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Driver Training for Three Exam Failures

Driver's license applicants, including applicants for a commercial driver's license (CDL), who fail the knowledge exam or road skills test three times must successfully complete the applicable knowledge or in-vehicle component of a driver education course before they can take the examination a fourth time. Classes taken at a driver improvement clinic do not meet this requirement.

Failing the Knowledge Test

If you have failed the knowledge test three times, you must re-take the classroom component of driver education. This component consists of 36 fifty-minute classroom periods of instruction.

If you are age 19 or older, you can opt to complete the Driver's Manual course instead of retaking the classroom component of driver education. This 8-hour course is based on the Virginia driver's manual and is designed to better prepare individuals for the knowledge test. The completion date of the driver's manual course must be after the date of your third knowledge test failure. When you have successfully completed the course and have provided DMV with your certificate of completion, you can re-take the knowledge exam.

If you are under age 19, you may opt to complete the Driver's Manual course provided that you have previously completed the classroom component of driver education. Before you can take this course, you must present your certificate of completion for the classroom component of driver education to the driver training school conducting the driver's manual course. The completion date of the driver's manual course must be after the date of your third knowledge exam failure. When you have successfully completed the course and have provided DMV with your certificate of completion, you can re-take the knowledge exam.

To find a list of schools offering the Driver's Manual course, see Driver's Manual Course Training Sites.

Failing the Road Skills Test

If you have failed the road test three times, you must re-take the behind-the-wheel component of driver education. This component consists of 14 fifty-minute periods of in-car instruction (7 periods of driving and 7 periods of observation, including the final road skills examination)

Find a Driver Training School

To locate the driver training school that is closest to you, refer to Driver Training Schools (Three Exam Failures) by District.

Additional Information

DMV is committed to promoting transportation safety through the certification of quality driver training programs.

For information about the laws governing driver training schools, refer to the Virginia Driver Training School Regulations.

If you have comments or concerns about this course, call our toll-free number: 1-877-885-5790.