Avoid Points On Florida DL From Out Of State Tickets

If you live in Florida and get a ticket in another state, I'm sorry to inform you that Florida will treat that ticket as if it were received in Florida.  So don't just pay it thinking the points won't transfer. (You can read more on the topic of out of state tickets).

However, recently I was asked a question that wasn't covered previously, and I thought it was so interesting, it was worth its own post.

What happens if you get a ticket in another state for a violation Florida doesn't have?  For example, talking on a cell phone.

Great question. And like so many things in the legal field, the answer is . . . it depends.

First the technical legal answer. According the Florida DMV website,

"A conviction in another state of a violation which if committed in this state, would be a violation of the traffic laws of Florida, will be entered on the driver record. You will receive points if the ticket is a point-accessible violation according to Florida Statute 322.27(3). Florida law does not allow any school or program to remove points for a ticket received in another state."

So reading that, it should be obvious that if a person with a Florida license gets a ticket for driving in New York and talking on a cell phone, (a point violation in NY) he shouldn't get points on his Florida license because according to the above, it would have to be "a violation of the traffic laws of Florida," and Florida doesn't have that law.

But that doesn't fully explain it. Here's the non-technical answer that's more realistic (along with my tip on how to avoid points on your Florida license from an out of state ticket).

The reality is, that not all states send violation notices to Florida with detail in a way that Florida can interpret what the violation was.  In other words, if NY sends it to Florida and codes it as "careless driving" or "moving violation" then Florida will put points on the license (whatever the corresponding number of points are). Additionally, if New York sends it to Florida and codes it as "talking on a cell phone," Florida will not put points on. But, if NY were to code a violation in a way that Florida couldn't tell what type of law was broken, they will not assign points.

This obviously applies to all other states, I'm just using New York as an example.

So here's the tip.  If you get a ticket in New York, or anywhere else, try and get the judge or clerk to change the violation to either "non-moving" or something that doesn't carry points in Florida (like talking on a cell phone). You'd be surprised how little difference that makes to them and what a big difference it could make to you.

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