Drivers license suspensions in West Virginia are administered by the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) administers for a variety of different reasons. Motorists with a suspended or revoked driving license must complete the WV drivers license reinstatement process promptly to avoid further legal consequences and financial penalties. When restoring driving privileges within the state, licensees will be required to satisfy specific conditions set both by the DMV and the court system. Note that drivers license reinstatement requirements may vary depending on the type of the committed offense. Continue reading below to learn more about license reinstatement in West Virginia.
Reinstating a West Virginia Suspended License
Since driving with a suspended license in West Virginia is unlawful, motorists must initiate the restoration process in timely manner, unless they want to face additional penalties. The steps to reinstate driving licenses in WV generally differ based on the type and severity of the driving violation. Drivers license suspensions and revocations can be issued for both driving- and non-driving-related misdemeanors, including but not limited to: driving while under the influence, accruing too many negative points on driving records, operating without proper insurance, failure to comply with a traffic ticket requirement or any type of court action and more.
Note: Order a copy of your driving record online to check your license status and obtain specific information pertaining to your suspension or revocation.
How to Reinstate a West Virginia Suspended Drivers License
The process of reinstating driving licenses in WV may require applicants to complete specific steps depending on the type and severity of the violation. Motorists submitting a drivers license reinstatement application will need to provide a copy of their suspension notice (if they have received one) along with their license number to the DMV. To restore a suspended or revoked drivers license, licensees may also be obliged to take the following actions:
- Wait out a mandatory driving license suspension period.
- Pay their West Virginia drivers license restoration fees.
- Meet any court requirements (if applicable).
- Complete a safety and treatment program following a DUI offense (if required).
- Provide proof of vehicle insurance (if applicable).
Prior to initiating the WV drivers license reinstatement procedure, contact the West Virginia DMV to inquire about restoration details specific to your case.
Note: Local West Virginia DMV offices do not process suspension transactions and reinstatement requests.
Fees to Reinstate a West Virginia Drivers License
Motorists reinstating driving licenses in WV must pay the allotted restoration fees to finalize the process. Different traffic offenses may lead to varying drivers license reinstatement prices. In addition to the standard restoration cost, drivers may also need to arrange payment for other fees. For instance, if you have been issued a West Virginia suspended drivers license due to failure to pay child support, you may need to provide your late payment to be able to start the restoration procedure. Though proof of payment may be mailed to the Division of Motor Vehicles, the department also offers an online tool which enables licensees to finish their transaction in a fast and convenient manner, utilizing a credit card. To arrange payment using this service, they will be required to enter their WV driver's license number or Social Security Number (SSN). Prior to reinstating your driving license, contact the DMV to find out the exact amount you need to pay.
Suspension Periods in West Virginia
Before sending a West Virginia driving license restoration inquiry, drivers are often required to wait out a mandatory penalty period. The duration of the drivers license suspension or revocation will also vary based on the severity of the offense, as well as the number of prior traffic misdemeanors. Habitual offenders are generally issued suspended or WV revoked drivers licenses for a longer time frame than first-time offenders. Motorists will incur a suspended driving license in West Virginia in the range of 30 to 90 days provided they accumulate 12 or more demerit points on their driving transcript. In case of 20 or more points amassed, their credential will be suspended until this number is reduced to 11 or less points. Driving while under non-DUI-related drivers license suspension or revocation may cause a 90-day license revocation. Operating a motor vehicle while under suspension due to DUI will lead to a six-month revocation and additional penalties. Minimum WV driving license revocations for DUI traffic offenders will range between 15 days and one year depending on their age and the severity of the committed violation. Note that minimum revocation periods are based on the completion of an Interlock Program, which may be mandatory in certain cases.
West Virginia Point System
WV driving license suspensions will also occur if motorists accumulate a large number of negative points on their driving record. The state DMV has developed a point system which enables the department to monitor and control the driving habits of motorists within and out of state. A varying number of points will be assessed for different traffic offenses depending on their severity. Drivers may be subject to a drivers license suspension in WV from 30 to 90 days if they amass 12 or more negative points on their report. If they accumulate 20 or more penalty points, they will have a suspended driving license until the total point count is reduced to 11 or less. Drivers convicted of several offenses deriving from the same incident will only be assessed the points of the most serious violation.
Review the list below to find out different behind-the-wheel misdemeanors and their corresponding penalty points:
- Eluding a police officer - 8 points.
- Speeding in a school zone - 6 points.
- Careless/Reckless driving - 6 points.
- Driving too fast - 3 points.
- Improper turning - 2 points.
Note: In order to prevent the issuance of a West Virginia suspended driving license due to a point-related offense, the DMV sends warning letters to drivers with six points or more on their report.
