What you need to know about out-of-state driving records in a court proceeding for a reckless driving offense, speeding ticket, or other types of traffic matters.

Judges always consider a defendant’s driving record when making a decision about a reckless driving, speeding, or traffic matter.  A good driving record with a positive point balance is a huge asset to a case and could make a major difference as to whether a charge will be dismissed or reduced.  Conversely, a poor driving record, or failing to provide a driving record for a judge to consider during the hearing, could really hurt the outcome of a case by resulting in a conviction and/or worse penalties being imposed on the driver.

If a driver is licensed in the Commonwealth of Virginia, then the police officer who issued the summons or ticket to the driver will provide the Court with the driver’s Virginia driving record at the hearing.  If a driver is licensed outside of the Commonwealth of Virginia, the driving record must be provided to the Court by the driver or their attorney.  If a driver is licensed out-of-state and asserts that they have a good or clean driving record during the hearing, the Court will want to see that driver’s out-of-state record to prove that assertion.  If a driver does not have an out-of-state driving record to provide the Court, the judge cannot assume that the driving record is good or clean, and therefore may make a less favorable decision about the case.

In situations where a driver presently has a Virginia license, but only was only issued one recently because they moved from another state, it also is important to provide an out-of-state driving record to the Court.  Especially if the driver has a clean driving history and was licensed in another state (or states) for a long period of time prior to moving to Virginia.

What is the Court looking for on a driving record in a reckless driving, speeding, or traffic case?

  • Point balance
    • In Virginia, a driving point balance can be positive (up to +5 points), zero (0 points), or negative (-1 or more points).
    • Many other states do not have a point balance listed on driving records.
  • Prior violations for speeding within the past 5 years.
  • Any history of completing a driving school program within the past five years.
  • The age of the driver and how long they have been licensed.

For more information about DMV points, please see this link: DMV Points – Peters Law Firm (peterslawfirmva.com).

For more information about obtaining a driving record, please see this link: Driving Record – Peters Law Firm (peterslawfirmva.com).