\r\nGet ready to start your engines!\r\nBy James Cullum\r\nALEXANDRIA, VA - Good news if you\u2019re one of more than 627,000 Virginians unable to get your suspended license back because of unpaid court fines and costs. The Virginia General Assembly on Wednesday passed a bipartisan bill - effective July 1 - that eliminates the requirement to pay those costs in exchange for driving privileges.\r\n\u201cThe practice of suspending a person\u2019s driver\u2019s license for nonpayment of court fines and costs is inequitable\u2014it\u2019s past time we end it,\u201d Governor Ralph Northam said. \u201cA driver\u2019s license is critical to daily life, including a person\u2019s ability to maintain a job. Eliminating a process that envelops hundreds of thousands of Virginians in a counterproductive cycle is not only fair, it\u2019s also the right thing to do.\u201d\r\nThe Virginia House of Delegates voted 70-30 and the Senate voted 30-10 on Northam\u2019s budget amendment on Senate Bill 1613, which eliminate the suspensions.\r\nVirginia Sen. Adam Ebbin (D-30) introduced the bill this session.\r\n"I applaud Gov. Northam for bringing this measure before the entire General Assembly for a vote. Unwarranted license suspension disproportionately impacts the most economically disadvantaged Virginians without making our communities safer," Ebbin said. "Virginians rely on driving to access education, childcare, health care and employment, taking away that resource for nonpayment of a fee is cruel and illogical."\r\nThe Legal Aid Justice Center, which is suing the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles on the issue, released a statement thanking the governor and the General Assembly.\r\n"All Virginians must have a fair opportunity to fulfill their obligations without losing their jobs, their ability to care for their families, and their dignity," the organization said.