Driver Education for Homeschoolers
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.
Legal Requirements for Obtaining a Learner’s Permit/Driver’s License in Virginia
(Applies to ALL teens including current, former, and graduated homeschoolers)
Teens who are
|15 yrs 6 mo - 18 yrs||18 yrs
|Take classroom component of driver education||Yes||No|
|Attend Partners for Safe Teen Driving with parent||Maybe *||No|
|Obtain Learner's Permit||Yes||Yes|
|Take in-car/behind-the-wheel component (may include road skills test)||Yes||No **|
|Practice with an adult, licensed driver for an additional 45 hours||Yes||No|
|Hold learner's permit for at least 9 months and be older than 16 years 3 months old||Yes||No **|
|Submit all remaining paperwork to driving school instructor or DMV (may include road skills test)||Yes||Yes|
|Receive 3-6 month temporary license||Yes||No|
|Attend licensure ceremony at local courthouse with parent||Yes||No, permanent license is mailed|
Frequently Asked Questions
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 teens, they may choose to complete the driver education program through a local public or private school, or through a driver training school.
There are pros and cons to each of these options, and some of these options may not be available in all parts of Virginia. 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.
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.
My teen is younger than 15 years and 6 months old. What can they do before they obtain their learner's permit?
Teens who are younger than 15 years and 6 months old may take the classroom component of driver education and attend Partners for Safe Teen Driving with their parent, if desired. Some families have found that covering this material has been beneficial in preparing their teen for the learner’s permit test.
I'm still under age 18, but I'm a homeschool graduate. How does the law apply to me?
Because you are under the age of 18, you still have to complete a state-approved driver education program. Since you have graduated from homeschooling, you are no longer allowed to take the approved correspondence school programs for homeschoolers 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.
* Required for Northern Virginia residents. School divisions in the rest of the commonwealth have the ability to require it as part of their driver’s education curriculum.
** Teens who are 18 years or older (and have not been previously licensed in other locales) have two options for attaining their permanent license:
- 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.
- Pass a state-approved driver education course, which waives the 60-day learner’s permit and DMV road skills test requirements.
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.
- 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)
- §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.
This information is provided as a courtesy of The Organization of Virginia Homeschoolers. It is not intended as legal advice. For legal advice, contact a licensed attorney.
VaHomeschoolers is a non-profit public charity with 501(c)(3) status; your donation is tax-deductible to the extent provided by law.