Code of Virginia

Code of Virginia
Title 46.2. Motor Vehicles
2/27/2020

Article 3. Persons Not to Be Licensed.

§ 46.2-311. Persons having defective vision; minimum standards of visual acuity and field of vision; tests of vision.

A. The Department shall not issue a driver's license or learner's permit (i) to any person unless he demonstrates a visual acuity of at least 20/40 in one or both eyes with or without corrective lenses or (ii) to any such person unless he demonstrates at least a field of 110 degrees of horizontal vision in one or both eyes or a comparable measurement that demonstrates a visual field within this range. However, a license permitting the driving of motor vehicles during a period beginning one-half hour after sunrise and ending one-half hour before sunset, may be issued to a person who demonstrates a visual acuity of at least 20/70 in one or both eyes without or with corrective lenses provided he demonstrates at least a field of 70 degrees of horizontal vision or a comparable measurement that demonstrates a visual field within this range, and further provided that if such person has vision in one eye only, he demonstrates at least a field of 40 degrees temporal and 30 degrees nasal horizontal vision or a comparable measurement that demonstrates a visual field within this range.

B. The Department shall not issue a driver's license or learner's permit to any person authorizing the driving of a commercial motor vehicle as defined in the Virginia Commercial Driver's License Act (§ 46.2-341.1 et seq.) unless he demonstrates a visual acuity of at least 20/40 in each eye and at least a field of 140 degrees of horizontal vision or a comparable measurement that demonstrates a visual field within this range.

C. Every person applying to renew a driver's license and required to be reexamined as a prerequisite to the renewal of the license, shall:

1. Appear before a license examiner of the Department to demonstrate his visual acuity and horizontal field of vision, or

2. Accompany his application with a report of such examination made within 90 days prior thereto by an ophthalmologist or optometrist.

D. The test of horizontal visual fields made by license examiners of the Department shall be performed at thirty-three and one-third centimeters with a 10 millimeter round white test object or may, at the discretion of the Commissioner, be performed with electronic or other devices designed for the purpose of testing visual acuity and horizontal field of vision. The report of examination of visual acuity and horizontal field of vision made by an ophthalmologist or optometrist shall have precedence over an examination made by a license examiner of the Department in administrative determination as to the issuance of a license to drive. Any such report may, in the discretion of the Commissioner, be referred to a medical advisory board or to the State Health Commissioner for evaluation.

E. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection B of this section, any person who is licensed to drive any motor vehicle may, on special application to the Department, be licensed to drive any vehicle, provided the operation of the vehicle would not unduly endanger the public safety, as determined by the Commissioner.

The Commissioner may waive the vision requirements of subsection B for any commercial driver's license applicant who either (i) is subject to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations but is exempt from the vision standards of 49 C.F.R. Part 391 or (ii) is not required to meet the vision standards specified in 49 C.F.R. § 391.41 of the regulations.

In order to determine whether such a waiver would unduly endanger the public safety, the Commissioner shall require such commercial driver's license applicant to submit a special waiver application and to provide all medical information relating to his vision that may be requested by the Department. The Department may require such commercial driver's license applicant to take a road test administered by the Department before determining whether to grant a waiver. If a waiver is granted, the Department may subject the applicant's use of a commercial motor vehicle to reasonable restrictions, which shall be noted on the commercial driver's license. If a waiver is granted, the Department may also limit the validity period of the commercial driver's license, and the expiration date shall be noted on the commercial driver's license.

1968, c. 642, § 46.1-357.2; 1972, c. 502; 1980, c. 118; 1981, c. 194; 1984, c. 780; 1989, cc. 705, 727; 2010, c. 18; 2013, cc. 165, 582; 2017, cc. 121, 279.

§ 46.2-312. Persons using bioptic telescopic lenses.

A. Persons using bioptic telescopic lenses shall be eligible for driver's licenses if they:

1. Demonstrate a visual acuity of at least 20/200 in one or both eyes and a field of seventy degrees horizontal vision without or with corrective carrier lenses or a comparable measurement that demonstrates a visual field within this range, or if these persons have vision in one eye only, they demonstrate a field of at least forty degrees temporal and thirty degrees nasal horizontal vision or a comparable measurement that demonstrates a visual field within this range;

2. Demonstrate a visual acuity of at least 20/70 in one or both eyes with the bioptic telescopic lenses and without the use of field expanders;

3. Meet all other criteria for licensure;

4. Accompany the license application with a report of examination by an ophthalmologist or optometrist on a form prescribed by the Department for evaluation by the Medical Advisory Board.

