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How to Reinstate a Suspended Driver License in Virginia

A Virginia drivers license suspension is a punishment that occurs after you violate certain laws. A suspended drivers license can be issued by courts, the Department of Social Services or the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Driving with a suspended license is illegal and will lead to additional penalties. Reinstating drivers license credentials is necessary before you can begin driving again. You may qualify for a Virginia provisional drivers license that comes with restrictions if you have lost your driving privileges. Learn how to reinstate drivers license credentials to gain back legal driving freedoms in the state.

Types of Drivers License Suspensions in Virginia

Drivers license suspensions in Virginia are categorized differently based on the type of offense that you committed. You will receive either a suspended drivers license, a revoked drivers license or a disqualified drivers license after committing certain violations. Suspended, disqualified and revoked driving licenses are different punishments, but you may hear these terms used interchangeably. First, a suspended Virginia drivers license is a penalty that temporarily withdraws your driving privileges. Second, a drivers license revocation is a punishment for serious traffic violations and criminal offenses. A revoked drivers license means that your driving privileges are completely terminated until you take corrective actions. Third, a drivers license disqualification refers to a punishment you can receive if you have a commercial driver’s license (CDL) and commit certain driving violations. Following drivers license suspensions and revocations, you may reinstate your privileges as long as you meet a variety of requirements.

Reasons for Receiving a Suspended Drivers License in Virginia

Virginia drivers license suspensions, revocations and disqualifications can happen for a number of reasons. A suspended drivers license usually occurs after you fail to pay court fines, jail fees or child support. You can also receive a driving license suspension in Virginia if you fail to complete a required driver improvement course, develop a medical condition that affects your driving or accumulate too many points on your driving record. In general, driver license suspensions happen for administrative reasons. A revocation, on the other hand, almost always follows a serious traffic offense or criminal offense. You may receive a revoked drivers license in Virginia if you drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol (DUI), commit a felony with a motor vehicle, flee the scene of an accident, falsify information at the DMV or commit certain crimes unrelated to driving.

A driver’s license revocation or suspension in Virginia is usually only a penalty if you have a regular license. Unlike driving license suspensions, a disqualification occurs after committing violations with a CDL license. CDL disqualifications are based on different standards. While disqualifications differ from driver license revocations and suspensions, you may place your regular driving privileges in jeopardy by committing certain violations with a CDL. Some driving offenses in Virginia can affect both your CDL privileges and your regular driving privileges. In other words, you can receive a suspended drivers license in addition to a disqualification of your CDL driving privileges.

Virginia Drivers License Reinstatement Requirements

You may be eligible for drivers license restoration in Virginia when you are able to meet certain DMV and court requirements. The requirements for drivers license reinstatement vary based on whether you have a suspension, revocation or disqualification of your driving privileges. Your individual driving license restoration requirements also may differ based on factors about your offense. Reinstating drivers license privileges in Virginia oftentimes requires that you complete at least one of the following actions that applies to your individual situation:

  • Provide the DMV or a local court with proof that you have paid your fines or fees.
  • File a Certificate of Insurance, commonly called SR22 insurance, with the DMV.
  • Undergo alcohol treatment or attend other court-ordered driver improvement classes.
  • Provide proof to the DMV that you have corrected issues that led to your suspension.
  • Pay drivers license reinstatement fees to the DMV.

Reinstating your drivers license in Virginia often requires that you visit the DMV in person. However, some steps for drivers license reinstatement can be completed through the mail or online. For example, you may pay certain fees online or through the mail for more convenience. Reinstating a drivers license often means that you need to take driving tests, knowledge tests and vision tests. If any testing is mandatory, then you will need to visit a DMV office in person. Additionally, reinstating your drivers license in Virginia may require that you present proof of your identity, residency and legal presence in the U.S. If this is the case for your drivers license restoration, then you will need to visit the DMV in person. It is beneficial to check drivers license suspension status information by contacting the DMV if you are unsure of your reinstatement options.

How to Get a Provisional Drivers License in Virginia

If you are ineligible to reinstate your drivers license in Virginia but it is necessary for you to drive, then you may be able to apply for a restricted driver’s license before your suspension or revocation period is over. A restricted drivers license, sometimes called a provisional drivers license, allows you to drive under limited circumstances when driving is absolutely necessary. Note that a provisional driver’s license is not available for certain offenses. You may be eligible for limited driving privileges if a judge granted you permission to apply for a restricted license at the time of your conviction in court. For other offenses, you may apply for a provisional drivers license by petitioning a local court after having a suspended or revoked license. In some cases, the DMV may also give you permission to obtain a restricted license as well.

If you are allowed to have a provisional drivers license in Virginia, then be aware that it cannot be used in the same way as a regular license. Provisional drivers licenses come with many restrictions that you must follow. In general, you will only be allowed to drive with a provisional license if you:

  • Are going to work, school, religious services or medical appointments.
  • Need to attend court-ordered treatment or community service programs.
  • Are caring for a child or relative who needs transportation.
  • Have installed an ignition interlock device, if applicable.

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