Teen Driver Restrictions

Virginia's driving restrictions are not meant to penalize teen drivers, but to help them stay safe while they gain valuable driving experience. Studies have found that these restrictions work to reduce the number of car crashes among young drivers.

Curfew Restrictions

Virginia's curfew laws prohibit a driver under age 18 who holds a learner's permit or driver's license from driving midnight to 4 AM. If you hold a driver's license you may drive during these hours:
  • in case of an emergency
  • when traveling to and from work or a school-sponsored event
  • when accompanied by a parent or other adult acting in place of a parent
  • when responding to an emergency call as a volunteer firefighter or rescue squad personnel

Passenger Restrictions

Under Age 18

You may carry only one passenger under age 18 during the first year that you hold your driver's license. After you have held your license for one year, you may carry only three passengers under age 18 until you reach age 18. Learner's permit holders may not carry more than one passenger under age 18. Passenger restrictions do not apply to family members. 

Violations of either the curfew or passenger restrictions can result in the suspension of your driver's license. 

You will receive a notice that tells you when to appear in court for a licensing ceremony where you will receive your permanent driver's license. You must appear before the judge with a parent or legal guardian to receive your license. 

Age 19 and Older

If you have never held a license issued by any state, U.S. territory or foreign country, you must hold a learner's permit for 30 days or more or show completion of a state-approved driver education program. You may take your driver education certificate to any Virginia DMV (Division of Motor Vehicles) customer service center and take the road skills test.

If you fail the road skills test three (3) times at a DMV customer service center, you must successfully complete the behind the wheel portion of an approved Virginia Driver Training School program and present the Driver Education Training Certificate with a completion date that is after the date of the third test failure to be eligible for re-examination at a DMV customer service center.

Cellular Telephone/Wireless Telecommunications Device Restrictions

Virginia's cellular telephone law restricts a driver under age 18 who holds a learner's permit or driver's license from using any cellular telephone or any other wireless telecommunications device, regardless of whether such device is or is not hand-held. If you are under age 18, you can only use a cell phone or any other telecommunications device:
  • for a driver emergency
  • when the vehicle is lawfully parked or stopped.
As of July 2009 it is illegal to text while driving. Virginia House Bill 1876 prohibits the operation of a motor vehicle on the highways in Virginia while using any hand-held personal communications device to manually enter multiple letters or text or to read a text message. This law is for all drivers of all ages.