Will a DUI in Another State Count in California?
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Will a DUI in Another State Count on My California Driving Record?

By San Diego Attorney on February 23, 2022

California was one of the first states to join the Interstate Driver’s License Compact (IDLC) in 1963. The IDLC is an agreement entered into by 45 U.S. states to share information about arrests and convictions related to driving. If you are arrested for DUI in one of the other 44 states belonging to the compact, that state will share the information with California, and it will count on your driving record.

Do You Face Penalties in Both States After a DUI Arrest in an IDLC State?

If you are arrested and convicted of DUI in a state other than California that is a member of IDLC, you can face penalties in both states. Your license can be suspended in California, and you may incur additional fines and penalties. Each state has its own ways of reporting and dealing with moving violations that occur inside and outside of the state.

What If You Are Convicted of DUI in Another State Before Moving to California?

Your driving history will follow you to California if you are moving from a state that participates in the Interstate Driver’s License Compact. When you apply for a California driver’s license, the DMV will search for information about your driving history. If you have a DUI conviction in another state that participates in IDLC, the California DMV will see the DUI. This also works in reverse if you move from California to another participating state. In deciding whether to issue you a driver’s license, the DMV will consider:

  • Whether you would be ineligible for a license under state law if the offense had occurred in California; and
  • Whether your driver’s license is suspended in your home state.

What Happens If You Get a DUI in a State That Does Not Participate in IDLC?

The five states in the U.S. that are not participants in the Interstate Driver’s License Compact are Georgia, Massachusetts, Michigan, Tennessee, and Wisconsin. If you are arrested for DUI in one of those states, it may not be reported to California and may not impact your California driving record. However, you will still face criminal charges in the state where the DUI arrest occurred, and any criminal penalties imposed if you are convicted. Massachusetts participates in the Driver’s License Agreement (DLA) which reports moving traffic violations, as well as vehicle incidents that are not related to driving.

What Information Is Available on PDPS?

The Problem Driver Pointer System (PDPS) was developed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) as a centralized repository of information on drivers who have been convicted of serious traffic offenses or had their driving privileges suspended, revoked, canceled, or denied. Licensing officials are required under federal law to submit information to PDPS. When a person applies for a new driver’s license or renewal, officials search PDPS to find out if that person’s driving privileges have been withdrawn.

Why Do You Need an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney?

Defending against an out-of-state DUI can be complicated. Although the charges and consequences of conviction will affect your driving privileges in California, you will be required to defend against the charges in the state where you were arrested. Your best chance of obtaining the most favorable outcome is to have an experienced DUI defense attorney handling your case.

Why Choose Us?

DUIs are something of a specialty at jD Law Criminal Defense Attorneys. We can thoroughly examine the evidence, find every flaw in the prosecution’s case against you, and raise every applicable defense against the charges. Our firm offers a free initial consultation. If you have been arrested for DUI in another state, call us at (760) 630-2000. We can explain your options under the law.

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