Steps If Your Drivers License is Suspended for Failure to Pay Fines
If your license is suspended for failure to pay court fines, what steps can you take to get it back? Can you get permnission to drive to work while the license is suspended? Find out more with this information and brochure. Written by Ashley Hooker, Shepherd Program Fellow, 2006.
Drivers licenses can be suspended for lots of reasons, such as: Failure to have insurance, or Driving Under the Influence. Another reason is for failing to pay fines assessed by a court (maybe for a traffic ticket). This information applies ONLY to situations where a drivers license is suspended for failure to pay court fines.
Steps to Take If Your Suspension Is Still Pending
Check with the state DMV by calling (304) 558-3900 or 1-800-642-9066 to find out the current status of your driver’s license.
Pay your fines. You have 180 days to pay off your fines before your license is suspended. If you are still in the 180 days, you should make every effort to pay your fines. Borrow the money from family or friends if necessary. Once your license is suspended you will have a much harder time getting it reinstated. Getting caught driving on a suspended license will result in further fines.
Steps to Take If Your License Has Been Suspended For Failure to Pay Fines
- Pay all fines in full. When each fine is paid, the court clerk will give you a “Verification of Satisfaction“ form. This must be filed at the DMV before you can get your license reinstated.
- Serve the mandatory suspension period. The suspension period CANNOT be waived, AND does not begin until you have paid all the fines. So pay the fines as soon as possible in order to get the process started and get your license back as soon as you can.
- Go to your local DMV. File your "Verification of Satisfaction" for each paid fine at the local DMV. You will also pay reinstatement fees.
- Retest. You will have to pass your license test again if your license has been suspended or expired for 6 months or more. You will have to take a written test, and pay a fee. The amount of the fee depends on your age and the type of license you receive.
Getting a Waiver to Drive for Employment Purposes
If your license has been suspended for failure to pay fines, you can petition the Circuit Court for a hardship waiver (or just a reduction) of the unpaid fines. Or, you can petition the Circuit Court for a “work permit” to drive for employment purposes only until fines are paid off. WV Code 50-3-2a.
- You must prove that you are unable to pay your fines, are employed full-time or part-time, and operate your vehicle solely for employment purposes.
- The cost to file a court petition is $145. This can be waived if you do not make enough money and qualify for an Affidavit of Indigence.
If you get a ticket and cannot pay it in full at once, you should make every effort to arrange a payment plan. You will have to do this through the magistrate or city court.
Payment plans must be approved within the time period for payment. If you are already past the payment deadline, you won't be able to arrange a payment plan.
Payment Plans can be set up for as long as 180 days (six months). Payments can be set up on a monthly or weekly basis.
Summary of Steps
1. Check with DMV about status of your license.
2. Pay All Fines in Full
3. Serve the Mandatory Suspension Period
4. Consider Petition to Court for “Drive to Work Permit”
5. Take Proof of Payment to DMV, and pay Reinstatement Fees
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