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    Driver's Education in Virginia

    Driver's Ed is required if you're a teenager applying for your first driver's license with the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

    If you're an adult who has never held a driver's license, Driver's Ed is an optional step that will reduce the amount of time you must hold a learner's permit.

    On this page, you'll find information about Virginia's driver's education curriculum, eligibility requirements, and your options to complete a Driver's Ed course.

    VA Driver's Education Eligibility Requirements

    Virginia Driver's Ed is available to teens and adult drivers applying for a driver's license for the first time.

    NOTE: Out-of-state Driver's Ed courses may be accepted by the VA DMV for new residents who are transferring an out-of-state driver's license. Please see “New-to-State Residents" below for more information.

    Driver's Ed for Teens

    If you are younger than 19 years old, you must complete an approved Driver's Ed or driver's training course before you can obtain a VA driver's license.

    Additionally, you must:

    • Obtain a learner's permit (you must be at least 15 1/2 years old).
    • Complete supervised driving.

    Driver's Ed for Adults

    If you're older than 19 years old and have never held a driver's license, you must do one of the following before applying for your VA driver's license:

    • Complete a state-approved Driver's Ed course.
      OR
    • Hold a learner's permit for at least 60 days.

    New-to-State Residents

    If you are at least 16 years and 3 months old but younger than 19 years old and want to convert your out-of-state driver's license, you must either:

    • Provide proof of completion of an out-of-state Driver's Ed course that included at least:
      • 30 hours of classroom instruction.
      • 6 hours of behind-the-wheel training.
      OR
    • Obtain a temporary license valid for 6 months and complete a Virginia Driver's Ed course or find your out-of-state completion certificate.

    For more information, please see our Applying for a New License (Teen Drivers) in Virginia page.

    About Your Virginia Driver's Ed Course

    Course Curriculum

    Virginia driver's education covers:

    • Drug and alcohol abuse and safety.
    • Aggressive and distracted driving.
    • Pedestrian, bicycle, and motorcycle safety and awareness.

    Classroom & Behind-the-Wheel Hours

    No matter how you complete your VA driver's education course, the program will include:

    • 36 periods of classroom instruction.
    • 14 periods of in-car instruction. These each and consist of:
      • 7 periods of driving.
        AND
      • 7 periods of observation.

    Once you complete the course, a completion certificate will be submitted to the VA DMV and provided to you by your instructor. If you are younger than 18 years old, your parent will need to sign the certificate before you can obtain a Virginia driver's license.

    NOTE: If you are younger than 19 years old, you and your parent/legal guardian must attend an additional 90 minutes of Driver's Ed if you live in Planning District 8, which includes:

    • Arlington County.
    • Fairfax County.
    • Loudoun County.
    • Prince Williams County.
    • The cities of Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church, Manassas, and Manassas Park.

    Contact your local Virginia DMV for more information.

    Home-Schooled Driving Training

    For home-schooled teens, parents can provide the in-car instruction portion of their child's driver's education.

    Parents must become authorized to do so by:

    • Completing a Home-Schooled In-Car Driver Education Parental Authorization Application (Form HS 1).
    • Providing proof from the school district/superintendent that your child is home-schooled.
    • Providing proof of completion of the classroom component of your child's driver's education course.
      • Home-schooled students can choose to take the classroom portion online.
    • Mailing the above to:
      • Department of Motor Vehicles
      • Commercial Licensing Work Center
      • P.O. Box 27412
      • Richmond, VA 23269

    NOTE: A separate application must be completed for each child.

    For more information, refer to the Home-Schooled In-Car Driver Education Information Sheet (Form HS 3).

    Types of Driver's Education Courses

    Driver's education in Virginia is provided by:

    • Public and private secondary schools.
    • Private driver training programs.
    • Online Driver's Ed programs for home-schooled teens.

    The Virginia DMV provides lists of approved driver training programs and online Driver's Ed courses on its website.

    After you pick a course, contact your course provider for specific details about class schedules, locations, and costs.

    Getting Your Learner's Permit and License

    Once you complete Driver's Ed, you're one step closer to receiving your Virginia driver's license.

    If you are 19 years old or older, you can visit your local Virginia DMV office to take the required tests. For more information, please see our Applying for a New License (Drivers 18+) page.

    If you are younger than 19 years old, you'll need to:

    • Visit a VA DMV office to take your knowledge and vision tests to obtain your learner's permit, if you haven't done so.
    • Submit your signed Driver's Ed completion certificate, if you are younger than 18 years old.
    • Hold your leaner's permit for at least 9 months.
    • Complete a minimum of 45 hours of supervised driving, which includes 15 hours of nighttime driving. Your parent/legal guardian must certify the completion of these hours.

    Regardless of your age, you'll need to:

    For more information, please see our Drivers Permits in Virginia and Applying for a New License (Teen Drivers) pages.

    Forms

    DL 1P

    Apply for, renew, replace, or change the information on a driver's license, learner's permit, commercial license, or ID card.

    HS 3

    Explains the responsibilities and application to provide in-car driving instruction to your home-schooled child.

    HS 1

    Apply to provide in-car instruction for your child as a home school parent.

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