Behind The Wheel

Behind the Wheel Overview


COVID19 Update regarding behind the wheel

CDS suspended behind the wheel on March 20 and resumed behind the wheel on June 1 following modified guidelines outlined by the DMV waiving the observation requirement.  

School Policy Change:  Because there cannot be any social distancing inside the vehicle, we are not offering behind the wheel to students who have returned to in-person school.  This includes all students in hybrid programs, in-person college programs, tech center programs, and students who physically go to the school due to lack of internet at their home and/or other reasons.  We also require a 14-day stay at home period before beginning behind the wheel.  If you have traveled out of state and/or attended a mass gathering including church service, sports tournament, protest march, wedding, funeral, etc., a 14-day period is required before we drive with you.  

We have a facemask policy and sanitize vehicle contact surfaces each time we change drivers.  Before entering the car each day, in addition to verifying that they have their learner's permit, we will be asking each student about their state of health and if they have been in contact with a sick person.  We also have a stay home / no out-of-state travel policy for the 2 weeks before the behind the wheel program starts.

Pandemics are not covered as insurable events and we cannot extend our exposure to being at fault for allowing a student to become infected.  As well, we cannot allow ourselves to become infected.  We will take reasonable precautions to maintain health and safety limiting virus exposure and spread. 


Community Driving School (CDS) offers driver's education program for teens to get a driver’s license. CDS works along side all education outlets, private, public, and home schools, to provide driver’s education instruction not available otherwise. CDS provides the Virginia State Driver's Ed curriculum that consists of 30 hours of Classroom course work and 14 periods of Behind the Wheel (7 periods of actual driving and 7 periods of observation). Driver’s Ed is offerred at our driving schools located in Powhatan, Midlothian, and Goochland. The Classroom and the Behind-The-Wheel Driver Education segments are offered together and separately. 

Behind the Wheel can be taken after successfully completing the 30 hr Driver's Ed Classroom course at a DMV approved commercial, private, public, on-line, or home school edcuation outlet.  The 30 hour Driver's Ed Classroom Course Completion Certificate is needed to begin Behind the Wheel. Behind the Wheel is done in CDS vehicles equipped for Behind the Wheel, inspected and approved by DMV, and insured appropriately for this purpose.

A Learner’s Permit is needed to begin the Behind-the-Wheel segment along with the Classroom segment completion. Students who are 15 years and 6 months old can apply for a Learners Permit at DMV. We encourage teens to get their Learners Permit as soon as they can, even if they intend to take a while to meet the driver training requirements. We also ask that the student drive with family and friends for at least 30 hours before taking Behind the Wheel.

Upon successful completion of Behind the Wheel, CDS will issue a 180-Day Virginia Temporary Drivers License to a new driver who meets the driving and age requirements set forth in the Virginia State Code.  The 4 requirements for licensing include completing the 45 hour driving log (30 daytime-15 nighttime) holding the Learner's Permit for 9 months, and the Classroom and Behind the Wheel Driver's Ed components.

Behind the Wheel Requirements

Community Driving School offers Driver Education - In Car Instruction to teens who:
• hold a valid Virginia Learner's Permit,
• have completed the 30 hour Driver Education Classroom course and provide the school completion certificate,
• have driven for at least 30 hours of driving with family and friends,
• be under 18 years of age. (if 18 and older, please see the Adult Behind the Wheel section below)

Driving Times

Our Behind the Wheel program consists of 7 50-minute driving periods and 7 50-minute observation periods as specified by DMV regulations. Driving schedules are based on student & instructor availability and are set for Monday through Friday during daylight hours. Saturday and Sunday driving is available on a limited basis.

Pick-up & Drop-off Locations

Pick-up and drop-off is available at select high schools, retail locations, or at our Community Driving Schools in Powhatan, Midlothian, and Goochland.

Adult Behind the Wheel

For adults, age 18 and older, Behind the Wheel is also offered. Adults must be paired with other adults and the format of 7 drives and 7 observations is the same as that offered to teen drivers.  We furnish the Behind the Wheel vehicle and upon successful completion, we will issue a DMV Waiver document which waives the DMV Road Skills Test and Learner's Permit holding requirement.  Taking this document to DMV will result in them issuing a Driver's License.

To take Adult Behind the Wheel, the Virginia Learner's Permit and 30 hours of driving experience requirements apply and the Driver's Ed 30 hour Classroom Course completion certificate must be furnished.  If the classroom course was taken in high school, the transcript records should be available in the school's archives so enabling the acquisition of the certificate even if it was taken several years ago.

Private Driving Lessons

We offer Private Driving Lessons to teens and adults who are preparing for the DMV Road Skills Test or for the Behind the Wheel program.  Lessons are offerred on weekdays during school hours.  Little or no driving experience is required, however a valid Virginia Learner's Permit is needed.  Transportation is available and is charged based on a round trip from our nearest office at the lesson per minute rate.  Lessons last 50 minutes and can be purchased on a day-to-day basis.  To support flexibility, there are no minimum or maximum lesson commitments.  Please contact us for scheduling information.  In high peak conditions we may be unable to offer private lessons.  This usually occurs in the summer.

Corona Virus Screening Questions

Applies to all Behind the Wheel sessions

Given the heightened state of concern for transmission of the Corona Virus and the risks of close proximity between students and instructors, we have developed a screening questionnaire to assess risk.  Your cooperation is needed to avoid manage risk.  If you cannot answer these questions or provide answers that indicate high risk levels, we will deny service.

1.       Are you and members of your household feeling well?

2.       Have you developed a fever, cough, breathing difficulty, or muscle aches in the past 2 weeks?

3.       Have you or a family member visited a healthcare facility or nursing home in the past 2 weeks?

4.       Have you been near a person who has a confirmed case of Corona virus infection?

5.       Are there any healthcare workers living in your household?

6.       Have any friends or family in your immediate orbit put themselves in voluntary or involuntary isolation/quarantine?

7.     Did you have contact with anyone who has been out of the state in the past 2 weeks?

8.       Are you currently following CDC recommendations of social distancing of 6 feet?

9.       Are you taking reasonable precautions to reduce virus transmission?  Frequent handwashing, use of hand sanitizer, covering for coughing/sneezing, social distancing, avoiding face touches, handshakes, and hugs, disinfecting frequently touched surfaces?

Registration and Payment for Behind the Wheel

On-Line Registration

Students and instructors will wear facemasks during in-car sessions.

Students must be in good health.

Call us at 804-397-5550 or email us at to set up a Behind the Wheel

driving schedule before making a payment.

Note: Every effort is made to begin the driving course on the date desired as entered but scheduling is based on student/instructor availability during daylight hours.  Please note that if Behind the Wheel services cannot be rendered, a refund, less 3.5 %, will be issued.  

Choose Behind the Wheel Class
Enter Class Date Desired
Student's Name and Phone No