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Virginia Drivers License Restrictions

Virginia License Restrictions

In order to keep you safe, the DMV may place one or more restrictions onto your Virginia drivers license. Drivers license restrictions are usually dictated by health-related conditions or your driving ability and are placed onto your Virginia drivers license when you submit your initial application. Teenagers need to mind Virginia provisional license restrictions that apply to everyone who obtains a drivers license before reaching the age of 18 years. If you need to decipher a specific Virginia drivers license restriction code, please contact the DMV directly.

License Restriction Codes

We were only able to locate a list of restriction codes for a commercial Virginia drivers license, so if you need to check a code on your regular Virginia driver's license, please contact the Department of Motor Vehicles.

  • J You may only operate a school/activity bus. You may not operate any other type of commercial motor vehicle.
  • K You may not operate a vehicle with air brakes. If you plan to operate a vehicle with air brakes, you must take the air brakes knowledge test. You also must take the road test in a vehicle equipped with air brakes.
  • L You may not operate a commercial motor vehicle outside of Virginia.
  • M Operation of a passenger bus restricted to a Class B passenger vehicle.
  • N Operation of a passenger bus restricted to a Class C passenger vehicle.
  • Y You must wear corrective lenses when operating a commercial motor vehicle.

Remember: these are Virginia commercial drivers license restrictions, they do not apply for a regular drivers license.

Provisional License Restrictions

Provisional license restrictions are part of the Virginia graduate drivers license program and apply for everyone who receives a drivers license before reaching the age of 18. The following provisional license restrictions need to be observed after you pass your Virginia driving test:

  • Passenger restrictions. You can carry no more than one passenger who is under 18 years of age for the first year following the issuance of your license. You can carry up to three passengers under the age of 18 after your first year following the issuance of the license.
  • Curfew. You cannot drive between midnight and 4 a.m.
  • Cell phones. You can't use a cell phone or any other electronic device while driving.

These restrictions will be automatically lifted once your reach the age of 18 years and you receive a full unrestricted Virginia drivers license. No additional testing is required at that point and you do not even have to visit the DMV on your birthday, you can just keep your current license.

Drivers Permit Restrictions

Operating under a provisional drivers license is one of the final steps in the process of applying for a Virginia drivers license and there are many intermediate steps that you need to take before you get to this stage. Thus, you have to pass a Virginia drivers permit test and receive a drivers permit first. While operating under a permit, you have to observe the following Virginia drivers permit restrictions:

  • Supervised driving only. You must have another licensed driver who is at least 21 years of age seated next to you at all times. The supervising driver must be prepared to take control of the vehicle. The supervising driver can be 18 years old if it's your immediate family member.
  • Cell phones. You cannot use any communication devices while driving. Exceptions are made when you are making a call to an emergency service.
  • School attendance. If you have more than 10 unapproved absences at school, you driving privilege will be canceled.

These restrictions are outlined in the official Virginia drivers license handbook, so you can always refer to the book in case you forget your permit limitations at some point. The book has answers to most of the questions you may have about your Virginia drivers permit, so make good use of it.

Remember that Virginia drivers license restrictions were developed for your own safety and that the penalty for breaking these restrictions may be the loss of all your driving privileges altogether. Stick to the rules until you receive a full unrestricted drivers license.