Driver's license applicants 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.
If you are applying for a commercial driver's license (CDL) and have failed the knowledge exam or road skills test three times, prior to February 7, 2022, refer to CDL Driver Training Schools (Including Three-Time Failures)
Failing the Knowledge Test
Students under age 18 that fail the general knowledge test three times:
- If you complete the required classroom portion of driver's education (consisting of 36 fifty-minute classroom sessions) after you fail three times, you may present the certificate of completion such as a DEC-1, (from the public or private school) or DTS 36 (from a DMV-licensed driver training school) to satisfy the three-times failure.
- If you complete the classroom component of driver education before failing the knowledge test three times you may take the eight-hour driver's manual course online or in person to satisfy the three times failure. You must provide your certificate of completion such as a DEC-1 (from the public or private school) or DTS 36 (from a DMV-licensed driver training school) to the email address of the school that will be providing the Driver's Manual course before you enroll in the Driver's Manual Course.
Students age 18 or older may complete an 8-hour Driver's Manual course, either in a classroom or online. This 8-hour course is based on the Virginia driver's manual and is designed to better prepare individuals for the knowledge test. The online course must be completed through a DMV-licensed online driver training school. You can find a list of schools offering this course at Driver's Manual Course Training Sites.
Note: 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 either the classroom or online version of the Driver's Manual course and have provided DMV with your certificate of completion, you can retake the general knowledge exam.
Note: If you have failed the CDL knowledge test, prior to February 7, 2022, you must complete the classroom component in person. An online version of the course is not available at this time.
Failing the Road Skills Test
If you have failed the road test three times, you must take the behind-the-wheel component of driver education. This component consists of seven 50-minute periods of driving; no observation or road skills test required.
Find a Driver Training School
To locate the driver training school that is closest to you, refer to Driver Training Schools (Three Exam Failures).
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.