RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam Monday announced that the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is preparing to send letters to Virginians whose driving privileges are suspended for failure to pay court fines and costs to advise them of any specific requirements for obtaining their driver’s licenses. Governor Northam’s budget includes a provision that prohibits courts from suspending driving privileges solely for failure to pay court fines and costs, effective July 1, 2019. Also beginning July 1, any Virginian whose driver’s license has been suspended for that single reason will have his or her driving privileges restored, and the associated reinstatement fee waived.
“Earlier this year, I was proud to sign legislation to ending the counterproductive practice of suspending driving privileges for failure to pay court fines and costs,” said Governor Northam. “I appreciate the hard work taking place at the DMV now to ensure that starting July 1, hundreds of thousands of impacted Virginians will be able to move their lives forward.”
The change only affects a person’s ability to get his or her driver’s license. It does not eliminate the requirement to pay the underlying court costs and fines. Additionally, Virginians whose driving privileges are suspended or revoked for other reasons, in addition to failure to pay court fines and costs, will need to meet any other court or DMV requirements to include payment of reinstatement fees to regain their driving privileges.
“DMV is sending letters to more than half a million Virginians whose lives could be transformed by giving them access to jobs, education, healthcare, and opportunity––once again,” said Secretary of Transportation Shannon Valentine.
“It is long overdue that Virginia end its inequitable practice of suspending driving privileges for failure to pay court fines and costs,” said Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Brian Moran. “This is a significant step in the right direction toward getting Virginians back to work and enabling them to support their families.”
DMV advises its offices will be extremely busy in the summer months. To avoid longer than normal waits, customers are encouraged to use alternative services such as the website, dmvNOW.com, mail, and DMV Selects locations for routine services.
“Virginians who still have their physical unexpired license and have proof of legal presence on file with DMV will be reinstated July 1 and can go about driving without coming to DMV for a new license,” said DMV Commissioner Richard D. Holcomb. “There are other customers whose licenses have expired or need to meet other statutory requirements to get their licenses. The letters those customers will receive will outline all of those requirements. So, the most important thing Virginians can do right now is to visit dmvNOW.com to make sure your mailing address is up-to-date with DMV so you receive this important information.”
For more information, visit www.dmvNOW.com/fac.