Driver License Eligibility Requirements

First Time Drivers

You must be a resident of the Commonwealth of Virginia and at least 16 years and 3 months of age to obtain a Virginia driver's license. To obtain a learner's permit, you must be at least 15 years and 6 months of age. No exceptions will be made to these age requirements. If you are under age 18, you must provide written consent from one of your parents or your legal guardian unless you are married or emancipated.

If you are under age 18, you must complete a state-approved driver education program.

If you are age 18 or older, and you have never held a driver's license issued by Virginia, another state, a U.S. territory, or foreign country, or cannot show proof that you previously held such a license, you must show proof that:

At any age, as a first time driver, you will be required to provide documents to prove identity, legal presence, Virginia residency, and, if you have one, Social Security number. Use the interactive document guide to determine which documents you will need to bring to DMV when you apply, or refer to "Acceptable Documents for Obtaining a Driver's License or Photo ID Card" (DMV 141) en Espa�ol.

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New Residents

Within 60 days of moving here, you must obtain a Virginia driver's license. If you currently hold a commercial driver's license (CDL), you must obtain a Virginia CDL within 30 days.

If your license has been suspended or revoked by another state, a Virginia license may not be issued until your driving record in that state is cleared and you meet Virginia requirements.

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Military Personnel

If you are an active-duty member of the Armed Forces stationed in Virginia, you, your spouse and dependent children 16 years and 3 months of age or older may drive with a valid driver's license issued by your home state or country.

A vehicle registered in your name may be driven with valid out-of-state license plates if you are the sole owner. If the vehicle is co-owned and out-of-state plates are used, all co-owners must be active duty members of the Armed Forces. If all the co-owners are not active duty members, the vehicle must be registered in Virginia. You may register your vehicle in Virginia without obtaining a Virginia driver's license.

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Out-of-State Students

If you are enrolled as a full-time student in an accredited school in Virginia and not employed, you may drive in Virginia with a valid out-of-state (or another country) driver's license and valid out-of-state license plates on your vehicle.

If you are a full-time student and employed, you are considered a resident of Virginia for the purposes of motor vehicle laws only. This does not necessarily qualify you for in-state tuition rates. Therefore, you must apply for a Virginia driver's license and register your vehicle in Virginia. You must register the vehicle in Virginia even if it is owned by someone else.

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If you are a non-resident temporarily living in Virginia, you may drive with your home state or country driver's license and license plates for no more than six months. This does not apply to commercial vehicle drivers. If you become gainfully employed, you are required to hold a Virginia driver's license.

If you are serving a full-time church service or proselyting mission of not more than 36 months, not gainfully employed and the owner(s) of a vehicle that is titled and registered in another state, you are not required to title or register your vehicle in Virginia.

For more information, visit your local DMV customer service center or contact us.

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See also