B. Persons using bioptic telescopic lenses shall be eligible for learner's permits issued under § 46.2-335 provided they first meet the requirements of subsection A of this section, except for that part of the examination requiring the applicant to drive a motor vehicle.

C. Persons using bioptic telescopic lenses shall be subject to the following restrictions:

1. They shall not be eligible for any of the driver's license endorsements provided for in § 46.2-328;

2. Their driver's licenses shall permit the operation of motor vehicles only during the period beginning one-half hour after sunrise and ending one-half hour before sunset.

D. Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivision C 2 of this section, persons using bioptic telescopic lenses may be licensed to drive motor vehicles between one-half hour before sunset and one-half hour after sunrise if they:

1. Demonstrate a visual acuity of at least 20/40 in one or both eyes with the bioptic telescopic lenses and without the use of field expanders;

2. Have been licensed under subsection C of this section for at least one year; and

3. Pass a skills test taken at night.

1986, c. 115, § 46.1-357.3; 1989, cc. 147, 727; 2010, c. 18.

§ 46.2-313. Persons with suspended or revoked licenses.

The Department shall not issue a driver's license to any person whose license has been suspended, during the period of the suspension; nor to any person whose license has been revoked, or should have been revoked, under the provisions of this title, until the expiration of one year after the license was revoked, unless otherwise permitted by the provisions of this title.

Code 1950, § 46-354; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-358; 1984, c. 780; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-314. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 2017, c. 156, cl. 2, effective February 23, 2017.

§ 46.2-315. Disabled persons.

The Department shall not issue a driver's license to any person when, in the opinion of the Department, the person is suffering from a physical or mental disability or disease which will prevent his exercising reasonable and ordinary control over a motor vehicle while driving it on the highways, nor shall a license be issued to any person who is unable to understand highway warning or direction signs.

The words "disability or disease" shall not mean inability of a person to hear or to speak, or both, when he has good vision and can satisfactorily demonstrate his ability to drive a motor vehicle and has sufficient knowledge of traffic rules and regulations.

Code 1950, § 46-357; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-361; 1984, c. 780; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-316. Persons convicted or found not innocent of certain offenses; requirement of proof of financial responsibility for certain offenses.

A. The Department shall not issue a driver's license or learner's permit to any resident or nonresident person while his license or other privilege to drive is suspended or revoked because of his conviction, or finding of not innocent in the case of a juvenile, or forfeiture of bail upon the following charges of offenses committed in violation of either a law of the Commonwealth or a valid local ordinance or of any federal law or law of any other state or any valid local ordinance of any other state:

1. Voluntary or involuntary manslaughter resulting from the operation of a motor vehicle.

2. Perjury, the making of a false affidavit to the Department under any law requiring the registration of motor vehicles or regulating their operation on the highways, or the making of a false statement in any application for a driver's license.

3. Any crime punishable as a felony under the motor vehicle laws or any felony in the commission of which a motor vehicle is used.

4. Violation of the provisions of § 18.2-51.4, pertaining to maiming while under the influence, § 18.2-266, pertaining to driving while under the influence of intoxicants or drugs, or of § 18.2-272, pertaining to driving while the driver's license has been forfeited for a conviction, or finding of not innocent in the case of a juvenile, under §§ 18.2-51.4, 18.2-266 or § 18.2-272, or for violation of the provisions of any federal law or law of any other state or any valid local ordinance similar to §§ 18.2-51.4, 18.2-266 or § 18.2-272.

5. Failure of a driver of a motor vehicle, involved in an accident resulting in death or injury to another person, to stop and disclose his identity at the scene of the accident.

6. On a charge of operating or permitting the operation, for the second time, of a passenger automobile for the transportation of passengers for rent or for hire, without having first obtained a license for the privilege as provided in § 46.2-694.

