Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles

Map of USA with Virginia highlighted in light blueThe road to a driver’s license in the state of Virginia is long, and it helps to be prepared. If you know when to start taking action, you will be one of the first drivers to be offering rides to friends. This article gives you all of the information you need to know in order to plan ahead.

How to Use This Resource

First, there will be a general description of the driver’s licensing process for teen drivers. This will be supplemented with explanations of when to begin driver education, for example, or advice about when you can start studying for the knowledge or road tests. This is designed to give a general overview of your driver-training requirements and how to fulfill them.

After reading this, scroll down to the links provided at the end of the page. They will take you to all of the additional details you will need to plan your next steps. If it is too early for you to do anything, then you can bookmark this page for future reference.

Driver Training in Virginia

Learner’s permits can be applied for when you turn 15.5 years old. However, in order to receive one, you must pass a knowledge test, which covers the Virginia Driver’s Manual. Because driver education is also mandatory at this time, you may want to consider enrolling in a course shortly after your 15th birthday.

When you have completed the driver education course and feel capable of passing the knowledge test (there are some study materials linked in the section below), then the next step is scheduling a time and place. Go to the office locator tool on the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles Website and click on the region of your residence. Once you have located a DMV office and are aware of the office’s hours of operation, schedule an appropriate time to go with your parents, whose signature you will need. You will want to figure out what identifying documentation you will need for the application. This can be researched at one of the links at the bottom of this page.

At the DMV, you will pass the knowledge and vision tests, pay a small fee, and fill out the appropriate forms. In addition to an application for a permit, you will be asked to fill out a form for a driver’s license. Both of these forms must be signed by a parent or guardian. When you are done you will have a learner’s permit, giving you the ability to drive under the supervision of a licensed driver over 18 years old.

After nine months of owning a permit, you should have completed the mandatory driving practice (45 hours on the road with at least 15 of these hours at night). At this point, your permit will allow you to drive without supervision. You will not have a regular license until you turn 18.

If at any point during your driver training, you are convicted of a violation, even as minor as not wearing your seat belt, you will be required to complete a Driver Improvement Clinic. If you do not, your license will be suspended, and your progress in the program will be halted. These courses are available online at the link provided below.


Interactive map with local DMV locations- Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles Office Locator 
Study for the knowledge test- Practice TestsVirginia Driver’s Manual, available in audio and PDF format, in chapters or as a single file 
Find out what documents you need to bring – Document Guide for Driver’s Licenses and ID Cards 
In case you are convicted of a driving offense- Driver Improvement Clinics