Drivers Ed in Virginia
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Driver's Education in VirginiaDriver'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 18 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 18 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.
- Hold a learner's permit for at least 60 days.
If you are at least 16 years and 3 months old but younger than 18 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.
- 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
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.
- 7 periods of observation.
- 7 periods of driving.
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 18 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.
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 younger than 18 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:
- Complete a Driver's License and Identification Card Application (Form DL 1P).
- Provide proof of your identity, residency, and Social Security number. The Virginia DMV provides an interactive online document guide and a complete list of acceptable documents.
Home-Schooled In-Car Driver Education Parental Authorization Application - HS 1
Submit to the Virginia DMV to request to provide in-car driving instruction for your home-schooled child.
Home-Schooled In-Car Driver Education Information Sheet - HS 3
Explains the responsibilities and application to provide in-car driving instruction to your home-schooled child.
Driver's License and Identification Card Application - DL 1P
Submit to the DMV to apply for an original, renewal, OR replacement Virginia driver's license, learner's permit, OR motorcycle license.