Code of the District of Columbia

§ 50–1001. Adopted.

The Driver License Compact is adopted and entered into with all jurisdictions legally joining in it in the form substantially stated as follows:

ARTICLE I

Findings and Declaration of Policy

(a) The party states find that:

(1) The safety of their streets and highways is materially affected by the degree of compliance with state laws and local ordinances relating to the operation of motor vehicles.

(2) Violation of such a law or ordinance is evidence that the violator engages in conduct which is likely to endanger the safety of persons and property.

(3) The continuance in force of a license to drive is predicated upon compliance with laws and ordinances relating to the operation of motor vehicles, in whichever jurisdiction the vehicle is operated.

(b) It is the policy of each of the party states to:

(1) Promote compliance with laws, ordinances, and administrative rules and regulations relating to the operation of motor vehicles and their operators in each of the jurisdictions where such operators drive motor vehicles.

(2) Make the reciprocal recognition of licenses to drive and eligibility therefore more just and equitable by considering the overall compliance with motor vehicle laws, ordinances and administrative rules and regulations as a condition precedent to the continuance or issuance of any license by reason of which the licensee is authorized or permitted to operate a motor vehicle in any of the party states.

ARTICLE II

Definitions

As used in this compact:

(a) “Conviction” means a conviction for any offense related to the use or operation of a motor vehicle which is prohibited by state law, municipal ordinance or administrative rule or regulation, or a forfeiture of bail, bond or other security deposited to secure appearance by a person charged with having committed any such offense, and which conviction or forfeiture is required to be reported to the licensing authority.

(b) “Compact administrator”, when used with reference to the District of Columbia, means the Director of the Department of Public Works or his or her designee.

(c) “District” means the District of Columbia.

(d) “Executive head”, when used with reference to the District of Columbia, means the Mayor of the District of Columbia or the Mayor’s designated representative.

(e) “Home state” means the state which has issued and has the power to suspend or revoke the use of the license or permit to operate a motor vehicle.

(f) “Licensing authority”, when used with reference to the District of Columbia, means the Department of Public Works.

(g) “State” means a state, territory or possession of the United States, the District of Columbia, or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

ARTICLE III

Reports of Conviction

The licensing authority of a party state shall report each conviction of a person from another party state occurring within its jurisdiction to the licensing authority of the home state of the licensee. Such report shall clearly identify the person convicted; describe the violation specifying the section of the statute, code or ordinance violated; identify the court in which action was taken; indicate whether a plea of guilty was entered, or the conviction was a result of the forfeiture of bail, bond or other security; and shall include any special findings made in connection therewith.

ARTICLE IV

Effect of Conviction

(a) The licensing authority in the home state, for the purposes of suspension, revocation or limitation of the license to operate a motor vehicle, shall give the same effect to the offense reported, pursuant to Article III of this compact, as it would if such offense had occurred in the home state, in the case of convictions for:

(1) Manslaughter or negligent homicide resulting from the operation of a motor vehicle;

(2) Driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or a narcotic drug or under the influence of any other drug to a degree which renders the driver incapable of safely driving a motor vehicle;

(3) Any felony in the commission of which a motor vehicle is used; and

(4) Failure to stop and render aid in the event of a motor vehicle accident resulting in death or personal injury.

(b) As to other convictions, reported pursuant to Article III, the licensing authority in the home state shall give such effect to the offense as is provided by the laws of the home state.

(c) If the laws of a party state do not provide for offenses or violations denominated or described in precisely the words employed in subdivision (a) of this article, such party state shall construe the denominations and descriptions appearing in subdivision (a) hereof as being applicable to and identifying those offenses or violations of a substantially similar nature, and the laws of such party state shall contain such provisions as may be necessary to ensure that full force and effect is given to this article.

ARTICLE V

Application for New Licenses

Upon application for a license to drive, the licensing authority in a party state shall ascertain whether the applicant has ever held, or is the holder of a license to drive issued by any other party state. The licensing authority in the state where application is made shall not issue a license to drive to the applicant if:

(1) The applicant has held such a license, but the same has been suspended by reason, in whole or in part, of a conviction for a violation and if such suspension period has not terminated.

(2) The applicant has held such a license, but the same has been revoked by reason, in whole or in part, of a conviction for a violation and if such revocation has not terminated, except that after the expiration of one year from the date the license was revoked, such person may make application for a new license if permitted by law. The licensing authority may refuse to issue a license to any such applicant if, after investigation, the licensing authority determines that it will not be safe to grant to such person the privilege of driving a motor vehicle on the public highways.

