One of the final steps in facing the consequences for your DUI conviction in the Commonwealth of Virginia is reinstating your restricted driver’s license with the DMV.  This must be done within 60 days of your conviction, but generally cannot be done before 30 days from that date.  The 30 days allows time for the DMV to receive all your information from both the court and from VASAP.

During this time, you can drive up to 60 days from the date of your conviction per your restrictions without a hard copy of your driver’s license if you have completed ALL the following:

  1. Paid your fines and court costs (KEEP YOUR RECEIPT)
  2. Enrolled in VASAP – completed intake and continue to attend any required classes without incident
  3. VASAP signed referral to an authorized interlock installation company, interlock device installed in your vehicle, installation certificate signed by VASAP, restricted driver’s license order (green sheet) signed by a judge and VASAP and sealed by VASAP.

Also during this time, if you log in to your DMV account, you will notice that it says you are “not licensed.”  Do not worry about this: it only means that you do not possess a plastic hard copy of your driver’s license.  You are still authorized to drive within your restrictions up to 60 days from your conviction date if you are carrying your green sheet and can provide proof that you are within your restrictions.

From here, the steps to receive your plastic driver’s license in Virginia are as follows:

Ensure that VASAP files your interlock and VASAP enrollment with the DMV

VASAP is supposed to do this automatically as soon as you have your interlock device installed and verified by VASAP and your green sheet has been signed and sealed by VASAP.  However, as they clearly tell you on the paperwork they give you, everything has 30 days to go through.  If not done within 30 days of your conviction, contact your VASAP case manager.

Have your insurance company file an FR-44 with the DMV

Yes, this means you will have to notify your insurance company of your DUI conviction.  They will find out anyway, as they periodically review your driving record when it comes time to renew your policy.  If you are with a reputable insurance company, generally had a good driving record prior to your conviction, and were low-risk in the past, you should not have many issues with your insurance company.

Yes, your rates will go up; how much depends on your prior driving record and claims history.  For reference, I have USAA; I had a spotless driving record prior to my conviction and was considered low risk due to a sparse claims history, living in a safe location, my age and the fact that I drive a safe, non-sports vehicle.  My six-month premium immediately jumped a whole $20 after I requested the four-year FR-44 from USAA.

The advantage of USAA is their online presence.  I did not have to speak to a representative to make this request.  Under my auto-policy page, there is a link for FAQ’s, and in this section, there is a link to request an FR-44.  I was asked to verify that it was for me (I’m the only driver on my policy anyway), my driver’s license number and state, which form I needed (SR-22 or FR-44; for Virginia, it is the FR-44), and the amount of time this needed to be filed.  For a first offense DUI in Virginia, this time is four years from the date of your conviction.

Once I requested this through the USAA website, they made the form available on my profile the next day and filed it with the DMV.

Pay your reinstatement fee

For a DUI first offense, this is a whopping $220.  You can’t get around this.  Just pay it.  You can do it online before you go to the DMV, or you can pay it when you go there for the next step.

Go to the DMV

No, you cannot avoid going to the DMV physical location.  The final requirement is to show proof of residency, restricted driving privileges and legal presence, and then you will receive the hard copy of your license.

Your residency and restricted driving privileges are fulfilled by presenting your restricted driver’s license order (green sheet), if your address is current on this paper.  Your proof of legal presence is fulfilled by presenting a birth certificate, passport or any relevant visa or green card documentation.

Remember, this must all be done within 60 days of your conviction, or your driving privileges are automatically revoked, including restricted privileges.  At that point, you are officially a non-driver, and your insurance policy will be cancelled.  To reinstate any privileges at that point will require both written and driving tests and a new insurance policy.

You do not want to get caught driving with a revoked license and no insurance.

How to know when it is time to go to the DMV

Unfortunately, some people get to the 30-day point and the DMV is still not ready for them.  Others find that their paperwork is in order before 30 days.  To find out for sure, you have two options: call the DMV at 866-368-5463.  Or avoid the long hold times, and obtain your personal compliance summary request from the DMV website.  This summary will tell you exactly what you still need before the DMV can issue your hard copy license.

To obtain your compliance summary, on the DMV website, go to Online Services.  Scroll down to the section titled Compliance Services, and then click on Compliance Summary Request.  You will need to login using your driver’s license or social security number, and your date of birth, followed by your DMV PIN.

Again, for reference, I logged in 19 days after my conviction and found that I still needed my FR-44, VASAP enrollment verification and to pay my reinstatement fee.  Completing the above steps on the USAA website fulfilled the FR-44 requirement, while a quick call to my VASAP case manager got the enrollment verification taken care of.  All that was left for me was to pay the reinstatement fee and go to the DMV.

The process seems daunting, but it is manageable if you keep your paperwork in order and follow all the steps.  Unfortunately, there is no way around any of this if you wish to maintain your restricted privileges and to drive again freely after your suspension/restriction period is over.  It is our hope that this will help you get through the process successfully.

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