B. Except as provided in subsection C, the Department shall not issue a driver's license or learner's permit to any person convicted of a crime mentioned in subsection A of this section for a further period of three years after he otherwise becomes entitled to a license or permit until he proves to the Commissioner his ability to respond in damages as provided in Article 15 (§ 46.2-435 et seq.) of Chapter 3 of this title or any other law of the Commonwealth requiring proof of financial responsibility.

C. In addition to the prohibition on licensure set forth in subsection A, the Department shall not issue or reinstate a driver's license or learner's permit to any person convicted of a violation set forth in subdivision A 4 for a period of three years after he otherwise becomes entitled to a license or permit until he furnishes proof of financial responsibility in the future under a motor vehicle liability insurance policy that satisfies the requirements of § 46.2-472 except that the limits of coverage exclusive of interest and costs, with respect to each motor vehicle insured under the policy, shall be not less than double the minimum limits set forth in subdivision 3 of § 46.2-472 for bodily injury or death of one person in any one accident, for bodily injury to or death of two or more persons in any one accident, and for injury to or destruction of property of others in any one accident.

Code 1950, § 46-358; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-362; 1960, c. 364; 1966, c. 549; 1974, c. 453; 1980, c. 29; 1984, c. 780; 1989, c. 727; 1997, c. 691; 2007, c. 496.

§ 46.2-317. Persons making false statement in application.

The Department shall not issue, for a period of one year, a driver's license or learner's permit when the records of the Department clearly show to the satisfaction of the Commissioner that the person has made a willful material false statement on any application for a driver's license.

Code 1950, § 46-358.1; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-363; 1984, c. 780; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-318. Cancellation or revocation of license where application is false in material particular.

The Commissioner may cancel or revoke any license or permit issued pursuant to this title when it appears that the information set forth in the application for the license or permit is false in any material particular.

1958, c. 541, § 46.1-364; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-319. Refusal or revocation of license for certain fraudulent acts in obtaining a driver's license.

The Department shall not issue any permit or license under this title to any person who has been convicted, or found not innocent in the case of a juvenile, of violating § 46.2-348, when the violation was based on the taking of any examination under §§ 46.2-311, 46.2-322, 46.2-325 or the provisions of the Virginia Commercial Driver's License Act (§ 46.2-341.1 et seq.) for another person, or the appearance for another for renewal of a license under this chapter, for a period of ten years from the date of conviction, or finding of not innocent in the case of a juvenile. If the person has a license or permit issued pursuant to this title, the Commissioner shall revoke the license or permit for a period of ten years from the date of the conviction, or finding of not innocent in the case of a juvenile.

1968, c. 642, § 46.1-365; 1974, c. 453; 1989, cc. 705, 727.

§ 46.2-320. Other grounds for refusal or suspension.

The Department may refuse to grant an application for a driver's license in any of the circumstances set forth in § 46.2-608 as circumstances justifying the refusal of an application for the registration of a motor vehicle. The Department may refuse to issue or reissue a driver's license for the willful failure or refusal to pay any taxes or fees required to be collected or authorized to be collected by the Department.

Code 1950, § 46-359; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-366; 1982, c. 147; 1984, c. 780; 1989, c. 727; 1995, c. 595; 1996, cc. 785, 1013; 1997, cc. 473, 794, 857, 898; 1999, c. 615; 2001, cc. 645, 779; 2010, c. 682; 2011, c. 773; 2012, c. 829.

§ 46.2-320.1. Other grounds for suspension; nonpayment of child support.

A. The Commissioner may enter into an agreement with the Department of Social Services whereby the Department may suspend or refuse to renew the driver's license of any person upon receipt of notice from the Department of Social Services that the person (i) is delinquent in the payment of child support by 90 days or more or in an amount of $5,000 or more or (ii) has failed to comply with a subpoena, summons, or warrant relating to paternity or child support proceedings. A suspension or refusal to renew authorized pursuant to this section shall not be effective until 30 days after service on the delinquent obligor of notice of intent to suspend or refusal to renew. The notice of intent shall be served on the obligor by the Department of Social Services (a) by certified mail, return receipt requested, or by electronic means, sent to the obligor's last known addresses as shown in the records of the Department or the Department of Social Services or (b) pursuant to § 8.01-296, or service may be waived by the obligor in accordance with procedures established by the Department of Social Services. The obligor shall be entitled to a judicial hearing if a request for a hearing is made, in writing, to the Department of Social Services within 30 days from service of the notice of intent. Upon receipt of the request for a hearing, the Department of Social Services shall petition the court that entered or is enforcing the order, requesting a hearing on the proposed suspension or refusal to renew. The court shall authorize the suspension or refusal to renew only if it finds that the obligor's noncompliance with the child support order was willful. Upon a showing by the Department of Social Services that the obligor is delinquent in the payment of child support by 90 days or more or in an amount of $5,000 or more, the burden of proving that the delinquency was not willful shall rest upon the obligor. The Department shall not suspend or refuse to renew the driver's license until a final determination is made by the court.

