The Driver License Compact (DLC) is an interstate compact or agreement used by the States of the United States to exchange information concerning license suspensions and traffic violations of non-residents and forward them to the state where they are licensed known as the home state. Its theme is One Driver, One License, One Record. The home state would treat the offense as if it was committed at home and apply home state laws to the out-of-state offense. The action taken would include, but not be limited to, points assessed on a minor offense such as speeding and suspension of license for a major violation such as DWI.
Under the Driver License Compact, 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. For example, the State of Indiana does not have a “Careless Driving” statute whereas Colorado does. If an unlicensed driver gets convicted of Careless driving in Colorado, the Indiana Board of Motor Vehicles takes no action.
The Driver License Compact came into existence with Nevada becoming the first member in 1960. Organizations in the Western States, such as Governors, came together to cooperate on traffic safety. Thanks to the Beemer Resolution passed by Congress in the late 1950’s, states were automatically given permission to form compacts in the area of traffic safety. Originally, the Driver License Compact dealt with dangerous driving violations such as DWI, reckless driving, motor vehicle felonies and others. Later on, minor violations were included as well. Quite a few states joined in the 1960’s but it languished in the 1970’s and part of the 1980’s. In the late 1980’s, there was a push by the AAMVA to get states to join and in the early to mid 1990’s, quite a few states had joined.
The Driver License Compact is no longer being pushed since it is being superseded by the new Driver License Agreement (DLA) which also replaces the Non-Resident Violator Compact. As planned by the AAMVA, when the Driver License Agreement is ratified by Driver License Compact members, it will no longer be relevant.
All states are members except for Michigan, Wisconsin, Georgia, Tennessee and Massachusetts. Some states do not assess points for minor offenses and apply the DLS for only major violations. States that are members are free to take action on violations reported from a non-member state as well. Non-member states are free to take action on out-of-state violations.