State-Approved, Parent-Led Driver Education Courses
Driver Education Information for Homeschoolers
State-Approved, Parent-Led Driver Education Courses
If you are under age 18, you must provide proof of successful completion of a state-approved driver education program and you must hold a learner’s permit at least nine months before you can receive a driver’s license. You will receive a certificate from the driver education provider when you complete the program. In addition to completing the state-approved driver program, your parent or guardian must certify that you received at least 45 hours of driving practice, 15 of which must have been completed after sunset.
If you are between the ages of 15 years and six months and 18 years of age, you must fulfill the following requirements in order to be issued a driver’s license:
Step 1: Obtain a Learner’s Permit
When applying for a learner’s permit, you must complete the Virginia DMV Driver’s License Application form (form DL 1M) for a driver’s license and pay the fees for both the permit and license. This application includes written consent of one parent or guardian. You may complete this form in advance, or you may fill it out at the DMV.
You will be required to pass a vision screening and the two-part knowledge exam. The two-part knowledge exam is given in English or Spanish on a computer and tests your knowledge of traffic signs, motor vehicle laws, and safe driving techniques. Exam questions are taken from information in the Virginia Driver Manual. Students who fail the DMV knowledge test may be retested after 15 days.
Furnish proof of your social security number if you have been issued one.
Provide an original identification document that contains your complete name and date of birth, such as a birth certificate, as well as a document showing proof of residency. Applicants under age 18 can have a parent or legal guardian certify their Virginia residency. In order to do this, the parent/guardian must appear in person with the applicant. The parent/guardian must provide a photo identification card and proof of his own Virginia residency with a document from the residency list, such as one of the following: a cancelled check, Virginia vehicle registration, a utility bill, a receipt for personal property taxes or real estate taxes, a deed or mortgage, etc. Refer to “Acceptable Documents for Obtaining a Driver’s License or Photo ID Card” (DMV 141).
The DMV will take a digitized photo, obtain organ donor information, and request a one-time payment for the learner’s permit and driver’s license (approximately $15).
If you are a military family and hold a valid out-of-state license, you do not need to obtain a Virginia license. However, in addition to the required documents (above), you MUST include the following in the packet you send to the main DMV office in Richmond.
- Cover letter explaining that you are a military family
- Information from your current state license
DO NOT take the forms or letter to a local DMV. They have no authority to make exceptions.
It should take one to three weeks to process.
Step 2: Enroll in a classroom course and a behind-the-wheel driving course
If you are a homeschooled student, there are several options for the classroom and behind-the-wheel portions of driver education.
A classroom driver education course may be taken at one of the following:
1) a public school,
2) a private school,
3) a Commercial Driver Training School,
4) or, if homeschooled, an approved correspondence course may be taught by a homeschooling parent who holds a Virginia driver’s license. The student must currently be enrolled in a homeschool program acknowledged by the division superintendent.
NOTE: All students under age 18, along with a parent or guardian, must participate in an additional 90-minute driver education component as a part of the in-classroom portion of the driver education curriculum. Students and parents (except those in Planning District Eight) can now complete the program online.
UPDATE APRIL 7, 2023
DriverEdtoGo has been removed from the VDOE and the HEAV websites–it is no longer an approved course. Yvonne Bunn has spoken with a representative at the VDOE, and they will provide information for homeschoolers to take the 90-minute parent teen course through the VDOE. If you have completed the course with DriverEdtoGo and are ready to take the 90-minute video course, contact Ms. Wigand at the VDOE at 804-225-3300 to make arrangements.
The following parent-taught, classroom driver education courses for homeschooled students have been approved by the DOE:
American Safety Council
225 E. Robinson St.
Orlando, FL 32801
I Drive Safely
5760 Fleet St.
Carlsbad, CA 92008
National Driver Training Institute
4432 Austin Bluffs Parkway
Colorado Springs, Colorado 80918-2934
VADETS On-Line Driver Education Course
Virginia Association of Driver Education and Traffic Safety
A non-profit Virginia association for driver education teachers
Approval of correspondence courses by the Superintendent of Public Instruction is not an endorsement of the educational or operational philosophy of the school. The approval of the courses is also not intended as an endorsement of the quality of the courses nor is it a conclusion that they are appropriate to meet the educational needs of the student. The Superintendent of Public Instruction assumes no liability for damages or financial loss to parents using any of the courses listed above.
For information regarding the in-car or behind-the-wheel portion of driver education, refer to the Home-schooled In-Car Driver Education Information Sheet (HS-3). This form contains information on:
- Parent/guardian qualifications
- Student requirements
- Issuance of the driver’s license
To apply for authorization to teach the behind-the-wheel portion, the parent must complete the following steps:
- Complete a Home-schooled In-Car Driver Education Parental Authorization Application (HS-1);
- Enclose the original proof of completion of the classroom portion of the Driver Education program;
- Attach a copy of the “Notice of Intent to Provide Home Instruction” form that was submitted to the local division superintendent or his designee, OR attach a letter from the local division superintendent or his designee acknowledging that the child is homeschooled;
- Mail the above information to:
Department of Motor Vehicles
Commercial Licensing Work Center
P. O. Box 27412
Richmond, VA 23269-0001
A separate HS-1 form, letter, and proof of completion must be submitted for each student.
The only course approved for behind-the-wheel instruction by the parents is Module 11 – Behind-the-Wheel and In-Car Observation.
Step 3: Obtain a Permanent Driver’s License
Prior to obtaining a permanent driver’s license, a Virginia resident under age 18 must complete a state-approved driver education program and hold a Virginia learner’s permit for at least nine months. The minimum age to apply for a license is 16 years and three months of age.
The homeschool parent must sign a Public, Private, and Home School Certificate of Enrollment.
The student must complete the Virginia Driver’s License Application, form DL 1M which includes written consent of one parent or guardian.
The student must then take the driver education certificate to any DMV customer service center and take the road skills test. You must provide a vehicle for the road skills test. You may take the road skills test no more than three times in any three-month period.
Generally, males under age 26 must register with the Selective Service. If required by federal law to register with the Selective Service, the student must authorize the DMV to forward personal information to the Selective Service unless already registered. If under age 18, the parent or guardian must sign an application authorizing the Selective Service to register the student when he is age 18.
DMV will mail the permanent driver’s license to the judge of the local Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court located in the student’s jurisdiction. The court will notify the student and a parent as to the court date set to appear before the judge. At this court appearance the student will relinquish his learner’s permit and receive his provisional license. The student must be accompanied at the licensing ceremony by a parent or guardian.
For DMV information, you may call 866-368-5436, or go to the DMV website.
For further questions, you may contact Vanessa Wigand, the Virginia Department of Education Principal Specialist for Health, Physical Education, and Driver Education, at 804-225-3300.