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Driver Training Schools

Requirements

  • If you are a Virginia resident under age 18, you must hold your Virginia learner's permit for at least nine months and complete a Virginia state-approved driver education program. Your parent, guardian, or foster parent must provide his or her driver's license or state-issued identification card number and sign the driver education completion certificate. By signing the certificate, they attest to your academic standing and certify that you have driven at least 45 hours (15 of which occurred after sunset) and that the statements made and the information submitted on the certificate are true and correct. Certifying false statements can result in prosecution.
  • If you are a Virginia resident age 18 or older and have never held a license issued by any state, U.S. territory or foreign country, you must either:
    1. Hold a Virginia learner's permit for at least 60 days and complete a Behind-the-Wheel Checklist (Form CSMA 19). This checklist describes specific driving tasks that you may be asked to perform while taking the road skills test, to be administered by a DMV staff member. A licensed driver must certify on the form that he/she has been with you while you practiced your driving skills and that you have complied with all requirements for learner's permit holders while operating a motor vehicle. OR
    2. Show completion of a state-approved driver education program. Doing so will waive the requirement to hold your learner's permit for at least 60 days. In addition, as the road skill test will be administered as part of the driver education course, you will not be required to take the road skills test at DMV.

About Driver Training Schools

Driver education programs are available statewide to students, adults and out-of-school youths. Public and private school programs are approved by the Department of Education. Driver training schools follow the same course content and are licensed by DMV.

The program consists of 36 fifty-minute classroom periods of instructions and 14 fifty-minute periods in-car instructions (7 periods of driving and 7 periods of observation, including the final road skills examination). It includes components about alcohol safety, drug abuse awareness, aggressive driving, distracted driving, pedestrian and bicycle safety, handicapped parking, fuel efficient driving practices, motorcycle awareness and organ and tissue donation awareness.

Driver's Manual Course

You have the option of completing a DMV approved 8-hour course based on the Virginia driver's manual (i.e., Driver's Manual Course) exclusively for satisfying the three-times-failure requirement. This course is available at a driver training school. Please see the age-based requirements below.

If you are age 19 and older, you may opt to complete the driver's manual course. The completion date of the driver's manual course must be after the date that you failed the knowledge exam for the third time. When you have successfully completed the course and have provided DMV with your certificate of completion, you can re-take the knowledge exam.

If you are under age 19, you may opt to complete the driver's manual course if you have previously completed the classroom component of driver education. Before you can take this course, you must present your certificate of completion for the classroom component of driver education to the driver training school conducting the driver's manual course. The completion date of the driver's manual course must be after the date that you failed the knowledge exam for the third time. When you have successfully completed the course and have provided DMV with your certificate of completion, you can re-take the knowledge exam.

You can find a list of schools offering this course at Driver's Manual Course Training Sites.

Find a Driver Training School

To locate the driver training school closest to you, refer to Driver Training Schools by District.

Additional Information

DMV is committed to promoting transportation safety through the certification of quality driver training programs. For information about the laws governing driver training schools, refer to the Virginia Driver Training School Regulations.

If you have comments or concerns about this course, call our toll-free number: 1-877-885-5790.