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Learner's Permit Information

You may get your learner's permit when you reach 15 years and 6 months of age.

Getting Your Learner's Permit

When you apply for a learner's permit, you will also complete the application process for your driver's license and pay the fees for both the permit and license. You will be required to pass a vision screening and the two-part knowledge exam.

Learner's Permit Driving Restrictions

Possessing a learner's permit allows you to operate a motor vehicle when a licensed driver at least 21 years of age is seated beside you. The driver accompanying you may be 18 years of age if he or she is your legal guardian, brother, sister, half-brother, half-sister, step-brother or step-sister. This person must hold a valid driver's license, be legally permitted to drive, and be alert and able to assist you.

If you are between age 16 years, 3 months and age 18, your driver education certificate and a valid learner's permit allow you to drive without a licensed driver beside you - provided that you have held your learner's permit for nine months and the certificate is signed by a parent or legal guardian.

Getting Your Driver's License

If you are 19 years of age or older and you have never held a license issued by any state, U.S. territory or foreign country, you must hold a Virginia learner's permit for at least 60 days or show completion of a state-approved driver education program before you can apply for a driver's license.

If you are under age 19, you must hold a learner's permit at least nine months and provide proof of successful completion of a state-approved driver education program before you can receive a driver's license. In addition, your parent, guardian or foster parent must provide his or her driver's license or state-issued identification card number and certify that you received at least 45 hours of driver practice, 15 of which must have been competed after sunset. You will receive a certificate when you complete the driver education program.

Your parent's or legal guardian's signature on the certificate certifies that the statements made and the information submitted on the certificate are true and correct. Certifying false statements can result in prosecution.

Juvenile Licensing Ceremony

After you have held your permit nine months, are at least 16 and 3 months, and have completed driver education, you will receive a notice that tells you when and where to appear in court for a licensing ceremony. You will receive your permanent driver's license at this ceremony.

If you are under the age of 18 at the time of the court ceremony, you must be accompanied by your parent or legal guardian.

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