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Permitting an Unlicensed Driver to Operate Your Car

Allowing a Suspended Driver to Drive Your Car

Under Virginia law it is illegal to knowingly allow a person to operate your car if you know that the person's license has been suspended for certain offenses. In order to be convicted the government must prove three things:

  1. The owner knowingly allowed the driver to operate the car;
  2. The owner knew the driver had a suspended or revoked license or was unlicensed; and
  3. The owner knew that the driver's license was suspended or revoked for:
    1. DUI Maiming,
    2. DUI,
    3. Driving on a Revoked License,
    4. Refusal to Submit to a Blood or Breath Test, or
    5. Driving without a Valid License (2nd offense or worse)

Keys in The Ignition are Enough

This statute requires no more than operation of a vehicle. "Operating" a vehicle includes idling, and even possibly using any of the electrical equipment with the keys in the ignition. Operating a vehicle has a very broad and vague legal definition.

Defense to VA Code § 46.2-301.1(E): Permitting an Unlicensed Driver to Operate Your Car In Virginia

This statute applies to a very limited number of license suspensions. It can also be argued that this statute requires the government to prove that the owner knew why the driver was suspended.

Punishments for VA Code § 46.2-301.1(E): Allowing an Unlicensed Driver to Use Your Car

Permitting an unlicensed driver to operate your vehicle is a Class 1 misdemeanor, punishable by up to 12 months in jail and a $2,500 fine. This offense carries three demerit points and remains on your DMV record for three years. Because it is a criminal offense, it will remain on your criminal record forever.