Virginia Permit Requirements

When applying for a Virginia driver permit with Department of Motor Vehicles, you should know the requirements for a permit.  Make sure you have the met the DMV conditions and that you have the necessary documents ready.

The state of Virginia allows new drivers to hit the road with a valid learner's permit while completing the requirements for a full driver's license. In order to qualify for the permit, you must be at least 15 years and 6 months of age and have the written permission of your parents or your legal guardian if you are under the age of 18.

Required Documents for your Virginia Permit

The application for a Virginia learner's permit requires several documents, including a completed Form DL-1P (the application) as well as two forms of identity. Virginia restricts learner's permits to residents who can prove they are legally present in the United States. You can use a U.S. birth certificate, passport, Permanent Resident Card or Certificate of Naturalization. You must be a Virginia resident; acceptable forms of proof include a public record such as a school enrollment form or report card. The DMV will also accept bank statements, W-2 forms filed by your employer or other current records that have your name as well as your Virginia address.  More information can be found here. http://www.dmv.state.va.us/webdoc/pdf/dmv141.pdf 

There is a $7 permit fee charged for the application; the DMV charges a $2 fee for replacement of a lost permit, which also requires the proof of residence and legal presence.

Virginia Permit Test

The written test to receive the permit is a computer-based, multiple-choice test.  There are 25 general knowledge questions, and 10 questions concerning road signs.  You need to get all the sign questions correct, and 80% of the knowledge questions right in order to pass.  If you fail, you have to wait at least 15 days before to study before trying again.  Fail three times and they will make you take the classroom portion of driver ed before receiving a permit.  Oral exams are also available for those who need help reading the test. 

Once you've completed the knowledge test, the DMV administers a vision test.

Virginia Permit Restrictions

Passing the knowledge test as well as the vision test entitles you to a Virginia learner's permit. You don't need to complete a driver's ed class in order to drive with a permit, but you must be accompanied by a licensed driver who is at least 21 years old at all times when behind the wheel. The law permits your companion to be a parent, legal guardian or sibling who is at least 18 years old and fully licensed.   Learners permit holders may not carry more than one passenger under age 18, and may not drive between midnight and 4 AM except to go to and from work or school business.

When you reach the age of 16 years and 3 months of age, have held a learner's permit for at least nine months and have completed a driver's ed course, you can also apply for a restricted driver's license, which is good until you reach 18 years of age. The restricted license allows you to drive alone only between 4 a.m. and midnight, or to and from school or a job. There are also restrictions on the number of passengers you can have.