How to Apply for a New Drivers License in Virginia

A Virginia drivers license is a necessity for those who wish to operate motor vehicles legally in the state. Drivers license services are overseen by the Department of Motor Vehicles in Virginia. There are drivers license application requirements and procedures that must be followed by all interested applicants. Note that you can only get drivers license credentials in VA if you pass the mandatory DMV tests and pay the appropriate fees. To learn more about the steps in how to apply for a drivers license in Virginia, continue on to the sections below.

Drivers License Requirements in Virginia

In order to receive a Virginia driver license, you must fulfill a number of requirements. To receive a new drivers license, you must be at least 16 years and 3 months old. The items that you must present in order to obtain a DMV drivers license vary, depending on your age. If you are at least 19 years old, then you need to submit one proof of your identity, two proofs that you reside in Virginia and one proof of legal presence. Legal presence means that you are either a U.S. citizen or are permitted to be in the U.S. If you are not 19 years old yet, to get a new drivers license, you will need to show one proof of your identity, two proofs of your residency in Virginia, along with one proof of your legal presence in the U.S. Proof of your Social Security Number is also required if you are under 19.

When gathering your materials for submission, remember that only original documents will be accepted to apply for drivers license at the DMV. No photocopies or temporary documents will be accepted. If the DMV believes that your documents have been altered or falsified in any way, the items will not be accepted. Note that the documents that fulfill these driver license requirements are liable to change at any time. Download our free guide to read more about the required items needed to successfully apply for a drivers license in Virginia.

Special Circumstances when Applying for a Drivers License in Virginia

There are a few special cases that will cause the drivers license application processes and requirements to change. If you are from a different state and wish to obtain a VA drivers license, then the DMV may allow you to simply change out the new driver license. This swap can only occur if you meet all of the requirements set forth for Virginia drivers.

If you are 18 years of age or older and have never had a DMV drivers license, then you must follow the steps to apply for a learners permit, first. You must hold the permit for at least 60 days. Once you have done that and completed a driver training program that is approved by the state, you may apply for a drivers license.

If you are not 18 years old yet and want to apply for drivers license credentials, then you must complete a drivers education course that is approved by the state. You must also have held a learners permit for no less than nine months before applying for a driver license. When applying for the new drivers license, your guardian must certify that you have driven the minimum-required 45 hours prior. Fifteen of those hours must have been after sunset. In order to certify your driver license application, the guardian must add his or her driving license or ID card number to the certificate, and sign it. If the DMV suspects falsification of these documents, you could be prosecuted for this crime.

The third special case dealing with a difference in how to get a drivers license occurs if you have been found guilty of any crime by a juvenile or domestic court. Before applying for a drivers license, you must get approval from the court that charged you, or the court in the county where you reside.

Drivers License Application Procedures in Virginia

Before you can receive your Virginia Drivers License, you must complete the Virginia drivers license application form. This can be done before or after you visit the DMV. Note that when you fill out this application for a driver license, you must use your legal name. Nicknames cannot be used to apply for a drivers license. If you are younger than 18 years old, then a parent or guardian must consent to your application by signing it. If you are an emancipated minor, bring a court order detailing your emancipation to the DMV. This will allow you to receive your drivers license without a guardian’s consent.

How long is my Virginia drivers license valid?

In normal circumstances, a DMV drivers license is functional for eight years. In these cases, the drivers license will expire on your birthday during the eighth year of its use. If you are over the age of 75, your license will only be valid for five years. This is also the case if you were mandated to register as a sex offender pursuant.

If you are only authorized to be in the U.S. for a limited amount of time, your drivers license will only be valid during that timeframe. In the case that you are only allowed to stay in the U.S. for 30 for days or less from your drivers license application date, then you will not be allowed to obtain a DMV driver license. In cases where there is no expiration date on your stay, the license will expire in one year. For more Virginia drivers license information, including the drivers license cost, download our comprehensive guide.

Drivers License Testing

When getting drivers license credentials in Virginia, you may be required to take and pass specific DMV tests. These tests include a vision test, a knowledge exam and a road skills test. You will be notified when visiting the DMV to get your drivers license which of these exams you will need to take in order to successfully complete driver license application procedures in VA. When preparing, consider DMV practice tests for drivers license online in order to pass your exams.