Applying for a Driver's License
First Time Drivers
You must be a resident of the Commonwealth of Virginia and at least 16 years and 3 months of age to obtain a Virginia driver's license. To obtain a learner's permit, you must be at least 15 years and 6 months of age. No exceptions will be made to these age requirements. If you are under age 18, you must provide written consent from one of your parents or your legal guardian unless you are married or emancipated.
If you are under age 18, you must complete a state-approved driver education program
If you are age 18 or older, and you have never held a driver's license issued by Virginia, another state, a U.S. territory, or foreign country, or cannot show proof that you previously held such a license, you must show proof that:
- you have passed an approved driver education course, or,
- you have held a learner's permit at least 60 days before taking the DMV road skills test.
At any age, as a first time driver, you will be required to provide documents to prove identity, legal presence, Virginia residency, and, if you have one, Social Security number. Use the interactive document guide
to determine which documents you will need to bring to DMV when you apply, or refer to "Acceptable Documents for Obtaining a Driver's License or Photo ID Card" (DMV 141
Driver education programs are available statewide to students, adults and out-of-school youths. Public and private school programs are approved by the Department of Education. Follow the same course content and are licensed by DMV.
The program must present 36 classroom periods. It must include components about alcohol safety, drug abuse awareness, aggressive driving, distracted driving, motorcycle awareness and organ and tissue donation awareness. It must also include 14 in-car instruction periods, 7 periods of driving and 7 periods of observation.
The course must be taken at a public, private or commercial driver training school.
You will receive a driver education completion certificate when you successfully complete a driver education program. A copy of your certificate will be sent by your school instructor to DMV for issuance of a permanent driver's license.
If you are under 18 years of age, your parent or legal guardian must sign the certificate to attest to academic standing and to authorize issuance of a driver's license to you. Your parent, legal guardian or foster parent must also certify that you have driven at least 40 hours, 10 of which occurred after sunset.