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Virginia Learners Permit Restrictions - VA Driving Permit Rules

Virginia Learners Permit Restrictions - VA Driving Permit Rules

When you receive your Virginia learners permit, you can officially start driving on public roads. However, the state has a number of learners permit restrictions that will need to be observed at all times whenever you drive on a learners permit. Although these permit rules may seem annoying at this stage, you will come to understand that the restrictions are there for your own protection, to prevent you from making the most common mistakes that can lead to a disaster. The main limitation of your learners permit is that you can only drive while there is another licensed driver seated next to you, being ready to take control of the vehicle at any time. The supervising driver will help you identify dangerous situation and encourage you to becoming a safer driver.

Why Do We Need Permit Restrictions

Inexperience is probably the underlying cause under most of the traffic accidents. Experience is everything when it comes to driving and nothing can replace it. As you gain more hours behind the wheel, you learn how your vehicle handles, you learn to anticipate possible mistakes made by other drivers and you can test everything you learned in the drivers handbook. Until you gain that crucial driving experience, you are a danger to yourself and other drivers around you.

The situation is even worse when it comes to teenage drivers. Traffic accident is a number one cause of death for people between the ages of 15 and 20. Teens are afraid of wild animals, plane crashes and many other things - amazingly, most of them don't have a healthy fear of driving and they refuse to treat driving seriously. In order to compensate for this, the state has developed a special program that governs the licensing procedure for applicants who are under 18 years of age - the graduated drivers license program. The GDL laws break the licensing procedure into a number of steps and introduce additional permit restrictions for teenage drivers.

If you would like to get more information about the graduated license laws, please consult the Virginia drivers manual or contact your local DMV office.

Virginia Permit Restrictions - Over 18

If you are over 18 years of age, there is only one driving permit restriction that you have to abide to at all times and that is “no driving alone”. Whenever you go for a drive, you must have another licensed driver accompany you. The driver must be at least 21 years of age and hold a valid Virginia drivers license. The supervising driver can be 18 years old if it's your parent, legal guardian or other member of your immediate family.

Lack of driving restrictions, of course, does not excuse you from taking the required tests. When you submit your application for a learners permit, you will have to take a Virginia permit test that covers the road signs, driving rules and safe driving techniques. Since most of the first time applicants fail the test the first time they take it, we advise that you prepare for the exam by reading the drivers handbook and taking some practice permit tests.

Virginia Driving Permit Rules - Under 18

Once you pass your permit test and have your Virginia learners permit, you can start driving. You have to observe the following learner permit restrictions while operating a vehicle on public roads:

  • 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.

According to the current Virginia driving permit rules, if you are under 19 years of age, you must complete a state-approved drivers education course. Virginia drivers ed classes contain 36 hours of classroom instruction and 14 hours of behind the wheel lessons.

When you complete a drivers ed class and pass your driver test, you will be issued with your first Virginia driver license.

Provisional Driver License Restrictions

If you receive your drivers license before you turn 18, it will be marked as a provisional drivers license and it will come with the provisional license restrictions. These restrictions must be observed until you turn 18 years of age.

  • Passenger restrictions. Only one passenger under the age of 18 for the first year of driving. Up to three passengers under the age of 18 after the first year of driving.
  • Curfew. Absolutely no driving between midnight and 4 a.m.

Failure to observe permit or licenser restrictions will result in your driving privilege being revoked and your licensing documents canceled.