Your Home State Will Learn of Any Conviction for Speeding or Reckless Driving

The days when I was a kid (before computers are what they are now) many DMV’s were not “online.” There was no real communication between the states. So if you got a ticket in one state, it would only impact you in that state.

Those Days are Long Gone

Now that DMV’s are all online, they all communication with each other. So how does the process work for out of state drivers who get a reckless driving ticket in Virginia? Every state has different laws and rules. What is legal in one state is illegal in the next. For example:

  • Radar detectors are illegal in Virginia, but are legal in many states
  • Window tint laws are different in every state
  • Marijuana is legal in some states, and is only a civil fine in some

The bottom line is that you are required to know the laws of the state you are in, and to obey those laws. Whenever you cross into a new state, that is the rule. You subject yourself to the laws of the state you are in. At Leavitt & Martin, we specialize in traffic law and we can help advise you on what to expect.

So How do the DMV’s Communicate? 

DMV administrators from each state are part of the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators. This organization created something called the Code Dictionary. They group offenses that are common to each state (reckless and negligent driving, speeding, etc) into groups and they assign specific codes for each offense.

This allows the Virginia DMV to any other state what someone is convicted of and vice versa.

Reckless Driving by Speed Gets Transferred as Reckless Driving

Many people call me on the phone and ask me, “What if I just pay the ticket?” and they are referring to a charge of reckless driving by speed, 81 mph in a 70. They will often tell me, “it will only give me 2 points.”

There is only one RECKLESS DRIVING CODE in the AAMVA code dictionary, M84. So if you get convicted of reckless driving by speed, even if it is only for driving 81 mph in a 70, it gets sent to your home state as “M84” and your home state just sees RECKLESS DRIVING. Usually Virginia reckless driving first offense is the same as a second offense, and a first offense reckless driving charge often results in a license suspension depending on the state.

Many States Automatically Suspend Your License for Reckless Driving

Leavitt & Martin has been retained many times by residents of Connecticut, Georgia, North Carolina, Michigan, New Hampshire, Washington D.C., and others when a conviction for reckless driving by speed resulted in a license suspension in someone’s home state for up to 6 MONTHS.

Connecticut, Michigan, and many other states have an automatic license suspension for any reckless driving conviction. So when they see the CODE M84 for RECKLESS DRIVING, it triggers an automatic license suspension.


Call today if you have been charged with reckless driving by speed. We can often help get the charge reduced or dismissed. That helps with points, license suspensions, insurance issues, etc.



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Emporia, Virginia 23847

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