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Virginia Drivers License

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Like all states, the commonwealth of Virginia has specific steps for a new driver to obtain full driving privileges with an unrestricted Virginia driver’s license. The following information will help you to know which steps to follow for your licensing situation.

Finding a Licensing Center

You can locate a local Virginia DMV service center online in order to obtain licensing services for first-time drivers. The DMV operates one or more service centers in every county and allows you to schedule appointments to speed up the process. You must obtain in-person services for your initial license and cannot use online, remote or third-party licensing services.

Getting a License for the First Time

Virginia residents under 18 years old must have a Virginia learner’s permit for at nine months prior to successful completion of a driver education class. After completing the prerequisites, a teen can obtain driving privileges. Virginia enforces several Teen driver restrictions, which include:

  • Limited driving from midnight and 4 a.m.
  • One passenger under age 21 unless a licensed adult over age 21 is in the front seat.
  • No cellphone use.

Teen drivers also must perform a Behind the Wheel Checklist of specific driving tasks that could be required on the road test. A licensed driver over age 21 has to affirm checklist completing by signing the checklist so that the teen driver can sign up for the DMV road test.

An adult who wants a Virginia driver’s license for the first time must get a learner’s permit and use it for 60 days. Successfully completing written tests and road tests qualify the adult for a driver’s license.

Renewing Your License

You can renew your Virginia driver’s license at a local DMV service center, online, or at a mobile center. The Virginia DMV charges a $32 fee to renew your license, plus $10 if you upgrade your license to a REAL ID. Online and mobile services charge an additional modest sum to cover additional costs. You can pay the renewal fee, REAL ID fee and any convenience fees with a credit card, debit card, personal check, money order or a cashier’s check. The DMV does not accept cash payments.

Do You Need a REAL ID?

Virginia does not require residents to obtain a REAL ID, but federal services will require either a REAL ID or additional federal identification, such as a passport, very soon. As of May 3, 3023, all U.S. citizens will need to present a REAL ID or a U.S. passport to board commercial flights, enter federal courthouses and enter other federally controlled areas.

A REAL ID costs an additional $10 to process in Virginia and only is done when renewing or replacing a current Virginia license or obtaining one for the first time. A circle with a star inside and located in the upper right corner of a Virginia driver’s license or state-issued ID card affirms the identification is REAL ID-compliant.

Upgrade Your Probationary License

A probationary license can be upgraded to full driving privileges at any Virginia DMV location.

Last Verified:
Sep 13, 2022