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Learner's Permits

Complete an Application

How to Apply

The minimum age to get a learner's permit is 15 years and 6 months of age.

To apply, you must complete an Application for a Virginia Driver's License (Form DL 1P) and pay the fees for both the permit and license. Use your full legal name, as abbreviations and nicknames will not be accepted.

If you are under 18, your parent or legal guardian must provide written consent by signing your application. In lieu of written consent, a court order showing that you are an emancipated minor is acceptable.

Required identity and residency documents:

  • One proof of identity
  • One proof of legal presence
  • Two proofs of Virginia residency
  • Proof of your Social Security number (SSN), if you have been issued one. If you know your SSN, DMV can verify it electronically.

View Document Guide

All documents must be originals; temporary documents or photocopies will not be accepted.

DMV may not accept a document when there’s reason to believe it has been altered, fraudulently obtained or is fake, forged, counterfeit or illegitimate. DMV may require additional documents or change which documents are accepted without prior notice.

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Testing

You will need to take a vision screening and pass a two-part knowledge exam in order to receive your learner's permit.

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Fee

A learner's permit fee is $3 plus the yearly cost of a driver's license. View Fee Chart.

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Learner's Permit Driving Restrictions

Having a learner's permit allows you to drive a motor vehicle when a licensed driver at least 21 years of age is seated beside you. The licensed driver may be 18 years of age or older if they are your legal guardian or sibling. They must be alert and able to assist you.

You may drive with your valid learner's permit without a licensed driver if you:

  • Hold a valid Virginia Driver Training Certificate (DTS B) showing completion of the classroom and in-vehicle portions of driver education
  • Hold a DTS B is signed by a parent or legal guardian
  • Are at least 16 years 3 months old and still under age 18 and
  • Have held your learner's permit for nine months.

Receiving Your Learner’s Permit

Once you pass your required testing, your learner's permit will be mailed to the address in DMV's records. Make sure that DMV has your current, correct address on record, as the U.S. Postal Service will not forward learner's permits. If you have moved, notify DMV right away.

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How Long Permits Are Valid

Your first driver's license will be valid for up to eight years, depending on your age when the license is issued, and will expire on your birthday.

If you are temporarily authorized to be in the United States, a limited duration learner's permit will be valid only for the amount of time you are legally permitted to stay in the United States. If your authorized stay is less than 30 days from the day you apply, you will not be eligible to receive a limited duration learner's permit. The expiration of the permit will be the same as the expiration date on the document used to prove legal presence.

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Juvenile Licensing Ceremony

  • If you are under the age of 18 when your driver’s license is issued, you may be required to attend a court licensing ceremony with your parent or guardian to receive your license. The Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court in the jurisdiction where you live will mail you a notice if you are required to attend. If the court does not require the ceremony, your driver’s license will be mailed directly to you. For more information, refer to our list of courts/jurisdictions that require a juvenile licensing ceremony.
  • If you are under the age of 18 when the driver’s license is issued, you are required to attend a court licensing ceremony, and you turn 18 before your court ceremony, you must still attend the court ceremony, but you are not required to be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
  • If you are 18 years of age or older when the driver’s license is issued, your license will be mailed to your address on file with DMV.
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Additional Information

Out-of-State Residents

In addition to the requirements above, you will need to provide DMV with your out-of-state learner's permit. The time you held your out-of-state learner's permit will be counted toward the Virginia minimum holding period.

Medical Indicators

An applicant, or parent or legal guardian if the applicant is under 18, may request indicators be placed on their learner’s permit to identify their disability to law enforcement. See Disability Programs for more information.

For questions about driver fitness, refer to Medical and Mental Requirements.

Selective Service Registration

Generally males under age 26 must register with the Selective Service. If you are under age 18, your parent or guardian must sign your application authorizing the Selective Service to register you when you turn age 18. DMV cannot issue you a driver's license or ID card if you’re required by federal law to register with the Selective Service but refuse to authorize DMV to send your information to the Selective Service. Visit the Selective Service website at www.sss.gov or call 847-688-6888 (TTY: 847-688-2567) for more information.

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