Virginia Driver’s License Requirements (A Complete 2024 Guide)

Virginia Driver’s License Requirements

Planning to get a driver’s license soon?

Whether you’re a minor or an adult, getting this coveted ID feels like a challenging task — and rightly so. 

In Virginia, driving is a privilege, and those who are granted a driver’s license should pass several tests. 

After all, we want responsible drivers to keep our roads safe. 

So what are the Virginia driver’s license requirements then? 

Check out this complete 2024 guide. 

How to Get A Driver’s License in Virginia

Someone as young as 15½ years old can start working towards their driver’s license. 

Now, the licensing process varies depending on your age and situation. However, the general steps include:

  • Getting a learner’s permit
  • Getting a graduated driver’s license (for those below 18)
  • Getting a full driver’s license

Let’s take a look at how you can pass each stage. 

How to Get a Learner’s Permit in Virginia

Teens below 18 years old are required to get a learner’s permit. For those above 18, it will depend on the situation. 

Either way, here is how to get a learner’s permit in Virginia: 

  1. Take the classroom portion of a driver’s education (only required for those below 18 years old). 
  1. Prepare the following documents:
    1. Application for a Virginia Driver’s License (Form DL 1P). NOTE: If under 18 years old, your parent or legal guardian must sign the application in front of a DMV representative. 
    2. Proof of identity
    3. Proof of legal presence
    4. Two proofs of Virginia residency
    5. Proof of Social Security Number

Check this document guide to know the accepted documents. 

  1. Schedule a Learner’s Permit / Knowledge Test Appointment with the nearest DMV office. 
  1. While there, submit all your documents. If under 18, don’t forget to bring your parent or legal guardian. 
  1. Pass the vision screening. 
  1. Pass the two-part knowledge exam. NOTE: Check out these tips to help you prepare for the exam. 
  1. Pay the $3 learner permit fee and the driver’s license fee ($4 per year). 
  1. Wait for your learner’s permit to be mailed to you. 

With a learner’s permit, you can now practice driving. 


You must always have a licensed driver supervising you from the front passenger seat. 

Moreover, the licensed driver must be at least 21 years old. They can be 18 years old if they are a legal guardian or a sibling. 

One more thing. 

You cannot carry more than 1 passenger under 18 years old (unless they are part of your immediate family).

How to Get a Driver’s License in Virginia

For those below 18 years old, you should meet these eligibility requirements before applying for a driver’s license:

  • Be at least 16 and 3 months old. 
  • Hold your learner’s permit for 9 months.
  • Complete the behind-the-wheel portion of the driver’s education.
  • Pass the road skills exam with your driver’s ed provider.
  • Complete 45 hours of driving practice including 15 hours of driving after sunset. NOTE: Your driver’s education hours will count toward this. 

For those above 18 years old and have never held a driver’s license before, there is only one eligibility requirement: 

  • Hold your learner’s permit for 60 days 

OR, if you don’t want to get a learner’s permit:

  • Complete the driver’s education and pass the road skills exam (with your driver’s ed provider) AND the knowledge exam (schedule it at the DMV here).

Okay, once you meet all your appropriate requirements, here are the steps to get your driver’s license:

  1. Apply for a driver’s license online. NOTE: You can also visit a local DMV and submit an Application for a Virginia Driver’s License (Form DL 1P). Remember, a parent or legal guardian must sign consent if under 18. 
  1. Schedule an ‘Other Services’ appointment with the nearest DMV office. NOTE: If you are above 18 and didn’t take driver’s education, you must schedule a road skills exam. 
  1. On your appointment, submit the following:
    1. If applicable, Application for a Virginia Driver’s License (Form DL 1P)
    2. If applicable, 3-part Driver Education Completion Certificate. NOTE: If you are below 18 years old, your parent or legal guardian must input their driver’s license number or ID card, sign it, and attest 45 driving practice hours. 
    3. Proof of identity
    4. Proof of legal presence
    5. Two proofs of Virginia residency
    6. Proof of Social Security Number

Here is a document guide to help you determine which documents to bring. 

  1. If taking the road skills exam, bring a registered vehicle with license plates, insurance, and a safety inspection sticker. 
  1. If applicable, pass the road skills exam. 
  1. Pay the driver’s license fees ($4 per year, minimum of $32). 
  1. Receive the receipt of your driver’s license. The official license will be mailed to you in a few business days. 

Get this. 

If you’re already 18+ years old, you will receive full driving privileges. 

However, if you’re below 18 years old, your license will still have a few restrictions. 

This includes:

  • You CANNOT drive from 12 AM to 4 AM unless:
    • You have a licensed driver at least 21 years old supervising you
    • You are driving to and from employment
    • You are driving to and from school or church or any event organized by either one 
    • You are in an emergency 
  • If driving unsupervised, you can only carry 1 passenger under 21 years old that is not part of your immediate family. 
  • If you have held your driver’s license for a year and are not yet 18 years old, you can carry up to 3 passengers under 21 IF:
    • You are driving to and from a school activity
    • There is a licensed driver at least 21 years old supervising you 
    • You are in an emergency
  • You cannot use your cell phone while driving, even if it’s on a hands-free mode. 

Violating these restrictions could mean a driver’s license suspension. 

But once you turn 18 years old, these restrictions will fall away. 

FAQs About Virginia Driver’s License Requirements

How Long Does it Take to Get a License in VA?

If you’re below 18 years old, you have to hold your learner’s permit for 9 months. So it might take a full year to get a license. 

Still, you will have to wait until you turn 18 years old to remove all your restrictions. 

For 18 and above, you only have to hold your license for 60 days, which shortens the whole process to 2-3 months. You can make it even shorter if you decide to take a driver’s education and waive the learner’s permit phase. 

How Much is a Virginia Driver’s License?

A VA-issued driver’s license is $4 per year. However, you are required to pay for at least 5 years during your application, which equates to $20. 

If you want to pay for the full 8 years, then it will cost you $32.

How Long is a Driving Course in Virginia?

A driving course or driver’s education includes 36 50-minute classroom sessions and 14 50-minute in-car instructions. 

What Do I Need to Get a Driver’s License in Virginia?

Thankfully, the Virginia DMV made it easy to determine what documents you need with their document guide

But in general, you need these documents: 

  • Application for a Virginia Driver’s License (Form DL 1P)
  • 1 proof of identity
  • 1 proof of legal presence
  • 2 proofs of Virginia residency
  • Proof of Social Security Number
  • Proof of completed driver’s ed and passed road skills test

How Many Driving Lessons Do I Need in Virginia?

You only need to take a driver’s ed once. This program already includes classroom instruction, behind-the-wheel training, and the road skills exam. 

Can I Take My Permit Test Online in Virginia?

Yes! You have the option to take your permit or knowledge test at your school. This is thanks to the DMV’s partnership with the Department of Education and some private schools. 

You can read more about it here

What Happens if I Fail My Permit Test 3 Times in Virginia?

If you fail the knowledge test three times, you have to retake the classroom portion of your driver’s ed. This applies to applicants of all ages. 

How Can a Non-US Citizen Get a Driver’s License in Virginia?

A non-US citizen can apply for a Driver Privilege Card. You can get this type of driver’s license without having to show proof of legal presence. 


And that was your guide to Virginia driver’s license requirements. 

It wasn’t too complicated, was it?

All you need to make sure of is:

  • Fulfill all the eligibility requirements 
  • Submit the appropriate documents
  • Pay the fees
  • Pass the vision, knowledge, and road skills exam

So if you follow the steps listed here, then you’re sure to get your driver’s license in no time.

Best of luck!

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