Sunday, May 26, 2024

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Why do I have to pay Virginia a “License Reinstatement Fee”?

Why do I have to pay a !@#$%^&* Virginia “License Reinstatement Fee” when I don’t even have a Virginia License?

We’ve had a ton of these questions lately. Usually at least a couple of the caller’s favorite expletives are inserted as they rehearse all the costs they have already paid for a Virginia DWI: court fines & fees, ASAP & treatment fees, FR-44 insurance fees, and possibly even reimbursement of arrest costs to the city or county that arrested them for drunk driving!

To add insult to injury even out-of-state drivers will have to pay a “License Reinstatement Fee.” As the Virginia DMV website explains:

“When a person’s privilege to drive is suspended, revoked, or disqualified, Virginia law (§§ 46.2-411, 18.2-271.1E, 46.2-333.1) requires the payment of a reinstatement fee prior to the reinstatement of driving privileges. This law applies to Virginia residents and non-residents, whether or not the person is actually licensed.”

Available at:

Notice that you will need to pay to reinstate a license you never had or to reinstate a Virginia license you never had. Of course logically you cannot “re” anything you never had . . . but . . . apparently the logic is “good enough for government.”

How much does it cost to reinstate when you have an out-of-state? The maximum that they can charge for any reinstatement fee is $220 so the amount they assign to a DWI is . . . $220!

To learn more about the fees involved in a DWI go here.

Our passion at Tillotson & Martin, L.L.C., is defending citizens against unfair traffic & DUI laws. We write the book for DWI defense for Virginia attorneys and provide seminars for attorneys on how to beat the breath test machine. We train extensively to develop and improve cutting edge defenses. Our attorneys are active National College for DUI Defense members, are certified in NHTSA Field Sobriety Testing, and are trained to interpret breath test and blood test data.

Don’t let a DWI ruin your life. We strive to be the best trained and most prepared Virginia DUI attorneys so that we can aggressively fight for your rights. Call us for a free consultation at (757) 969-5197.



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Mike Tillotson

Mike Tillotson

Mr. Tillotson graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Studies in 1986. He received the Alpha Signa Award for graduating with the highest grade point average in his field of study. In 1990, he received his juris doctor from Marshall-Wythe School of Law at the College of William and Mary. Being involved in professional legal organizations allows attorneys to keep abreast of the latest information in their field. Mr. Tillotson is an active member of the Virginia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the National College for DUI Defense as well as a Lifetime Member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. He has also been recognized by the National College for DUI Defense for his dedication to defending citizens who have been accused of driving while intoxicated. Mr. Tillotson was recognized as one of The American Trial Lawyers Association's Top 100 Trial Lawyers from Virginia.

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