Behind The Wheel

Behind the Wheel Overview

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 offerred. 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.

On-Line Registration

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.

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