Can I Get a License in TN if I Got a DUI Out-of-State?

Can I Get a License in TN if I Got a DUI Out-of-State?There are many factors in obtaining a driver’s license. Whether you are moving to Tennessee from another state or are renewing your license, it can be challenging to obtain a driver’s license when you have a DUI conviction out of state. It may depend on what state you got a DUI.

If the state is within the Interstate Driver License Compact and your license is currently suspended, there may be some additional paperwork or steps to getting your license in Tennessee. If the conviction occurred in one of the five states that are not part of the Compact, there is a chance you can get a license in Tennessee. If you are unsure of your options, you will need to meet with a Franklin DUI attorney.

What is the Interstate Driver License Compact?

The Interstate Driver License Compact consists of 46 states and the District of Columbia who have agreed to exchange information on drivers. The information that must be shared among the states pertains to DUI offenses, vehicular homicide, and vehicular manslaughter. Failing to stop for an accident and other felony motor vehicle offenses are also communicated.

Through the Interstate Driver License Compact, residents in Tennessee will now have in-state, and out-of-state DUI convictions handled cohesively instead of independently. Your driver records will no longer vary from state to state. If you have a sentence in another state that has your driver’s license suspended, it will also apply to your driving ability in your home state.

If the violation occurred in another state who is part of the Compact, they must report the offense to the home state. In this case, Tennessee will then handle the offense as if it had occurred within the state.

Tennessee joined the Interstate Driver License Compact in 2020 (TN Code § 55-50-902). Aside from sharing DUI information between states, when a person applies for a new license in Tennessee, the agreement allows Tennessee to determine whether or not the applicant has held a driver’s license in another state. Tennessee will not be allowed to issue a driver’s license to an applicant if any of the following are true:

  • The applicant held a license in another state and it has been suspended for any reason and the suspension is still active
  • The applicant has a driver’s license active in another state and has yet to forfeit that license
  • The applicant has a license in another state that has been revoked for any reason unless the license has been expired for at least one year

Non-Residents with a DUI in Tennessee

If a person drives into Tennessee from a different state while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they will be charged with a DUI and appear before the court. Tennessee can require a mandatory minimum jail sentence that the driver is obligated to complete. If it is a repeat offense, the driver can lose their right to drive in Tennessee even without a Tennessee driver’s license. If you are an out-of-state driver, you will need to discuss your options with a Franklin DUI attorney. There are several options available to out-of-state divers that a solid defense can garner.

In addition, if the driver comes from a state that is part of The Compact, the other state could report the conviction to the home state.

Moving out of Tennessee with a DUI

When you apply for a new driver’s license in another state, the DMV will check the National Registered Vehicle Compact (NRVC) to ensure that your previous license is current. Tennessee is a member of this Compact. Every state will review the current standing of a new license before issue. If there is an out-of-state conviction, your license will not be issued.

The same concept applies if you are moving out of Tennessee. If you have a conviction in Tennessee, you will be unable to get a new license in another state. DUI convictions must be addressed when they occur. You cannot ignore them, and you cannot move away to avoid the consequences. Instead, you will need to contact a Franklin DUI defense attorney to review your options.

While the Interstate Driver License compact creates a cohesive criminal justice system between the states, it also creates more red tape for getting your license reinstated after a DUI-related suspension. There will be additional points and restrictions on your license when convicted of a DUI in various states.

Penalties for first-time DUI offenders in Franklin

A first-time offense in Tennessee is considered a misdemeanor. You will likely face fines between $350 and $1,500 but can also face jail time. You can face between 48 hours and 11 months and 29 days in jail if you are convicted. Remember, just because it is a first-time offense in one state does not mean it will not affect another conviction in another state.

Penalties for repeat DUI offenders in Franklin

If you are a repeat offender, fines will range from $600 to $3,500 for a second offense, between $1,000 and $10,00 for a third offense, and $3,000 to $15,000 for a fourth offense. If you face a fourth offense, it is considered a felony charge with steeper penalties. Jail time for a fourth offense will be between 150 days and six years.

Your prior conviction will likely appear during court proceedings. Opposing counsel can find the prior offense and ask that your DUI charges in Tennessee be elevated; the good news is that Tennessee allows DUI defendants to challenge the prior out-of-state conviction before hearing the current case. This process gives you some time to resolve the issue and avoid elevated charges. It also helps you apply for a restricted driver’s license.

A Franklin DUI defense attorney can work to clear up your convictions. This is no easy task, and you need a law firm with experience in these kinds of cases. The Law Offices of Adrian H. Altshuler & Associates is well versed in DUI convictions in Tennessee and out of state. Submit our contact form, or call our office at 615-977-9370 to discuss your case today.