Driver’s licenses and state identification (ID) cards are issued by the state in which you reside; the laws for each state are different. We obtain a Virginia driver’s license or state ID card from the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
If you have a valid home country driver’s license or an international driver’s license, you may legally drive in Virginia for 6 months after your arrival. Beyond that, the Commonwealth of Virginia requires you to obtain a Virginia driver’s license.
Virginia Learner’s Permit
At 15 years and six months old, you can apply for your Virginia learner’s permit. To apply for your permit, you are required to complete the Virginia Driver’s License Application Form (DL1P) and provide documentation of your identification and residency. You must also pass a two-part sign and knowledge test and a vision test.
With a learner’s permit, you can operate a motor vehicle when accompanied by a driver 18 years of age or older who is a parent or legal guardian lawfully permitted to operate a motor vehicle, or when accompanied by a driver 21 years of age or older who is lawfully permitted to operate a motor vehicle. Your accompanying person must be alert, able to assist you and occupying the seat next to the driver.
Driver’s License Application Process
If you are 18 years old or older, you must provide proof of successful completion of a state-approved driver education program or you must have held a learner’s permit at least 60 days before you can take the road skills test. If you have a license from another U.S. state, Canada, Germany, or France, then you may simply obtain a Virginia license by completing the application and paying the fee. Licenses from other U.S. states or Canada will be invalidated when you receive your Virginia license.
To apply for a Virginia driver’s license, you must have the following documents ready:
- Proof of identity
- Social Security number
- evidence you live in Virginia
- Payment for required fees
The DMV also issues Virginia ID cards that can serve as a government issued picture identification document that you can carry with you. Information on obtaining the Virginia ID card can be found at the DMV website.
Virginia Driver’s License Renewal
Renewing a driver’s license in Virginia can be conveniently done online.
If your driver’s license has expired, you must show proof of “legal presence” if you allow your driver’s license to expire. You need to prove that you are a legal resident or citizen of the United States.
The Department of Motor Vehicles will send out a notice via mail to notify you whether or not you are eligible to renew online. If you are eligible, the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles has a website for you to input information to complete the process. Unless VA requires you to appear for your license renewal physically, there is a required fee for renewals in person. Apply for a Virginia driver’s license
Duration of Virginia Driver’s License
Normally, your Virginia driver’s license is valid for eight years and expires on your birthday. Your first driver’s license will expire on your birthday in the eighth year of license validity.
If you are age 75 or older, your driver’s license will be valid for five years.
The Code of Virginia mandates that persons required to register as a sex offender pursuant to Chapter 9 of Title 9.1 renew their driver’s licenses every 5 years.
For many individuals authorized to be in the U.S. temporarily, a driver’s license will be valid only for the amount of time that you are legally permitted to stay in the U.S.. You will not be eligible to receive a limited duration driver’s license if your authorized stay in the U.S. is less than 30 days from the date of your application. The expiration of the driver’s license will be the same as the expiration date shown on the document used to prove legal presence. If there is no definite end to your stay, the license will be valid for one year.
Why Online? Car Buying Guide · Insurance Guide. Your State. California · Colorado · Florida · Georgia · Illinois · Indiana · Nevada · Ohio · Oklahoma · Pennsylvania …If you have a valid home country driver’s license or an international driver’s license, you may legally drive in Virginia for 6 months after your arrival. Beyond that … Apply for a Virginia driver’s license