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How to Become a Licensed Driving Instructor in Virginia

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If you are at least 21 years old, have a high school diploma or the equivalent and have had a clean driving record for the past five years, you can apply to be a licensed driving instructor in Virginia. Licensed instructors provide classroom and in-vehicle instruction to help students prepare for driver permit and licensing tests. According to PayScale, as of December 2010, 71 percent of driving instructors nationwide were male and the national hourly wage was $12.00 to $17.00. In Virginia, driving classes can be taught by high school teachers or by employees of commercial driving schools; both must be licensed by the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles.

Apply to a Virginia DMV-approved driver training school for employment as a licensed driving instructor. Your license application must be submitted to the DMV by a currently licensed school. A list of approved schools is available on the DMV website.

Complete three DMV-approved semester hours of "Introduction to Driver Education: Driver Task Analysis." Obtain a certified transcript of successful course completion to submit with your license application.

Complete three DMV-approved semester hours of "Instructional Principles of Teaching Driver Education," or obtain a valid Virginia teaching certificate with a driver education endorsement. You need to attach a certified transcript of successful course completion or a copy of your endorsed teaching certificate to your application.

Complete the "Driver Training Instructor License Application." You can obtain this form from your employer or the DMV website.

Certify on your license application that you have been properly licensed to drive a vehicle in Virginia for a minimum of five years. If you have not been licensed in Virginia for the five-year minimum, order a copy of your driving history and record from the state in which you have been licensed and attach it to your application.

Certify on the license application that your driving record reflects no more than six demerit points. If you don't know the status of your driving record, contact the DMV to request a copy before submitting your application. You do not have to submit your Virginia driving record to the DMV.

Obtain a National Criminal Records Check from the FBI dated within 60 days of the submission date of your application. Contact the Department of Virginia State Police to request fingerprints for submission to the FBI.

Ask your employer to sign the employer certification on your application.

Sign and date your application.

Write a check for the application fee made payable to "Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles."

Give the application and attachments to your employer for submission to the DMV's Commercial Licensing Work Center.


If you do not plan to teach students under the age of 19, you can skip the three-hour driver education courses. Virginia regulations require the DMV to approve or deny a license application within 30 business days of submission.


To apply for a license, you must be able to effectively communicate in English. Applicants convicted of a felony or of a misdemeanor involving sexual offense or moral turpitude may be refused a license. You cannot become a licensed instructor if you have had a conviction related to reckless or drunk driving in the last five years.


Jane Allison Austin is an attorney and real estate broker who has been writing since 1995. Austin was the legal contributor for "Middleburg LIfe" and has written on health care for "Radius Magazine," a physician-owned quarterly. Austin has been an elder care attorney and executive with a national Medicare-certified home health care company. She holds a Master of Arts in international relations.

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