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July 02, 2020

New WV Law Helps with Driver's License Suspension

Is your driver’s license suspended because you couldn’t pay court costs or fines?

Don’t risk driving on a suspended license. Under a new law, you can now get a valid driver’s license while making payments on your court costs and fines.

Effective July 1, 2020, West Virginia law basically eliminates the suspension of a person’s driver’s license for failure to pay court fines and costs. If you have new court costs and fines but can’t afford to pay all at once, you can enter a payment plan to keep your license. Or if your driver’s license has been suspended in the past because you have unpaid court costs and fines, you can now request a payment plan to get your license back!

Requesting a Payment Plan:
•      Call the Magistrate, Municipal, and/or Circuit Clerk’s office in your County Courthouse. You can find Magistrate and Circuit Clerk contact information at courtswv.gov.

•      You will need to fill out an affidavit verifying that you can’t pay the costs all at one time. If you qualify, the Clerks can set up a payment plan for you.

•      There is a $25.00 fee to set up a payment plan. This 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, they can charge you late fees.  Or file a judgement lien against you. Or send the amount you owe to a debt collector. 

•      Once a payment plan is set up, the Clerk will provide you with a verification for the WV DMV.

•      With the verification, the WV DMV will reduce or waive the driver’s license reinstatement fee.

Important things to know:
•      There are some offenses that the new law does not apply to.  Offenses that carry an automatic driver’s license suspension, like DUI, insurance violations, truancy, etc. are not included in the new law.
•      Your time to set up a payment plan may be limited, please call the Clerk as soon as possible.
•      Your license can still be suspended for failure to appear in court.
•      There are also special rules and guidelines on DNR hunting and fishing violations.
•      If you have been unable to get a WV driver’s license because of an out of state license suspension, or because of offenses/citations from another state, this law may apply to you. Please contact us for more information

Forms to create a payment plan should become available on or after July 1, 2020.

Before you go, call the Clerk’s Office in your county to learn more about what you need to do to enter a payment plan.

For more information or to apply for help contact Legal Aid of West Virginia by clicking the APPLY button in the top righthand of this page, or call us at 866-255-4370.