The road to a driver’s license in Virginia can be complicated and confusing for homeschooled teens and their families. While the general requirements and regulations are the same for teens all over the state, homeschooling families do have a few additional options for how to comply with these requirements. State laws and local options change frequently, and what is required may vary considerably depending on your teen’s age, location, and homeschooling status.
There is no one way for homeschooling families to handle driver education. Homeschooling families are encouraged to explore all the various options in their community before committing to a particular school, course, or approach. The articles and links on our website can help homeschooling families make informed decisions about driver education and licensing decisions.
VaHomeschoolers Driver Education Pages
- The Classroom Component
- The Partners for Safe Teen Driving Component (Northern Virginia Only)
- Obtaining a Learner’s Permit
- The In Car/Behind the Wheel Component
- The 45 Hours Requirement
- Obtaining a Driver’s License
Legal Requirements for Obtaining Learner’s Permit/Driver’s License in Virginia (applies to ALL teens, including current, former, and graduated homeschoolers)
|Younger than 15 yrs 6 mo||15 yrs 6 mo – 18 yrs||18 yrs or older|
|Take classroom component of driver education||Yes||Yes||No|
|Attend Partners for Safe Teen Driving with parent||Yes (Northern Virginia residents only)||Yes (Northern Virginia residents only)||No|
|Obtain Learner’s Permit||No||Yes||Yes|
|Take in-car/behind-the-wheel component of driver education (may include road skills test)||No||Yes||No, see ** below|
|Additional 45 hours practicing with adult||No||Yes||No|
|Hold learner’s permit for at least 9 months and be over 16 yrs 3 months old||No||Yes||No, see ** below|
|Submit all remaining paperwork to driving school instructor or DMV (may include road skills test)||No||Yes||Yes|
|Receive 3-6 month temporary license||No||Yes||No|
|Attend licensure ceremony at local courthouse with parent||No||Yes||No, permanent license is mailed|
** Teens who are 18 years or older (and have not been previously licensed in other countries, etc.)
have two options for attaining their permanent license:
(1) Hold a learner’s permit for 60 days; complete a behind-the-wheel checklist with the help of
an adult, licensed driver; and pass the DMV road skills test.
(2) Pass a state-approved driver education course, which waives the 60-day learner’s permit and
DMV road skills test requirements.
How do homeschooled teens take driver education?
There are many ways for homeschooled teens to comply with the driver education requirements. Like public and private schooled Virginia teens, they may choose to complete the driver education program through a local public or private school, or through a driver training school. Teens who are currently homeschooling have the additional option of taking an approved correspondence school course for the classroom component and/or a parent-taught in-car component.
There are pros and cons to each of these options, and some of these options may not be available in all parts of the state. Mixing and matching of options is not uncommon. For instance, a homeschooled teen might complete the classroom component through an approved correspondence school, but complete the in-car component through a local driver training school.
I’m still under age 18, but I’m a homeschool graduate. How does the law apply to me?
Because you are under age 18, you still have to complete a state-approved driver education program. But since you have graduated from homeschooling, then you are no longer allowed to take the approved correspondence school programs or the parent-taught in-car/behind-the-wheel components. You may still take the classroom component and in-car component through a public school, private school, or driver-training school.
Do I have to follow all the steps in this exact order?
Some of the steps in the process must be completed before other steps can begin. Many parents report that this particular progression is the most efficient, reaps the most benefit out of the required coursework, and reduces the risk of repeated trips to the DMV. However, your experience may vary depending on regional and other variables. Read our articles to learn more about each step and make informed decisions about what will work best for your family.
Where can I read the laws and regulations covering licensing and driver education in Virginia?
The Code of Virginia and the Department of Motor Vehicles have extensive information on all aspects of driver’s licenses and driver education, including many issues not covered in these articles. Here are some links to relevant laws, regulations, and documents which are frequently referenced by homeschooling families.
Code of Virginia pertaining to driver education
- §22.1-205. Driver education programs.
- § 46.2-323. Application for driver’s license; proof of completion of driver education program; penalty.
- §46.2-325. Examination of applicants; waiver of Department’s examination under certain circumstances; behind the wheel and knowledge examinations.
- §46.2-334. Conditions and requirements for licensure of persons under 18; requests for cancellation of minor’s driver’s license; temporary driver’s licenses; Board of Education approved programs; home-schooled students; fee.
- §46.2-335. Learner’s permits; fees; certification required.
- §46.2-336. Manner of issuing original driver’s licenses to minors.
Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) memos on driver education
DMV Information on Driver Education and Licensing
DMV Information on Homeschool Driver Education
- DMV: Driver Education for Homeschoolers (includes list of approved correspondence schools)
- DMV: Home School In-Car Driver Education Parental Authorization Application (HS-1) (pdf)
- DMV: Virginia Home School In-Car Driver Education Certificate (HS-2) (pdf)
- DMV: Home Schooled In-Car Driver Education Information Sheet (HS-3) (pdf)
- DMV: Home School Re-Examination Requirements (HS-4) (pdf)
Driver education laws and requirements change frequently. Please contact us if there are any dead links or incorrect information in our articles, or if there are any additional issues or questions which need to be addressed pertaining to homeschool driver education in Virginia. Thanks for helping us keep this information as accurate and up-to-date as possible.
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