Drive To Work : Restoring Virginia Driving Privileges : Blog

Fines and Costs: Update on The New Law

April 12, 2019

For 10 years, Drive-To-Work has advocated for “de-coupling” suspensions of driver’s licenses for unpaid court fines, which has nothing to do with highway safety and only deprives individuals of work and earning opportunities. This never made sense to me.

So, we were delighted that on April 3, the Virginia General Assembly changed the law. This is major! Over 600,000 drivers who are currently suspended only for fines will have their licenses restored on July 1.

Here is a quick summary of the new law:

  • On July 1, 2019, DMV will reinstate driver’s licenses suspended solely for unpaid court fines.
  • DMV reinstatement fees are waived
  • Suspensions for other reasons (such as child support, drug convictions, DUI) remain in effect
  • For those still suspended, fines and costs suspensions will be removed from their records.

But the reality is, you still owe those fines and costs. The new law does not forgive them. There are consequences to you if you do not pay, such as:

  • Interest accrues at 6% per annum
  • Your wages may be garnished
  • State tax department takes your tax refunds
  • You can be cited for contempt of court proceedings, if intentional
  • It hurts your credit score
  • It may violate terms of any probation

To prevent this, consider a court-approved payment agreement. It’s like buying a car on time. You make a down payment and drive away in the car immediately. Same with a court payment agreement: your license is restored when you start the payments. Since 2017, getting on a payment agreement is simple and the down payment requirement is low, thanks to Drive-To-Work’s support for more accessible payment plans.

After the new law starts July 1, many drivers may need help even more—to remove other, more challenging reasons for license suspension, and to do it as quickly as possible. Drive-To-Work stands ready to assist.

O. Randolph Rollins