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Some of the new motor vehicle laws that took effect July 1 in Virginia

Several bills that could affect motorists passed the 2020 General Assembly and signed by Governor Ralph Northam may be of interest to customers of the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), according to a news release.The bills took effect July 1.

Driver’s License Suspensions for Certain Non-driving Related Offenses - Senate Bill 513/House Bill 909, introduced by Senator Edwards and Delegate Hayes, removes certain provisions allowing a person’s driving privilege to be suspended or revoked. Those provisions include when convicted of or placed on deferred disposition for a non-motor vehicle related drug offense, for non-payment of certain fees owed to a local correctional facility or regional jail, and for shoplifting motor fuel. The bill is not retroactive. As of July 1, 2020, DMV will no longer issue suspensions and/or revocations for these offenses, but any suspensions and/orrevocations already in effect on a person’s record will still need to be satisfied,including payment of the DMV reinstatement fee. For revocations associated with a drug conviction/deferral entered by the court prior to July 1 and still in effect, the person may petition the convicting court for restricting driving privileges.

Also effective July 1, DMV began implementing an administrative change to no longer require that a customer retake the driver’s license road skills test if his or her driving privilege has been revoked solely as a result of a non-motor vehicle-related drug violation.

This change, according to the news release ” is consistent with Governor Northam’s initiative to eliminate the imposition of driver licensing sanctions and requirements for offenses unrelated to the operation of a motor vehicle.”

The news release said the “DMV will continue to require customers whose driving privileges have been revoked for motor vehicle-related reasons to retest in order to obtain a driver’s license.”

Voluntary Disability Indicator on Vehicle Registrations - Introduced by Delegate Cliff Hayes, House Bill 1666 allows those with a communication impairment, such as autism, to voluntarily indicate the disability on their vehicle registrations. The indication on the registration alerts law enforcement officers of the vehicle owner’s communication impairment before approaching a stopped vehicle.

Traumatic Brain Injury Indicator on Driver’s Licenses - Patroned by Senator Creigh Deeds, Senate Bill 289 allows Virginians with a traumatic brain injury to indicate the condition on a driver’s license. An applicant must request the designation and present a form completed by a licensed physician confirming the applicant’s traumatic brain injury.

Gender Designations on Driver’s Licenses - Senate Bill 246, sponsored by Senator Scott Surovell, allows anyone applying for a driver’s license or identification card to indicate one of three options when designating their sexidentity:male (M), female (F), or non-binary (X). Customers with existing driver’s licensesor ID cardscan also change the designation online at and request a replacement driver’s license or identification card. The fee for a replacement is $20.

Team Tommie Special License Plate - House Bill 593, patroned by Delegate Jeffrey Bourne, authorizes the creation of a new revenue sharing license plate honoring Tommie the pit bull. Tommie died in Richmond after suffering severe abuse. Revenue from the new license plate will benefit the Richmond Animal Care and Control Foundation, the agency that cared for Tommie. The license plate is in development now and is expected to be available to purchase in the Spring of 2021.

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