Obtaining a Learner’s Permit

The process for obtaining learner’s permits  is very similar for all Virginia teens, homeschooled or otherwise. However, there are a few additional considerations for some homeschooling families.

The Learner’s Permit is obtained in person through your local DMV office. The process is the same for all teens under age 18, homeschooled or otherwise.  Both paperwork and testing are required.

To obtain a learner’s permit in Virginia, a teen must be at least 15 years and 6 months of age and must be a legal resident of Virginia.  Teens under age 18 must possess their learner’s permits for at least 9 months before applying for a driver’s license.

Testing in Virginia includes a vision screening and a two-part knowledge exam.  The knowledge exam covers material learned in the classroom component of the driver education program. It is also possible to pass the exam by studying the Virginia Driver’s Manual. However, passing the exam does not exempt you from taking the classroom component of driver education.

If you fail the knowledge exam three times, you are required by law to take and pass the classroom component course before you can take the exam a fourth time.   This applies to all learner’s permit applicants regardless of age or educational status. For more information, see Home-Schooled Re-examination Requirements (pdf).

Here is a free online DMV permit practice test for Virginia. Students will not be asked to provide their email address, create an account, or share any other personal information.

Required paperwork in Virginia includes:

  • Completing the application process and paying the fees for both the learner’s permit and driver’s license
  • Registering for the Selective Service (males under age 26 only)
  • Signing a written consent form (teens under age 18 only)

Teens under age 18 must show one proof of identity, one proof of legal presence, one proof of Virginia residence, and proof of a social security number (if one has been issued). Persons age 18 or older must show all of the above plus one additional proof of identity. You will be required to present all of these documents on each visit to the DMV until the learner’s permit is issued.

The DMV website has extensive information on how to comply with these requirements.

Learner’s permits are no longer handed out over the counter at the DMV, but are now mailed to the applicant.


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