How to Reinstate a Driver's License in Virginia

Drivers in Virginia can lose their privilege to drive for many reasons. Unpaid child support and failure to pay court costs within 30 days of conviction are common reasons why a driver's privilege to drive is suspended.

Compliance Summary

When determining how to have your license reinstated it is always a good idea to go down to the DMV to

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get a copy of your compliance summary. Your compliance summary will list all of the requirements necessary for you to get your license back. Often times clients will need to pay off unpaid court costs, attend VASAP classes, or simply wait out a suspension ordered by the court. You can also obtain your compliance summary online by going to www.dmv.state.va.us, going to online transactions, creating a VA DMV account, and making a compliance summary request through the online transactions sections on the DMV website.

Once all of these requirements have been met, the driver can then ask the DMV to reinstate his/her license.

Unpaid Court Costs

In many cases, a driver's privilege to drive has been suspended because of unpaid court costs. In many courts throughout the Commonwealth, the clerk's office will allow the driver to get on a payment plan. Once on a payment plan, this generally will satisfy the DMV's requirement that your court costs be paid in full prior to your ability to have your license reinstated. § 46.2-395(B),(C).

Interest begins to accrue against driver's whose license has been suspended for unpaid court costs within 40 days from the date of judgment at a rate of 6%. § 6.2-302.

Other Requirements

The driver will be required to show the DMV proof of insurance or pay the uninsured motorist fee of $500. 46.2-411. In many cases the driver will be required to pay the reinstatement fee of $145, $175, or $220 fee.

Here is the list of offenses for which the $145 reinstatement fee is required:

  • Failure to pay court fines and costs
  • Failure to maintain automobile liability insurance
  • Operating or permitting the operation of an uninsured motor vehicle
  • Failure to provide liability insurance information requested by DMV
  • Failure to satisfy a judgment
  • Non-motor vehicle related drug violation
  • Failure to obey railroad crossing signal
  • Railroad/highway grade crossing violation
  • Failure to attend an intervention interview
  • Failure to comply with an out-of-state citation
  • Failure to pay child support

The $175 fee is required if petitioning after suspension due to the following offenses:

  • Failure to complete a Driver Improvement Clinic required by DMV
  • Violation of probation/suspension
  • Driving while license is suspended/revoked for a non-DUI violation
  • Refusal of blood/breath test conviction
  • Disqualifications of commercial driving privilege
  • Violation of commercial driving privilege - out-of-service order
  • Felony conviction involving a motor vehicle
  • Hit and run driving while suspended for a DUI-related conviction
  • Driving while suspended/revoked for a DUI-related conviction
  • Driving while underage and after consuming alcohol
  • Manslaughter in a vehicle
  • Failure to stop at the scene of a crash felony which resulted in injury or death
  • Reckless driving/racing resulting in death - felony

The $220 fee is required if petitioning after suspension due to the following offenses:

  • Financial responsibility requirement
  • Manslaughter resulting from operating a motor vehicle
  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Driving a commercial motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.04 percent
  • Driving a commercial motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs
  • Failing to stop at the scene of a crash which involves your commercial motor vehicle if the crash causes injury or death
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol/drugs which resulted in the maiming of a person
  • Involuntary manslaughter resulting from the use of alcohol while driving a commercial motor vehicle
  • Revoked from the Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program (VASAP) by the Court

Habitual Drivers

If the driver is a Habitual Offender than he will also need to petition the Circuit Court where they were determined to be a Habitual Offender or in the court where they reside. In order to get a restricted license as a habitual offender, he/she must also submit to a VASAP evaluation.

Restricted Licenses

Restricted licenses are not available:

  • If you were convicted of 46.2-301 Driving with a suspended license during the suspension or revocation period and the suspension period has not yet expired. and/or
  • If you never had a VA driver's license
  • See § 46.2-389

Restricted licenses are available if convicted of DUI (§ 18.2-271), Reckless Driving (§ 46.2-393), and Drug possession convictions (§46.2-391).

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