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Drivers Education

What is Virginia Driving School/Virginia Drivers Education?

Virginia Drivers Education, also referred to as Drivers Ed., is taught in public and private schools in Virginia and at approved Virginia Driver Training Schools throughout the State and includes both classroom and behind-the-wheel instruction.  The purpose of Virginia Drivers Ed. and Virginia Driving Schools is to ensure that Virginia’s population of drivers is knowledgeable and informed in all areas of traffic and driving safety to ensure that students are informed, safe and conscientious drivers.


Who is Required to Complete It?

Any Virginia resident who is younger then 19 years old is required to complete a Virginia State approved Drivers Education course or Virginia Driving School and hold a valid permit for at least 9 months in order to obtain a permanent Virginia drivers license.  In addition, if a student is under 18 years old, a parent’s or guardian’s written consent is required in order to complete the application process.

Virginia residents age 19 years and older who have never held a valid drivers license in Virginia or any other State must hold a learners permit for at least 30 days and complete a Virginia State approved Drivers Education program or Virginia Driving School before obtaining a permanent Virginia drivers license.

If you are an approved homeschooled student, the classroom portion of the Drivers Education program may be taken in a correspondence version, at a State approved driver training school or at a public/private school approved by Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Out-of-State applicants between 16 years and 3 months old and under 19 years old must show proof of completing a Drivers Education program in another State.


What Agency Regulates It?

Virginia State approved Drivers Education programs and Virginia Driving Schools are Virginia State mandated and regulated.  Drivers Ed course content is developed and approved by the Virginia Department of Education.  State approved Virginia Driving Schools are held to the same standards as Virginia Driver Education programs and deliver the same course content.


Who Teaches It?

Virginia Drivers Education Courses and Virginia Driving School courses are taught by licensed instructors.  These Drivers Ed. and Driving School instructors may be teachers in the school in which the Drivers Education course is offered or may be employees of a Driving School.  


Instructor Requirements

Virginia Drivers Education and Virginia Driving School instructors must be at least 21 years old, possess a high school diploma or equivalent and must have held a valid driver’s license for at least 5 years.  Applicants must present their driving record at the time of application and must continue to produce any traffic violations, convictions, misdemeanors or felonies relating to driving, as well as any driver's license revocation, suspension, cancellation, disqualification or other loss of driving privileges for the duration of time they serve as an instructor.  An applicant will not be issued Virginia Drivers Ed. or Virginia Driving School instructor licensure if their driver’s license is currently suspended, revoked or cancelled or if the applicant is convicted of a violation that involved reckless driving, vehicular manslaughter, or any drinking/drugging offense within a 5-year period prior to their application.  Furthermore, certain misdemeanor and/or felony convictions will prevent an applicant from obtaining licensure as a Virginia Drivers Ed. or Virginia Driving School instructor.  Finally, all applicants are required to be proficient in the English language and are expected to communicate their language competency to both students and the department. Once an application is approved and licensure is issued, licensed Drivers Ed. and Driving School instructors are required to attend one-day training sessions annually.

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