When Can You Start Driving School in Virginia?

Keith Lovell / July 13, 2022



We have discussed everything you need to know to start a driving school in Virginia. Virginia makes opening a driving school quite simple compared to many other states. Although there are still paperwork and standards to fulfill, the state appears to be accommodating of driving schools.

Driving schools in Virginia may include in-class teaching, hands-on training, or both. Some driving schools might also participate in the testing waiver scheme, where the school administers the state’s driving tests.

What are the mandatory requirements to open your driving school in Virginia?

You can start a driving school in Virginia; if you have;

  • The Virginia DMV offers licenses for driving schools and instructors.
  • Virginia Driver Training Schools may provide teaching in the classroom, instruction while driving, observation, or a combination of these.
  • You must adhere to a few rules about your workplace and classroom, keep specific documents, and use an authorized written contract.
  • The Commonwealth is primarily responsible for setting the curriculum.
  • The regulations governing driving education programs for standard and commercial driver’s licenses are generally the same.

What  Are Driving School Licensing and Requirements?

Basic requirements:

You must hold a Virginia state license to run a driving school, and a license is suitable for a year from the date it was issued. On the DMV website, the Commonwealth describes the procedure. Before submitting an application, you should review the laws and rules relevant to driver training schools. To get the name of your school approved, contact the DMV at dmvclu@dmv.virginia.gov or (804) 367-7050.

 Your application materials must contain:

A completed application form includes all of your driving school’s details, including its locations, owners, and partners.

  • Students are secured against default by a surety bond of $5,000.
  • A duplicate of the contract you use when speaking with students.
  • Your proof of auto insurance if you’re providing instruction while driving.
  • If your community does not require a business license, you will need a letter from them indicating as much.
  • A national database of criminal histories for each owner.
  • Apart from not having a conviction for any listed offenses, the DMV does not have any particular personal requirements for owners of driving schools.

 DMV Downloads

Applying for Driver’s License

Click here for DMV instructions.

DMV Safety Program

Click here for DMV Program and instructions.

DMV Forms

Click here for All DMV Form and instructions.

You should have workers’ compensation insurance to protect you and them in case of workplace harm.

License for Driving Instructors:

Driving school proprietors are exempt from specific requirements. Still, instructors must meet qualifications to obtain a license in Virginia. The state specifies the application procedure; you can complete it online. These are some crucial requirements for driving instructors in addition to their application.

  • Work for a driving school
  • possess a high school diploma at the least (or equivalent)
  • have a valid driver’s license with no more than 6 points and at least five years of driving experience.
  • Submit a criminal history report.

Please submit a transcript from a college or institution that is accredited demonstrating that you have successfully completed six semester hours of driver’s education (the exact course titles are “Introduction to Driver.

Driver Task Analysis and Instructional Principles of Teaching Driver Education, or a current Virginia teaching license with an endorsement in driver education


If you meet the standards listed below, you are generally free to set up driving school anywhere you see fit. You can have a classroom space or hold driver education classes off-site at establishments like a nearby public or private schools. Your license application must contain a copy of your agreement with the institution.

  • Your primary or established place of business must be in the school’s authorized location and adhere to all zoning laws and local business licensing regulations. Unless you have been granted authorization to store documents elsewhere, you must be able to keep the necessary records there. The driving school must have sole use of the office premises.
  • If your usage complies with the conditions for a federal tax deduction and the additional guidelines listed above, you may utilize your home.
  • You must set up a phone with the school’s name and operate for a minimum of eight hours each week during regular business hours. Maybe, your office doesn’t adjoin a classroom. You must give the DMV a copy of the lease if renting space.
  • Your office, as well as any additional offices, must prominently display your office and teaching hours. You must also display your license and the DMV-supplied signage alerting pupils to the toll-free hotline.
  • Offices, classrooms, and other venues must be at least 1,500 feet away from any property the DMV uses for training for driver’s licenses. You can’t start using your spaces until the ruling government does not approve it.

Other than that there are many other things to consider, such as;

  • Classroom
  • Records and Contracts
  • Follow The Driving School Curriculum in Virginia
  • Commercial Driver’s License Instruction
  • Establish your Driving School as a small business
  • Business Registration
  • Business name
  • Sole Proprietorship
  • Corporations and LLCs
  • A website—focused on the types of students

These are many of the vital things you need to complete before starting your own driving school in Virginia.

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