Typically if you have a suspended license in one state you must deal with the issues surrounding your driver's license there and get that license reinstated before you apply and obtain a new license in another state.

States will allow you to exchange an out of state license for a new license when you move to a state within the US, however the driver's license you are turning in needs to be valid.

If you are moving to a new state and your current DL is suspended you can contact the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV)for your new state to see what advice they can give you about getting a license.

Key Highlights
  • You cannot get a new license in another state while you have your license suspended in your home state.
  • States check the National Drivers Register (NDR) when a person applies for a driver’s license.
  • Until you meet the reinstatement requirements of your state your license will remain suspended.
  • You will have to take the driving skills test to get your license reinstated if it has been suspended for more than a year.

Can another state suspend my license?

Another state may suspend your license for a number of reasons. Getting too many speeding tickets, driving under the influence, or even leaving an accident spot may result in out of state license suspension.

Also, the state where the suspension is issued will inform your home state's DMV using the National Driver Register.

What happens if your license is suspended in another state?

If your license is suspended in another state, there is nothing much you can do about it. You will receive a notice from the state's DMV, read your suspension/revocation notice carefully. It will have instructions on when and how to get the license reinstated.

Getting a license in another state after the suspension is no easy task. Depending on the severity of the charges, you may be prohibited from driving for a specific amount of time. Also, you may need to complete some classes before being allowed to drive again.

Certain cases might require taking driver's license tests. And if your license is suspended due to DUI you may be asked to take a class on substance abuse for your privileges to be reinstated.

How long does the suspension in another state last?

Your license will remain suspended indefinitely until you meet all the state requirements and get a new license. There is no limit as to how long the suspension will last.

You may have to take written, vision, and driving skills tests in order to show you are prepared for the road. However, if your license has been suspended for more than a year, then only you will have to take the driving skills test.

Can I get a driver's license in another state?

No, normally you cannot move to another state and obtain a driver's license (DL) there while your license is still suspended in your previous state.

All states check the National Drivers Register (NDR) when a person applies for a driver's license.

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) is the administrator of the NDR and states that the NDR contains a listing of names and related identification, provided by State driver licensing officials, of those "problem drivers" whose licenses have been cancelled, denied, suspended or revoked or who have been convicted of certain serious traffic violations.

What is the Driver License Compact?

The Driver License Compact or DLC is an agreement between states to share information about traffic violations, drivers' license suspensions, and revocations. The motto of the compact aligns with its purpose: "One Driver, One License, One Record."

There is a federal requirement for state licensing agencies in the US to check applicants for driver's licenses against the NDR.

This mandate is intended to help prevent problem drivers from "license shopping," meaning a person would go to a different state to get a new license when their current license is suspended or revoked according to the NHTSA. Keeping problem drivers off the road is critical to the NHTSA's goal of reducing highway fatalities and injuries.

With a license suspension in one state you should be listed on this national database. To check and see if you are listed on it there is a form you must complete and have your signature notarized, and then mail the completed form to the National Driver Register. Forms that are not notarized will not be processed by them.You then can find out if you are listed on the NDR.

What happens when the suspension is resolved?

When your suspension is resolved, then your first step is to get a clearance letter from the state where it was issued. You will also need a copy of your current driving record that is not more than thirty days old.

Take these documents along with your expired driver's license at the RMV Service Center in order to have the suspension manually removed and you may also need to pay them for reinstatement depending on the state laws.

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Michelle Megna
Editorial Director

Michelle is a writer, editor and expert on car insurance and personal finance. Prior to joining CarInsurance.com, she reported and edited articles on technology, lifestyle, education and government for magazines, websites and major newspapers, including the New York Daily News.