Virginia DMV & Court-Ordered
Suspensions and Revocations
On this page, our Northern Virginia traffic lawyer and Fairfax criminal defense attorney discusses and explains various ways a driver in the Commonwealth can forfeit his or her driving privileges due to conviction and a resulting license suspension or revocation.
To learn more about one or more of the common license-related offenses in Virginia, please see one or more of the following pages:
Driving without a License in Virginia;
Driving While License is Suspended or Revoked; and,
Driving After License Forfeiture (due to a DWI).
If you have a pending case in Fairfax County, visit our Fairfax County Traffic Court page for directions, parking information, and general information.
Fairfax Traffic Lawyer Explains:
When Will DMV or the Court Suspend or Revoke My License?
Suspended License (Restoration)
Revoked License (Reinstatement)
Crimes Leading to Suspension or Revocation
Always Lead to a License Suspension/Revocation
May Lead to a License Suspension/Revocation
Suspensions Unrelated to Conviction
Suspension for Medical Conditions
Insurance Related Suspension
Failure to Make Child Support Payments License Suspension
Administrative License Suspension
Driving Classes and DMV Points
Driver Improvement Clinic Requirements (by Age)
The Vincenzes Law Firm’s criminal and traffic defense pages cover some of the most common traffic-related criminal offenses, including:
This page does not cover a single particular offense, but is intended to provide information related to suspended and revoked license issues, generally.
Perhaps you or a loved one is faced with a pending charge, unsure whether or not the consequences could include a potential loss of driving privileges. Or, perhaps you or a loved one already lost such driving privileges. Maybe you are here to find out find out whether or not some action may be taken by you or an attorney in order to restore driving privileges.
You will hopefully find the answers to your question(s) on this page: if you still have unanswered questions after reading and browsing our website, please send us a message and our Fairfax criminal lawyer will be in touch as soon as possible.
We understand how important it is to find answers to license-related legal questions quickly: losing the ability to drive can be extremely inconvenient.
It can lead to:
- burdens placed upon family, friends, and loved ones
- reliance on public transportation
- job-related disturbances
For serious offenses, a restricted license may not always be available. But when it is feasible, we may ask questions in order to apply for a restricted license on behalf of a client. A restricted license is better than having no license at all. When applying for a restricted license, your attorney may ask you the following questions:
- do you have children, and if so, do they rely on you for transportation?
- where do you work, and what is your schedule?
- if you attend a worship service, where is it, and when?
- where do you go to school?
- where is your doctor’s office located?
Strict time limitations do apply in most cases…meaning, if the police make a routine traffic stop and find a driver in violation of the time restrictions pursuant to the restricted license’s terms, then that driver’s license could be revoked, and driving privileges temporarily forfeited for an even longer period of time.
Due to the aforementioned burdens, and the fact that a restricted license may not always be an option, we suggest anyone who is faced with any criminal offense in Northern Virginia talk to our local Fairfax criminal lawyer. Our Virginia defense and traffic lawyer serves much of Northern Virginia.
Fairfax Criminal Lawyer: Getting Back Your Virginia Driver’s License
With regard to “license suspension,” The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles sometimes uses the phrase, “withdrawn temporarily.” How does one go about restoring his or her driving privileges in full? It may require one or more of the following actions:
- Wait for the suspension period to end
- Pay any required fee(s)
- Show proof of U.S. citizenship (or, documentation showing legal status)
- Pass specific tests
A revoked license is no license at all. It is considered to be no longer valid. It is possible to drive again, but first, any court ordered revocation period must pass. Then, the individual will have to take certain measures, including:
- Apply for a license
- Show proof of citizenship or legal presence in the country
- Pass the two-part road, skill, and vision test
- Pay required fee(s)
This is a particularly important part of the Vincenzes Law Firm’s online Virginia Traffic Defense section. Many people are unaware of the driving-related consequences following specific convictions.
Consider these two categories of Virginia criminal offenses:
- convictions that will always lead to a suspended or revoked license in Virginia.
- convictions that could potentially lead to a revoked or suspended license in Virginia.
Virginia DUI and Related Offenses
Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is one offense that could potentially lead to other criminal charges, because the terms one must abide by, if convicted, may be difficult for some people to follow. A DWI in Virginia is a complex criminal offense in many respects.
