Do you have a valid driver’s license for every US state? What happens if you get a ticket in another state? Under what circumstances do you need to renew a license?

You may be asking yourself these questions in preparation for a vacation or important business trip. Don’t let your trip be ruined by driver’s license anxieties or legal mishaps.

Read on to familiarize yourself with driver’s license laws, driver’s license renewal, and out-of-state driving violations to make the most of your next road trip.

Do You Have a Valid Driver’s License?

The short answer is, yes! Nearly every state in the U.S. participates in the Driver’s License Compact. No matter where you drive, states will exchange information on traffic violations, revocations, and suspensions.

However, if you are a young driver, you should check with the state you are visiting about their driving ages. Generally, if you are not old enough to drive in a state you are visiting, your license will not be valid even if it is valid in your home state.

The Driver’s License Compact exceptions are Maine, Wisconsin, Georgia, Michigan, and Tennessee. Your license is still valid to drive in these states, but punitive action for traffic violations can only be taken if your home state shares the same conduct laws.

So You Got a Ticket

Now that you know your license is valid, what happens if you get an out-of-state traffic ticket?  The same thing that happens when you get a ticket in your home state.

The DMV in the state where you received a ticket will share the information with your DMV. It will affect your license in the same way as if you had made the traffic violation in your own state.

Be sure to pay any fines and be prepared to see the incident on your driving record.

Do You Need a New License or Driver’s License Renewal?

You should always get a new license within 30 days of moving to a new state and becoming a permanent resident. You are considered a permanent resident if you plan to stay in a state and pay taxes there. Here’s a guide on different states’ definitions of permanent residence.

Receiving your new license in the mail takes approximately 15 days, and some states require that you retake your driver’s test. Beginning the process in the first 30 days of moving can assure you that all the necessary actions are done in time.

Need a refresher course before taking your driver’s license test? Take an online Defensive Driving Course in as little as one hour to feel confident.

If your license is in danger of expiring, you should receive notice within 60 days. It’s best to renew your driver’s license as soon as you receive the notice as driving with an expired license can result in a fine of up to $250 or even an arrest for repeat offenders.

Drive Worry Free!

As long as you have a valid driver’s license in your state, you should feel confident in driving in other states. Always be sure to check age requirements in other states if you’re a young driver, and keep an eye on the expiration date on your license for your driver’s license renewal.

Being prepared is important for every driver of any age. Taking an online defensive driving course helps you get up-to-speed on the latest traffic laws and regulations. You’ll also learn driving tips and techniques to keep you safe when you’re behind the wheel. Plus, when you earn a defensive driving course completion certificate, you may be eligible for an insurance discount or be able to remove points on your driving record from tickets.

A DriveSafe Online defensive driving course is your best option for improving your driving skills, keeping your driving record clean, and saving money. In fact, DriveSafe Online was named the “Best Overall Online Defensive Driving Course.” Take a demo and see for yourself what makes us #1!