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How to get a Virginia Driver's License

Virginia Drivers License
  • Virginia Driver's License Guidelines
  • How to Prepare for the Written Exam
  • Required ID and Paperwork

VA Drivers License Rules and Requirements

Find out the steps to get your drivers license, pass your DMV written test, replace your out-of-state license and the required paperwork to bring to the DMV office to get your driver's license.

Try Sample Test!

All applicants need to be familiar with the Virginia Driver's Manual. Think you know the material? Take our DMV practice test now and test your driving knowledge.

Get your VA Driver's Permit

You must be at least 16 years and 3 months of age to obtain a Virginia driver's license.

If this is your first driver's license and you are between the ages of 15 years 6 months and 19, you will need to apply for a Virginia learners permit which requires a vision test and a written exam on traffic signs, motor vehicle laws and safe driving techniques.

Once you receive a valid VA learners permit, you will then need to pass a road skills test to receive a VA drivers license.

If you are age 19 or older, you must provide proof of successful completion of a state-approved driver education program or you must have held a learner's permit at least 30 days before taking the road skills test.

If you are under age 19, you must provide proof of successful completion of a state-approved driver education program and you must hold a learner's permit at least nine months before you can receive a driver's license.

If you are under age 18, you must provide a driver education completion certificate or show proof of your successful completion of a state-approved driver education program. Plus, your parent or guardian must certify that you received at least 45 hours of driving practice, fifteen of which must have been completed after sunset.

Prepare for the Written Knowledge Test

All new drivers are encouraged to study for this driver education exam so you don't miss the opportunity to get your learners permit as soon as you reach the approved age. Online practice tests are available that provide real sample questions from the DMV Exam - Take the Virginia practice test now and test your driving knowledge.

New Virginia Residents

New residents with an out-of-state license must obtain a Virginia license within 60 days of establishing a permanent residence in VA. When heading to the DMV, be sure to bring the license from your former state as you will be required to surrender it in order to obtain the new license.

The written exam and road skills test are may not required to change a valid out-of-state license to a VA driver's license, however you will need to pass a vision test.

Under the age of 19 - Your out-of-state driver's education may be accepted if it was successfully completed while residing in that state and the program meets a minimum of 30 classroom hours and six in-car hours.

If you hold a current out-of-state driver's license but do not have proof of driver's education, you may be issued a Virginia six-month temporary license. This will give you time to obtain proof or to complete a state-approved driver education program.

If your out-of-state license has been expired for more than one (1) year you will have to take the vision test, written test and road test and you must make an appointment for an exam.

International Drivers

If you are a non-resident temporarily living in Virginia, you may drive with your home state or country driver's license and license plates for no more than six months. If you become gainfully employed, you are required to hold a Virginia driver's license.

If you are age 19 or older and you hold a valid driver's license issued by a country other than Canada, France or Germany, you may not be required to show proof of successful completion of driver education or hold a learner's permit for 30 days. However, you must pass the two-part knowledge exam, road skills test and a vision screening.

Required Paperwork

Before you head to the Virginia DMV Office, make sure you have all of the following required documents to get your driver's license:

On the Road

Once your licensing requirements have been met, you will receive your new:

  • Restricted License (16 to 17 years of age) valid for 5 years.
  • Full driver's license (18 and older) valid up to 8 years.

Remember... the safe operation of a vehicle requires practiced skill, knowledge, and a respectful understanding of the limitations imposed by the other drivers and the environment.

Virginia Driver's License Resources

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