(3) The applicant is the holder of a license to drive issued by another party state and currently in force unless the applicant surrenders such license.

ARTICLE VI

Applicability of Other Laws

Except as expressly required by provisions of this compact, nothing contained herein shall be construed to affect the right of any party state to apply any of its other laws relating to licenses to drive to any person or circumstance, nor to invalidate or prevent any driver license agreement or other cooperative arrangement between a party state and a nonparty state.

ARTICLE VII

Compact Administrator and Interchange of Information

(a) The head of the licensing authority of each party state shall be the administrator of this compact for his or her state. The administrators, acting jointly, shall have the power to formulate all necessary and proper procedures for the exchange of information under this compact.

(b) The administrator of each party state shall furnish to the administrator of each other party state information or documents reasonably necessary to facilitate the administration of this compact.

ARTICLE VIII

Entry Into Force and Withdrawal

(a) This compact shall enter into force and become effective as to any state when it has enacted the same into law.

(b) Any party state may withdraw from this compact by enacting a statute repealing the same, but no such withdrawal shall take effect until six months after the executive head of the withdrawing state has given notice of the withdrawal to the executive heads of all other party states. No withdrawal shall affect the validity or applicability by the licensing authorities of states remaining party to the compact of any report of conviction occurring prior to the withdrawal.

ARTICLE IX

Construction and Severability

This compact shall be liberally construed so as to effectuate the purposes thereof. The provisions of this compact shall be severable and if any phrase, clause, sentence or provision of this compact is declared to be contrary to the constitution of any party state or of the United States or the applicability thereof to any government, agency, person or circumstance is held invalid, the validity of the remainder of this compact and the applicability thereof to any government, agency, person or circumstance shall not be affected thereby. If this compact shall be held contrary to the constitution of any state party thereto, the compact shall remain in full force and effect as to remaining states and in full force and effect as to the state affected as to all severable matters.


(Mar. 16, 1985, D.C. Law 5-184, § 2, 32 DCR 850.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 40-1501.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary addition of D.C. Law 5-184, § 2a, concerning reinstatement of revoked licenses, see § 2 of the Reckless Driving Emergency Amendment Act of 2012 (D.C. Act 19-451, September 21, 2012, 59 DCR 11095).

Temporary Legislation

Section 2 of D.C. Law 19-213 added D.C. Law 5-184, § 2a, to read as follows:

“Sec. 2a. Reinstatement of revoked licenses.

“(a) Within 15 days of the effective date of the Reckless Driving Emergency Amendment Act of 2012, effective September 21, 2012 (D.C. Act 19-451; 59 DCR 11095), the Mayor shall complete a review of each individual whose license is currently revoked or in the process of being revoked as the result of a reckless, careless, hazardous, or aggressive driving conviction in a foreign jurisdiction.

“(b) When conducting a review under this section, the Mayor shall immediately reinstate an individual’s license and reduce the points assessed for the conviction in a foreign jurisdiction from 12 to 2 unless the Mayor:

“(1) Determines that the conduct upon which the foreign conviction is based would have constituted all the elements of reckless driving under section 9 of the District of Columbia Traffic Act, 1925, approved March 3, 1925 (43 Stat. 1123; D.C. Official Code § 50-2201.04), if the offense had been committed in the District;

“(2) Determines that the conduct upon which the foreign conviction is based is of a substantially similar nature to a District offense or violation and, after assessing against the license the number of points for that offense or violation, the total number of points assessed against the license is 12 or greater; or

“(3) Cannot determine whether the conduct upon which the foreign conviction is based would have constituted reckless driving or another offense or violation under District law, and after assessing against the license 2 points, the total number of points assessed against the license is 12 or greater.

“(c)(1) Within 7 days after the completion of the review required by this section, the Mayor shall notify the individual of the Mayor’s determination.

“(2) Within 10 days of receiving notice under paragraph (1) of this subsection, an individual may request a hearing to contest the determination of the Mayor.

“(3) The Mayor shall schedule a hearing within 5 days of an individual’s request for a hearing.

“(4) Within 5 days after a hearing, the Mayor shall issue a final decision.

“(5) The Mayor shall bear the burden of proof to establish by clear and convincing evidence that revocation or assessment of points is appropriate.”

Section 4(b) of D.C. Law 19-213 provided that the act shall expire after 225 days of its having taken effect.