Written by attorney Luke Joseph Nichols

Virginia DMV Driver’s License Suspension

In Virginia a driver can lose their license three ways: 1) an administrative suspension where their license is taken pending a DUI trial. 2) A court ordered suspension, where a judge takes the license. And 3) a DMV suspension where the DMV takes the license for excessive demerit points. The DMV has complete control over the driver’s license point system and there is nothing that the judges can do about it. The DMV demerit point system is very complicated and there are several steps the DMV will take before suspending a driver’s license.

For minor drivers any demerit point conviction means the driver must attend a driver improvement class. Failure to do so within 90 days results in a license suspension until the program is completed. A second point conviction results in a 90 day license suspension. A third will result in a suspension for one year or until the offender reaches age 18, whichever is longer.

For adults, the accumulation of 8 demerit points in 12 months or 12 points in 24 months results in an advisory letter from the DMV. The accumulation of 12 demerit points within 12 months or 18 points in 24 months results in a mandatory driver improvement class. That program must be completed within 90 days.

The accumulation of 18 points in 12 months or 24 points in 24 months results in a mandatory 90 day license suspension. Once that period has expired the offender must complete a driver improvement class before their license can be restored. After restoration, they will be on probation for 6 months.

If the driver is convicted a traffic offense while on DMV probation their license will be suspended. It will be suspended for 45 days for a 3 point violation, 60 days for a 4 point violation and 90 days for a 6 point violation. Once that individual finishes the suspension period, they will be placed on probation for an additional 6 months.

A driver should ALWAYS get a copy of his driving record before trial so that they can determine whether or not they are in danger of a DMV suspension. Reckless driving and DUI result in 6 demerit points each and stay on the DMV record for 11 years.

Additional resources provided by the author

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