Driving privileges restored to thousands

Published 5:15 pm Friday, July 12, 2019

Starting July 1, courts in Virginia will be prohibited from suspending driving privileges solely for failure to pay court fines and costs.

The General Assembly passed and Governor Northam signed a bill this year to end the practice of suspending driver’s licenses because of unpaid court fines and costs. The budget amendment reinstates, as of Monday, driving privileges for the more than 627,000 Virginians who currently have their licenses suspended.

Drivers who believe their licenses can be reinstated should make sure the state Department of Motor Vehicles knows their correct address so the DMV can contact them and let them know the steps to be taken. Drivers can provide their correct address by calling a local DMV office or visiting dmvNOW.com. Also:

If a driver’s license is current, the holder can resume driving on Monday without any further steps.

If a driver no longer has a physical license, the driver must replace it. If the license has expired, the driver must renew it.

If the driver has surrendered his or her license to the DMV, he or she must complete the full application.

Virginia Legal Aid Society reminds everyone that the new law does not eliminate the requirement to pay court costs, fines and fees. It only eliminates suspending a driver’s license as a potential punishment. For more information visit vlas. org and dmv.virginia.gov/ drivers/#fines_costs.asp.