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Senate votes to end license suspensions and fees, but challenges remain

RICHMOND, Va. – Legislation to end the practice of suspending driver’s licenses because of unpaid court fines and costs was passed by the Virginia Senate Friday morning.

In a 36-4 vote, the legislation received bipartisan support.

Senate Bill 1013, proposed by Sen. Bill Stanley, (R-Franklin County) would repeal the requirement that the driver's license of a person convicted of any violation of the law who fails or refuses to provide for the immediate payment of fines or costs be suspended.

The bill also requires DMV to return or reinstate any person's driver's license that was suspended prior to July 1, 2019, solely for nonpayment of fines or costs.

The Commonwealth collects approximately $10 million a year from people paying to reinstate their licenses after they have been suspended for unpaid court courts and fees, according to the Associated Press.

The measure will now head to the GOP-controlled House for consideration. Similar legislation died in the House last year.

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