How to Apply for a Learners Permit in Virginia
Applying for a Virginia learners permit through the state Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is a mandatory step for all first-time motorists who are younger than 18 years of age. When requesting a drivers permit, you will complete the application procedure for an actual driving license and pay for the fees for both credentials. Furthermore, while the learner’s permit is designed for teenage drivers, adult applicants can also obtain one if they would like to get a driver’s license without enrolling in a driver education program.
To finalize the application process for a DMV learners permit in VA, novice drivers will be required to meet certain requirements, which will vary to a certain degree depending on their age. While driving with this learning license, motorists will also have to abide by certain restrictions, since the credential’s purpose is to prepare its holders for a full license by limiting their driving to controlled situations. To learn more about these types of permits, read the sections below.
Virginia Learners Permit Eligibility Guidelines
You will successfully obtain a drivers learners permit in VA only if you meet the full set of requirements imposed by the state DMV. The standard drivers permit requirements are explored in the following list:
- You are at least 15-and-a-half years of age.
- If you are younger than 18 years of age, you must have your parent’s or guardian’s permission to get a VA learning license.
- You have the required documents to prove your identity, legal status, state residency and Social Security Number (SSN).
- You have the necessary physical and mental fitness needed to safely operate a vehicle.
- You can prove that you have the theoretical knowledge of safe driving practices.
When gathering the paperwork needed to apply for a VA learners permit, you must first obtain proof of identification and legal U.S. status, which includes documents such as a birth certificate or a passport. On the other hand, motorists who are not U.S. citizens can use green cards, foreign passports with valid VISAs and employment cards instead.
In order to prove state residency, you will need to submit two documents, such as deeds, voter registration cards, utility bills or payroll stubs. Finally, you can prove your SSN with a Social Security card or tax form, provided you were issued a Social Security Number.
Note: Before processing your drivers permit application, the state DMV will check whether or not the documents are presented in their original form or as certified copies. As a general rule, the department does not accept photocopies of required documents.
How to Apply for a Learners Permit in Virginia
The process for getting a learners permit in Virginia can be completed through any local DMV office in the state. If you are wondering how to apply for a learners permit, note that you will have to complete these steps:
- Fill out the Driver’s License and Identification Card Application (Form DL 1P).
- You can complete the DL 1P form before or after visiting the DMV.
- Your parent or legal guardian will have to sign the application if you are younger than 18 years of age.
- You can use the form to register for Selective Service, if required to do so.
- Submit the necessary identification paperwork, as outlined in the previous sections.
- Pay for the applicable drivers permit fees.
- Have your photo taken.
- Pass the vision screening and the written exam.
Once a DMV agent processes your learners permit application, he or she will forward a request for the issuance of a new permit. The department will then manufacture your learning license and mail it to your address on file.
Note that the paperwork requirements to apply for learner permit in VA may vary from case to case. Therefore, contact your local DMV office before making your visit to review the exact documents that apply under your circumstances.
The Virginia Drivers Permit Test
One of the more important steps when applying for a learners permit in Virginia is passing the applicable knowledge exam. Overall, the VA DMV permit test is a two-part exam that will check your theoretical knowledge of topics such as road rules, traffic signs/signals and safe driving practices. This test is taken on a computer at a DMV office. First, you will have to answer correctly all ten questions related to traffic signs.
Then, you will move on to the second section regarding general knowledge. You will successfully pass the drivers permit test if you answer correctly at least 80 percent of the questions on that second section.
While the most effective method to prepare for a learners permit test is studying the state driving manual, you can also supplement your study plan with additional strategies. In addition, you can obtain a practice permit test, which will help you review the structure and types of questions present on the official exam.
Virginia Driving Permit Rules and Restrictions
Reviewing the Virginia driving permit rules after obtaining your learners license is an important step. For example, the standard learners permit rules prohibit you from operating a motor vehicle alone. As such, you can only legally drive with a permit license if you are accompanied by a licensed motorist who is seated next to you and is at least 21 years of age.
If the accompanying driver is your legal guardian or sibling, he or she can be 18 years of age. Furthermore, the accompanying motorist must carry a valid driving license at all times.
When driving with a learning permit in VA, you will also be prohibited from carrying more than one passenger younger than 21 years of age. On the other hand, this rule does not apply to members of your family.
In any case, you will have to abide by a curfew, which starts at midnight and ends at 4 a.m. After carrying your drivers permit for nine months and completing a driver education course, you can apply for a full driver’s license to continue driving unaccompanied.
Virginia Learner Permit Fees
The state DMV will process a Virginia learners permit request only if the applicant submits payment for the licensing fees. Note that the total learner permit fee will include both a $3 base fee for the permit license plus the driving license’s standard yearly cost. Therefore, you will be required to pay additional $4 per year of validity of your license.