virginia driver information
Virginia is for lovers...of driving. And whether you're looking for specific info on how a moving violation impacts your driving record or you're just new to the Virginia driving scene, you're in the right place for easy-to-browse info.
Number of licensed drivers: 5,569,524
Registered vehicles: 7,565,848
Licensing and registration authority: Virginia State Department of Motor Vehicles
Your Virginia driving record
Virginia uses a penalty point system to track its drivers. Drivers can receive 3 to 6 points per violation, depending on its severity. A minor speeding conviction (going 1–9 mph over the limit), for example, adds 3 points to your driving record and stays there for 5 years.
The more points on a driver's record, the riskier that driver may be to insure. And that can translate to higher car insurance rates.
Virginia wants to reward good driving, so the state also reduces the number of points on your driving record — one for each year without a moving violation. You can earn up to 5 deducted points to reduce the impact of prior convictions.
DUIs in Virginia
Drivers with a BAC of 0.08 percent or higher are considered legally intoxicated. DUI convictions are strictly punished through suspended driving privileges and other penalties.
Reporting accidents in Virginia
If a car accident results in injuries or property damage of $1,500 or more, the police are required to report the incident to the DMV. We recommend calling the police to the scene of any car accident, no matter how minor the damage initially appears.
Your Virginia drivers license
Drivers in the military
If you're on active military duty outside of Virginia and have an expiring drivers license, you may be eligible for an extension of up to 3 years. Find out more through the Virginia DMV.
Moving to Virginia
Once you move here, you have 60 days to get your Virginia drivers license. You have just 30 days to title and register cars and trucks.
If you're a short-term resident, you can use your home state's license plate and drivers license for up to 6 months.
Young drivers in Virginia
First-time driver requirements (for those 18 and younger):
- Required classroom hours in a state-approved drivers ed course: 36
- Required driving hours: 14 (7 observing as a passenger and 7 driving)
- Minimum permit age: 15 years, 6 months
- Minimum holding period: 9 months
- Minimum drivers license age: 16 years, 3 months (allows you to get a license with restrictions)
- Nighttime restrictions: midnight–4 a.m. (unless commuting to/from work or school or in an emergency)
- Passenger restrictions: Only one passenger under the age of 18 is allowed during the first year; after the first year, only 3 passengers under the age of 18 are allowed. These restrictions do not apply to family members.
- Minimum age restrictions lifted: 18 years old
Getting a license if you're 19 or older
If you're 19 or older and applying for your first drivers license, you'll have to complete and pass a state-approved drivers education course or hold a learners permit for 30 days before applying for an unrestricted license.
Minors and underage drinking
Virginia has a strict zero tolerance policy. If you're under 21 and caught driving with a BAC of 0.02 percent or higher, you'll be charged with a DUI. If convicted, you'll lose your driving privileges for at least one year and either pay a fine of at least $500 or have to complete 50 hours of community service.
Distracted driving laws
Virginia bans novice drivers from all cell phone use.
Auto insurance in Virginia
See what coverages are required in your state and which trends could be impacting your premium.
Virginia Department of Transportation
Check what's new on your surrounding roads from work zones to traffic patterns.