Virginia Restricted License

Virginia has two types of restricted licenses: learner’s permits and restricted privilege licenses. Jerry’s here to give you the inside scoop on each!
Written by Samuel Todd
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
In Virginia, there are two types of restricted licenses: a learner’s permit and a license with restricted privileges. Learner’s permits are for drivers who just got their licenses. Restricted driving privileges can be granted to people who have committed serious driving violations.
Understanding state driving laws can be tricky—especially when they seem to be changing all the time! Fortunately, the
car insurance
comparison app
has done a little digging, and we’re ready to help you understand Virginia’s restricted license laws. We’ll break down the types of restricted licenses in Virginia, show you how to get them, and share a little secret on getting cheap car insurance with our super app. We can also help you find the best
Virginia car insurance costs
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What is a restricted license in Virginia?

There are two main types of restricted licenses in Virginia:
  • Learner’s permits: For their safety, new drivers will have restrictions on their licenses from the age of 15 and a half until they get their driver’s license. 
  • Restricted driving privileges: Drivers who had their license taken away because of a violation (like a
    or reckless driving) can petition the court or DMV to receive limited driving privileges. 
MORE: How to find young driver car insurance

How to get a Virginia learner’s permit

apply for a learner’s permit
in Virginia, you must:
And that’s it! After you’ve held your permit for 9 months and completed a state-approved driver's
education program
, you’re ready for your official driver’s license. 
Until then, though, there are a few restrictions you’ll have to keep in mind when driving with a learner’s permit. Let’s take a look at them. 

Restrictions on a Virginia learner’s permit

Before you hop behind the wheel with your friends, there are a few restrictions you should be familiar with. First, you need to have a licensed adult in the passenger seat with you. This person can be:
  • A licensed 21-year-old
  • A legal guardian or close relative who is 18 or older
Next, if you’re under 18 years old, you cannot drive between midnight and 4 A.M. unless you are driving:
  • To/from your work
  • To/from an activity that’s sponsored by a school, church, or other public organization
  • With a licensed adult in the front seat
  • In an emergency 
There are also some restrictions on passengers:
  • You cannot carry more than one person who is younger than 18 (unless they’re a family member)
And last (but not least!), no cell phones while driving! In Virginia, you’re only allowed to use a cell phone if you’re on the side of the road, legally parked. Remember, no matter who you’re talking to,
texting and driving
is never worth it—so it’s best to wait until you’ve arrived before you pull out your phone.
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How to get Virginia restricted driving privileges

Restricted driving privileges can be granted either by a court or by
Virginia’s DMV
—but your journey to getting reinstated driving privileges can be pretty quick or very difficult, depending on why your license was revoked in the first place.
Here’s a breakdown of how long you’ll have to wait to apply for restricted driving privileges after some common violations.
For these offenses, you can apply at the time of conviction:
For more serious offenses, like these, you’ll have to wait three years to apply:
  • Third offense DUI
  • Vehicular or involuntary manslaughter
  • Three DUIs within ten years
If you’re interested in the exact details of each offense, check out
this explanation
from the Virginia DMV.
So, now that you know how long you’ll have to wait—what do you have to do to get your driving privileges back? Again, it depends on why your license was revoked. As a general rule, you’ll need to:
  • Provide proof of ID, residency, and insurance
  • Take any applicable knowledge and skills tests
  • Provide a court order allowing restricted driving privileges
Here are some extra requirements you might have to fulfill:

Limitations on a Virginia restricted driving privileges

Once you’ve regained your driving privileges, there are still some limitations to be aware of. Each case is different, but these are the types of restrictions you can expect on your license:
  • Transportation to/from work
  • Transportation to/from Alcohol Safety Action Program (ASAP) meetings
  • Transportation to/from school
  • Transportation to/from medical services
  • Driving with an ignition/interlock device installed
  • Transporting a minor child
  • Transportation to/from a place of worship
  • Restrictions as specified in the court order
So, as a general rule, your license should allow you to travel to work, school, church, certain meetings, and in the event of an emergency. 
MORE: What is the Virginia driver improvement program?

How to find affordable car insurance in Virginia

Whether you just got your learner’s permit or you’ve had your license suspended for a violation, your insurance premium is probably frustratingly high. Thankfully, we’ve got a way to fight back against high insurance rates—even if you don’t have a perfect driving record!
, our
trustworthy comparison shopping super app
, is the best place to find cheap insurance. It only takes 45 seconds to sign up, then we’ll get you the top quotes from more than 55 national insurers. Plus, once you’ve picked your favorite, we’ll even walk you through the switching process!
Here’s the icing on the cake, though: the average Jerry driver saves over $800 per year on car insurance. No matter your age and driving history, we’ll find you an awesome rate!
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