Virginia Drivers License
The application procedure for the Virginia drivers license may seem a little confusing, taking into account all graduated license requirements and age dependencies. We tried to make it easier for you to obtain your Virginia driving license by compiling a complete guide to the licensing procedure.
Types of Driving Licenses
There are many different vehicles out there and operating certain types of vehicles may require a skill that is not needed for most of us regular folk. This is why the Department of Motor Vehicles in Virginia issues different types of drivers licenses, each one allowing you to operate a certain class of vehicles. At the moment, the following license classes are offered:
- Operator's license. Regular driver's license, sufficient for the majority of applicants.
- Class M. Motorcycle drivers license.
- Classes A, B and C. Commercial driver's licenses, CDLs.
Looking to obtain your first license? In this case, you should definitely go for the regular Virginia driving license first. If you find it inadequate at some point, you can take additional lessons and upgrade it to a different license class once you've gained some driving experience. Remember, you have to learn to walk before you can run.
Graduated Drivers License
Today, most states recognize the need for a graduated driver's license system and although the GDL laws may differ slightly from state to state, they all pursue the same goals and use very similar means of achieving these goals. The graduated drivers license system in Virginia breaks down the licensing procedure for teen drivers into a number of steps, each step raising the license applicant to a new level of driving skills. Compulsory drivers education courses, learners permit restrictions and supervised driving - all these elements work together to ensure that once the teenage driver is finally on the road alone, he is prepared for all challenges that driving may pose.
Applying for Driver's License
The application procedure itself is quite straightforward. When you are of the legal permit age, which is 15 and ½ in Virginia, you can visit the DMV office near you, submit the required paperwork, take a vision test and permit exam and if you pass it, you will be granted the learner's permit.
If you want to pass the knowledge exam the first time you take it, you must prepare for it and you do not have to pay anything to do that. The DMV in Virginia provides the drivers handbook that can be downloaded or picked up at one of the DMV offices. The manual has comprehensive coverage of driving rules and regulations and it should be your primary source of information when it comes to learning the driving law.
Practice permit tests are also a good thing to try after you read the manual. Many people make the mistake of just taking the practice exams and usually that does not produce any good results. The practice test for drivers license are intended only to give you the feel of what the real test will be like and you have to use the drivers license manual to learn the rules first.
Upgrading to Driver's License
Please note that if you are under 19 years of age, you have to complete a state-approved driver's education program and hold your learners permit for at least 9 months before you can take the road test and upgrade to the regular driver's license. You may also be able to take your driver license test at the driving school where you took your drivers ed, but you have to check it with the school first.
License applicants who are 19 and older don't have to complete drivers ed classes and the permit holding period is only thirty days. After holding your permit for thirty days, you can schedule the road test with the DMV.
Once you successfully pass the road skills test, you are given a temporary license. Your original Virginia driver's license will be sent to you in the mail within 2-3 weeks.