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  • Applying for a New License (Drivers 18+) in Virginia

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    1) Choose Your License

    Whether you’ve just moved to Virginia or you’re a teen ready to get behind the wheel, you’ll have to apply for a new driver's license. The state of Virginia offers:

    • Regular driver’s license for passenger cars or pick-up trucks
    • Commercial Licenses (Class A,B,C)
    • Motorcycle Licenses (Class M)

    NOTE: Teen drivers should visit our applying for a new license for teens section for more information.

    2) Take a Driver’s Education Course

    Younger than 19 years old― You must hold a driver’s permit for at least 9 months and show proof of completing the driver education program, before you take the road test.

    19 years old or older― You must hold a learner's permit for a minimum of 60 days or show proof that you have completed a state-approved training course.

    Locate an MVC Office

    The DMV doesn’t offer appointments, but try to go in during their quieter hours. The busiest hours tend to be at lunch time or just after work hours.

    Make Test-Day Preparations

    Before you head to the DMV, be prepared to:

    • Prove your identity (two forms of proof if you are 19 or older).
    • Show legal presence in the United States.
    • Show Virginia residency.
    • Show your Social Security card.
    • Pass a vision test.
    • Complete an application (only available at the DMV).
    • Pay a fee of $3 for a learner's permit, plus the driver’s license fee of $4 per year (up to 8 years).

    While you’re at it, you can register to vote and become an organ donor when you apply for your permit or license.

    Take the Written Test

    After you know the driver’s manual and perhaps have taken a supplemental class, go in and take the written test.

    Get a Car

    If you’re like most people, once you have a license, you’ll want to get a car. It’s time to do some serious shopping. Think about whom you need to drive and how far you’ll be going regularly.

    Used cars tend to be the most economical route. But before you decide, look up the car’s VIN on a Vehicle History Report first. For one fee, you can look up all the cars you want for a full month, which is plenty of time for most people to decide on a car.

    A report tells you whether the car has a flood or salvaged title and whether it’s been in a major accident. This saves you time and money.

    Get Car Insurance

    After you pick out your wheels, you’ll have to get adequate car insurance. Shop around. Some cars cost more to insure than others.

    Take the Driving Test

    Bring your own, safe (it will be inspected) vehicle with valid license plates and registration and a valid safety inspection sticker, and a driver in case you fail.


    The process for obtaining your Virginia license varies according to a number of factors, including your age, the length of time you've been in the state, and your driving experience.