Driving Instruction

Virginia Teen Driving Restrictions

June 29, 2021

Virginia Teen Driving Restrictions

Virginia has some of the toughest teen driver restrictions and penalties in the nation. Once Virginia teens secure their permit or license, they must still pay attention to additional rules until they become adults. These restrictions deal with the number of passengers a teen can drive with and more.

Is there a curfew?

As a teen driver in Virginia, it is very important that you follow curfew rules set in place. If you are under the age of 18, you cannot drive between the hours of midnight and 4 AM. There are a few exceptions for teen drivers.

Teens are exempt from the curfew rule if they are driving to or from a place of employment or to or from a recognized religious, civil, or educational activity. Additionally, a teen is exempt from the curfew rule if there is an emergency or they are driving under the supervision of a relative, family member, or acting parent.

Are there passenger restrictions?

Unfortunately, there are passenger restrictions for drivers under the age of eighteen in Virginia. These rules are due in part to teen drivers not being experienced with dealing with multiple passengers especially when they are younger passengers and peers that can be distracting.

If a teen is under the age of eighteen, you may only carry one person under the age of twenty-one in your car. (With a learner’s permit, you may only carry one passenger under the age of eighteen.) The only exceptions are when your parent or acting adult is in the front passenger seat or you are carrying family members with you.

An additional exception is once you have had your license for over one year, you may carry up to three passengers under the age of twenty-one in the following circumstances:

  1. In the case of an emergency.
  2. When going to or from a school-related event.
  3. When a driver with a license over the age of twenty-one is in the front passenger seat.

Are there any cell phone restrictions?

Virginia is extremely strict when it comes to cell phone restrictions and teen drivers. While texting while driving is illegal for all drivers in Virginia, teens under the age of eighteen are restricted from using their cell phones at all while operating a vehicle.

Are there any penalties related to teen drivers in Virginia?

Demerit Points:

Teen drivers in Virginia are penalized more strictly in general for driving-related offenses. The DMV requires drivers under the age of eighteen to take a Driver Improvement Course if they receive a demerit point. If two demerit points are received, teen drivers may face a 90-day suspension. If three or more demerit points are received, a teen driver will face at least a year of license suspension.


Virginia has “Zero Tolerance” law for drivers under the age of twenty-one. If pulled over with any alcohol in their system you will face substantial consequences.

Passenger and Curfew Restrictions:

If you are caught driving in violation of Virginia teen driving restrictions like curfew or passenger restrictions your license can be suspended. Virginia also has an unusual law related to school attendance. If you miss ten or more consecutive days of school and are under that age of eighteen your license may also be suspended.


Virginia has strict laws for teen drivers. It is important to make sure that you are careful to follow and be knowledgeable of all the distinct rules and restrictions in order to avoid consequences. If you face a demerit point as a teen driver and are required to take a driver improvement course, please consider our driver improvement course which is available online and competitively priced!