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Restricted Driving Privileges

If your driving privilege has been suspended or revoked, you may be eligible for restricted driving privileges in certain instances. Restricted driving privileges are granted either by a court or by DMV, depending on the nature of your suspension or revocation. If you are a CDL holder and your privilege to drive commercial motor vehicles has been disqualified, you are not eligible for restricted privileges to drive commercial motor vehicles.

When petitioning the court or DMV for restricted driving privileges, you must provide documentation to justify why they are needed. For example, a letter from your employer (on company stationery) would be needed if you are requesting restrictions to drive to and from work.

Court-granted Restricted Driving Privileges

If your driving privileges were suspended or revoked by a Virginia court, Virginia law may permit you to petition the court for restricted driving privileges on or after the conviction date. The following is the list of violations for which a court has the authority to grant restricted driving privileges. No court is required to issue restricted driving privileges.

  1. If you were convicted, or found not innocent (if you are a juvenile), of the following violations, the court has the authority to grant you restricted driving privileges at the time of conviction:
    • Driving Under the Influence (DUI), 1st Offense
    • Reckless Driving
    • Aggressive Driving
    • Illegal Possession of Alcohol
    • Illegal Consumption of Alcohol
    • Drug Violations
  2. If you were convicted, or found not innocent, of the following violations, the court in which you were convicted, the circuit court of your residence, or, if you are not a Virginia resident, any Virginia circuit court, has the authority to grant you restricted driving privileges after three years:
    • DUI, 3rd Offense
    • Three DUIs within 10 years
    • Maiming of Another Resulting from Driving While Intoxicated
    • Voluntary or Involuntary Manslaughter Resulting from Driving a Motor Vehicle
    • Voluntary or Involuntary Manslaughter Resulting from Driving a Motor Vehicle While Under the Influence
    • Habitual Offender
  3. The court also has the authority to grant restricted driving privileges if you were convicted, or found not innocent, of the following violations:
    • DUI, 2nd Offense The court of conviction (or any Virginia circuit court if you are not a Virginia resident) may grant restricted driving privileges:
      • After one year, if your second DUI was within five years of your first.
      • After four months, if your second DUI was within 10 years of your first.
    • Second Violation of the Juvenile Licensing Statute (Please note that only a Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court may grant restricted privileges for this violation.)
  4. The court may also authorize DMV to issue you a restricted license if your driving privilege has been suspended for the following reasons:
    • Failure to Pay Court Fines and Costs
      The court that issued the suspension may grant restricted privileges after the suspension is effective.
    • Driving while suspended or revoked (non DUI-related) under Virginia Code §46.2-301 only if:
      • The court ordered a suspension period of up to 90 days, AND
      • Your suspension period continues longer than the period of time ordered by the court because the court directed DMV not to start the suspension time until you comply all other outstanding requirements.

Your restricted license order will advise you of any and all requirements imposed upon you by the court. You may be required to provide DMV with proof that you have satisfied those requirements, in addition to presenting your restricted license order and paying the reinstatement fee, before DMV will issue a restricted driver's license

DMV-granted Restricted Driving Privileges

If your driving privileges were suspended by DMV for a violation of Driver Improvement Probation, DMV may grant restricted driving privileges, at your request, if:

  • This is your first violation of probation, OR
  • This is your second violation and the probationary period during which the violation occurred was immediately preceded by an 18-month control period.

DMV does not have the authority to grant restricted driving privileges for any other suspensions or revocations.

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