Virginia 2018-2020 Budget Bill Amendment 33: Driver’s license reinstatement fee [Ends driver’s license suspension for fines and fees for 1 year]

This budget amendment prohibits Virginia courts from suspending driver’s licenses for unpaid fines and fees between July 1, 2019 and June 30, 2020. It also requires the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles to reinstate any licenses suspended for nonpayment prior to the effective date, and waives the driver’s license reinstatement fee that would typically apply.

If the Virginia General Assembly does not choose to make this change permanent, the policy will revert to previous law in 2020 (driver’s license suspensions for unpaid fines and fees).

In April 2019, Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring filed a motion requesting the dismissal of Stinnie v. Holcomb, a lawsuit against the Virginia DMV aiming to end driver’s license suspension for nonpayment of fines and fees. Advocates are concerned that delaying this litigation could lead to the policy being reversed, “[plunging] nearly 1 million Virginians… back into the court debt trap on July 1, 2020.”

You can read the full text of the budget amendment here (Amendment 33, near the bottom of the webpage). Related: Stinnie v. Holcomb

Bill Stanley