The Non-Resident Violators Compact is an agreement between most states allowing the efficient processing of traffic violation citations across state borders. In practice, the Non-Resident Violator Compact and the Driver’s License Compact allow individual state department of motor vehicles to track citations accrued by a driver in a state that is not their state of residence. In short, any violation in another state, per the Driver’s License Compact and the Non-Resident Violators Compact, will result in administrative action being assessed on a driver’s license in their home state, even if the citation occurs in another state.
Currently, forty-five (45) states participate in the Non-Resident Violator Compact (NRVC). States not participating include Alaska, Oregon, Montana, Michigan, California, and Wisconsin. For drivers in participating states incurring traffic violations in another participating state, the driver’s citation will be reported to his or her home state, and if the fines and fees are not paid in the state that issued the citation, the home state will suspend the license of a driver or take other applicable administrative action until the violation is addressed. In cases involving a state that does not participate in the Non-Resident Violator Compact, the driver must post bail for the violation before being left to proceed on his or her way.
Certain traffic violation offenses automatically exempt a driver from adhering to the NRVC procedures, including parking violations, registration issues, and vehicle weight limits. Other citations may also be applicable, depending on each state. It is also notable that if a driver adheres to the appropriate process of paying fines and addressing the citation in the state where issued, the NRVC procedures will never actually commence.
It is important for drivers to recognize that the NRVC is only one of three agreements between different states governing how driver’s license validation, traffic citation penalties, and other administrative tasks are coordinated. In short, if a driver wishes to contest a traffic citation occurring in another state, he or she should consult with a lawyer in the state where the citation occurred. The logistical feasibility of contesting a citation in some cases simply dictates that drivers should pay the citation, avoid further penalties in their home states, and move on from the issue. However, other cases, including those involving drivers with high point totals, citations occurring in states relatively close to the driver’s home state, and other instances, may require a driver to contest his or her citation.