If you get a speeding ticket in another state, you shouldn't ignore it. Most drivers choose to ignore an out-of-state speeding ticket thinking it won't follow them home. You still have to deal with the consequences. Here is some information on out-of-state speeding tickets.

Point System

States report points on out-of-state drivers for traffic violations based on the type of offense and severity. For example, the points of a speeding ticket are based on the miles-per-hour over the allowed limit. Ten miles over the speed limit gets assigned a lower point value than 15 miles over the speed limit. Your license runs the risks of suspension if you accumulate too many points, and the points remain on your driving record for a time period.

Interstate Driver's License Compact

Currently, 45 states participate in the Interstate Driver's License Compact. The only states that don't participate are Tennessee, Massachusetts, Georgia, Michigan, and Wisconsin. The Interstate Driver's License Compact allows participating states to share data from the Department of Motor Vehicles with one another.

Once the offense gets transferred, the laws apply like you committed the offense in your own state, unless you get the ticket in a non-participating state. You could also get charged with additional penalties after the transfer. In addition to the offense getting forwarded to your home state, it is recorded in the National Driver's Registry, a database of drivers and records kept by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

How to Handle the Ticket

  • Contest by affidavit or mail. Check the jurisdiction's website for information on contesting by affidavit or mail, and send it by the date on the ticket. An affidavit is a written argument explaining your innocence. If you contest by mail, check the not guilty box on the ticket.
  • Contact the prosecuting attorney in the jurisdiction. Prosecuting attorneys are usually given discretion in traffic violation cases, even for speeding tickets. Contacting the prosecuting attorney increases the chance you don't have to appear in court, or reduce the fine for first time offenders.
  • Request an extension. An extension pushes the court date back, which is useful if you plan to fight the ticket in the state. Likewise, continuing to ask for an extension could result in the officer not being able to show up for court, leading to the case being dismissed.

Don't let out-of-state speeding tickets put you out of the driver's seat. There's no reason to panic if you think it through. In some cases it is more cost-effective to pay the ticket. Though you can represent yourself, a traffic lawyer has more knowledge on loopholes to help you fight the ticket.