Virginia residents who are age 16 and over can obtain a state-issued driver’s license after successfully completing driver education requirements. The process is different for potential drivers who are over age 18 versus those who are under age 18. An overview on state driver education requirements will help to ensure potential drivers can obtain the correct educational services.
Testing and Preparing to Drive
Prospective drivers who successfully completed respective Virginia driver education requirements may obtain a driver’s license with no restrictions. Doing so requires passing a written skills test, vision test and possibly a road test. Unless a motorist already is licensed to drive in another state and is seeking a Virginia license, those seeking their initial license must complete the following education requirements.
Graduated Driver License
A Virginia resident who is under 18 years of age must obtain and hold a Virginia learner’s permit for at least nine months prior and successfully complete a state-approved driver education course. After the nine-month learning period and successful completion of a driver education course, a teen can obtain virtually full driving privileges.
Virginia restricts driving privileges for licensed teen drivers. Teen driving restrictions include:
- Limited driving between midnight and 4 a.m.
- Only one passenger who is under age 21 unless accompanied by a licensed adult driver over age 21.
- No cellular phone use except during emergencies.
While holding the learner’s permit, teen drivers must complete a Behind the Wheel Checklist that describes specific driving tasks that might be required to successfully complete a road test. Those tasks might include parallel parking, driving in city streets and properly merging into freeway traffic. A licensed adult driver must sign the checklist to affirm the teen driver completed the tasks prior to taking the DMV road test.
Anyone over age 18 who wants to obtain a Virginia driver’s license for the first time must obtain and hold a learner’s permit for at least 60 days. Successful completing of written and road tests after the 60-day period qualifies the adult for an unrestricted license.
Remedial Driver Programs
The Commonwealth of Virginia suspends or otherwise revokes driving privileges for many reasons, including accruing too many demerit points too quickly. A state court might revoke driving privileges for local offenses. Operating a vehicle without state-mandated insurance minimums also could lead to a license suspension.
No matter the reason, motorists who lose their driving privileges but want to reinstate them must comply with certain procedures to regain them. That includes completing a driver improvement clinic and possibly an alcohol safety program if a DUI conviction triggered the license suspension. Only state-certified courses qualify.
Safe Driving Courses
A variety of safe driving courses that are offered online and in a classroom setting can help to improve drivers’ abilities and knowledge of new traffic laws. You can refresh your driving skills, learn new ones and enhance others while better learning about local driving conditions and commonly occurring traffic events that might turn a simple errand to a grocery store into a life-altering event.
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