STOP WASTING TIME: Why You Need To Use Nlets' Multi-State Query Functionality Today

September 30, 2021

One of Nlets’ core visions is to provide our members and partners the most efficient access possible to the data they need.  One of the ways we do this is through value-added services such as our Multi-State Query service.

The Multi-State Query Functionality (MSQ) supports some of the high-volume messages such as Drivers Query (DQ), Registration Query (RQ), and Criminal History Index Inquiry (IQ).  The MSQ service also supports some specialty queries such as State Warrant Query (SWQ), Sex Offender Registration Query (SOQ), and the Wildlife Violation and License File Query (WLQ).

The MSQ was developed to help users by reducing the amount of time needed to complete their queries one at a time and then curating and consolidating the responses.


The MSQ service does a lot of the heavy lifting by consolidating responses before returning the results to the requestor.  When one of the above messages are sent to Nlets (NL) instead of directly to a state, the MSQ service sends copies of that message to each of the participating states.  When the responses to the queries come in, they are routed back to the MSQ service. The service waits for up to 60 seconds, and then the received responses are consolidated into a single response to be delivered to the requesting agency.

An additional benefit of the MSQ is that when the messages are forwarded to the states on behalf of the requestor, the service will only send the messages to participating states.  For example, DQ, RQ, and IQ messages are supported by all states but the SOQ, SWQ, and WLQ are only supported by specific states.  By using this service, users can query this less common data without having to research which states participate – or sift through status messages from those that don’t.


To provide a more detailed illustration of the service, let’s follow the process from end to end via an example.


Arizona wants to find out if a driver has records in other states. They send a DQ to NL for John Smith.

Nlets receives the message and routes it to the MSQ service.  The message is duplicated and sent to each participating state using a unique control field that will identify it as a message from the MSQ service. Each queried state responds to the query with a Driver License Response (DR).  These responses are routed back to the MSQ service based on the control field.  When received by the MSQ service, the messages are parsed and logged in preparation for the consolidated response.

The service will wait for 60 seconds for all responses.  After the 60 seconds, each of the responses is processed.  If the response contains information pertaining to the subject, it will be added to the response. If the response is “Not on File” the response is not included in the consolidation; rather, a list of queried states, states that did not respond, and “Not on File” responses are noted in the header of the consolidated response. When the consolidated response is returned to the requesting agency, the control field is restored and will reflect the original control field content.


If a response is received after the 60 seconds, the response is noted in the database and the message is forwarded to the requestor directly as an individual response.  When the late response is sent to the requestor, the original control field is restored to the outgoing message to allow the requestor to properly process the response.


As this example illustrates, the Multi-State query does as much work as possible to provide an accurate consolidated response to the requesting agency.

Nlets will continue to add message keys as the need arises.