How to Reinstate Your Suspended Drivers License in Virginia
Motorists will be issued a suspended or revoked drivers license in Virginia, depending on the nature of the committed driving or non-driving offense. Driving license suspensions generally occur for less serious violations, such as failure to provide insurance, pay child support or jail fees among others. A revoked drivers license leads to a complete termination of your driving privileges, as it is issued for more severe misdemeanors.
Holders of a commercial license to drive will face disqualification of their credential, which is the equivalent of a suspended or revoked license. Drivers must complete the VA driving license reinstatement procedure to stay in accordance with motor vehicle laws. Drivers license restoration requirements will vary based on the circumstances of the offense committed. Read the applicable sections below to learn how to initiate the restoration process.
Reinstating a Virginia Suspended License
Drivers must complete the VA drivers license restoration process in due time to resume their driving activities within the state. Requirements to reinstate driving licenses in Virginia are generally set on a case-by-case basis. There are instances whereby drivers reinstating driving licenses may only need to satisfy one requirement, while in other cases various criteria must be met.
Motorists have the option to finalize the procedure without personally visiting a local VA DMV office. If you are required to provide specific documents, such as proof of identity, or take any driving tests, then you must do so in person. For a full list of drivers license reinstatement requirements pertaining to your case, you can request your DMV driver transcript and a compliance summary.
How to Reinstate a Virginia Suspended Drivers License
Both the Department of Motor Vehicles and the court system can issue Virginia driving license suspensions or revocations following specific traffic violations. Drivers license restoration requirements will vary depending on the offense.
If you have a revoked driving license in VA, you will need to satisfy more complex criteria in addition to the general conditions, such as taking any applicable driving exams and paying for a new VA license to drive. To complete the restoration process, drivers are generally required to meet the following requirements based on the type of violation:
- Arrange payment for the set driving license reinstatement fees.
- Provide an SR22 or FR44 form as proof of financial responsibility.
- Present vehicle insurance information.
- Pass any required driving tests.
- Provide proof of identification, residency and or/legal presence within the state.
- Enroll into a driver improvement clinic.
- Arrange payment for any court-imposed fines and costs and provide proof of such action.
- Satisfy any child support orders administered by the Department of Social Services.
Suspension Periods in Virginia
If you have been penalized with a Virginia driving license suspension or revocation, you are generally obliged to complete a mandatory penalty period. The duration of VA drivers license suspension periods will once again depend on the committed misdemeanor. Alcohol-related offenses usually lead to longer suspensions.
Licensees will be issued a seven-day driving license suspension provided they fail or refuse a breath test for the first time. Second-time offenders will incur a suspended drivers license in Virginia for the duration of 60 days or until they go to trial (whichever occurs earlier). A third DUI offense will cause an automatic suspension of your credential until trial.
In case of a DUI conviction, additional penalties will be imposed by the court system. Drivers younger than 21 years of age will face even stricter penalties, such as a one-year driving license suspension in VA provided they have been convicted of DUI.
Motorists who receive 18 negative points within a 12-month time frame or 24 points within 24 months will have their driving privileges suspended for a period of 90 days. Certain suspensions may be of an indefinite nature or until specific conditions are satisfied. You can always order a copy of your driving record via the internet to obtain more details about your suspension.
Virginia Point System
The state Department of Motor Vehicles issues VA suspended drivers licenses to motorists who amass too many negative points on their driving reports. Adult drivers will be handed down a 90-day driving license suspension if they accumulate 18 penalty points within a 12-month period or 24 driving points within 24 months.
To reinstate their driving privileges in Virginia, licensees will be required to complete a driver improvement clinic. In general, traffic offenses are assigned three, four or six driving points. The below list outlines several violations and the corresponding points attached to each:
- Improper passing/driving – 3 points.
- Driving/riding on sidewalk – 3 points.
- Failure to stop and yield right-of-way – 4 points.
- Speeding – 4 points.
- Reckless driving – 6 points.
Note: Demerit points will stay on your driving record for two years beginning the date you committed the offense. Convictions may remain even longer, depending on the severity of the violation committed.
Drivers younger than 18 years of age will receive Virginia suspended drivers licenses if they do not complete a driver improvement clinic within 90 days after being convicted of a demerit point traffic offense. A second conviction will cause a 90-day driving license suspension. A VA revoked driving license for a period of one year or until drivers reach 18 years of age (whichever is longer) will occur in case of a third conviction.
Traffic School in Virginia
Motorists may be able to avoid drivers license suspensions in Virginia by completing a driver improvement clinic within a specific period of time. The DMV generally requires drivers to complete traffic school as part of the driving license reinstatement procedure. Licensees may also take such action to earn safe driving points or vehicle insurance discounts. Safe driving points may be used to offset negative points.
Adult motorists reinstating driving licenses following a point-related offense must enroll into this program to finalize the process. Minors will be required to take such action after first conviction of a negative point violation. Failure to do so will result in an administrative VA drivers license suspension until they complete the clinic and arrange payment for a restoration fee. Note that the chosen clinic must be authorized by the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles.
Types of Virginia Driver’s License Suspensions
Both the court and the DMV are authorized to administer Virginia driving license suspensions or revocations for different driving- or non-driving-related offenses. The following are the most common violations leading to a suspended or VA revoked drivers license:
- Driving while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.
