While some motorists regard driving as a basic right, the fact is that operating a motor vehicle is a privilege that must be earned and maintained by demonstrating safe and lawful driving. Under certain circumstances, an individual's West Virginia driver's license may be suspended or revoked for a specific length of time, depending on the person's driving record or history, and the particular violation(s).
REASONS FOR DRIVER'S LICENSE SUSPENSIONS
There are a variety of reasons why your West Virginia driver's license might be suspended. Some of these are related to specific driving violations, while others may be due to violation of other State laws. Following are some of the most common reasons for a West Virginia driver's license to be suspended or revoked.
- Excessive Moving Violations. The state of West Virginia operates on a point system in which drivers accumulate points on their license for every moving violation they commit. If you accumulate 12 or more points on your current driver record, your license will be suspended for periods ranging from 30 to 90 days.
- Driving Under the Influence. If you are found guilty of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, your West Virginia license will be suspended and you may be sent to jail. The length of the suspension and/or jail term depends on the severity of the violation and whether it is a first or repeat offense.
- Driving with a Suspended License or no License. Driving with a suspended license is a serious offense. If your license has been suspended for non DUI reasons you will incur an immediate 90 day suspension. If your license was suspended for a DUI offense you will be sent to jail for a period of 30 days to 6 months.
- Driving without Insurance. All motor vehicles driven in West Virginia must be properly insured. Failure to provide proof of valid auto insurance can result in your license being suspended for 30 days for a first offense and for 90 days for a second offense.
- Providing False Information. Providing false information when applying for a West Virginia driving license, using someone else's driving license or allowing another person to use your driving license will result in a 90 day license suspension.
- Other Driving-Related Violations. Your West Virginia driver's license may also be suspended if you engage in reckless driving, are found to be at fault in a fatal accident, or if you leave the scene of an accident in which you were involved without authorization.
- Non-Driving Reasons for License Suspension. A variety of non-driving violations or issues can result in your license being suspended. These include failing to pay traffic tickets, fines or surcharges.
WHAT TO DO IF YOUR WEST VIRGINIA DRIVER'S LICENSE IS SUSPENDED
Having your West Virginia driver's license suspended is a serious matter and it is essential to adhere to State law in the event that your license is suspended. If you believe your license may be suspended due to one of the reasons listed above it is advisable to speak with a traffic ticket lawyer
or a DUI-DWI lawyer
While your license is suspended, you are not permitted to drive. If you are found driving with a suspended license, you face an immediate 90 day jail term
Do not drive until you have completed the necessary steps and received a valid, replacement license from the West Virginia DMV.
APPEALING A SUSPENSION
If you receive a suspension notice from the DMV, and you wish to challenge the suspension, you may request a hearing in court. Drivers whose license may be suspended due to accumulating excessive points
may be eligible to enroll in a Defensive Driving Course
. Completing a Defensive Driving Course removes three points from the current driving record and, in some cases, can enable an individual to avoid having his license suspended.
It is also a good idea to seek the advice of a traffic ticket lawyer
or a DUI-DWI lawyer
, based on the reason for the suspension.
RESTORING YOUR LICENSE
Persons completing their suspension period without committing further violations may apply for license restoration. The reinstatement fee of $5 may be mailed or delivered in person to:
Building 3, Room 124
Charleston, WV 25317.
Division of Motor Vehicle regional offices do not process reinstatement transactions.