In the previous post, I went over some confusion regarding an excused absence from a VASAP class, which was resolved after speaking to my case manager over the phone. Another confusion issue I encountered had to do with getting my restricted driver’s license reinstated with the DMV. I received contradictory information from VASAP and from the DMV. The good news? This was also resolved after speaking to my case manager.
The issue in this case involved the timing in obtaining my hard-copy restricted license from the DMV. When convicted of a DUI in the Commonwealth of Virginia, one hands over their driver’s license to the court at the time of the conviction and it is now listed as “suspended.” At this time, one cannot legally drive. Fortunately, most first-time offenders are eligible for a restricted driver’s license after completing a few steps: pay all fines and costs, enroll in VASAP, have an interlock device installed on one’s vehicle and fill out a restricted license form (green sheet) with VASAP and have it signed by a judge, and then signed and sealed by a VASAP representative.
From here, one can drive for up to 60 days without a hard-copy restricted driver’s license. The green sheet acts as one’s driver’s license, and if possible, it is best to carry another form of photo ID, such as a passport.
In the meantime, the offender has to take a few more steps with the DMV before this 60 day period ends to continue driving. The paperwork from VASAP specifically states that one should have these steps completed sometime after 30 days of the conviction, but before 60 days from the conviction.
Unfortunately, here lies another area of confusion between two state agencies that should be working more closely to ensure that people who want to move on with their lives can follow the rules.
23 days from my conviction date, I received a form letter from my VASAP case manager stating that a “recent license check revealed that your license is either in revoked, suspended, ineligible, or not licensed status.” The letter went on to state that the six months of my interlock requirement would not be credited until I met all DMV licensing requirements. Being almost a full month into my interlock period (which costs $101 per month), I was taken aback by this letter, as I was specifically told in my VASAP paperwork to not go to the DMV any earlier than 30 days from my conviction. Would I have to have this thing installed in my vehicle another month?
I pulled up my DMV compliance summary, which still stated that I had two requirements to meet before I could be issued my hard-copy driver’s license: pay the $220 reinstatement fee and complete VASAP classes.
So I have one agency (VASAP) telling me that I need to get my hard-copy license now or else my interlock period is extended, while at the same time telling me not to go to the DMV before 30 days; and another agency (DMV) telling me that I need to finish my VASAP classes first. So what’s the answer here?
Again, a call to my VASAP case manager cleared this confusion up.
One does not need to complete VASAP classes before being eligible to receive their hard-copy license. They only be enrolled and in good standing. VASAP notifies the DMV regarding one’s compliance with the interlock installation and class enrollment. If VASAP has sent you this letter, it means they have completed their side of things and you are now eligible to receive your hard-copy license as long as you have filed your FR-44, paid the reinstatement fee and can provide residency documentation, such as a passport or birth certificate.
It also does not mean that one’s interlock period will be extended. If one gets into compliance by the 60 day mark, their interlock requirement is retroactive to the date they received their signed and sealed green sheet. If they do not get into compliance by the 60 day mark, their license is revoked and their auto insurance will be cancelled. At that point, they will need to apply for a new auto insurance policy, a new license restriction with VASAP and a new restricted hard-copy license (including driving tests). The interlock requirement is then reset to the new issue date of the new license.
From a look at one’s DMV compliance summary, they are eligible for the hard-copy license if the following items are met:
- Pay the $220 license reinstatement fee (can be done online in advance of the DMV visit)
- Enroll in VASAP and remain in good standing (i.e. show up to class and don’t have any interlock violations)
- Install and maintain interlock installation
- Have the green sheet signed by a judge and signed and sealed by VASAP
- File and maintain an FR-44 through one’s insurance company
Yes, it is frustrating having to deal with contradictory information that in theory, should be easy to reconcile between these two agencies. But again, whenever there is any confusion or doubt, call your VASAP case manager. Be patient, and politely ask questions and explain the situation. It is their job to help you with these issues.