It’s surprisingly easy to end up with a suspended license in Virginia.
While the state has recently changed its laws on how you can reinstate your license, the ease with which you can lose it remains the same.
In addition, the penalties for driving on a suspended license in Virginia are extreme, even if you didn’t actually know that your license was suspended in the first place.
For this reason, it’s smart to periodically check your driving record to make sure that your license hasn’t been suspended, especially after going to court for a traffic or criminal offense.
Fortunately, the Virginia DMV makes it relatively easy to do so.
Editor’s Note: For more information on the recent changes to Virginia’s license suspension laws, see “Virginia Code Updates for 2019: An Overview of the New Laws.”
How Can I Check My Driving Record?
It’s surprisingly easy to check whether or not your license is valid in Virginia.
Specifically, you can check on your license online by using the Virginia DMV’s official “DMV Now” website.
However, you need to create an account in order to do so.
In order to make an account, you need to type in your driver’s license number as well as your date of birth.
Your social security number can also work if you don’t have your license on your person.
Generally, the website will then tell you to call their hotline in order to receive a PIN.
Once you input this pin, you can begin using the website to check your driving record, renew your license, or perform any number of other tasks.
If you experience issues using the website, you may also contact the Virginia DMV by phone for a temporary PIN.
This PIN will expire in 24 hours, so make sure to use it in a timely fashion.
Keep in mind that you must be 18 or older to check on your license online.
If you are under 18, and are worried that your license might be suspended, you should contact the DMV directly.
Why does it matter if my license was suspended?
In Virginia, driving on a suspended or revoked license is a serious criminal offense.
If a judge convicts you of driving on a suspended license, you could face penalties such as:
- A fine of up to $2,500 (note that your license will remain suspended until you pay this fine).
- Up to 12 months in jail.
- The re-suspension of your license for the same length of time that the judge or DMV originally suspended it for.
While this is uncommon to receive jail time for a first offense, you should also remember that repeat offenders are likely to spend at least some time in jail.
If a judge or the DMV does end up suspending your license, you should consider applying for restricted driving privileges.
However, keep in mind that you will suffer the same penalties if you violate your restricted driving privileges in any way.
While having your license suspended is a frustrating experience, there are several ways to correct the issue.
In particular, you should take steps to either correct the problem with your license or apply for restricted driving priveledges.
If you have questions about your license, or need guidance for applying for a restricted driving license, you should schedule an appointment with an attorney.