In appropriate cases involving Driving While Intoxicated or Reckless Driving, or failure to pay fines/costs for any General District Court charge, 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 at a later date by motion.
Any motions must be filed with the Traffic Clerk's Office (Room 106) no later than 8:30 AM in order to be heard on that day's 9:30 AM docket. Any motion filed after 8:30 AM will be heard on the next day court is in session unless specified otherwise.
Prior to issuance of a restricted driver's license, the defendant must surrender a valid Virginia driver's license or permit. Out-of-state licenses are not surrendered. If fines/costs are still owed, 10% of the remaining balance must be paid before a Restricted Driver's License can be issued. 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 in the courtroom by the presiding judge. This form may be obtained at the Clerk's Office and is also available on the Supreme Court's website here as a PDF. On the Application, the petitioner must provide the Court with the specific purpose for the hours requested on the restricted license. Also, the form must include the name and address of any employer, school, daycare, or medical provider.
Once a Restricted Driver's License 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 Restricted Driver's License. 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 Fairfax City Clerk's Office no later than 9:00 AM in order to be heard on that day's 9:30 AM Tuesday or Thursday docket. See Contacts for more information about the Fairfax City courthouse.
Cases in the Town of Herndon or Vienna
For Criminal cases in the Town of Herndon or the Town of Vienna, the Application and motion should be filed with the Criminal Clerk's Office, Room 204, in the Fairfax County Courthouse. These motions will be heard by the original sentencing judge either at the town court or at the Fairfax Couty Courthouse.
Amendment to an Existing Restricted Driver's License
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 another available judge.
A copy of the defendant's driving record and a compliance summary, obtained from the 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 Restricted License (Form DC-263) must be completed and submitted at the time the motion is filed. This form may be obtained at the Clerk's Office and is also available on the Supreme Court's website here as a PDF.
If the motion to amend is granted, the defendant must surrender the previous Restricted Driver's License at the Clerk's Office before a new one will be issued.
Restricted Driver's License - Failure to Pay Fines/Costs
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 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 Restricted Driver's License 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 they may prefer to request a Payment Plan with the Clerk’s Office rather than petition for an RDL. Under a Payment Plan, the driver’s license may not be restricted and may be extended longer than six months for payment of fines and costs.