How do I get my license back after it has been suspended, revoked, and/or there was a disqualification of my ability to have a license?
This can be a little complicated but in most cases it is not. To get your license back (or your privileges to drive in Virginia) after a DUI/DWI conviction, you have to complete all the VASAP requirements, including the ignition interlock requirement. VASAP will then send information to the court and to the DMV that you successfully completed everything. Then you can apply for reinstatement of your full driving privileges. There is the FR44 requirement that we discussed elsewhere. You get that from your insurance agent and provide proof to the DMV.
Sometimes it is best to just read information from the source. So below is information taken from the DMV website on this topic.
License Reinstatement Requirements
This information is intended to provide you with a general overview of actions taken by courts and/or the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to suspend, revoke, or disqualify your driving privileges. It will also provide you with general information regarding the reinstatement of your driving privileges.
Suspension, Revocation, and/or Disqualification
Actions to suspend, revoke, or disqualify your driving privileges in the Commonwealth may be imposed by a court, the Department of Social Services, or by DMV, depending on the nature of your violations.
If you are applying for a Virginia driver’s license and your driving privilege is currently suspended, revoked, or disqualified in another state, you must first comply with that state’s requirements and reinstate your driving privileges there before you can obtain a Virginia license.
The following information will help you distinguish between suspensions, revocations, and disqualifications, as well as provide some examples of the offenses that may result in each type of sanction.
A suspension is a temporary withdrawal of your privilege to operate a motor vehicle in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Once you comply with the terms of your suspension, including all reinstatement requirements, DMV will reinstate your driver’s license. A suspension may result for many different reasons, including, but not limited to:
- Failing to pay court fines and costs for convictions for motor vehicle related or non-motor vehicle related violations
- Failing to either:
- Properly insure and maintain insurance coverage, as required by law, on a motor vehicle that was issued valid license plates
- Pay the required uninsured motor vehicle fee
- Failing to complete a driver improvement clinic
- Failing to pay child support
- Failure to pay jail fees
- A court order based on a reckless driving conviction
- Providing alcohol to a minor or intoxicated person
- Excessive accumulation of demerit points related to convictions for traffic violations (Driver Improvement (DI) Program)
- The presence of a physical and/or mental condition that impairs your ability to safely operate a motor vehicle
- Failing to satisfy an outstanding judgment related to a motor vehicle crash
A revocation is the complete termination of your privilege to operate a motor vehicle in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Once you comply with the terms of your revocation, as part of your reinstatement requirements, you will be required to take all applicable knowledge and skills tests and pay for a new license. A revocation may result for various reasons, but is typically related to convictions for very serious traffic violations or criminal offenses. Revocation reasons include, but are not limited to:
- Driving while intoxicated
- Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Driving while suspended or revoked for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Voluntary or involuntary manslaughter resulting from driving a motor vehicle
- Taking a driver’s license test for another person, or appearing as another person to renew his or her license
- Providing false information in order to obtain a driver’s license
- Non-motor vehicle related drug violations
- Making a bomb threat
- Felony violations in which a motor vehicle was used
- Failure to stop and disclose your identity at the scene of a crash
- Three demerit-point convictions for violations (including safety belt and child restraint violations) committed while under age 18
A disqualification is the equivalent of a suspension or revocation of your driving privileges, if you hold a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). This action can result in the temporary or complete termination of your privilege to operate commercial motor vehicles, depending on the nature of the traffic violation(s) or criminal offense(s) that led to the disqualification. A disqualification does not affect your regular driving privileges; however, if you are convicted of a violation that does affect regular driving privileges, then your regular driving privileges may also be suspended or revoked. CDL Disqualifications are mandated by both state and federal law and are categorized into four groups:
- Serious Offenses, which include:
- Excessive speeding
- Driving recklessly
- Making improper or erratic lane changes
- Driving a Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) without a CDL
- Major Offenses, which include:
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Leaving the scene of a crash
- Causing a fatality through the negligent operation of a CMV
- Railroad-Highway Grade Crossing Offenses, which include:
- Failing to slow or stop, as required by law, at a railroad crossing
- Failing to obey a traffic control device or enforcement official at a railroad crossing
- Failing to negotiate a crossing because of insufficient undercarriage clearance
- Violations of Out-of-Service Orders, which include:
- Continuing to operate a CMV after it has been place “out-of-service” by an authorized enforcement official and determined to be a danger to public safety
Please note that CDL disqualifications can also be based on traffic violations you receive while operating a privately owned (non-commercial) motor vehicle.
