Effective July 1, 2019, Virginia law will change to prohibit courts from suspending someone’s driving privilege solely for failure to pay court fines and costs. This change does not address non-payment of tolls. Also beginning July 1, anyone whose driving privilege has been suspended solely for failure to pay court fines and costs will have his/her driving privilege reinstated. These individuals will not owe a reinstatement fee. The law change only affects a person’s ability to get their driver’s license back. It does not eliminate the requirement to pay the underlying court costs and fines.
What do customers need to do?
Make sure your mailing address is up-to-date by visiting dmvNOW.com. DMV will be contacting individuals who currently live in Virginia and are suspended for failure to pay court fines and costs to advise them of their specific requirements to get their driver’s licenses. The customers will go through the standard application process, including a new photo and vision screening. There may be other requirements, as well, such as proof of permanent legal presence in the United States (i.e. birth certificate, U. S. Passport, legal permanent resident card) and/or testing, depending upon whether there is evidence the individual has ever held a license. If there is evidence someone has held a license, no testing will be required unless required as a result of a driver’s license revocation.
Customers who still have their physical license and it is not expired and who have presented DMV with proof of their permanent legal presence in the United States (i.e. birth certificate, U. S. Passport, legal permanent resident card) will not need to take any action. Their license will be valid as of July 1.
Customers who do not have their physical license and/or the license is expired will have to obtain a replacement driver’s license or renew their license and will pay the usual driver’s license issue fee ($20 for a replacement or $32 for an eight-year renewal, an additional $10 for REAL ID). If the customer has not presented DMV with proof of their permanent legal presence in the United States (i.e. birth certificate, U. S. Passport, legal permanent resident card), proof of legal presence will be required.
Individuals who do not live in Virginia need not take any action if their driving privilege was suspended solely for failure to pay court fines and costs. Their Virginia suspensions for failure to pay court fines and costs will no longer be visible to other states’ driver licensing agencies on/after July 1.
Reinstatement fees previously paid will not be refunded. If individuals’ driving privileges have been suspended or revoked for other reasons, in addition to failure to pay court fines and costs, they will need to meet any other court or DMV requirements to include payment of reinstatement fees to regain their driving privileges.
More information is available at www.dmvNOW.com/fac or by calling (804) 474-2255.