Eligibility for a Restricted License in VA

A driver's privilege to drive in Virginia may be suspended for many reasons. Some of those reasons include failure to pay court costs, unpaid child support, or due to a conviction such as a DUI or a drug related charge.

Court Issued Restricted License

Generally, in order to receive a restricted license you must ask the court that has suspended or revoked your license for a restricted license. In most cases and in most courts drivers do this right after the judge has suspended or revoked their privilege to drive. Generally, in order to apply for a restricted license you

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must go to the clerk's office of the court that suspended your license and ask for a restricted license. You must turn in your current drivers license, unless your license is from a state other than Virginia. § 46.2-398. You will then fill out the application for a restricted license form.

Some clerk's offices will require, and the law does require in some instances, that you provide proof to the court that you actually need a restricted license for the activity you are asking a restricted license to drive for. After you fill out the form, the clerk's office will typically have the judge review and approve the application. You will then be issued a paper version of your restricted license, a copy of the order. If your license suspension will last longer than 30 days (and your case was not in circuit court) you will have to go to the DMV to receive the actual plastic hard copy restricted license after 30 days. For suspension periods less than 30 days the clerk's office will keep your license at the court. § 46.2-398. The court has no obligation to issue you a restricted license.

Eligibility

Not every driver whose license has been suspended will be eligible for a restricted driver's license. CDL holders whose license to operate a commercial vehicle has been disqualified are not eligible for restricted licenses to operate a commercial vehicle. Out of state driver's are eligible for a restricted license to drive in Virginia. § 46.2-398.1.

See the following list to determine your eligibility to receive a restricted license (see http://www.dmv.state.va.us/drivers/#restrict_privs.asp for the most up to date information):

  • Eligible for a restricted license when convicted:
    • Reckless Driving, § 18.2-271.1, § 46.2-392
    • Aggressive Driving, § 18.2-271.1, § 46.2-392
    • Drug Offenses, § 18.2-271.1, § 46.2-259.1
    • Illegal Possession and Consumption of Alcohol, § 18.2-271.1, § 4.1-305, § 18.2-266.1
    • DUI 1st, § 18.2-271.1, § 46.2-389
  • Eligible for a restricted license when suspension period begins:
    • Failure to Pay Child Support, § 46.2-320.1
  • Eligible for a restricted license after three years:
    • DUI 3rd, eligible after 3 year period, § 18.2-271.1, § 46.2-391
    • Three DUI's within 10 year period, eligible after 3 year period, § 18.2-271.1, § 46.2-391
    • Maiming of Another Resulting from DUI, eligible after 3 years, § 18.2-271.1, § 46.2-389, § 46.2-391
    • Voluntary or Involuntary Manslaughter DUI Related, eligible after 3 years, §§ 18.2-271.1, § 46.2-389, § 46.2-391
    • Voluntary or Involuntary Manslaughter Driving Related, eligible after 3 years, § 18.2-271.1, § 46.2-389, § 46.2-391
  • Eligible for a restricted license after the suspension period is effective:
    • Failure to Pay Court Fines and Costs, § 18.2-271.1, § 46.2-395
  • Persons convicted of the following offenses are also eligible under certain circumstances:
    • DUI 2nd
      • Eligible after 1 year for conviction of 2nd DUI within 5 years
      • Eligible after 4 months for conviction of 2nd DUI within 10 years, § 18.2-271.1, § 46.2-391
    • Driving Suspended Conviction Related Suspension (See Driving Suspended Page)
      • The court ordered a suspension period of up to 90 days, AND
      • Your suspension period continues longer than the period of time ordered by the court because the court directed DMV not to start the suspension time until you comply all other outstanding requirements.§ 46.2-301

DMV Issued Restricted License

The DMV has the authority to grant a restricted license only in cases where the driver has had his/her license suspended for violating his/her 6 month driver improvement probation. In those cases the driver can apply to have a restricted license either (1) during the probation violation or (2) during a second or subsequent suspension for a probation violation, provided that the 18 month control period had been completed prior to the second violation of probation. § 46.2-499, §18.2-271.1.

If you were convicted of a DUI in another state, and would like a restricted license you may ask the court in the jurisdiction in which you reside. § 18.2-271.1(D).

Permissible Uses

  1. Travel to and from primary job
  2. Travel to and from secondary job
  3. Travel to and from VASAP
  4. Travel during work hours only as required by employer
  5. Travel to and from school
  6. Medically necessary travel for yourself, elderly parent, or other person living in home with a serious medical problem
  7. Ignition Interlock on any motor vehicle that you operate, if required
  8. Travel to and from the facility that installed or monitors the ignition interlock in the vehicle(s), if ignition interlock is ordered.
  9. Necessary travel to transport a minor child(ren), who is/are under your care, to and from his/her/their school, day care, and/or medical providers
  10. Necessary travel for Court Ordered visitation with child(ren)
  11. Travel to and from appointments with probation officer
  12. Travel to and from programs required by court or as a condition of probation
  13. Travel to and from a place of religious worship
  14. Travel to and from appointments approved by the Division of Child Support Enforcement of the Department of Social Services as a requirement of participation in an administrative or court- ordered intensive case monitoring program for child support
  15. Travel to and from jail to serve a jail sentence that is to be served on weekends or on nonconsecutive day. § 18.2-271.1(D).

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