In addition to a Virginia DWI (which will lead to a license suspension or revocation), these related offenses will also lead to a suspended or revoked license and are as follows:
- Driving with a Suspended or Revoked License Following the DWI Conviction (leads to a longer suspension or revocation period and is a separate criminal offense)
- Causing an Injury (related to the DWI offense)
- Driving without an Ignition Interlock Device (required following a DWI)
- Involuntary Manslaughter (killing someone unintentionally while driving under the influence)
Note: if charged with driving under the influence, you could go to jail. If charged in Northern Virginia or Fairfax County, our Virginia Criminal Law Firm strongly suggests you speak with one of the numerous Fairfax DUI lawyers. Or, you may wish to send our Fairfax DUI attorney a message online and indicate a time and date convenient for you. If you are not sure whether or not you intend to hire a Fairfax DUI Attorney, then we suggest you visit our very extensive Virginia DUI Laws and consequences section. Even if you do not hire our Fairfax DUI lawyer, he is willing to explain to you the strengths, weaknesses, and possible defenses applicable to your facts and circumstances.
Virginia Traffic and Criminal Offenses
not Necessarily Related to DUI-DWI…
…But Still Lead to License Suspension or Revocation
Some offenses may or may not involve driving under the influence, but will still lead to a license suspension or revocation, if convicted. Many of these offenses involve the use of a motor vehicle:
- Lying (or making a false written statement) to the VA DMV
- Drug Offenses (even first-time marijuana possession)
- Any Felony (if it involves the use of a vehicle)
- Eluding Police
- Failing to Stop at the Scene of an Accident (when a person has been injured or killed)
- Renewing Another Person’s License
- Taking a Drivers License Exam for Another Person
- If under 18: a Second Criminal or Traffic Offense (if it results in points)
- If under 18: a Second Seat-belt Infraction or Child Safety Restraint offense
Note: The final two items on the list above are applicable to drivers under the age of 18. For a second conviction, the driver’s license will be suspended. For a third, the license will be revoked.
There are also offenses which could potentially — not always — result in a suspended or revoked license.
The offenses below could result in a suspended or revoked license, if convicted. Some offenses listed below do involve driving under the influence, but it is important to note the information we have included in parenthesis.
- Stealing Gas
- Breath Test Refusal (if charged/arrested for DWI)
- Blood Test Refusal (if charged/arrested for DWI)
- Reckless Driving
- Aggressive Driving
- Driving without a License
- Driving on a Suspended or Revoked License
If under 18 does not complete the driver improvement clinic within 90 days:
- Any Traffic Infraction Resulting in Points
- Seat-belt Violations
- Child Restrain Violations
Failure to Pay Traffic or Criminal Fee After Conviction
The court can suspend a person’s license for failure to pay a court-ordered fine within 30 days following a traffic or criminal conviction.
If financial issues prevent an individual from making the payment, then the court may offer an installment plan. Instead of waiting for the 30 days to pass before calling the court, make contact before the time period expires. See our extensive Fairfax County Traffic Court page for phone numbers.
If you are not sure whether a prior or pending charge could result in a suspended or revoked license, you should ask our Fairfax traffic lawyer.
If the Virginia DMV is notified or comes to learn that a licensed driver suffers from a mental or physical ailment, then it may review the individual’s driving abilities. Four different skills related to driving a vehicle in a safe manner are cited by the DMV as main concerns:
- Motor skills
When the DMV does choose to conduct a medical review, it may suspend or restrict an individual’s license to drive. The DMV may also require, as a condition of maintaining a driver’s license, submission to certain exams (e.g., medical and vision exams).
Refer to the DMV publication, Medical Fitness for Safe Driving (MED 80), for more detailed information on the Medical Review Program
Sometimes, the DMV suspends a person’s license if he or she:
- Fails to provide insurance information (to prove liability coverage)
- Insurance coverage lapses and license plates are not returned to the DMV
When a person in Virginia registers a vehicle, they are required to sign a statement (on the registration application itself) that they have insurance. If not, they must pay a $500 “uninsured motor vehicle” fee.
