What Is the Legal Driving Age in Virginia and History?


Did you know that millions of Americans have had their licenses suspended at some point? This may be due to driving infractions that include speeding, impaired or distracted driving, or driving without a license. But what happens if you don’t have a license, and you need to drive to get to school, work, etc.?

In this article, Virginia’s legal driving age is examined, as we unpack the state’s laws on driving without a license. With this information, you can be better prepared to decide what to do should the situation arise.

Brief History of Virginia’s Licensing Law

In 1963, the Virginia General Assembly raised the driving age from 16 to 18. The move came amid a national push to increase the driving age, which reduced traffic accidents involving teen drivers. Virginia’s teenage driving accident rate had been rising in the early 1960s, prompting state lawmakers to act.

The higher driving age went into effect in July 1963. It has remained in place ever since, with a few exceptions. In 2013, the Virginia Legislature passed the Virginia driving laws allowing 17-year-olds to drive if they completed an approved driver’s education course. The law went into effect in July 2014.

The Minimum Age to Drive in Virginia

In Virginia, the legal driving age is 16 years old. However, there are some restrictions for young drivers. For example, drivers under the age of 18 are not allowed to drive between midnight and 4 a.m. unless they are accompanied by a parent or guardian.

There is also a curfew for teen drivers on school nights between 11 p.m. and 4 a.m. unless they are going to or from work or a school-sponsored event.

Virginia’s Driver License Requirements

Virginia driving laws require all new drivers to successfully complete a state-approved driver’s education program before obtaining a license. You must be 15 years old to enroll in driver’s ed.

If you are under 18 years old, you must hold your learner permit for 9 months before you can get your driver’s license. Driving schools in Virginia must be licensed by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

The course must be at least 30 hours and include both classroom instruction and behind the wheel training. You can find a list of state-approved driver’s education programs on the DMV website to get a driving permit. Once you have completed a driver’s education course, you must take a DMV-administered road skills test.

You can take the road skills test at a DMV customer service center or a participating Virginia DMV Select office. To schedule a road skills test, you must make an appointment online or by calling the DMV.

Penalties for Driving Without a License

If you are caught driving without a license, you will be subject to the following penalties: a fine of up to $1000, up to six months days in jail, or both. Your vehicle may also be impounded.

Be Aware of Virginia’s Legal Driving Age for Your Protection

In conclusion, it is important to know the legal driving age in your state, so that you can be sure you are following the law. If you drive without a license, you could have your license suspended. So be sure to check the legal driving age in your state before you get behind the wheel. Found this article useful? Then read more related articles on our blog!