Getting a Virginia driver’s license is a huge responsibility. It’s important to understand the entire process involved in becoming a licensed driver, so that when you take to the Virginia roads by yourself, you’re ready to drive safely and responsibly.
We’ve broken down the process for you to make it easy to understand, so that when you’re finally ready to get behind the wheel, you know exactly what you need to do.
New to Virginia?
If you just moved to Virginia, you can transfer your out-of-state license if you:
NOTE: You will be required to take Driver's Ed again if you cannot prove you have completed a course in your former state. This applies even if you have a full license. The VA Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) says all driver's under 19 years old, must provide proof of successful completion of a state-approved driver education program and hold a permit for at least 9 months before you can receive a driver's license.
If you are over 19 years of age, visit our Adult Licensing page.
About the Virginia Graduated Driver License (GDL) Program
In an effort to minimize the tremendous risks associated with first-time drivers, many states, including Virginia, have implemented a GDL program in which teens must reach certain milestones prior to obtaining their license. Many of these milestones are age and experience related, and are outlined below.
VA Driver's License Age Requirements
- 15 years and 6 months: eligible for a Virginia learner's permit.
- 16 years and 3 months: eligible for a VA restricted license.
Driver's Education in Virginia
If you’re younger than 19 years old, you must complete a state-approved driver education course before you can get your license. This course must consist of at least:
- 36 periods of classroom instruction.
- 14 periods of in-car instruction.
- 7 periods of driving.
- 7 periods of in-car observation.
Your Driver’s Ed course can be taken in a classroom setting, or online if you are a home-school student.
VA Learner's Permit
To get your learner’s permit, you must be 15 years and 6 months old and have your parent’s permission. To apply, here's what you'll need to do:
Virginia Auto Insurance
Car insurance is required by law. Adding a teen driver may cause a jump in your auto insurance premiums. To find a coverage plan that meets your needs and budget, check and compare the rates of multiple auto insurance companies.
Learner's Permit Insurance
Check with your car insurance agent if your teen is covered under your current policy. If not, look into expanding your auto insurance coverage.
Restricted Driver License Insurance
Your teen must show proof of insurance when applying for a restricted driver's license. To comply, you may add your teen to your existing policy. Or, if not, he or she must carry their own coverage.
There may be opportunities for discounts from insurance companies. For more information about discounts, rates, and coverage, visit the following pages:
Other Virginia Licenses
Teen Motorcycle Licenses in Virginia
If you’re younger than 19 years old, you must get a motorcycle learner's permit before getting a motorcycle license. To obtain a permit, you must:
- Have a driver's license or a learner's permit. If you do not hold one, you must also pass the state's two-part driver's license knowledge exam.
- Pass the motorcycle knowledge test.
- Pay the motorcycle permit fee of $3.
After holding your motorcycle learner's permit for nine months, you're eligible for a motorcycle endorsement. To apply:
- Provide proof of completing a Driver's Ed course.
- Pass a vision test.
- Pass a motorcycle road skills test.
- Pay the $2 motorcycle endorsement fee.