Thursday, October 15, 2015

Virginia DMV Driver's License Renewals Can NOT be Done On-line or Through the Mail if You are a Registered Sex Offender, You MUST Visit a DMV Location and Pay an Extra $5 for that Privilege!

Dear Mr. Chesley, 

I just read your article about DMV transactions that could and should be done online or through the mail instead of in-person at a DMV location. 

Just an FYI for you:  

As of July 1, 2008 Virginia Driver’s Licenses that were valid for eight years dropped to five years for all Registered Sex-Offenders (2008’s- HB534) AND RSO’s were no longer allowed to renew their driver’s licenses on-line or through the mail but ONLY in-person. 

Now, because of the DMV’s push for Virginians to renew on-line or through the mail instead of at a DMV location they added a $5 processing fee for renewals done in-person.  

So for the last 7 years Virginia's RSO have had NO CHOICE but to go in-person to a DMV location and remember their license is only valid for five years, not eight. And they are forced to pay the extra $5 every 5 years simply because they are an RSO.

There are approximately 22,800 RSO’s in Virginia, 1/3 are incarcerated and the other 2/3’s are in our communities, that about 15,000 Virginians who are not allowed by law to renew online or through the mail, these Virginians must renew 60% more often than all other Virginians and they are charged an additional fee. This group of citizens grows every year by 800-1,200 so more and more Virginians will NOT be permitted to renew online or through the mail as the years roll by. 

What’s the theory behind this mandate and additional charge? It’s not because their photograph needs updating, per law all RSO’s are required to allow the Virginia State Police take a new photo every 2 years!

It’s punitive, pure and simple.  

Everyone hates RSO’s; no one is going to defend them! Legislators look high-and-low on how they can impose more restrictions and mandates upon RSO’s then they brag about their legislation on their websites and in campaign materials whether it passed or not so they appear to be tough on Sexual Predators. 

I’ve been waiting over the last 7 GA sessions since I became an advocate for some Legislator to propose a bill that requires our RSO’s to register their vehicles in-person instead of through the mail and perhaps they’d also propose not to allow them to renew for 2 years, but just for 1 year again which would result in charging them more than other Virginians. If that ever happened I'll be there to oppose it!

So in the end there are entire groups of Virginians who have no other option but to travel to a DMV location, not because they don’t have access to the Internet or a computer, not because they live paycheck-to-paycheck and must pay on the last possible day but because Virginia law demands they visit a DMV location and pay the additional processing fee. 


Mary Davye Devoy