Safe Teen Drivers: Learner's Permit


March 10, 2014

Exams aren't usually something teens look forward to. But there's one test most fifteen and a half year olds are eager to take, their learner's permit exam. The first of many required steps needed to get a driver's license in Virginia.

Learner's permit allows a teenager to drive a car with a licensed driver who is at least 21-years-old is sitting beside them. According to Sheila Jones, owner of Green Light Driving School, "The most important part of having a permit is to get the practice time in. Students are required to get 45 hours with their parents but we suggest parents shoot for 100."

Next, teens must complete a state approved two part driver education course. Students must first complete a 30-hour classroom portion, which is a part of the curriculum in most public schools. The second portion is behind the wheel, which consists of seven, 50 minute periods of driving and seven, 50 minute periods of observing another student drive. Once all of this is done, and the teen has held their permit for 9 months, and are at least 16 years and 3 months old, they are eligible to take the test to get a license.

Students under the age of 19 must get their license from a driving school, anybody 19 years and older goes to the DMV to take the exam. If they pass, students will get a temporary driver’s license from the driving school; this carried with their permit makes a valid, temporary driver’s license. Parents then go to court with their child to receive the hard copy of their license. But parents can take away their child's license for any period of time, so teens should talk to their parents about what they expect from them as a new driver in the family.

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