As a PA drivers license lawyer I very often come across that client who will call me befuddled as to why Pennsylvania is either:

  • Suspending their out of state drivers license; or
  • Keeping them from renewing a drivers license from their home state.

Actually the answer is quite simple.  When an out of state driver commits a violation in Pennsylvania which would carry a drivers license suspension in Pennsylvania for the in-state driver the  –  the out of state driver will will be assigned a PA drivers license number so that Pennsylvania can track them when the time for suspension comes.  What this does is suspend the PA driving privileges of that out of state driver.

Here is an example:

Drivers LicenseA guy from Vermont is driving within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and he receives a reckless driving ticket (which carries a six month loss of drivers license for Pennsylvania drivers). He thinks nothing of it and sends his ticket in along with the money to pay the fine.  At that point, while Pennsylvania has no jurisdiction to suspend his Vermont drivers license they do have the jurisdiction to suspend his Pennsylvania driving privileges.  PennDot enforces the suspension by assigning him a PA drivers number to keep track that there is a suspension within Pennsylvania.  Many of my out of state clients are unfamiliar with PennDot’s practice and are caught by surprise when they are caught driving through Pennsylvania at some time in the future only to find out that they are suspended.  And then then they get a ticket for driving while suspended (a one year suspension).  Its like a snowball rolling down a hill.

So next time you out of state drivers get a ticket in PA, do this:

  • Find out if the ticket is for a suspendible offense;
  • If it is, always plead not guilty;
  • Then, get yourself a local lawyer to help you avoid the penalties.

Do this when you are stopped and you may prevent yourself a lot of heartache.

 

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