Learners Permit

Being a fully-licensed driver in Virginia makes it much easier and more convenient to travel to and from school or work each day. With the ability to independently travel, you can enjoy incredible flexibility and freedom. However, before you can enjoy the benefits of being a licensed driver, you must walk through a few important steps to prepare yourself for both the graduated licensing process and the unrestricted licensing process. For new drivers who are under the age of 18 years old, you must first obtain a learners permit before you can proceed with progressively more significant licensing steps.


What It Takes to Get a Learners Permit in Virginia

A learners permit is available for Virginia teens who are under the age of 18 and who are older than 15 and a half years old. If you are within this age range, you can begin the application process by downloading the DL 1P application form. Your parents or guardians will need to sign it. You also need to gather your Social Security card, proof of your identity, proof of residence and proof of legal citizenship. When you arrive at your local licensing office, you should have all of these items in your hand, and you should also have the financial means to pay a nominal permit or licensing application fee. Once a representative has verified that you have all required documentation to obtain a permit, you will need to pass a few tests.


How to Prepare for the Tests

The first of these two tests is a vision test. You are permitted and encouraged to take the vision test with contacts or glasses if you have a prescription. Your permit may have a restriction that you can only drive while using corrective vision contacts or glasses. After you pass the vision test, you must then pass the knowledge test. This is a test regarding signs, driving rules and other information relevant to your ability to safely operate a vehicle on local roads. Keep in mind that all road signs questions must be answered correctly before you are permitted to work on the second part of the test. For the second component of the test, you will need to pass with a score of at least 80 percent. If you meet all of these important requirements, you will receive a learner’s permit.


What to Do After You Have a Learners Permit

A learner’s permit in Virginia lets you drive on local roads only when a licensed adult who is at least 21 years old is in the front passenger’s seat next to you. This lets you gain valuable experience that you need in order to pass the behind-the-wheel driving test, which is required before you can apply for a restricted license once you are 16 years old. In order to obtain this second-stage license, you will need to take an approved driver’s education course in a classroom or online. This course includes driving, in-car observation, in-car instruction and classroom instruction. You must show proof that you have completed the course before you can obtain a restricted license. Therefore, it is wise to begin the course as soon as you have your permit. Be aware that your learners permit needs to be at least 60 days old before you can apply.


Obtaining your driver’s license is a major milestone, and the first step to take to reach this milestone is to obtain a learner’s permit. With a learner’s permit, you can get behind-the-wheel practice so that you can be a safe, experienced and licensed driver once you reach the right age.