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So you've taken your first step towards becoming a new driver in Virginia? Congratulations!
As you probably already know, driving is a valuable skill, but can also be extremely dangerous. Therefore, to help new teen drivers develop safe driving habits during their first few years behind the wheel, the State of Virginia has implemented a graduated driver license program for Virginia drivers who are under the age of 18.
We’ve summarized a few things you’ll need to know as you begin the process of becoming a licensed driver in Virginia.
You will be able to apply for an instruction permit in Virginia when you are 15 years and 6 months old, provided you have met the following requirements:
When you're ready to get your instruction permit, head down to your local driver's license office with the following paperwork:
At the driver's license office, you will first be given a vision screening test, and then you will need to pass the written test before being issued an instruction permit.
You may apply for your provisional license once you meet the following requirements:
When you're ready to upgrade to a provisional license, gather up all of the required paperwork you took with you last time plus your instruction permit, and head back down to the driver's license office. You will need to pass a road test to get your provisional license.
After you turn 18, these restrictions will be lifted.
State law requires that you have at least a certain amount of auto insurance/liability coverage on any vehicle you drive. The minimum amount of liability coverage required in Virginia is as follows:
Driving without the required amount of auto insurance is a crime. If you are found to be driving while uninsured, you risk losing your license and paying a hefty fine.
Drinking while under the influence of alcohol is strictly prohibited in South Carolina, and the law is strictly enforced.
Upon your FIRST South Carolina DUI conviction, you will face the following penalties:
Further DUI convictions will result in even more severe penalties, including extended jail time, fines, community service, and the revocation of your driver's license.
Virginia law currently prohibits teen-aged drivers from using cell phones while driving (that includes ones with "hands-free" devices)
For more information on state-approved drivers education courses which new teen-aged drivers are required to take, please visit the Virginia DMV website.