Various entities in Virginia communicate with the DMV. The Division of Child Enforcement is one such entity; it will notify the DMV if a person in the Commonwealth does not:
- Make child support payments on time (either late 90 days, or in arrears $5,000)
- Appear in Court (Failing to comply with subpoena, warrant, or summons related to a support or paternity hearing)
An administrative license suspension is an automatic license suspension following a “driving under the influence” or Virginia DWI charge.
- For a first offense, this suspension period is seven days
- For a second offense, the administrative suspension is amplified up to 60 days or until trial (whichever is first)
- For a third offense, the administrative suspension will last until trial
But note: the administrative license suspension is not ordered by the court. It is merely a way to keep drivers off the road for a period of time before their court date. In other words, the court may suspend a driver’s license after the administrative suspension period.
Some violations result in the assessment of “DMV Demerit Points.” Depending on the offense, the violation could result in up to six points per offense. If a person’s driving record accumulates enough points, consequences follow. View the DMV Moving Violations Points Assessment publication to check how many points each listed traffic or criminal offense leads to, if convicted.
Drivers Under 18 Years of Age
Some traffic violations will require completion of a driver improvement clinic program. If you are under 18 years of age, then any traffic violation that is a “demerit point” infraction or offense will result in mandatory participation. If you are ticketed for failing to wear a seat-belt, then you will also be required to complete the improvement clinic.
Drivers 18 or 19 Years of Age
Young drivers are subject to different rules if they violate driving laws in Virginia (in some cases). The DMV requires any person who is 18 or 19 to complete a mandatory driving clinic if convicted of a criminal or traffic offense (or seat belt or child restraint offense).
Drivers Over 18 Years of Age
Possible License Suspension for Failure to Complete Driving Clinic within 90 Days
If a certain number of demerit points are assessed to a driver’s record within a certain time frame, then regardless of age, the person’s license will be suspended if a driving clinic is not completed within 90 days.
- Within 12 Months: 12 demerit points
- Within 24 Months: 18 demerit points
Automatic License Suspension for Demerit Points in Time Period
- Within 12 Months: 18 demerit points
- Within 24 Months: 24 demerit points
If a driver of any age receives the specified number of demerit points in the given time period, then not only will the driver’s license be suspended for 90 days, but moreover, he or she will be required to complete a driving clinic.
For more, see the DMV online .pdf “brochure,” entitled, “A Different Kind of Crash Course.“
From our Fairfax Traffic Lawyer &
Virginia Criminal Defense Attorney
If you have an upcoming court date for a traffic related offense, you may wish to take a look at our Fairfax County Traffic Court tips page.
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Our free newsletter is an email newsletter we send out once every two weeks (or less).
The Code of Virginia
[i] § 46.2-300. Driving without license prohibited; penalties. –
[ii] § 46.2-325. Examination of applicants; waiver of Department’s examination under certain circumstances; behind-the-wheel and knowledge examinations.
[iii] § 46.2-303. Licenses not required for operating road roller or farm tractor.
[iv] §§ 46.2-663 through 46.2-674
[v] §§ 46.2-303 through 46.2-308
[vi] § 46.2-301. Driving while license, permit, or privilege to drive suspended or revoked.
[vii] § 18.2-51.4. Maiming, etc., of another resulting from driving while intoxicated.
[viii] § 18.2-272. Driving after forfeiture of license.
[ix] § 18.2-268.3. Refusal of tests; penalties; procedures.
[x] § 46.2-301.1. Administrative impoundment of motor vehicle for certain driving while license suspended or revoked offenses; judicial impoundment upon conviction; penalty for permitting violation with one’s vehicle.
[xi] § 46.2-349. Unlawful to permit violations of chapter.
[xii] § 46.2-335. Learner’s permits; fees; certification required.
[xiii] (§ 22.1-254 et seq
[xiv] § 46.2-324.1. Requirements for initial licensure of certain applicants.
[xv] § 46.2-302. Driving while restoration of license is contingent on furnishing proof of financial responsibility.
[xvi] (§ 46.2-341.1 et
[xvii] § 46.2-707. (Effective until January 1, 2014) Operating uninsured motor vehicle without payment of fee; verification of insurance; false evidence of insurance.
[xviii] § 46.2-817. Disregarding signal by law-enforcement officer to stop; eluding police; penalties.
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