I have an out-of-state license, so how can Pennsylvania suspend my license or driving privileges?

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) has the authority to dictate who is lawfully permitted to drive on Pennsylvania roadways. Pennsylvania residents are required to obtain a Pennsylvania driver’s license, and a suspension of driving privileges requires a Pennsylvania resident to surrender the physical license to (PennDOT) in order to receive credit towards the suspension. In such a scenario, the person does not have a valid license and thereby cannot drive anywhere.

With regard to out-of-state residents, Pennsylvania CAN suspend such a person’s privilege to drive in Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania can NOT take or suspend an out-of-state license, but PennDOT can prohibit such a person from driving in Pennsylvania during any period of suspension. If the home state does not suspend the license, then the license remains valid and permits the person to drive in every other state except Pennsylvania during the suspension.

Will my home state revoke my license based upon the Pennsylvania suspension?

Many states have passed some variation of the Driver’s License Compact, and the Compact applies reciprocal treatment for out-of-state suspensions. Most states The home state of the person generally will not suspend the driver’s license based upon a non-vehicle code violation. Underage Drinking is an offense listed under the Crimes Code in Pennsylvania and not a Vehicle Code violation, therefore most home states will not suspend the home state license for an Underage Drinking offense. While the home state may not suspend the physical license, Pennsylvania can suspend the person’s ability to drive in Pennsylvania.

It is EXTREMELY important that the person submit the appropriate paperwork to PennDOT to obtain credit towards the suspension and submit the additional paperwork to restore the driving privileges. Non-Pennsylvania license holders must complete and submit a form, commonly referred to as an “Acknowledgement” form, to PennDOT. Said form has the person expressly acknowledge that he or she is aware of the suspension of driving privileges. PennDOT will not give credit towards the serving of the suspension until they receive the form. The form, known as a DL-16C form, can be found at http://www.dmv.state.pa.us/pdotforms/dl_forms/DL-16LC.pdf. Out-of-state license holders often ignore the Pennsylvania suspension, assuming that it will have no impact on the home state license. Problems arise when the out-of-state person attempts to renew their home license, and the home state refuses to issue a new license until the Pennsylvania suspension has been fully served. It is important to consult with an experienced criminal defense lawyer such as Penn State Underage Drinking attorney Jason S. Dunkle discuss all the collateral consequences associated with an Underage Drinking case.