B. At any time after service of a notice of intent, the person may petition the juvenile and domestic relations district court in the jurisdiction where he resides for the issuance of a restricted license to be used if the suspension or refusal to renew becomes effective. Upon such petition and a finding of good cause, the court may provide that such person be issued a restricted permit to operate a motor vehicle for any of the purposes set forth in subsection E of § 18.2-271.1. A restricted license issued pursuant to this subsection shall not permit any person to operate a commercial motor vehicle as defined in § 46.2-341.4. The court shall order the surrender of the person's license to operate a motor vehicle, to be disposed of in accordance with the provisions of § 46.2-398, and shall forward to the Commissioner a copy of its order entered pursuant to this subsection. The order shall specifically enumerate the restrictions imposed and contain such information regarding the person to whom such a permit is issued as is reasonably necessary to identify him.

C. The Department shall not renew a driver's license or terminate a license suspension imposed pursuant to this section until it has received from the Department of Social Services a certification that the person has (i) paid the delinquency in full; (ii) reached an agreement with the Department of Social Services to satisfy the delinquency within a period not to exceed 10 years, and at least one payment representing at least five percent of the total delinquency or $600, whichever is less, has been made pursuant to the agreement; (iii) complied with a subpoena, summons, or warrant relating to a paternity or child support proceeding; or (iv) completed or is successfully participating in an intensive case monitoring program for child support as ordered by a juvenile and domestic relations district court or as administered by the Department of Social Services. Certification by the Department of Social Services shall be made by electronic or telephonic communication and shall be made on the same work day that payment required by clause (i) or (ii) is made.

D. If a person who has entered into an agreement with the Department of Social Services pursuant to clause (ii) of subsection C fails to comply with the requirements of the agreement, the Department of Social Services shall notify the Department of the person's noncompliance and the Department shall suspend or refuse to renew the driver's license of the person until it has received from the Department of Social Services a certification that the person has paid the delinquency in full or has entered into a subsequent agreement with the Department of Social Services to satisfy the delinquency within a period not to exceed seven years and has made at least one payment of $1,200 or seven percent of the total delinquency, whichever is less, pursuant to the agreement. If the person fails to comply with the terms of a subsequent agreement reached with the Department of Social Services pursuant to this section, without further notice to the person as provided in the subsequent agreement, the Department of Social Services shall notify the Department of the person's noncompliance, and the Department shall suspend or refuse to renew the driver's license of the person. A person who has failed to comply with the terms of a second or subsequent agreement pursuant to this subsection may be granted a new agreement with the Department of Social Services if the person has made at least one payment of $1,800 or 10 percent of the total delinquency, whichever is less, and agrees to a repayment schedule of not more than seven years. Upon receipt of certification from the Department of Social Services of the person's satisfaction of these conditions, the Department shall issue a driver's license to the person or reinstate the person's driver's license. Certification by the Department of Social Services shall be made by electronic or telephonic communication and shall be made on the same work day that payment required by this subsection is made.

2012, c. 829; 2015, c. 506; 2016, c. 29; 2019, cc. 284, 285.

§ 46.2-320.2. Other grounds for suspension; nonpayment of fees owed to local correctional facilities or regional jails.

A. The Commissioner may enter into an agreement with a local correctional facility or regional jail whereby the Department shall suspend or refuse to renew the driver's license of any person upon receipt of notice from the local correctional facility or regional jail that (i) the person is delinquent in payment of fees imposed under § 53.1-131.3, (ii) a judgment for such fees has been issued by a court of competent jurisdiction, and (iii) a court of competent jurisdiction has, for good cause, ordered the suspension or nonrenewal of the driver's license of the person in accordance with the provisions of this section. A suspension or refusal to renew authorized pursuant to this section shall be effective upon notice to the Department by the local correctional facility or regional jail. Notification to the Department by the local correctional facility or regional jail shall be made by electronic communication, which shall include copies of the judgment and court order for suspension or nonrenewal of the person's driver's license and provide the person's most current mailing address.

