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September 25, 2020

Getting Your Driver’s License Back while Owing Court Fines & Fees


On July 1, 2020, HB 4958 went into effect, creating a way to set up a payment plan to get your driver’s license back while paying off court fines and fees! To take advantage of this new law, use this form, which is also available at circuit and magistrate court clerks’ offices: http://courtswv.gov/lower-courts/magistrate-forms/FinancialAffidavitPaymentPlanApplication.pdf

Important notes:

  • You need to know all of your unpaid court fines and fees, and a separate payment plan will need to be filed and set up in each court in which you have unpaid fines or fees.
  • You can check your record at the W.Va. DMV here: https://apps.wv.gov/DMV/SelfService/DrivingRecord
  • When you go to the court to set up a payment plan, make sure you bring proof of income, such as pay stubs, your DHHR SNAP statement, Social Security award letter, etc.
  • There is a $25 fee to set up a payment plan in each court, which can be paid all at one time or in five equal monthly payments.
  • The payment plan will set up: (1) the number of payments, (2) the amount of each payment, (3) the due date for payments, (4) how you can pay, and (5) what happens if you don’t pay.
  • If you don’t make payments on time, you can be charged late fees, have a judgment lien filed against you, and/or the debt can be sent to a debt collector.
  • Once a payment plan is set up, the court clerk will provide you with a verification for the W.Va. DMV.
  • With the verification, the W.Va. DMV will reduce or waive the driver’s license reinstatement fee.

Not everyone will qualify for this new law:

  • Sometimes, additional fees are owed to the W.Va. DMV before your license can be reinstated.
  • Your driving record in other states may impact your eligibility for this program, so if you have tickets in other states, you need to contact those states’ DMVs.
  • The new law does not apply to all offenses.
  • Your license can still be suspended for failure to appear in court.

If you need more help with working through this process, you are welcome to apply for Legal Aid’s assistance!


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