Many of our clients ask whether out-of-state driving tickets will transfer to Pennsylvania. In fact, when we are representing clients in New Jersey courts for traffic tickets, many attorneys and prosecutors routinely ask us whether NJ traffic offenses and points transfer to PA. The short answer is: it depends.
Pennsylvania and 45 other states are part of the Driver License Compact. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDot) controls driver licensing in Pennsylvania. Penn Dot states that only “serious” traffic offenses will transfer to your Pennsylvania record. These serious offenses include: manslaughter, negligent homicide resulting from operation of a motor vehicle, DUI, failure to stop and render first aid in the event of a motor vehicle accident resulting in death or personal injury of another, and any felony in the commission of which a motor vehicle was involved.
According to PennDot, minor traffic offenses such as speeding, red light, stop sign offenses, etc. will not transfer to your Pennsylvania driving record. If you have a commercial drivers license, all offenses (“serious” or “non-serious”) will transfer.
Does this eliminate the need for a lawyer to represent you for a traffic ticket you received in New Jersey or another state?
We believe it is still in your best interests to obtain representation from an attorney. If you get a ticket in NJ, that ticket will remain on your New Jersey record even though you are not a NJ driver. We believe that your PA auto insurance company still has access to your NJ driving record. If your insurance company obtains knowledge of your NJ traffic ticket, be prepared for an auto insurance rate increase.
Remember, only convictions count on your record. A conviction occurs either when you: (i) pay the ticket by mail without court, or (ii) go to court and plead guilty, or (iii) are found guilty after a trial. With an experienced attorney, you may be able to negotiate a downgrade to a lesser offense and possibly minimize your fines and out-of-state points. We at Cordisco & Saile LLC regularly represent people who have received traffic tickets in New Jersey.