You can find the current federal disqualification regulations in the Code of Federal Regulations beginning at 49 CFR §383.51. The current state statutes may be found in the Code of Virginia beginning at § 46.2-341.18.
Reinstatement requirements can vary depending on your individual circumstances. The following are examples of what may be required to reinstate your driving privileges. In some cases, you may only have one requirement, while in others, you may have several.
- Examples of requirements that may be satisfied without appearing in person at a DMV customer service center:
- Provide proof that court fines and costs have been paid
- Provide DMV with an SR22 or FR44 (Certification of Insurance) from an insurance company licensed to do business in Virginia
- Attend a driver improvement clinic
- Provide DMV with a medical and/or vision report from a physician, nurse practitioner, or physician’s assistant
- Provide proof of enrollment in, and completion of, the Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program (VASAP)
- Complete an intervention interview with VASAP
- Comply with child support orders issued by the Department of Social Services,Division of Child Support Enforcement
- Provide proof that fees owed to the local correctional facility or regional jail have been satisfied
- Provide DMV with requested motor vehicle insurance policy information
- Provide DMV with proof of a judgment satisfied in full, payment agreement, creditor’s consent, or bankruptcy filing
- Pay DMV reinstatement fees that can range from $40.00 to $220.00, depending on the nature of the suspension or revocation
- Pay any applicable licensing fees
- Examples of requirements that must be satisfied by appearing in person at a DMV customer service center:
- Provide proof of identification, residency, and/or legal presence
- Take any applicable knowledge and road skills tests
- Provide a court order allowing restricted driving privileges
You may obtain your specific reinstatement requirements by requesting a personal Driver Transcript and a Compliance Summary. Use these documents to assist in reinstating your driving privileges or while discussing your requirements with a DMV representative.
DISCLAIMER: The compliance summary is not an official transcript of a person’s driving record. It is a courtesy summary designed to assist in complying with the requirements associated with orders of revocation, suspension, disqualification or cancellation as of the date listed at the top of the compliance summary. To provide the court and other entities with detailed information on a person’s driving history, the compliance summary should be accompanied by a driver transcript.
You may also pay certain fees online without the need to visit a customer service center.
Here are some answers to frequently asked questions.
|Frequently Asked Questions|
|1. What fees do I owe DMV?|
|The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) assessed fees based on statutory authority as prescribed by the Code of Virginia. The fees are based on they type of violations and orders of suspension and revocation that are received. A Reinstatement Fee is a fee assessed by the Department of Motor Vehicles, pursuant to the Code of Virginia, for reinstating the privilege to operate and/or register a motor vehicle in Virginia. A Statutory Fee is a fee assessed by the Department of Motor Vehicles, pursuant to the Code of Virginia, for operating or permitting the operating of an uninsured motor vehicle on the highways. A Service Fee is a formerly assessed fee by the Department of Motor Vehicles, pursuant to the Code of Virginia, for the serving of official documents by local law enforcement. An Administrative Fee is a fee assessed by the Department of Motor Vehicles, pursuant to the Code of Virginia, for failure to pay a toll. Upon issuance of an order of suspension for this violation, a reinstatement fee will accompany the administrative fee.|
Beginning July 1, 2011, in addition to the reinstatement fee, Virginia law requires payment of a $5 fee for each additional suspension or revocation order in effect when reinstating driving privileges. The fee is considered a Multiple Order Fee. For more information, please refer to
|2. How do I get my driver’s license reinstated?|
|Your compliance summary provides the specific information necessary to have your Virginia driver and/or registration privileges reinstated. The information includes: * outstanding fees owed to DMV * documentation required * dates of any active suspension and/or revocation period * pending requirements on outstanding suspensions/cancellations * contact information to other entities, such as courts.|
|3. What is the difference between having the privilege to drive and being licensed?|
|Once your privilege to operate and register a motor vehicle in the Commonwealth has been restored, you will need to meet the requirements for obtaining a Virginia driver’s license and/or registration for your motor vehicle. For example, the requirements for licensure may include knowledge and/or skills testing and proof of legal presence.|
|4. Can I pay my reinstatement fees online at www.dmvNOW.com?|