B. The Department shall not renew a driver's license or terminate a license suspension imposed pursuant to this section until it has received from the local correctional facility or regional jail a notification that the person has (i) paid the delinquency in full or (ii) reached an agreement with the local correctional facility or regional jail to satisfy the delinquency within an acceptable period. Notification to the Department by the local correctional facility or regional jail shall be made by electronic communication and shall be made on the same work day that the payment or agreement required by clause (i) or (ii) is made.

C. Any person whose license is suspended pursuant to subsection A may petition the district court of the jurisdiction where he resides or wherein the jail or correctional facility is located for the issuance of a restricted driver's license for a period not to exceed one year for any of the purposes set forth in subsection E of § 18.2-271.1. The district court may, for good cause shown, issue such a restricted permit.

2012, c. 829.

§ 46.2-321. Appeal from denial, suspension, or revocation of license; operation of vehicle pending appeal.

Any person denied a license or whose license has been revoked, suspended, or cancelled under this article may appeal in accordance with the provisions of the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.). From the final judgment of the court, either the petitioner or the Commonwealth shall have an appeal as a matter of right to the Court of Appeals.

While an appeal is pending from the action of the Department denying a license or from the court affirming the action of the Department, the person aggrieved shall not drive a motor vehicle on the highways of the Commonwealth.

Code 1950, § 46-360; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-367; 1960, c. 511; 1973, c. 544; 1984, c. 703; 1986, c. 615; 1989, c. 727; 1990, c. 418.

§ 46.2-322. Examination of licensee believed incompetent; suspension or restriction of license; license application to include questions as to physical or mental conditions of applicant; false answers; examination of applicant; physician's, nurse practitioner's, or physician assistant's statement.

A. If the Department has good cause to believe that a driver is incapacitated and therefore unable to drive a motor vehicle safely, after written notice of at least 15 days to the person, it may require him to submit to an examination to determine his fitness to drive a motor vehicle. If the driver so requests in writing, the Department shall give the Department's reasons for the examination, including the identity of all persons who have supplied information to the Department regarding the driver's fitness to drive a motor vehicle. However, the Department shall not supply the reasons or information if its source is a relative of the driver or a physician, physician assistant, nurse practitioner, pharmacist, or other licensed medical professional as defined in § 38.2-602 treating, or prescribing medications for, the driver.

B. As a part of its examination, the Department may require a physical examination by a licensed physician, licensed nurse practitioner, or licensed physician assistant and a report on the results thereof. When it has completed its examination, the Department shall take whatever action may be appropriate and may suspend the license or privilege to drive a motor vehicle in the Commonwealth of the person or permit him to retain his license or privilege to drive a motor vehicle in the Commonwealth, or may issue a license subject to the restrictions authorized by § 46.2-329. Refusal or neglect of the person to submit to the examination or comply with restrictions imposed by the Department shall be grounds for suspension of his license or privilege to drive a motor vehicle in the Commonwealth.

C. The Commissioner shall include, as a part of the application for an original driver's license, or renewal thereof, questions as to the existence of physical or mental conditions that impair the ability of the applicant to drive a motor vehicle safely. Any person knowingly giving a false answer to any such question shall be guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor. If the answer to any such question indicates the existence of such condition, the Commissioner shall require an examination of the applicant by a licensed physician, licensed physician assistant, or licensed nurse practitioner as a prerequisite to the issuance of the driver's license. The report of the examination shall contain a statement that, in the opinion of the physician, physician assistant, or nurse practitioner, the applicant's physical or mental condition at the time of the examination does or does not preclude his safe driving of motor vehicles.

Code 1950, § 46-378; 1952, c. 666; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-383; 1960, c. 201; 1966, c. 631; 1968, c. 167; 1972, c. 419; 1974, c. 453; 1978, c. 353; 1984, c. 780; 1988, c. 798; 1989, c. 727; 1997, c. 801; 2004, cc. 351, 855; 2006, c. 396; 2011, c. 441.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of these sections may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.

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