Restricted Driving Privileges

Many people depend on their vehicles for transportation. If your driving privilege has been suspended or revoked, you may be eligible for restricted driving privileges, which allow you to drive to and from certain places.

Restricted driving privileges are granted either by a court or by DMV, depending on the nature of your suspension or revocation.

To request a restriction, you must provide documentation to justify why it is needed, such as a court order or letter from your employer, school, place of religious worship, or healthcare professional. Any letter you present must be on the letterhead of its source.

If you hold a commercial driver’s license and your privilege to drive commercial motor vehicles (CMV) has been disqualified, you are not eligible for restricted privileges to drive CMVs.

Common Restricted Driving Privileges


Court-Granted Restricted Driving Privileges

If your driving privileges were suspended or revoked by a Virginia court, you may petition the court for restricted driving privileges on or after the conviction date.

The following is the list of violations for which a court may grant restricted driving privileges. No court is required to issue restricted driving privileges.

  1. The court may grant you restricted driving privileges at the time of conviction if you were convicted, or found not innocent (if you are a juvenile), of the following violations:
    • Driving Under the Influence (DUI), 1st Offense
    • Reckless Driving
    • Speed and Aggressive Driving
    • Illegal Possession of Alcohol
    • Illegal Consumption of Alcohol
    • Drug Violations
  2. 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, may grant you restricted driving privileges after three years if you were convicted, or found not innocent, of the following violations:
    • 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
  3. The court may grant restricted driving privileges if you were convicted, or found not innocent, of 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.
  4. The court may grant restricted driving privileges if you were convicted, or found not innocent, of 2nd Violation of the Juvenile Licensing Statute (only a Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court may grant restricted privileges for this violation).
    • If DMV suspends a juvenile's driving privilege for a second conviction due to a demerit point or safety belt violation committed while under age 18, the court may grant only the following restrictions:
      • Transportation to/from work
      • Transportation to/from an institution of higher learning
  5. The court may also authorize DMV to issue you a restricted license if your driving privilege has been suspended for driving while suspended or revoked (non DUI-related) only if:
    1. The court ordered a suspension period of up to 90 days, and
    2. Your suspension period continues longer than the period of time ordered by the court, because the court directed DMV not to start the suspension until you comply with all other outstanding requirements

Your restricted license order will explain any and all requirements imposed upon you by the court. You may be required to provide DMV with proof that you have met 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 if:

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

How to Reinstate Your Driving Privileges


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