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The National Driver Register & Out of State License Suspensions

Massachusetts Registry News

Many desperate individuals who have had their licenses suspended or revoked in a particular state mistakenly believe that they can move to another state to avoid the consequences of a license suspension…if it were only that easy. The Problem Driver Pointer System of the National Driver Register is designed to prevent just this. This nationwide database contains information regarding license suspensions for DUI and other related events. It is used to deny licenses to those who are currently under suspension or revocation.

Prior to issuing any driver’s license, including a hardship license, the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles and other motor vehicle departments are required to check this database. If an individual is flagged in this database, the Registry or Department of Motor Vehicles cannot issue a driver’s license. Instead, they must refer the individual to the state which had a hold on his or her license. The NDR block must be resolved in the state where the block originates. Unless and until the driver is clear in the NDR, no license will issue.

The above-described system insures that license suspensions have “teeth” and that drivers cannot simply obtain license in other states to avoid the consequences of their actions. In some rare cases, a driver may escape consequences, because he or she is not in the NDR or a Department of Motor Vehicles does not see a block. However, cases such as this are rare.

In addition to the NDR, Massachusetts and most other states are parties to an interstate driver’s license compact under which they will indefinitely suspend a license in a driver’s home state because of a suspension in another state. The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles routinely suspends licenses here because of violations committed elsewhere. Clearing these out of state suspensions can be difficult and frustrating. It is for this reason that many people hire a lawyer.

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