On July 1, 2019, one of the many new laws that went into effect concerns the reinstatement of drivers licenses for drivers owing court debt.
Prior to July 1, 2019, for individuals with past due and unpaid court fines or costs, the individual could have been subject to suspension of their drivers license until the outstanding court fine or cost was paid. According to the WSLS news article shown below, prior to the July 1 change in Virginia law, over 600,000 Virginians had their drivers licenses suspended due to unpaid court fines and costs. https://www.13newsnow.com/article/news/local/virginia/virginia-lawmakers-vote-to-end-drivers-license-suspensions-for-unpaid-court-fees/291-30d3c5bb-d0e5-4b86-ac6a-bbc9c2216764
Under the new rule effective July 1, those whose drivers licenses had been suspended due to unpaid court fines and costs will be reinstated without the requirement that a reinstatement fee be paid. The new law also outlaws future drivers licenses suspensions for a person’s failure to pay his or her court fines or costs.
While the new law removes the concern a person may have about having his or her drivers license suspended due to having unpaid court fines or costs, the new law does not mean a person is no longer liable for or obligated to the pay the underlying court cost or fine. According to the Code of Virginia, each court to whom a person owes an unpaid court fine or cost can attempt to collect to recover. If you are struggling with debt, including court fines, contact Giles & Lambert for a bankruptcy consultation to discuss whether bankruptcy can provide the debt relief you need.