2006 Code of Virginia § 46.2-335 - Learner\'s permits; fees

46.2-335. Learner's permits; fees.

A. The Department, on receiving from any Virginia resident over the age of 15years and six months an application for a learner's permit or motorcyclelearner's permit, may, subject to the applicant's satisfactory documentationof meeting the requirements of this chapter and successful completion of thewritten or automated knowledge and vision examinations and, in the case of amotorcycle learner's permit applicant, the automated motorcycle test, issue apermit entitling the applicant, while having the permit in his immediatepossession, to drive a motor vehicle or, if the application is made for amotorcycle learner's permit, a motorcycle, on the highways, when accompaniedby any licensed driver 21 years of age or older or by his parent or legalguardian, or by a brother, sister, half-brother, half-sister, step-brother,or step-sister 18 years of age or older. The accompanying person shall be (i)alert, able to assist the driver, and actually occupying a seat beside thedriver or, for motorcycle instruction, providing immediate supervision from aseparate accompanying motor vehicle and (ii) lawfully permitted to operatethe motor vehicle or accompanying motorcycle at that time.

The Department shall not, however, issue a learner's permit or motorcyclelearner's permit to any minor applicant required to provide evidence ofcompliance with the compulsory school attendance law set forth in Article 1( 22.1-254 et seq.) of Chapter 14 of Title 22.1, unless such applicant is ingood academic standing or, if not in such standing or submitting evidencethereof, whose parent or guardian, having custody of such minor, provideswritten authorization for the minor to obtain a learner's permit ormotorcycle learner's permit, which written authorization shall be obtained onforms provided by the Department and indicating the Commonwealth's interestin the good academic standing and regular school attendance of such minors.Any minor providing proper evidence of the solemnization of his marriage or acertified copy of a court order of emancipation shall not be required toprovide the certification of good academic standing or any writtenauthorization from his parent or guardian to obtain a learner's permit ormotorcycle learner's permit.

Such permit, except a motorcycle learner's permit, shall be valid until theholder thereof either is issued a driver's license as provided for in thischapter or no longer meets the qualifications for issuance of a learner'spermit as provided in this section. Motorcycle learner's permits shall bevalid for 12 months. When a motorcycle learner's permit expires, thepermittee may, upon submission of an application, payment of the applicationfee, and successful completion of the examinations, be issued anothermotorcycle learner's permit valid for 12 months.

B. No driver's license shall be issued to any such person who is less than 18years old unless, while holding a learner's permit, he has driven a motorvehicle for at least 40 hours, at least 10 of which were after sunset, ascertified by his parent, foster parent, or legal guardian unless the personis married or otherwise emancipated.

C. No learner's permit shall authorize its holder to operate a motor vehiclewith more than one passenger who is less than 18 years old, except whenparticipating in a driver education program approved by the Department ofEducation or a course offered by a driver training school licensed by theDepartment. This passenger limitation, however, shall not apply to thedriver's family or household as defined in subsection B of 46.2-334.01.

D. No learner's permit shall authorize its holder to operate a motor vehiclebetween midnight and four o'clock a.m.

E. A violation of subsection C or D of this section shall not constitutenegligence, be considered in mitigation of damages of whatever nature, beadmissible in evidence or be the subject of comment by counsel in any actionfor the recovery of damages arising out of the operation, ownership, ormaintenance of a motor vehicle, nor shall anything in this subsection changeany existing law, rule, or procedure pertaining to any such civil action.

F. The provisions of 46.2-323 and 46.2-334 relating to evidence andcertification of Virginia residence and, in the case of persons of schoolage, compliance with the compulsory school attendance law shall apply,mutatis mutandis, to applications for learner's permits and motorcyclelearner's permits issued under this section.

G. For persons qualifying for a driver's license through driver educationcourses approved by the Department of Education or courses offered by drivertraining schools licensed by the Department, the application for thelearner's permit shall be used as the application for the driver's license.

H. The Department shall charge a fee of $3 for each learner's permit andmotorcycle learner's permit issued under this section. Fees for issuance oflearner's permits shall be paid into the driver education fund of the statetreasury; fees for issuance of motorcycle learner's permits shall be paidinto the state treasury and credited to the Motorcycle Rider Safety TrainingProgram Fund created pursuant to 46.2-1191. It shall be unlawful for anyperson, after having received a learner's permit, to drive a motor vehiclewithout being accompanied by a licensed driver as provided in the foregoingprovisions of this section; however, a learner's permit other than amotorcycle learner's permit, accompanied by documentation verifying that thedriver is at least 16 years and three months old and has successfullycompleted an approved driver's education course, signed by the minor'sparent, guardian, legal custodian or other person standing in loco parentis,shall constitute a temporary driver's license for the purpose of drivingunaccompanied by a licensed driver 18 years of age or older, if all otherrequirements of this chapter have been met. Such temporary driver's licenseshall only be valid until the driver has received his permanent licensepursuant to 46.2-336.

I. Nothing in this section shall be construed to permit the issuance of alearner's permit entitling a person to drive a commercial motor vehicle,except as provided by the Virginia Commercial Driver's License Act (46.2-341.1 et seq.).

J. The following limitations shall apply to operation of motorcycles by allpersons holding motorcycle learner's permits:

1. The operator shall wear an approved safety helmet as provided in 46.2-910.

2. Operation shall be under the immediate supervision of a person licensed tooperate a motorcycle who is 21 years of age or older.

3. No person other than the operator shall occupy the motorcycle.

K. No holder of a learner's permit or motorcycle learner's permit shall beallowed to take the behind-the-wheel examination administered by theDepartment more than three times in any three-month period.

L. Any violation of this section shall be punishable as a Class 2 misdemeanor.

(Code 1950, 46-353, 46-361, 46-363, 46-364; 1950, p. 249; 1952, c. 396;1954, c. 123; 1956, c. 665; 1958, c. 541, 46.1-357; 1960, cc. 110, 424;1962, cc. 254, 482; 1964, c. 617; 1966, c. 36; 1968, c. 642; 1970, c. 41;1972, c. 823; 1973, c. 1; 1974, cc. 223, 542; 1976, c. 8; 1977, cc. 548, 552;1980, c. 165; 1982, c. 287; 1984, c. 780; 1987, cc. 154, 632; 1989, cc. 392,705, 727; 1993, cc. 471, 501; 1995, cc. 254, 337, 535, 847; 1996, cc. 892,894, 918, 943, 994, 1011, 1022, 1035; 1997, c. 841; 1998, c. 322; 1999, cc.459, 462; 2000, c. 686; 2001, cc. 659, 665; 2004, cc. 733, 805.)

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