- Operating while under drivers license suspension or revocation.
- Providing false information to the VA DMV.
- Reckless or aggressive driving.
- Vehicular manslaughter due to operating while intoxicated.
- Failure to purchase and maintain proper car insurance.
- Failure to pay court fines and costs.
Virginia DUI Suspensions
The state of Virginia imposes strict driving license suspensions and other related penalties on motorists who commit DUI offenses. A suspended or revoked drivers license in Virginia will be issued to drivers for several alcohol-related offenses, including failing or refusing to take a chemical test, driving while suspended or revoked for a DUI violation, possessing alcoholic beverages (for motorists younger than 21 years of age) and more. Minors will face harsher driving license suspensions, and may be required to comply with stricter DUI regulations.
Drivers Older Than 21
Motorists older than 21 years of age will be issued a VA suspended driving license in case they were caught driving with a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of .08 percent or more. Under the Implied Consent Law, a drivers license suspension in Virginia will also occur in the event of a chemical test refusal. The issued penalties in these instances are as follows:
- First DUI offense: A seven-day driving license suspension.
- Second violation: A Virginia suspended drivers license for 60 days or until licensees go to trial (whichever comes first).
- Third DUI offense and/or breath test refusal: License suspension until trial.
Motorists convicted of DUI will be penalized with large fines and possible imprisonment in addition to a temporary withdrawal or complete termination of their privilege to drive. Habitual traffic offenders generally receive longer drivers license suspension/revocation periods and jail sentences, as well as larger mandatory fines.
To reinstate driving licenses in VA, drivers may be required to complete a Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program (VASAP) and install an ignition interlock device (IID) on their vehicles aside from standard requirements.
Drivers Younger Than 21
Minors will also need to initiate a Virginia drivers license reinstatement procedure provided they have been penalized for illegally consuming, purchasing or possessing alcohol. A one-year suspended driving license will be issued to motorists younger than 21 years of age with a BAC level ranging from .02 to .08 percent.
In addition to a drivers license suspension, the court penalty will include a minimum fine of $500 and at least 50 hours of community service. A mandatory driving license suspension in VA of up to one year will also occur if underage licensees use a fake ID card to obtain alcoholic beverages. Additional penalties may include a mandatory fine, at least 50 hours of community service and a jail sentence of up to 12 months.
Car Insurance Suspensions
The state DMV will issue Virginia driving license suspensions to drivers who fail to adhere to vehicle insurance laws. In addition to a VA drivers license suspension, uninsured car owners will lose their auto registration privileges. To avoid a suspended drivers license, you must either purchase the minimum liability coverage or pay a $500 uninsured motor vehicle (UMV) fee to DMV.
Note that the UMV fee is not a substitute for an insurance policy. It allows you to operate an uninsured vehicle at your own risk instead. When reinstating their driving license due to a no-insurance offense, motorists will be required to provide an SR22 form for three years, as well as arrange payment for a $500 statutory fee and a restoration cost (if applicable).
Traffic Summons or Failure to Pay
Drivers may incur a suspended driving license in VA if they fail to respond to a traffic citation or pay any additional court costs in a timely manner. To prevent a drivers license suspension, motorists may choose to pay before or after their court date. Drivers arranging a pre-court payment must finalize the process one business day before the court date shown on their traffic ticket.
Post-court payments will require motorists to settle their ticket within 30 days following the court date listed on the issued citation. Failure to do so may result in a Virginia drivers license suspension for a specific period of time. Unless you are required to appear in person, payment may be arranged online or via mail. Contact your presiding court to inquire about payment details.
Virginia Hardship Drivers License
Motorists completing a mandatory VA drivers license suspension period may be eligible to apply for a restricted credential, which will allow them to operate their vehicle under specific circumstances. Depending on the type of driving license suspension or revocation, restricted licenses may be issued by the state DMV or the court.
The state Department of Motor Vehicles has the authority to grant restricted driving privileges only if a Virginia suspended drivers license has been issued for a violation of driver improvement clinic requirements.
Applying for a Virginia Hardship License
When requesting a restricted credential prior to completing a drivers license suspension in Virginia, applicants will be required to submit specific documentation to the court or DMV. For instance, if you need a restricted license for employment purposes, you must provide a letter from your current employer.
If you have been penalized with a suspended or revoked driving license due to DUI, you may need to equip your vehicle with an IID as a condition of a restricted license. Since additional requirements may apply, contact a nearby DMV office in VA for further information.
Fees to Reinstate a Virginia Drivers License
Motorists reinstating drivers licenses in Virginia must satisfy all payment requirements to finalize the process. Drivers license restoration fees will also depend on the type and severity of the committed misdemeanor. Prices to reinstate drivers licenses in VA range from $40 to $220, currently. Drivers with a suspended or revoked driving license due to failure to pay child support, court fines and costs and more, will need to arrange payment for a fee set at $145.
A $175 fee will apply in case of failing to complete a driver improvement clinic in due time or driving while suspended or revoked, among other offenses. Moreover, a $220 drivers license reinstatement fee will be levied following a DUI-related offense, vehicular manslaughter, failure to satisfy a financial responsibility requirement and more. Drivers with several driving license suspension or revocation orders on their license to drive will have to pay the highest fee in case of varying restoration prices. Additional fees may apply as well.