Driver's Training in Virginia

If you're a teenager applying for your first driver's license, in-car driver's training and supervised driving practice are requirements of the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

On this page, we’ll look at VA’s driving practice requirements and go over what you need to do once you’ve finished your in-car training.

VA Driver's Training Requirements

The first step to getting for your driver’s license is applying for a Virginia learner’s permit once you’re at least 15 1/2 years old.

If you’re under 18 years old, you must hold your learner’s permit for at least 9 months, during which time you must complete:

  • Driver’s training: The in-car component of a state-approved Driver’s Ed program that allows you to practice safe driving techniques with a professional driving instructor.
    AND
  • Supervised driving practice: Driving practice you can complete on your own time with a supervising adult (e.g. parent or legal guardian).

Next, we’ll get into the finer details and requirements for these types of driving practice.

Already an adult?

The behind-the-wheel requirements for teens don’t apply to you. Check our page on VA adult licensing for the information you need.

Virginia Driver's Training Courses

In Virginia, driver's training is the in-car component of required, state-approved Driver's Ed courses offered by:

  • Public and private high schools.
  • Professional driver training schools.
  • Parents (for home-schooled teens).
    • See “Driver’s Training for Home-Schooled Teens” below for details.

In addition to completing the in-class portion of VA Driver’s Ed, you must also complete 14 periods of driver’s training, which include:

  • 7 periods of behind-the-wheel driving practice.
  • 7 periods of observation.

Once you complete both the classroom and driver's training components of your Driver's Ed course, you will receive a completion certificate—don’t lose this! You’ll need to present it to the VA DMV when you apply for your full driver’s license.

Next, we’ll go over the supervised driving practice you must complete while you have your learner’s permit in order to be eligible for a VA driver’s license.

Driver's Training for Home-Schooled Teens

If you're a home-schooled teenager, your parent(s) can teach the in-car training component of Driver's Ed.

Your parent(s) must be approved by the Virginia DMV to provide driver's training. To apply for approval you will need:

Mail your documents to:

Department of Motor Vehicles
Commercial Licensing Work Center
P.O. Box 27412
Richmond, VA 23269

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

Supervised Driving Practice

IN ADDITION to completing driver’s training, you must ALSO complete 45 hours of supervised driving practice with:

  • A licensed adult who is at least 21 years old.
    • Can be at least 18 years old IF they are your legal guardian or immediate family member.
  • At least 15 hours of driving practice completed after sunset.

Your parent/legal guardian will need to sign your Driver's Ed completion certificate once you complete the required hours of supervised behind-the-wheel practice. Then, you’re ready to head to the DMV to apply for your Virginia driver’s license!

Next Steps—Applying for a VA Driver’s License

You’ll be eligible for a Virginia driver’s license once you’ve held your permit for 9 months and:

  • Completed your driver's training requirements.
  • Completed the minimum hours of supervised driving practice.
  • Passed the Virginia DMV's road test.
  • Are at least 16 years and 3 months old.

For more information on the testing and documents required to apply for your driver’s license, hop over to our complete Virginia teen driver’s license guide.

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Forms

HS 1
Home-Schooled In-Car Driver Education Parental Authorization Application
Submit to the Virginia DMV to request to provide in-car driving instruction for your home-schooled child.
HS 3
Home-Schooled In-Car Driver Education Information Sheet
Explains the responsibilities and application to provide in-car driving instruction to your home-schooled child.