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Can you just ignore an out-of-state ticket?

On Behalf of | Oct 7, 2023 | Traffic tickets

It’s never a pleasant experience to get a ticket, but getting a ticket when you’re traveling outside your home state can seem particularly frustrating.

Do you really have to deal with it? Can you simply keep on driving and toss the ticket in the trash?

Your home state will probably know before you even get back

If you toss the ticket and don’t defend yourself against the charge, that’s an automatic conviction. States do communicate with each other.

The majority of states are members of either the Driver’s License Compact (DLC) or the Nonresident Violator Compact (NVC) – or both. (The only two that aren’t members of one or the other are Michigan and Wisconsin.)

The DLC requires all member states to report traffic violations to the driver’s own state, and the Department of Motor Vehicles will then apply the appropriate points to your license. The NVC requires member states to suspend the license of a driver who fails to pay a traffic fine in any other member state.

Your insurance company will definitely find out about the ticket

An out-of-state ticket is more than just an inconvenience where your insurance is concerned. It’s also expensive. A traffic ticket of any kind results in “points” on your license. The more points you have, the higher your insurance costs are, and that can translate into a lot of money over the next few years.

If you get a ticket while you’re visiting relatives, vacationing or traveling for business, you ignore it at your own risk. It’s far wiser (and likely a lot cheaper) to get experienced legal guidance so that you can dispute the charge.