On March 27, 2008, Governor Kaine signed legislation passed by the Virginia legislature during its 2008 Regular Session which repeals the "civil remedial fees" created in 2007. Civil remedial fees were often called "abusive driver fees." This repeal means that civil remedial fees in Virginia have been eliminated. Civil remedial fees are no longer being assessed. The unpaid civil remedial fees will be considered satisfied. Payments made for a civil remedial fee will be refunded.
The Department of Accounts mailed the majority of the civil remedial fee refund checks on May 15, 2008.
Civil remedial fees are fees assessed against Virginia residents who were convicted of driving or motor vehicle-related crimes committed since July 1, 2007. When they applied, civil remedial fees were assessed in addition to the fine and court costs imposed for a conviction. These civil remedial fees only applied to driving or motor vehicle-related felonies and misdemeanors.
Civil remedial fees did not apply to traffic infractions (offenses which are not crimes) such as running a red light or simple speeding. Those more serious traffic violations which are crimes, including reckless driving involving speeding, were subject to the civil remedial fees.
If you were assessed a civil remedial fee for conviction of a driving or motor vehicle-related crime, these new laws mean that your civil remedial fee is satisfied and you no longer owe a civil remedial fee for that conviction. In addition, if you paid all or part of a civil remedial fee, you will get a refund of the amount you paid for the civil remedial fee. There is no provision in the legislation to include interest on the civil remedial fee being refunded. The Court will notify the Director of the Virginia Department of Accounts (The State Comptroller) of the amount of the refund you are due and will provide him with your address on file with the court. The State Treasurer will mail you a check for a full refund of the amount you have paid for the civil remedial fee. If a balance due remains for the civil remedial fee you were assessed, you will not owe the remaining amount of the civil remedial fee. You will not need to take any action to receive the refund or for the satisfaction of any remaining balance due for the civil remedial fee. If you were not assessed a civil remedial fee or you did not pay any portion of a civil remedial fee assessed against you, you are not eligible for a refund.
If you were assessed a civil remedial fee, the court will send you a letter informing you how much you have paid toward the civil remedial fee. The letter will also inform you that the remaining amount of the civil remedial fee has been satisfied.
If you have paid all or part of the civil remedial fee and are due a refund and if your address has changed since you were in court, please go to the following link: change of address form and complete this form. This form may be mailed or faxed or brought to the court where the trial of your case was held. The addresses of the circuit courts in Virginia can be found at: http://www.courts.state.va.us/circ.pdf. The addresses of the general district courts and juvenile and domestic relations district courts in Virginia can be found at: http://www.courts.state.va.us/dist.pdf.
If you were convicted of a crime and assessed a civil remedial fee, you were also charged court costs and you were probably charged a fine, as well. The refund you are due is the amount paid for the civil remedial fee only. The new laws do not relieve you of any court costs or fine you owe for that conviction. You still owe the unpaid fine and unpaid court costs for the conviction.
If you are on a payment plan with installments for your civil remedial fee, court costs and fine, the payments you have made to the court since your conviction may have been split up between the civil remedial fee, the court costs and your fine. Your refund will only be for the amount you have paid to the court that has been applied toward payment of the civil remedial fee.
If a person does not pay a fine, court costs or civil remedial fee, or enter into and follow a payment plan with the court, the court will suspend that person's driver's license. If your driver's license was suspended by a court solely because you failed to pay your civil remedial fee (and not for any other reason), then that court will notify the Department of Motor Vehicles. If the DMV determines that failure to pay a civil remedial fee was the sole reason your license was suspended and that you are not suspended or revoked for any other reason, then the DMV will notify you that you are eligible to have your driver's license reinstated.