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Out of State Applicant and VA Drivers License for Academy


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  • Out of State Applicant and VA Drivers License for Academy

    I'm from out of state, am in the process for two departments, and am getting mixed responses on this question.

    One department says I need to have a VA drivers license BEFORE going to the academy. They further say this isn't just them, that it's a state law.

    The second department hadn't mentioned this to me so I asked them about it/emphasized the reason for asking is another department is saying I need a VA license to go to the academy. The second department responded that I just need a valid drivers license from any state to go to the academy, but need a VA license before I graduate.

    If I can help it I'd like to avoid calling one of these departments misinformed, but I also want to make sure I don't get bitten by this. Can anyone here answer this question?

  • #2
    I’m out of state too, which departments are these out of curiosity. None of the departments I applied to need you to have a Virginia license prior to start of the academy
    Last edited by coolbeans11; 05-25-2021, 12:19 PM.


    • #3
      As a practical matter, planning to get the VA OL before you start the academy is the way to go. The academy will likely be regular business hours, which happen to be the DMV hours as well. Getting away from the academy to get your OL changed is doable, but will likely be a challenge.

      Planning to move to VA an extra day early is the best choice.

      When I moved to NC I did not follow my own advice. Luckily for me the DMV was close to the academy and I could get there in time. Also, luckily for me we had ABC law in the academy that afternoon. Otherwise I would have failed the written test.

      My second suggestion is get ahold of the VA DMV pamphlet for getting a driver's license and at least read it before the written test.


      • #4
        Coolbeans: The department saying I need it is Stafford County Sheriff

        jnh: Thanks for the input. My main concern with getting a VA license beforehand is I'd need to turn in my current license, and I don't want to do that/commit to transitioning to VA unless I'm positive I'll have a job there.

        Do you have any insight on legally needing the license before the academy?

        I'm also surprised to hear that I'd need to take a written test rather than just switch over licenses. I dont imagine that will be a problem, but one more thing to do haha.


        • #5
          They don’t lateral DLs. You have to go through the process.


          • #6
            You will need to take the written test. People fail this test regularly when switching licenses.

            I am confident VA law requires new residents to obtain a VA license within a given timeframes. Failure to do so means you do not have a license. If you are driving to the academy you would then be breaking the law and will likely be fired.

            Simply not wanting to change licenses makes no sense. You are not moving to VA for a fast food job.

            If you accept either job, move to VA and get the license. Any other plan either will or can cause you serious problems. Your excuse to not want to is pretty poor.


            • #7
              As far as not wanting to commit to VA, why accept the job? This comes across a little odd. If you fail the academy then you would not have a job, and if you play games with your OL you could not have a job, but these are avoidable issues.

              If you take one of these jobs either you need to commit to moving to VA.


              • #8
                CCCSD - Gotcha, thanks

                jnj - It seems there's some confusion. It's not that I don't want to commit to VA at all, it's that I'm debating holding off committing until I have an actual job offer.


                • #9
                  Wait for the job offer, but once you commit, move to VA and get the license before the academy starts. As an out of state applicant I would not move to VA without a job offer either. You may not get much time, so be prepared to move quickly. But once you accept the offer, get the license before the academy starts.

                  If a department is processing your application the department knows you do not currently have a VA license.

                  I do not know the specifics of every department, but there is a good chance you will have only 2 weeks, maybe less, from job offer to start date. My suggestion is find a place to live, change your license, then handle the other tasks involved in moving. I would make changing the license a must do task once you accept the job and before you start.

                  I see nothing wrong with discussing this with the department at the appropriate stage of the hiring process. Also, check the VA DMV website in advance so you know what documents you will need, and if an appointment is needed. Be prepared to go to any DMV office, not just the one closest. I do not know specifically how VA DMV works, so find that out in advance.


                  • #10
                    Makes sense to me, that's likely what I'll end up doing. Thank you for the advice. I've started going through the DMV website and figuring out what I need, just need to acquire a document and then find the time to get off work and go there.


                    • #11
                      It has been a long time but when I relocated from Ohio to VA, but I just remember turning in my license and getting a new one.
                      One of the main things is that you need to establish Virginia residency first before you can get a license

                      I worked in the County just below Stafford, and if they know you are coming from out of state they will work with you.
                      Stafford hires a lot of Deputies from the military (especially the USMC) and they work with them transitioning from active duty.


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