Can I get a restricted license if I’m convicted of reckless driving?

Losing your license due to a reckless driving conviction can present significant hardship. However, you may be able to get a restricted license if you petition the court. Reckless driving and restricted licenses

Applying for a Restricted License

Restricted licenses are not granted automatically. You must specifically ask for a restricted license when you appear before the court, and the judge has the authority to grant your request at the time of your reckless driving conviction. Requests are approved based on a legitimate need for transportation, since a restricted license only allows you to drive for very specific purposes.


Restricted licenses are issued to ensure you have access to transportation for activities that the court considers of high importance. This can include:

  • Getting to and from work
  • Using your vehicle for transportation during working hours
  • Receiving appropriate medical care
  • Participating in worship services
  • Traveling to and from court or a probation program
  • Providing transportation for a child who is attending school
  • Attending child visitation that has been approved by the court

In Virginia, restricted licenses are typically issued as a green sheet of paper with a list of specific driving restrictions. You must sign the paper, and keep it with you when you're driving.

Violating the Provisions of a Restricted License

It's vital to keep in mind that a restricted license does not allow you to drive for any reason other than what's specifically approved by the court. You can't make any deviation from your route, even if it's as simple as stopping to pick up a friend on your way home from work or grabbing a gallon of milk after school.

If you drive for unauthorized purposes, your restricted license can be revoked. You may face additional fines and added jail time to your reckless driving sentence.

Seeking Legal Representation

An experienced reckless driving attorney can help you build a strong defense against a reckless driving charge, request a restricted license, or file an appeal. Call to schedule a free, no-obligation initial consultation with Virginia attorney Charles V. Hardenbergh to learn more about your legal options.