As is the case in every other state, you must be properly licensed in order to operate a motor vehicle on public roads in Virginia. There are separate licensing requirements based on if you plan to drive a motorcycle, a commercial vehicle or a standard vehicle. There are also separate requirements if you are younger than 18 years old and would like to obtain a learner’s permit. Many adults who are at least 18 years old may also be eager to obtain full licensing status in Virginia for the first time, and this information can help you to accomplish this goal.
Before You Apply
There are several ways to obtain a full non-commercial drivers license in Virginia. If you are relocating to the area from another state, you must complete all licensing requirements within 60 days of your arrival. This includes taking a vision and written test, surrendering your old license, paying the application fee and more. If you are a local who is ready to apply for a new license, you must either have a learner’s permit for at least 60 days or provide proof that you have taken and passed an approved driver’s training course. If you meet these guidelines, you can begin gathering the documentation needed in order to apply.
Documentation Required for a New License
Regardless of how you go about qualifying for a new drivers license in Virginia, you will need to provide documentation for various purposes. These include proving your state residency, proving your Social Security number and proving your identity. You also must prove that you are a U.S. citizen. There are various acceptable forms of documentation required, and you can contact the state’s motor vehicle’s department to learn more about the items that you can provide to meet these requirements. Remember that you typically must provide original documents rather than photocopies. In order to ensure that you have all of the supporting documentation needed and do not experience delays, it may be helpful to gather multiple supporting documents rather than relying on just one document to meet each requirement.
When you arrive at the motor vehicle’s department with all of the required documentation necessary to obtain a license, you will be required to complete and pass several tests. One test is a short vision test to ensure that you have good vision. Another test is a knowledge test. All ten of the road signs test questions in this knowledge test must be answered correctly. If you answer them correctly, you can move onto the general knowledge test. You must get at least 80 percent of these questions right in order to pass. As soon as you pass the written licensing test, you can move on to take the behind-the-wheel or road test. To complete this test, you must have your own vehicle to take the test in. You will need to show registration, insurance, licensing and inspection documents in order to begin the driving test. Remember that you can only fail the written and road driving tests up to three times before you are required to retake a driver’s education course.
It can be intimidating to apply for a driver’s license for the first time in Virginia, but you can see that the process is fairly straightforward. In fact, if you take the initiative to begin the process today, you may be a licensed driver in this state much sooner than you might think. You can begin by signing up for education classes as needed and pulling all of the required documents together.