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How to Get a Learners Permit in Virginia

A Virginia learners permit is required under certain circumstances before you can get a license with full driving privileges. Getting a learners permit requires that you visit the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). A permit for driving will be issued if you meet all of the eligibility requirements, pay a fee and pass your DMV tests. With a VA DMV learners permit, you may practice driving with a qualified, licensed adult. When you fulfill all of the requirements for learners permit credentials, you will be eligible to receive your license. Find out how to get a learners permit and discover the Virginia learners permit rules.

Eligibility Requirements for a Learners Permit in Virginia

Applying for a learners permit in Virginia requires that you meet age and residency requirements. To get learners permit credentials, you must be a resident of Virginia and be at least 15 years and six months of age or older. To obtain a permit for driving when you are younger than 18 years of age, you need parental consent. However, you do not need permission if you are younger than 18 years of age and are married or legally emancipated. If you have been found guilty of an offense in juvenile court in Virginia or anywhere else, then you must get the court’s permission in order to receive a permit. Finally, if you are applying for a Virginia learners permit as a new resident of the state, then you must surrender any out-of- state learners permit credentials that you already hold. The length of time you held an out-of- state drivers permit will count toward the required amount of time you must have a permit before applying for a drivers license in Virginia.

How to Get a Learners Permit in Virginia

If you are wondering where to get learners permit credentials in Virginia, then know that you can visit any state DMV office to apply. To obtain a DMV drivers permit in Virginia, you must visit the office in person to present your application and take your tests. You cannot obtain a learners permit online, as you must submit your application documents in person for security reasons. While at the DMV, you will need to present one document that proves your identity, one document showing your legal presence in the U.S., one document proving your Social Security Number (SSN) and two documents showing your residential address. The most common documents used to get a learners permit in Virginia include the following:

  • Your Social Security card or a pay stub showing your SSN
  • A recent utility bill, bank statement or other document showing your residential address
  • A certified birth certificate, U.S. passport or Certificate of Naturalization, if you are a U.S. citizen
  • A foreign passport, employment authorization document or resident card, if you are not a U.S. citizen but are in the country legally

Next, you will fill out a Virginia learners permit application, which is called the Application for a Virginia Drivers License. Your learners drivers license is required to show your full legal name, so make sure to fill out the application accordingly. Note that when submitting the VA learners permit application, the application counts for both your permit and license. As such, you will pay a learners permit fee and a drivers license fee.

You will take your Virginia learners driving license tests after submitting your application. To get learners permit credentials, you need to pass a vision test and two knowledge tests. First, the learners permit vision test requires that you meet certain standards for visual acuity and peripheral vision. You may be able to pass the learner permit vision test if your eyesight does not meet the DMV standards. However, your permit and license will restrict you to driving during daylight hours only. Next, you will take your knowledge exams. If tests for a Virginia learners permit are offered at your high school, then you may take your knowledge tests at school rather than at the DMV. You must take the learners drivers license tests at the DMV if they are not offered at your school, though. It is best to study a variety of learners permit questions in the driver manual before taking your knowledge tests.

Virginia Learners Permit Rules

When you have a Virginia learners permit, you must follow a number of rules while driving. The learners permit rules are designed for your safety, as well as the safety of other drivers. With a learners driving license, you must only drive under the supervision of a licensed adult who is 21 years of age or older. You may, however, drive with someone 18 years of age or older if that person is your guardian, sibling, step sibling or half sibling. When you are driving with a learners permit in Virginia, the licensed adult you drive with must be sitting in the front seat and be able to take control of the vehicle in an emergency. Additionally, you cannot have more than one passenger who is younger than 21 years of age, not including family members. Finally, with a learners drivers license, you cannot drive between the hours of midnight and 4 a.m.

How to Fulfill the Virginia Learners Permit Requirements

Once you have your Virginia learners permit, you must fulfill a number of requirements in order to achieve eligibility for your driver’s license. First, you must use your learners drivers license to obtain at least 45 hours of driving practice. All of your practice hours must be completed following the rules for learners permits listed in the section above. Second, you must hold your VA learner permit for a certain period of time before you can apply for a license. If you are younger than 18 years of age, then you must hold your permit for nine months. If you are older than 18 years of age when applying for a learners permit, then you must hold it for at least 60 days before you are eligible for a license. Finally, know that learners permits expire on your 20th birthday if you obtained your permit when you were younger than 18 years of age. Refer to the expiration date listed on your permit to avoid driving with an expired credential.