Visitors Driving in Virginia

There are several rules for visiting drivers in Virginia that you should be aware of in order to avoid potential penalties. While there are some visiting driver requirements that both out-of-state and foreign visitors share, there are additional foreign visitors driving requirements, such as the requirement to carry an international driving permit. The rules for visitor drivers have been put in place in order to order to maintain safety and order on Virginia roads and highways, so it is important that you aware of the rules. For more information on visiting driver requirements, review the sections provided below.

Auto Insurance Visiting Driver Requirements in Virginia

One of the first Virginia rules for visiting drivers that you should be aware of is the state minimum on auto insurance policies. This is something that is most commonly overlooked by out-of-state drivers, especially those who are driving through Virginia to get to their destinations, but failing to obtain the state minimum for auto insurance could lead to serious consequences. Whether you are from another state or another country, these visiting driver requirements are mandatory, and if you are stopped by a law enforcement officer and do not have the proper amount of insurance coverage, you may face steep fines, have your vehicle’s license plates taken, face an SR-22 requirement and earn demerit points on your driving record. If these points lead to a suspension and you are from another state, your home state will be notified by the Virginia DMV, and it will then be up to your state DMV whether that suspension applies to your drivers license or not.

This rule for visiting drivers ensures the safety and protection of both yourself and the motorists around you. Virginia’s state minimums on vehicle insurance include:

  • Bodily injury/death of one person
  • Bodily injury/death of two or more persons
  • Property damage

Out-of-state drivers should make sure to view their insurance policies to find out if they meet visiting driver requirements, as not all states require that you have auto insurance, and most states have their own set minimums.

Additionally, it is important to know that if you are using a rental car, the provider will likely have insurance that meets the insurance rules for visiting drivers; however, it is your responsibility to ensure that it does. Read more about Virginia auto insurance in our free, downloadable guide.

Virginia Driver License Rules for Visiting Drivers From Out-of-State

There are rules for visiting drivers in Virginia that out-of-state drivers should also learn. In addition to state auto insurance required minimums, you must have a valid drivers license from your residing state. Driver license rules for visiting drivers dictate that your drivers license cannot be expired or suspended, which includes suspensions that have occurred within the state of Virginia on a previous visit. Failing to adhere to this could lead to serious charges, such as severe fines, and even jail time.

In addition to these rules for visiting drivers, it is important that you are aware of your responsibility for any traffic tickets or parking citations that you receive during your visit. Failing to pay a ticket or citation could lead to additional fines, a warrant for your arrest, the suspension of your drivers license and more. Therefore, it is crucial that you familiarize yourself with local and state laws in order to avoid traffic violations.

Virginia Driver’s License Requirements for Visiting Foreigners

As part of the rules for visiting drivers set by the state of Virginia, there are additional foreign visitors driving requirements that you must meet if you are visiting from another country. If you would like to drive within the state of Virginia as a foreign driver, you will be required to obtain an international drivers license or permit beforehand. Additionally, the drivers license that you have from your country of origin must still be valid.

International driver licenses and permits can be obtained from your local AAA – make sure that you do not purchase a permit from an unreliable source, as there are many entities out there that sell fake international driving permits. These fake permits will not meet the drivers license requirements for visiting foreigners, and are not valid within Virginia.

Driving using a fake international permit carries the same consequences as driving without a license, which is a Class 2 misdemeanor in Virginia. If you are pulled over by a law enforcement officer and you do not have an international foreign driver permit that meets visiting driver requirements, you could find yourself having to pay steep fines, or receive up to six months of jail time. Depending on the circumstances, a fake international drivers license can be considered a Class 1 misdemeanor. Download our informative guide to read more about driving penalties in Virginia.

Additionally, make sure to report anyone that is distributing fake international driving permit, as this is considered fraudulent activity, for which Virginia has a zero-tolerance policy enacted.

If you would like to obtain an international driving permit that meets Virginia’s foreign visitors driving requirements, you must be at least 18 years of age. It is important to know that, upon approval, your international driving permit will only be valid for up to one year from the permit’s issue date. Learn more information about driving as a licensed foreigner in Virginia by downloading our comprehensive guide.