|Yes, payment to DMV may be made by e-check or credit card using the online reinstatement fee transaction. You may pay by credit card, check, money order or cash at any DMV customer service center. Fees paid by check or money order may also be mailed to DMV or paid with a credit card by calling DMV.|
|5. Can I drive when I pay my Reinstatement Fees?|
|Payment of these fees is the first step in having your driving or registration privileges reinstated. There may be additional requirements you must meet in order to fully restore your ability to drive or register a vehicle in Virginia. Be sure to check your compliance summary for more details.|
|6. Will I need to go to DMV if I pay online?|
|During your online transaction you will be provided a Compliance Summary. This document will advise if you will need to visit DMV based on the requirements on your driving record.|
|7. Who should I call if information on the compliance summary is incorrect?|
|Contact us if you have reason to believe that there is incorrect information on your compliance summary.|
|8. Who should I contact if I need a medical and/or vision report?|
|Contact us and a customer contact representative will assist you.|
|9. Who should I contact if I need an application for a driver’s license or ID card?|
|Contact us and a customer contact representative will assist you or click on DMV Forms and Publications|
|10. What is a clearance letter?|
|A clearance letter is written confirmation from Virginia that a customer’s privilege to operate motor vehicles is not suspended or revoked or withheld in the state of Virginia. In addition, a customer may request verification of driver’s status when no reinstatement was needed.|
|11. Why do I need a clearance letter?|
|It represents proof that an individual’s privilege to operate a motor vehicle is not suspended, revoked or canceled. Additionally, many customers use them as receipts for satisfying the requirements for compliance.|
|12. I am or plan to be licensed in another state. Do I need a clearance letter?|
|Some states require a clearance letter for licensure. A clearance letter can be used to verify that the customer’s privilege to operate a motor vehicle in Virginia is in good standing.|
Questions people ask the DMV about the Compliance Summary and the DMV Response:
- Who should I call to find out how much I owe the courts for unpaid fines and costs of courts?
The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) does not know how much money you owe the courts. The telephone numbers of the courts you need to contact are provided on your compliance summary.
- Where do I pay fines and costs that I owe the courts?
Fines and costs of courts should be paid directly to the courts. DMV cannot except payments for the courts. If payment is made by mail, send a stamped-self addressed envelope to the courts and request that the courts send you a paid receipts showing that fines and costs of court have been paid in full or that you have entered into an agreement with the court to make payments.
- What do I do with the paid receipts from the courts?
Take a copy of your paid receipts or agreements to make payments to the courts to a DMVcustomer service center or mail them to DMV.
- Who should I contact to make arrangements for overdue child support payments?
Contact the Department of Social Services,Division of Child Support Enforcement. You may also contact one of the Social Services District Offices.
- Who do I contact to have an ignition interlock system installed on my vehicle(s)?
You should contact your local Virginia Alcohol Action Program(VASAP) office to make arrangements to have the ignition interlock system installed on your vehicle(s).
- Where do I pay fees owed to DMV?
Payment to DMV may be made by check, money order or credit card. Your check or money order, made payable to DMV, may be taken to a DMVcustomer service center or mailed to DMV. You may pay by credit card at a DMV customer service center or bycalling DMV.
- How do I file an SR22?
SR22s (a certificate of insurance) are normally filed electronically on behalf of the person insured by the insurance company. You may contact the insurance company of your choice and they will be able to assist you in filing the SR22.
- Who should I call if information on the compliance summary is incorrect?
Contact usif you have reason to believe that there is incorrect information on your compliance summary.
- Who should I contact to enroll in a Driver Improvement Clinic?
You can view Driver Improvement Clinic locationsonline, or contact us and we will provide you with the telephone number of the nearest Driver Improvement Clinic location in your area.
- Who should I contact to enroll in a VASAP?
Contact usand a customer contact agent will be able to provide you with the telephone number of the Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program (VASAP) nearest you or check online by visiting the (VSAP)site.
- Who should I contact if I need a medical and/or vision report?
Contact usand a customer contact agent will assist you.
- Who should I contact if I need an application for a driver’s license or ID card?
Contact usand a customer service representative will assist you.