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Welcome to Virginia! As a new driver to this state you will need to be aware of our unique traffic laws and regulations. Here's what you need to keep in mind while driving in Virginia. Some of these rules may be the same as what you're already used to, but others will be drastically different!
The length of time that a conviction stays on your record depends on the severity of the violation. If you receive an order or notice of revocation, suspension, disqualification or cancellation, your convictions could remain on your record for even longer than specified in one of these lists.
DMV demerit points remain on your record for two years from the date that you commit the offense. The dates that demerit points are removed from your driving record are not related to the dates that convictions are removed from your record (indicated in parenthesis on the Violation Lists).
Safe driving points are assigned for each full calendar year that you hold a valid Virginia driver's license and drive without any violations or suspensions. In some cases, you may also earn safe driving points by completing a driver improvement clinic.
Annual safe driving points are awarded in early April of each year for the previous calendar year. You can accumulate a total of 5 safe driving points and you may use these safe driving points to offset demerit points.
You must dim your headlights from high to low beam when you are within 500 feet of an oncoming vehicle, or when within 200 feet of a vehicle traveling ahead of you.
You must use your headlights:
You may flash your headlights to indicate your intention to pass a vehicle traveling ahead of you.
Virginia law prohibits consumption of an alcoholic beverage by a person driving a motor vehicle, and provides that a driver is presumed to have consumed an alcoholic beverage if an open container is located within the passenger area of the motor vehicle, the alcoholic beverage in the open container has been at least partially removed and the appearance, conduct, odor of alcohol, speech or other physical characteristic of the driver of the motor vehicle may be reasonably associated with the consumption of an alcoholic beverage.
Speeding violations when workers are present are subject to an enhanced fine of up to $500.
Signal your intention to turn or change lanes at least 100 feet in advance.
Hazard light use is required:
Hazard light use is permitted:
A 2-foot minimum passing distance is required.
You may not pass a left-turning vehicle on the right by driving on the shoulder of the highway or off the pavement or main traveled portion of the roadway, except where driving on paved shoulders is permitted by lawfully placed signs.