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Friday, October 7, 2011

Get Your Driver's License....

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I recently passed my driver's license test, and am now a licensed driver. Talented though? Maybe not. The DMV certainly makes it as hard and as confusing as possible to get it though, so for anyone in VA, I wanted to lay out what you have to do, and what paper work you have to have to apply. (Of course it involves paperwork--the government revolves around paperwork) So, according to my experience, here is what you will have to do to get your license: (note, this applies to VA residents only. Your state may have similar requirements, but I have not included them)
(another note: the outline below is for homeschoolers--I do not have any knowledge of how it works with public schools)
(third note: this is based off of my experience--laws may change, but this should sum up most of what is required)

1. Get your permit.
You have to have a permit to be able to learn how to drive. So get it. This is the easiest of the whole process: all you have to do is go to the DMV and pass the knowledge test. Want to practice? Sample tests can be found here: http://www.dmvnow.com/dmvweb/kats/sne_intro.asp .

2. Find a driving school course so you can get your required 30 hours of classroom learning.
For homeschoolers, there are a few good online courses that the state of VA accepts. Personally, I completed my 30 hours through: http://www.usdrivertraining.com/. This is a site that is especially created for homeschoolers, and it worked for me.

3. Start driving (with your permit in your pocket) and start logging your 45 hours of driving time
You have to have a total of 45 hours of logged driving: 30 during the day, and 15 after sunset. Although you do not turn the log of your driving hours in, log them because usually you will have to outline how much you drove for the online course.

4. Get your certificate of completion from the online course
You can only do this once you have finished the course, and have driven all 45 hours. Usually, the online course outlines what you need to send them in order for them to send you a certificate of completion. Yes, you do have to have a certificate.

5. Attend the mandatory 90 minute class
This is a new law in the course of getting your license, so if you haven't heard of it, its ok. This is essentially a  podium for the state to speak at you and tell you to drive safely. They have these classes periodically at schools in the area--just google it and see what you get. You do have to attend this class though, and get a piece of paper saying you did. No paper, no license at the DMV. Note: make copies of this paper.

6. Mail paperwork to Richmond (DMV headquarters)
Now comes the paperwork. Because we are homeschooled, you must mail your 1. Certificate of Completion(of the driver's course), 2. Your original (not a copy) paper saying you attended the 90 minute class, 3. A copy of your letter of approval for Homeschooling, and 4. This form: http://www.dmv.virginia.gov/webdoc/pdf/hs1.pdf This all has to be mailed to the DMV headquarters in Richmond.

7. Complete Module Eleven
It sounds like a special ops term, does it not? After processing the paperwork that you mailed in, Richmond will mail back to you a letter saying your parent is approved to teach you the "Module Eleven", which is also mailed to you. Note: none of the forms in Module Eleven have to be turned in to get your Driver's License

8. Go to the DMV
Finally, the step you waited for. But wait--do not forget the all important paperwork that the DMV requires. You will need to bring: 1.Your permit, 2. Your Social Security card, 3. Your passport, 4. The letter of approval to teach that Richmond sent you with Module Eleven,  5. The copy of the 90 minute Class Attendance paper, and 6. Your parent whose name is on the letter of approval to teach.(Important, because signatures have to match up) That should be everything you need. After that, all you need to do is pass the road test, and you are good to go.

Have fun getting your Driver's license. Also, the official DMV website for homeschoolers is here: http://www.dmv.virginia.gov/webdoc/citizen/drivers/homeschoolers.asp