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Learner's Permit Information

You may get your learner's permit when you reach 15 years and 6 months of age.

Getting Your Learner's Permit

When you apply for a learner's permit, you will also complete the application process for your driver's license or driver privilege card and pay the fees for both the permit and license. You will be required to pass a vision screening and the two-part knowledge exam.

Learner's Permit Driving Restrictions

Possessing a learner's permit allows you to operate a motor vehicle when a licensed driver at least 21 years of age is seated beside you. The driver accompanying you may be 18 years of age if he or she is your legal guardian, brother, sister, half-brother, half-sister, step-brother or step-sister. This person must hold a valid driver's license, be legally permitted to drive, and be alert and able to assist you.

If you are at least 16 years, 3 months and under age 18, and hold a valid Virginia Driver Training Certificate (DTS B) showing completion of the classroom and in-vehicle portions of driver's education, your DTS B and a valid learner's permit allow you to drive without a licensed driver beside you - provided that you have held your learner's permit for nine months and the certificate is signed by a parent or legal guardian.

Getting Your Driver's License

  • If you are 18 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 learner's permit for at least 60 days or show completion of a state-approved driver education program before you can apply for a driver's license.
  • If you are under age 18, you must hold a learner's permit at least 9 months and provide proof of successful completion of a state-approved driver education program before you can receive a driver's license. In addition, your parent, guardian or foster parent must provide his or her driver's license or state-issued identification card number and certify that you received at least 45 hours of driver practice, 15 of which must have been completed after sunset. Your parent's or legal guardian's signature on the certificate certifies that the statements made and the information submitted on the certificate are true and correct. Certifying false statements can result in prosecution.

Juvenile Licensing Ceremony

After you have held your permit nine months, are at least 16 and 3 months, and have completed driver education, you will receive a notice that tells you when and where to appear in court for a licensing ceremony. You will receive your permanent driver's license at this ceremony.

  • If you are 18 years of age or older when the driver’s license is issued, you will not be required to attend a court ceremony. Your license will be mailed to you.
  • If you are under the age of 18 at the time of the court ceremony, you must attend the court ceremony and be accompanied by your parent or legal guardian.
  • If you are under the age of 18 when the driver’s license is issued but 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.

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