How to Get a Drivers' License in Virginia

Virginia has an estimated 8 million individuals, with 5 million of them holding a driver’s license. Obtaining a Virginia driving license is simply provided you have all of the necessary papers and qualifications prior to visiting the DMV. To register for a learner’s permit, you must be 15 and a half years old.

The standards can be divided into three groups. If you’ve never had a driver’s license before and this is your 1st registration, you’ll fall into the first group. If you do have a driver’s license, but from another state, you fall into group 2. Lastly, you need to enlist with Virginia’s Selective Service.

The state of Virginia has different categories of driving licenses. These are the Commercial Driver’s License, shortened as CDL. The standard or ordinary driver’s license that encompasses non-commercial cars falls into the second class and is applied by most individuals. You can also register for a motorbike license.



Virginia Driver's License The state of your residence is responsible for issuing driver’s licenses and state identity (I.D.) cards. In Virginia, you will have to visit the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Full-time students at ODU who are not employed may also drive in Virginia as long as they have a valid out-of-state or foreign driver’s license. And if you work in the commonwealth of Virginia, you must obtain a Virginia driving license within sixty days.

If you are a J-1 Visiting Scholar, you can use your state or country’s driver’s license for six months. But after that, you will need a Virginia driver’s license. Also, if you start working, you will need to have the permit in 60 days. And the same applies to all dependents and retrenched employees.

The Department of Homeland Security suggests you wait a minimum of 10 working days after arrival in the United States and two federal business days after SEVIS data has been validated. This period allows the analysis of arrival data such as visas and passports. Further, Virginia uses the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) Program to establish if non-citizens are eligible for a Social Security Card (SSN) and driving licenses. You may track the progress of your current case with SAVE CaseCheck.


Required Documentation

You have to present documents that show evidence of your residence-one proof of legal presence and two for your residence in Virginia. Also, a social security number will be required to tag along with the original documents. To know the needed document, you can use the DMV 141 guide.


Knowledge test

If it is your first tie behind the wheel, you will need to obtain a  learner’s permit. Thus, you will have to sit for the written DMV test and pass. The ideal way of preparing yourself is by reading the V.A. Driver’s Manual and doing plenty of online tests. If you feel you can do the test, you have to book a test center and a date to do the actual test.

However, should you fail the permit test three times, you will have to take a. But, if your results are positive, the test center will give you a verified and stamped permit.


Road test

If you are age 18 or more, you should show that you have completed a state-approved driving educational program before you may take the road skills exam. If not, you will have to provide a learner’s issue at least two months before the test day.

On the other hand, if you are below 18 years, you will need to show that learners permit going back for at least nine months. Still, you will be required to have completed a state-approved driving education program.

To take your road skills exam, you’ll need to bring your vehicle. It must include the following elements:

  • Valid driver’s number plates
  • Registration card
  • An inspection sticker for safety was issued by the government.
  • The car’s brakes, mirrors, headlights, and turn signals must all be in good functioning order. All of your safety belts, as well as your speedometer, must be in functioning order.

A Virginia DMV employee will administer your driving skills exam. During the test, just you (the applicant) and the DMV agent are allowed in the car. Only one exam may be taken each business day. If you fail the road skills exam, you must complete authorized behind-the-wheel driver instruction from a licensed driving school.

Should your results be positive, you will be photographed and asked to sign a document. The presiding judge over local juvenile/domestic affairs court receives all the first Virginia driving licenses issued to persons under 18). You and your parent/guardian will be notified by email of the date and place where you and your guardian must go to receive your official Virginia driving permit.

If you have a license from your home country, the state of Virginia will test your driving skills through a road test. Again, they will issue you vision tests which are followed by a two-part knowledge test. For residents with a valid Taiwanese driver’s license, road skills alone will suffice for the test.

Further, you won’t have to do the two-part knowledge exam or road tests if you have a valid driver’s license from a U.S. state or territory, Canada, France, Germany, or S. Korea. Instead, you fill out the application form and pay the license fee. When you get your Virginia license, any licenses from other jurisdictions in the U.S. or Canada will be canceled.

The driving license will be valid for the period specified on your I-20 or DS-2021, but not more than five years. Additionally, the license will cost you $4 for each year it is issued and with the lowest fee of $20.


Process of getting Virginia driver’s license


  • Read the Virginia driving manual and take an online test
  • Register for the Learner’s Permit at your nearby DMV location and Submit the needed documents and identification.
  • Pass the written examination
  • Pass the eyesight assessment and Make a payment. You will be given your Learner’s Permit after this.

Put in at least two months of driving training under the watch of an experienced over 21years adult or family member.

  • Register for your class driver’s license at your nearest DMV location and submit the needed documents and identification.
  • Pass the driving exam and Make a payment
  • Obtain a provisional driver’s license.
  • Get your class drivers’ license through the U.S email.

As much as the road to getting your Virginia drivers to permit starts when you are fifteen, there are still exceptions for persons from outer states. However, the former is easy as the tons of documentation needed for new members in Virginia will not be called for. Nonetheless, if you have all your documents in order, all that’s left for you is to polish your driving skills and prepare for the written tests. And if you have never been behind the wheel, finding a school to enroll in for a driving program will suffice.