license in the United States and we’re such sticklers that we insist that any infraction you make here does, in fact, follow you home.
The Non-Resident Violator Compact (NVC) is a deal that ensures that driver’s who get ticked in other states face the penalties prescribed by the state they got the ticket in. There’s another agreement that ensures that they face the penalties in their home state also. In Virginia, we will suspend your license for literally anything. Didn’t go to school? License suspended. Didn’t walk the dog for long enough? License suspended. Failed to take the garbage to the curb… well, you get it.
((Disclaimer: none of those things are true but it actually is super easy to get your license suspended in Virginia, as opposed to anywhere else in the country. We are just hardcore!))
The NVC exists to ensure that if a New York resident gets a speeding ticket in Virginia and fails to pay the fine, Virginia can suspend their New York issued driver’s license. That’s right, state sovereignty doesn’t extend to the privilege of driving on the state’s roads.
Considering we do nothing halfway, the NVC doesn’t stand alone. No sir, we also have the DLC (Driver’s License Compact) and the NDR (National Driver Registry) to go over. The DLC is used to report your traffic violations to your home state so that you face penalties in both your home state and the state you made the violation in. The NDR exists to keep an updated list of people whose licenses have been revoked or suspended. In case you ever wondered why it takes so long for a cop to write you a ticket, it’s because the officer has to run your name through all of those registries first.
So remember, in the Commonwealth, we take EVERYTHING very seriously. That means that you probably should take it seriously too, because we will follow you home.