Track Storms in Virginia

Here’s how you can reinstate your suspended driver’s license over unpaid fees

RICHMOND, Va. – If your driver’s license was suspended because of unpaid court fines and costs, you should expect a letter in the mail detailing the process to get your privileges reinstated.

Governor Ralph Northam announced Monday that DMV is preparing to send letters to eligible Virginians with specific instructions to obtain their driver’s license.

In April, the General Assembly approved a budget amendment to reinstate driving privileges for the more than 627,000 Virginians who currently have their licenses suspended. It also prohibits courts from suspending driving privilege for failure to pay court fines and costs, effective July 1, 2019.

The approval was a big win for Northam who has long supported the legislation, calling the practice “inequitable” because a driver’s license is critical for individuals to maintain a job.

“Earlier this year, I was proud to sign legislation to end the counterproductive practice of suspending driving privileges for failure to pay court fines and costs,” said Northam. “I appreciate the hard work taking place at the DMV now to ensure that starting July 1, hundreds of thousands of impacted Virginians will be able to move their lives forward.”

Those impacted Virginians will have their driving privileges restored, and the associated reinstatement fee waived.

“Virginians who still have their physical unexpired license and have proof of legal presence on file with DMV will be reinstated July 1 and can go about driving without coming to DMV for a new license,” said DMV Commissioner Richard D. Holcomb. “There are other customers whose licenses have expired or need to meet other statutory requirements to get their licenses. The letters those customers will receive will outline all of those requirements. So, the most important thing Virginians can do right now is to visit dmvNOW.com to make sure your mailing address is up-to-date with DMV so you receive this important information.”

The Commonwealth collected 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.

Northam says he included funding in his budget to address potential lost revenue from reinstatement fees to the Department of Motor Vehicles and the Trauma Center Fund.

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