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Driver Education Requirements

If you are a Virginia resident under age 19, you must complete a state-approved driver education program and hold your Virginia learner's permit for at least nine months.

If you are a Virginia resident, 19 years of age or older and you have never held a license issued by any state, U.S. territory or foreign country, you must hold a Virginia learner's permit for at least 60 days or show completion of a state-approved driver education program.

If you are under 18 years of age, 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.

About Driver's Education

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 must present 36 classroom periods, including 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. The program must also include 14 in-car instruction periods - 7 periods of driving and 7 periods of observation.

The course must be taken at a public or private driver training school unless you are home-schooled.

You will receive a driver education completion certificate when you successfully complete a driver education program. The driver education certificate of completion is considered part of the driver's license application. A copy of your certificate will be sent by your school instructor to DMV for issuance of a permanent driver's license.

Exchanging Your Out-of-state License (Juvenile Applicants Only)

DMV may exchange your out-of-state license for a Virginia license if you meet the following conditions:

  • You are at least age 16 and three months but under age 19 and hold a valid license; and
  • You have successfully completed a driver education program while residing in another state and the program meets a minimum of 30 classroom hours and six in-car instruction hours; and
  • You can present proof of legal presence, identity, Virginia residency, and your social security number. Refer to "Acceptable Documents for Obtaining a Driver's License or Photo ID Card" (DMV 141). en Espanol

If you hold a current out-of-state driver's license but do not have proof of driver education, you may be issued a Virginia six-month temporary license. This will give you time to obtain proof or to complete a state-approved driver education program.