Virginia Teen License: A Step-by-Step Guide

Drivers License
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Virginia teens begin the GDL program when they turn 15 years and six months old. Teens can apply for their provisional license when they turn 16 years and three months old.

A Virginia provisional license (aka intermedia license) gives extra freedom for first-time VA drivers. This is the second stage of Virginia’s graduate driver’s licensing program. Eventually, with practice and showing safety behind the wheel, the driver can get their unrestricted adult license.

The VA GDL program has three stages:

  • Learner’s
  • Limited / Provisional
  • Unrestricted

A provisional license (aka the “teen”) gives you months to practice driving before gaining extra freedom. It also gives you enough time to take a required driver’s education course.

The provisional license becomes an unrestricted adult license if you pass the basic requirements and are 18 years old. Otherwise, those not taking a driver’s ed course will wait until they turn 19.

This guide shares the complete details of getting your intermediate license in Virginia. Follow along to understand the paperwork, fees, and requirements you must pass to graduate in the GDL program.

Related Read: How Long Does it Take to Learn to Drive?

Virginia Provisional License: Step-by-Step

Teens then hold their learner’s permit for nine months or until they turn 16 years and three months old.

If they haven’t already, they will take a driver’s education course, which is required to get their provisional license. The gap gives you plenty of time to practice the required 45 hours of driving (15 at night).

Teens mustn’t cause traffic violations during this behind-the-wheel practice. Getting points on their record can delay their licensing and increase insurance rates to the vehicle owner!

Ready to get the provisional? You can

VA Provisional License Requirements

  • Age 16 years and three months
  • Held a learner’s permit for 9-months
  • Show the educational certifications
    • Approved driver’s education course
  • Provide proof of identity & residency
    • ID examples: ID card, Social Security number, birth certificate, passport
    • Residency examples: High school diploma/transcript, bank statement
  • Proof of behind-the-wheel experience
    • 45 hours (with 15 hours at night)
    • Logged and signed by parent/guardian
  • Having no traffic convictions
    • Including: Following local curfews

Get a VA Restricted License: At the DMV

Head down to your local VA DMV (click to find one) and do the following:

  1. VA learner’s permit
  2. Behind-the-wheel log
  3. Certificates (driver’s ed)
  4. Show proof of insurance
  5. Pay the fees

You will take a road test on location. Pass all these, and you are good to go!

The DMV office will take your photo and process your new provisional license. You’re now free to drive most hours of the day (minus 12 AM to 4 AM). You’re also free to drive with at least one non-family member for the first year. Afterward, you can drive with up to 3 passengers until you turn 21.

Remember: You need auto insurance whenever you’re driving!

18 and Older? This is What You’ll Do

Those 18 and older can apply for their license after they’ve had a learner’s permit for 60 days. Plus, they’ll need to take a driver’s ed course. The learner’s permit for those 18 and up has the same requirements with documentation, testing, and fees.

You will get the permit and “skip” the provisional restrictions, going right into your adult license.

Getting Your Full Virginia Driver’s License

Getting an unrestricted driver’s license in Virginia is a waiting game.

By now, you should have behind-the-wheel experience with the learners and provisional. Plus, I passed a driver’s education course. If you complete these, your license becomes unrestricted after turning 18. If you fail a driver’s ed course, you’ll wait until turning 19.

Need more information about this licensing? Read our Virginia License Guide for details.


Getting a driver’s license in Virginia is a process that requires knowledge, experience, and time. By following this guide and understanding the requirements of the state you can get your unrestricted driver’s license in no time. There are also many resources available to help you understand each step better and make sure you have all the necessary documents before going to the DMV.