Virginia Driver Licensing Law

Obtaining a Virginia Learner's Permit and Driver's License

Virginia has two levels of licensing: a Learner's Permit and a Permanent Driver's License. Upon turning 15 years and 6 months old, teens are permitted to apply for a Learner's Permit. While holding the permit, the driver must receive a minimum of 45 hours, 15 of which must be at night, of behind-the-wheel practice driving while supervised by a licensed parent, legal guardian, or driver over 18 years old. Fifteen of the practice hours must be at night.

To qualify for a Virginia Learner's Permit, applicants must:

  • Show two proofs of identity, one proof of legal presence and one proof of Virginia Residency
  • Show proof of Social Security number
  • Supply written consent and signature from a parent, custodial parent, or legal guardian
  • Complete a state-approved driver education program and provide the program certificate
  • Pass a vision screening and a two-part knowledge exam

After the permit has been held for nine months, teens 16 years and 3 months old who have completed driver education will become eligible to take the road skills test and apply for a permanent driver's license.

Virginia imposes age-based restrictions on teen drivers. If under 18, the following restrictions apply:

  • Driving between 12AM and 4AM is prohibited except in cases of emergencies, traveling between work or school and home, when accompanied by a parent or adult acting in place of a parent, or when responding to an emergency as a volunteer.
  • Drivers are only allowed to carry one passenger under 18 in the first year of holding a license and the entire Learner's Permit phase.
  • After the first year, drivers may not carry more than three under 18 passengers.
  • Drivers are prohibited from using any cellular telephone or any other wireless communication device unless there is a driver emergency or the vehicle is lawfully parked and stopped.
  • Immediate family members are not included in passenger restrictions.

Penalties

  • If you are convicted of a demerit-point traffic violation (or a safety belt or child restraint violation) committed when you were under age 18, you will be required to satisfactorily complete a driver improvement clinic. If you do not satisfactorily complete the clinic within 90 days, DMV will suspend your permit or license until the clinic is completed.
  • After your second demerit point (or a safety belt or child restraint violation) conviction for a violation committed when you were under age 18, DMV will suspend your permit or license for 90 days. If you have no other means of transportation, you may petition the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court in your jurisdiction for restricted driving privileges to drive between home and work.
  • After a third demerit point (or a safety belt or child restraint violation) conviction for a violation committed when you were under age 18, DMV will revoke your permit or license for one year or until you reach age 18, whichever is longer.
  • You will receive 5 safe driving points if you voluntarily complete a driver improvement clinic. However, safe driving points will not be awarded if clinic attendance was required by DMV or a court.
  • A computer-based driver improvement clinic will not satisfy a driver improvement clinic requirement. You must satisfactorily complete a clinic that provides classroom instruction.

Need more information on state laws? Learn more about the laws where you live.

Note: Our attorneys are licensed to practice law in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, Maryland, and Virginia. This information is not intended to solicit clients for matters outside of the states of Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Maryland, and Virginia, although if you are injured in an accident, we have relationships with other personal injury attorneys and lawyers throughout the United States.

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