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Escort Vehicle Driver Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is an escort vehicle driver, and what are the duties and responsibilities of the escort vehicle driver?
The purpose of the escort vehicle and driver is to enhance the safety of moving over-dimensional loads by highway and to reduce delays and inconveniences to the normal flow of traffic. Escort drivers have specific tasks to perform during each phase of the over-dimensional load movement.
The escort vehicle and driver are responsible for the overall movement of the load. It is important to remember that the over-dimensional load driver and the escort(s) function as a team. Each person must contribute his skills and complete attention to accomplishing the safe movement of the load. Constant alertness is necessary to anticipate and avoid problems.
2. What are the benefits of having trained escort vehicle drivers?
When properly trained, escort vehicle drivers provide benefits to all parties involved in the transportation of over-dimensional or oversized loads: the manufacturers themselves, the trucking companies transporting the load, the general motoring public, and all other drivers and pedestrians on our highways and roads.
3. What are the requirements for getting a Virginia escort vehicle driver certification?
Virginia Code §46.2-2906 states that every person who applies for escort vehicle driver certification must meet the following requirements:
  • Be at least 21 years of age;
  • Hold a valid driver's license;
  • Authorize DMV to review his driving record;
  • Complete an Escort Certification Application (HP-404)
  • Present proof of completion of an eight-hour classroom training course
  • Pass the knowledge test at DMV with at least 80%, and
  • Pay the appropriate fees.
4. What is the purpose of requiring the eight-hour training program?
The training program provides a solid foundation for conducting escort vehicle operations in a safe and professional manner. Specific objectives of the program include:
  • Enhance the safety of the traveling public
  • Enhance the safety of the people involved in the movement of the over-dimensional load
  • Prevent damage to the highways and road system - overhead obstacles and road shoulders
  • Prevent damage to the load being transported
  • Reduce undue delay to the normal flow of traffic
  • Assure continuation of the industry’s safe transportation record
  • Prevent increases in insurance cost for the trucking companies due to loss claims
  • Avoid costly damage suits
  • Encourage uniform escort operations
5. What do I do once I have completed training?
Once you have completed the course and received your completion certificate, you can go to any Virginia DMV Customer Service Center (CSC) with your certificate and take the 50-question Escort Vehicle Driver Certification Test. You must get a score of 80% or better in order to pass the test. There is a $25.00 certificate fee that must be paid at the time the test is passed.
After passing the escort vehicle driver certification test and meeting all of the requirements for escort driver certification, you will receive a Temporary Certificate that is valid for 30 days. The official certification card will be sent to the address indicated and should arrive within 30 days of passing the test.
6. What are the fees for obtaining a Virginia escort vehicle driver certification?
  • The cost for the training course will vary based upon the site offering the course. DMV has no control over this fee.
  • The fee to obtain a certification from DMV is $25.
7. What happens if I fail the test at DMV? Can I retake the test?
After you have completed the test, a DMV customer service representative will let you know whether or not you passed. If you fail the test, you may retake it on the next business day. However, if you fail the test three times, you must wait 30 calendar days before retaking the test. We suggest you review the material presented at the training course prior to retaking the test.
The cost of each additional test (re-examination fee) is $2 and is charged when a customer retakes the test.
8. How long does a Virginia escort vehicle driver certification last?
The certificate is valid for five years and will expire on the last day of the month in which it was issued. For example, if your certification was issued March 1, your certification will expire in five years on March 31st.
9. If I am not from Virginia, can I still get a Virginia escort vehicle driver certification?
Yes, customers with valid out-of-state driver's licenses are able to get a Virginia escort vehicle driver certification. A a transcript from your state is not needed if DMV can verify the validity of an out-of-state driver's license on the National Driver Registry (NDR). Proof of completion of an 8-hour training course is required and can be either be from Virginia or another state that has a reciprocal agreement with Virginia.
10. How do I renew my Virginia escort vehicle driver certification?
To renew your certification, you must take the escort vehicle driver certification test at a customer service center (CSC) and pay a $25 renewal fee. If your certification has been expired for less than one year, you must take the escort vehicle driver certification test and pay a $25 renewal fee. If your certification has been expired for more than a year, you must take an 8-hour training course, pass the test, and pay a $25 renewal fee.
11. What should I do if my escort vehicle driver certification card is lost, stolen or destroyed?
To receive a duplicate escort vehicle driver certification card, go to any Virginia DMV CSC, complete the "Escort Vehicle Driver Certification Application" (HP-404), and pay the $15 duplication fee. You will receive the duplicate in about two weeks. You may also contact the Hauling Permit Office at (804) 497-7135 to obtain a duplicate.
Performing escort duties without a certificate is done at your own risk.
12. Is the training course or test required if I am getting a duplicate certification card or if my certification card has been stolen?
Neither the escort driver certification test nor the 8-hour training course is required for a duplicate or reissue certification card or to change information on an existing certification card.
13. If my address changes, should I notify DMV?
You must notify the DMV within 30 days of your change of address. There is no charge to change your address unless you purchase a new driver's license with your new address on it.
14. What causes a Virginia escort vehicle driver certification to be suspended or revoked?
  • The certification is not valid if the driver's license is revoked or suspended.
  • The certification will be suspended if the driver is repeatedly caught speeding, making illegal turns, blocking traffic outside of what is required in the permit, the drivers permit can be revoked.
  • The certification may be revoked if the driver is convicted repeatedly of violating the laws and safe escort procedures.
  • The certification will be revoked if a driver becomes physically or mentally unable to drive.
  • The certification will be revoked if a driver is found to have given false or fraudulent information on the application for certification as an escort driver.
If the escort vehicle driver's license is in good standing with the state, then the certification is valid. If the driver's license is suspended or revoked, then the certification is not valid.
15. Why is the escort vehicle driver certification not included on the driver's license? Why is there no picture on the escort vehicle driver certification card?
The Virginia driver's license is proof that a driver is able to operate a vehicle in the Commonwealth. It was decided that a separate certification card would be used to show that additional requirements for becoming an escort vehicle driver have been met.
16. Will escorts with a vehicle registered in Virginia be required to be certified in Virginia?
The Code of Virginia focuses on Virginia residents and non-Virginia residents. Virginia Code § 46.2-2901 states in part that anytime a load is being escorted, the escort driver must possess a valid escort vehicle driver certificate issued by the Commonwealth or another state that has a reciprocal agreement with the Commonwealth recognizing escort vehicle driver certificates issued by that state. Additionally, Virginia Code §46.2-2907 and §46.2-2908 stipulate that non-Virginia residents can legally escort loads in Virginia. None of the approved language mandates a Virginia resident obtain a Virginia escort certification. A Virginia resident could have a North Carolina certification and be legal, since North Carolina is a reciprocal state.
17. What is reciprocity with other states? How does it affect me?
The state of Virginia has agreements with other states with similar training programs to allow escort vehicle drivers certified in Virginia to be considered certified in those states and vice versa. This is called reciprocity and is defined in Virginia Code §46.2-2907. Currently, we have an agreement with North Carolina. This allows anyone who has a valid Virginia escort vehicle driver certification to escort loads in that state.
18. For questions about the process or my Virginia escort vehicle driver certification, who do I contact?
Please contact DMV's Hauling Permits office at (804) 497-7135.