Restricted Driver's License (RDL)-Traffic Cases


A Restricted Driver’s License (RDL) may be requested when:

  1. A defendant has been convicted by a judge and, as part of the sentence; the judge has ordered the defendant’s driving privileges to be suspended

  2. DMV has ordered a suspension as a result of an out-of-state DWI conviction, or

  3. DMV has suspended driving privileges due to unpaid fines and costs.

 

Court or DMV Suspensions for DWI or Reckless Driving:

When a judge has ordered suspension of driving privileges for conviction of reckless driving or first or second offense of driving while intoxicated, the defendant may petition the Court for a restricted driver's license pursuant to the Code of Virginia, §18.2-259.1(c). This may be done at the time of conviction or by motion at a later date. In the case of a second DWI conviction, a mandatory waiting period exists before an RDL may be considered.  A restricted license may not be issued to operate a commercial motor vehicle.

Any motions must be filed with the Traffic Clerk’s Office (Room 106) no later than 8:30 a.m. in order to be heard on that day's 9:30 a.m. docket. Any motion filed after 8:30 a.m. will be heard on the next day court is in session unless specified otherwise.

Prior to issuance of a restricted driver’s license, all fines and costs must be paid in full and the defendant must surrender a valid Virginia driver’s license if licensed in Virginia (out-of-state licenses are not surrendered) and comply with any court-ordered participation in VASAP or other alcohol treatment program (VASAP is not required on convictions of reckless driving).

A copy of the defendant’s driving record and a compliance summary, both obtained from DMV no more than seven days prior to the motion date, must be provided to the judge in the courtroom for any motion filed after the conviction date.

An Application for a Restricted Driver’s License (form DC-263) must be prepared in advance and submitted when the motion is filed for consideration by the presiding judge in the courtroom. This form may be obtained at the Clerk’s Office and is also available online at: http://www.courts.state.va.us/forms/district/traffic.html in a revisable .pdf format that may be completed and printed for filing with the Court. On the Application, the petitioner must provide the Court with the specific purpose for the hours requested on the restricted license (see the Code of Virginia, §18.2-271.1E). Also, the form must include the name and address of any employer, school, daycare or medical provider.

Once an RDL is issued by the Court, the driver must go to DMV between 30 and 60 days from the date of issuance to obtain an official (plastic) DMV-issued RDL. The driver must continue to carry the Court-issued (paper) version because it lists the specific restrictions and will be required during any future traffic stops.

Cases in the City of Fairfax

For cases in the City of Fairfax, the Application and motion for a restricted driver’s license must be filed with the City Clerk’s Office no later than 9:00 a.m. in order to be heard on that day’s 9:30 a.m. Tuesday or Thursday docket at City Hall.

Cases in the Town of Herndon or the Town of Vienna

For cases in the Town of Herndon or the Town of Vienna, the Application and motion should be filed with the Traffic Clerk’s Office, Room 106, in the Fairfax County Courthouse, as noted above. These motions will be heard by the original sentencing judge either at the town court or at the Fairfax County Courthouse.

Amendment to an Existing RDL

A motion to amend the conditions of a restricted driver’s license, including address changes, must be filed with the Traffic Clerk’s Office or the Fairfax City Court as noted above. Such motions may be heard by the sentencing judge or other available judge.

A copy of the defendant’s driving record and a compliance summary, obtained from DMV no more than seven days prior to the motion date, must be provided to the judge in the courtroom.

Also, a new Application for a Restricted License (Form DC-263) must be completed and submitted at the time the motion is filed. This form may be obtained from the Clerk’s Office or online at:  http://www.courts.state.va.us/forms/district/traffic.html 

If the motion to amend is granted, the defendant must surrender the previous RDL at the Clerk’s Office before a new RDL will be issued.

Restricted Driver’s License for Suspensions for Failure to Pay

Anyone who has been suspended for failure to pay court ordered fines and costs, and whose driver’s license would not otherwise be suspended, may apply for a Restricted Driver’s License (RDL) pursuant to the Code of Virginia, §46.2-395(E) for a period of six months. A new application must be filed for any additional six months needed.

The Petition for Authorization for Restricted Driver’s License – Failure to Pay Fines and Costs (Form DC-270) is available in the Clerk’s Office and must be submitted along with the following:

  • an initial $50 payment to be credited toward the unpaid fines and costs;

  • a copy of the defendant’s driving record and a compliance summary, both obtained from DMV within seven days prior to filing the petition; and

  • proof of employment, such as a recent pay stub

The DC-270 form and other required documents should be filed with the Clerk’s Office. The request will be reviewed by a judge, usually within 24 hours. The requesting party will be contacted by telephone only if the request is denied. Otherwise, the signed Authorization for a Restricted License (Form DC-271) can be picked up at the Clerk’s Office after 12:30 p.m. the next business day after filing.

This is only an authorization; it must be taken to a full-service DMV for the actual RDL to be issued. If fines and costs are due to other courts in Virginia, an Authorization must be requested from each court separately.

If the defendant has unpaid fines and costs only with the Fairfax County General District Court, not with any other courts, then he may prefer to request a Restoration Plan with the Clerk’s Office rather than petition for an RDL. Under a Restoration Plan, the driver’s license is not restricted and may be extended longer than six months for payment of fines and costs.


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