How do I get my DVPO enforced in another state?
Federal law does not require you to take any special steps to get your domestic violence protection order (DVPO) enforced in another state.
Many states do have laws or regulations (rules) about registering or filing of out-of-state orders, which can make enforcement easier, but a valid DVPO is enforceable regardless of whether it has been registered or filed in the new state.1 Rules differ from state to state, so it may be helpful to find out what the rules are in your new state. You can contact a local domestic violence organization for more information by visiting our Advocates and Shelters page and entering your new state in the drop-down menu.
1 18 U.S.C. § 2265(d)(2)
Do I need anything special to get my DVPO enforced in another state?
In most states, you will need a certified copy of your DVPO. A certified copy says that it is a “true and correct” copy; it is signed and initialed by the clerk of court that gave you the order, and usually has some kind of court stamp on it. However, in some states you can simply show law enforcement a copy that appears valid on its face for it to be enforced. In North Carolina, a certified order has a stamped seal on it. If the copy you originally received was not a certified copy, you can go to the court that gave you the order and ask the clerk’s office for a certified copy.
Can I get someone to help me? Do I need a lawyer?
You do not need a lawyer to get your DVPO enforced in another state.
However, you may want to get help from a local domestic violence advocate or attorney in the state that you move to. A domestic violence advocate can let you know what the advantages and disadvantages are for registering your DVPO, and help you through the process if you decide to do so.
To find a domestic violence advocate or an attorney in the state you are moving to, select your state from the Places that Help tab on the top of this page.