If your Virginia license is suspended, you can’t drive until you get it fixed. Here are some tips on how to reinstate your license.
Hello, my name is Andrew Flusche. I’m a Virginia traffic attorney. Today I wanted to talk to you about what to do if your license gets suspended. A lot of people are very confused when they think or know that their license is suspended. It’s hard to know what you need to do from that point.
Honestly, the very first step, if you think your license may be suspended, or you’ve been told by an officer or the court that it is suspended, is to have someone drive you to the DMV and get what’s called a “compliance summary.” Let me back up and explain that you can’t drive. If your license is suspended, and you drive on a suspended license in the Commonwealth of Virginia, you can be charged with a class one misdemeanor for driving on a suspended license, and that could carry jail time and, always, if you’re convicted, it has to incur additional license suspension. So you need to have someone take you to the nearest DMV office and get a compliance summary. You can pull that for yourself, just tell them that you need a compliance summary, and you can also get your driving record while you’re at it. It will cost a small fee, I believe $8. That compliance summary will tell you what you need to do to get unsuspended. So that’s your key document that will tell you exactly what you need to do to get unsuspended. And, hand in hand with that, the driving record will usually tell you why you’re suspended in the first place. If you have any questions about how to read that or what it means, you can definitely consult with a traffic attorney and we can help you determine why you’re suspended and how to get unsuspended.
One of the common reasons people get suspended, and they may not even realize it, is for not paying a traffic ticket on time. In Virginia, when you get a traffic ticket, you’re given a court date on your summons. That’s the day when you can appear in court and contest it or even plead guilty and just pay the fine. You can also pre-pay if you want on the court’s website, or you can send in a check or go to the courthouse and pre-pay it, but that is pleading guilty, and I don’t advise anyone to do without talking with a traffic attorney. The other option is if you just don’t show up to court and you don’t pre-pay it, most of the time what will happen is the judge will convict you in your absence and you’ll be sent a bill.
From the date of your conviction in Virginia, you have 15 days by default to pay that fine and any costs associated with it. If you don’t pay on time, even if you pay on the 16th day, you should be suspended by DMV. Your privilege to drive in Virginia, or your Virginia license, gets suspended if you don’t pay within 15 days of your conviction, unless you make other arrangements with the court of course. So if that happens to you, what you’ll probably see on your compliance summary is that you need to pay that fine and cost to the court; that’s step one. The second step, unfortunately, is that because you were suspended, Virginia DMV is going to require you to pay a reinstatement fee. That fee will be specified on your compliance summary. You can pay that fee a lot of ways; over the , online, or directly at any DMV office. But until you do those two things; if that’s why you’re suspended, due to fines and costs; you’ll still be suspended. So to get unsuspended in that example you just need to pay the money to both parties; to the court and then to DMV; and you’ll be all set.
There are many reasons people may be suspended in Virginia. Most of them are usually about money honestly, or it could be a suspension due to having a prior conviction where the judge actually took your license as punishment, or the DMV took your license as punishment. But in a lot of cases it is about money, and simply paying the right money to the right parties, and the compliance summary can definitely tell you what to do. But again, if you know you’re suspended or you think you might be suspended, you shouldn’t drive. You should definitely find out what the problem is and how to fix it, and if you have any problems or questions about how to do that, please call a traffic attorney. If you’re in the Fredericksburg/Spotsylvania/Stafford area I would love to talk with you.
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