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Home Sweet Home

By James Mennella and Jeff McConnell
Posted Feb 8th 2002 10:00AM

everything798a.jpgWHERE ARE YOU LICENSED?
That's probably the most important question you can ask yourself before you pay any ticket. It's important because regardless of where you get the ticket, it's the State where you're licensed that determines how it effects your motor vehicle record (MVR).

That's right, your HOME STATE decides how many points you'll get or whether your ticket is a "moving / non-moving" charge. So, don't let the cop or the Court clerk talk you into simply paying your ticket just because they claim it's "zero points."

If you really want to know how your ticket will effect your MVR, call your home state Department of Motor Vehicles or, better yet, call us at ROAD LAW.

Here's the truth:

Question: I got a speeding ticket in Ohio and the cop told me to pay it because it was "zero points." So, I paid the ticket and now it's showing up on my Texas MVR and DAC. Why?

Answer: This is a great question! REMEMBER, the state where you're licensed determines the number of points or whether the charge is moving / non-moving. You're licensed in TEXAS and you got a ticket in OHIO.

Texas doesn't even have a point system and if you're licensed in Texas, you don't care about "points!" The only thing Texas cares about is whether your ticket is for a moving or non-moving charge.

Therefore, your Ohio speeding ticket showed up on your Texas MVR because it was a moving violation.

Question: I got a ticket for "Improper Lane USE" in Georgia because I was driving in the left lane. I didn't think a ticket for driving in the left lane was a big deal so I just paid it.

Now, my Oklahoma MVR says I've been convicted of "Improper Lane CHANGE," and that's a "serious" Federal violation! I wasn't even given a ticket for "Improper Lane CHANGE." What's going on? Why did Oklahoma change the ticket?

Answer: Well, the truth is that Oklahoma really didn't change your "lane use" ticket to a "lane change" ticket. Oklahoma simply processed the same ticket they received from Georgia.

The problem here is that you got the ticket in the great state of Georgia and Georgia doesn't differentiate between "lane use" and "lane change" violations. In other words, Georgia doesn't care if your ticket is for "lane use" or "lane change."

In Georgia, all LANE violations are considered "lane CHANGE" tickets and that's how your ticket was reported to Oklahoma.

Question: I got a speeding ticket in Kentucky about two months ago. The officer said I was doing eight over but the ticket just says "Excessive Speed." My company just ran my Missouri MVR and the ticket showed up as a 15+ mph charge. Why?

Answer: Remember how the system works. When you get a ticket in one state and your licensed in another state, your ticket goes back to your HOME state and it's your HOME state that determines how it appears on your MVR.

Here, you got an eight over speeding ticket in Kentucky but the ticket only stated a charge for "Excessive Speed." When your ticket hit your HOME state of Missouri, it went on your MVR as "Excessive Speed" without mentioning any exact speed.

Unfortunately, Missouri considers all "Excessive Speed" charges as speeding 15+! That's right, your little 'ol eight mph speeding ticket was just turned into one of the five "serious" Federal violations!

We hope you can use the information in this column to help with every day, real life problems you face on the road.

We invite you to send us any questions or comments you may have regarding transportation law to:

Road Law
1330 N. Classen Blvd, Suite 215
Oklahoma City, OK 73106
Fax: (405) 272-0558
Phone: (405) 272-0555

 Web Information
Roadlaw Homepage

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