Are PFA and Protection Orders Valid Across State Lines?
Yes, a PFA order from Pennsylvania is valid in every county in Pennsylvania, every state across the country, and on tribal lands. Protection orders from other states or tribal courts are also valid in Pennsylvania. This is because the Violence Against Women Act {VAWA), a federal law that protects victims of domestic violence, makes all states honor other courts' protection orders. There are law enforcement databases that make it easier for police to electronically check protection orders, but they are not foolproof. It is important for victims to have their PFA orders with them whenever they are traveling or if they move to a new address, especially out of state.

A plaintiff who has a PFA order does not have to register it in a different county or state for it to be valid, but registering it with the local courthouse may be helpful. On the plus side, registering an order allows police to quickly verify the order and respond faster to if an abuser violates it. On the downside, some states will notify the defendant when the victim registers a PFA order in a new county or state. If the
victim does not want an abuser to know where they are, they may not want to register the PFA. Procedures for registering a PFA order vary from state to state.

It is good for a victim to have a certified copy of the order along at all times, especially if a victim decides not to register a PFA order after moving. (A certified copy is one that is stamped with a raised seal and initialed by the court.) It is also a good idea to have multiple copies of the order for work, home, and/or school.

Show All Answers

1. What is a Protection from Abuse (PFA) Order?
2. How long does it take to file a petition for a PFA?
3. When is the Court available for the filing of petitions for PFAs?
4. What if I can't get to the Court during those times or show up too late to file?
5. Who Can Obtain a PFA Order?
6. How Do I file a petition for a PFA?
7. When is the hearing?
8. Do I really need an attorney for a PFA hearing?
9. What Can a PFA Order Do?
10. How Much Does a PFA Order Cost?
11. Once I leave the courthouse what do I do with the PFA?
12. What if an Abuser Violates the PFA Order?
13. Are PFA and Protection Orders Valid Across State Lines?
14. How can my local Domestic Violence Center help?