Traffic School in West Virginia
Motorists have the option to avoid a WV driving license suspension due to an excess of negative points by completing a defensive driving course. West Virginia drivers who graduate from a traffic school will have three points removed from the total point number. In case of an impending 30-day drivers license suspension due to amassing 12 or 13 points on your record, your penalty will be rescinded only if you present proof of successful course completion and restoration fee prior to the effective date of suspension. Enrolling into a defensive driving course will not affect any point-related driving license suspension which is currently in effect on your record. Licensees are allowed to complete a traffic school only once in a 12-month period. Courses which have not been authorized by the DMV are considered illegitimate.
Types of West Virginia Driver's License Suspensions
West Virginia driving license suspensions and revocations can result from different types of driving or non-driving offenses. While a drivers license suspension is a temporary withdrawal of your privilege to drive, driving license revocations lead to a complete termination of your credential and generally impose stricter restoration requirements. The following are the most common reasons causing a suspended or revoked drivers license in West Virginia:
- Operating while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.
- Accumulation of too many negative points on driving records.
- Failure to provide proof of motor vehicle insurance when required.
- Failure to comply with any type of court requirement.
- Driving while under suspension or revocation.
- Vehicular manslaughter.
Note: To obtain more detailed information about your suspension or revocation, request a copy of your driving record via the internet or access the DMV online services page.
West Virginia DUI Suspensions
Motorists will need to initiate the WV driving license restoration process if they are in violation of the set DUI laws. A revoked drivers license in WV will be issued to both adult licensees and drivers younger than 21 provided they fail or refuse to submit to a chemical testing. In addition to DMV-imposed driving license revocations, drivers will also need to satisfy court-ordered requirements, such as serving a jail sentence and paying large fines. Continue reading below to find out more about DUI offenses in West Virginia and their corresponding penalties.
Drivers Older Than 21
Though most U.S. states issue driving license revocations to adult drivers with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or more, motorists in West Virginia may be penalized with a WV revoked drivers license if their BAC is less than .08. Penalties for DUI-related offenses are generally strict, and they include both administrative and court sanctions. Per the Implied Consent Law, West Virginia driving license revocations for the duration of one year and up to life will be handed down to motorists who refuse to take a Breathalyzer test when required. An additional jail sentence ranging from 24 hours to six months and a fine of up to $500 will also apply for a first-time refusal violation. A revoked driving license in WV of up to 60 months along with a prison sentence and large fines will occur if more serious incidents arise out of driving while under the influence (bodily injury, death or child endangerment among others). Driving license revocation periods can be reduced provided licensees complete an Interlock Program. Note that this program will be mandatory for habitual traffic offenders or drivers with a revoked driving license due to aggravated DUI. When reinstating your driving license in WV following a DUI offense, you must show proof of a completed safety and treatment program among other restoration requirements.
Drivers Younger Than 21
State DUI laws are even stricter for motorists younger than 21 years of age. A West Virginia revoked driving license for a period of 60 days may be issued to first-time offenders provided any measurable amount of alcohol is detected in their system (IID is optional). A second DUI offense will lead to a longer drivers license revocation period, and it will require the installation of an ignition interlock device (IID) on the driver's vehicle. Court-ordered jail sentences and mandatory fines will apply in addition.
Note: Drivers younger than 18 will lose their credential due to DUI for the allotted penalty period or until they reach the age of 18, whichever is longer.
Car Insurance Suspensions
West Virginia driving license suspensions may stem from a no-insurance violation within the state. You will incur a WV suspended drivers license for a specific time frame in case of driving without the mandatory vehicle insurance or failure to provide DMV with valid insurance information. In addition to receiving a drivers license suspension, you will also lose your vehicle registration plate. In general, subsequent violations of state-imposed insurance laws result in longer penalty periods. To prevent the issuance of a suspended driving license in WV for a lapse of insurance, you must purchase and maintain the following minimum amounts of liability coverage:
- $25,000 for property damage.
- $25,000 for death or injury of one person.
- $50,000 for death or injury of two or more people.
Note: A certificate proving you have obtained the mandatory insurance must be carried in your car at all times and shown when required.
Traffic Summons or Failure to Pay
The state DMV issues suspended drivers licenses in West Virginia upon court notification that a traffic citation has not been satisfied in due time. WV drivers license suspensions will also be handed down for failure to appear in court or meet any other court requirements. To reinstate your drivers license in such case, you must prove to DMV that all court conditions and payment requirements have been completed. Information about how to settle a citation may be listed on your ticket. You may also contact the court handling your case and inquire about payment methods available at the moment.
West Virginia Hardship Drivers License
Most U.S. states issue hardship licenses to motorists completing a mandatory driving license suspension period, which allow them to travel to and from certain locations only. In general, motorists with a suspended drivers license may apply for such credential for business, employment or court-ordered purposes. The West Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles does not offer provisional drivers licenses for business purposes at the moment. Drivers will generally need to wait out the allotted WV driving license suspension or revocation period, and satisfy all other requirements to restore their credential, thus staying in accordance with state motor vehicle laws.