The following are frequently asked questions from parents and teens about Behind the Wheel. Please refer to this list if you have questions. If you still have unanswered questions feel free to contact us and we will do our best to answer all you questions. You can also look on the DMV website for more information on Teen Driving.
Looking for questions about the Adult Waiver? - scroll down
What is Behind the Wheel (BTW)?
- BTW is the second part of the state required drivers education program. It consists of 7 days of driving with a certified instructor and at least one other student driver. Student drivers will drive for 50 minutes and observe another student driver for 50 minutes during each of the 7 sessions.
- BTW sessions are NOT driving lessons. You will learn to improve your skills and we will correct any mistakes but, you should already have all the basic driving skills necessary to safely operate a car on the road.
What is required to take BTW?
Prior to taking BTW, students must have completed and have documentation of the following;
- Part 1 of DE = 36 hours of classroom drivers ed - DEC-1 card issued
- Parent/Guardian and student attend the 90 minute Partners for Safe Teen Driving
*required for all new drivers in District 8 (Loudoun, Fairfax, Prince William Counties)
- Learner’s Permit issued by the Virginia DMV
- 45 hours of supervised driving with a licensed driver 21 or older with 15 hours of night driving.
Will I earn my license when I complete BTW?
- Maybe. Upon successful completion of BTW, the DMV “road test” will be administered by your SRDA instructor. If you pass, you will be eligible for your license. You must be 16 years and 3 months old AND have held your learners permit for 9 months. If all requirements are satisfied you will be issued your DTS-B, or “temporary” driver's license allowing you to operate a car without supervision.
No appointments at the DMV needed.
When do I get my permanent driver’s license?
- Within 6 months of earning your temporary license, you will be notified by the Juvenile and Domestic Court to attend a licensing ceremony with a parent./guardian, at which your permanent license will be issued.
What happens if I turn 18 before the temporary license expires?
- The DTS-B you are issued at the conclusion of BTW will expire 6 months after the date it is issued, or on your 18th birthday, whichever comes first. If you turn 18, you will need to submit the temporary license to the DMV so they can issue your permanent license. The DTS-B is no longer valid after your 18th birthday and you must not drive until you have been issued a new license from the DMV.
How many students are in the car during BTW?
- A minimum of 2 students are required. Most times 3 students will be scheduled at the same time.
Can I request to do BTW with friends?
- Yes. But all of you must request each other during registration and have similar eligibility dates. Delays in scheduling and licensing may occur, and not all special requests can be met.
Can I request to do BTW by myself?
- No. In order to meet your observation requirements, a minimum of 2 students will be scheduled during each BTW session.
Can I do more than 1 session per day?
- No. DMV does not permit more than one session per day
What is the difference between BTW and Private Lessons?
- BTW is a required course and is part of the Drivers Education curriculum that each driver must take in order to earn a Virginia Driver's License. Private lessons are where you can learn how to operate a car or just learn to get better. Lessons can count toward the required 45 hours for BTW but lessons do not count toward your required BTW sessions.
Should I take Private Lessons?
- Private lessons are sessions with a licensed and certified instructor. Each lesson is designed to each student's needs, from their first time behind the wheel to a seasoned driver who simply needs a refresher to improve their skills. Lessons progress from least risk to higher level skills, and may include identifying the parts of the car and their function all the way up to traveling safely on the highway. Regardless of current skill level, each lesson will build upon your skills to provide you with the confidence and comfort needed to safely operate your car in most common situations. Please know that private lessons can count toward your 45 hours required for BTW but they do not take the place of the BTW course.
I have other commitments, is there any flexibility in scheduling?
- Yes. We do the best we can to meet everyone's busy schedules, however, due to limited time and space, and other students, some scheduling conflicts cannot be avoided. We ask that you work directly with your instructor to make any adjustments and we appreciate your flexibility and understanding if they cannot accommodate. In some cases, significant delays in completing your sessions could occur.
Do you pick us up at home or do we need to meet you somewhere?
- Yes, we do pick up from home, school, or work. However, in many cases we will ask to meet us for the first session so our instructors can evaluate your skills prior to putting you on the road. It also gives us a chance to meet your parent/guardian to answer any questions or help with any concerns. We would typically meet at a nearby school or empty parking lot to give us enough space to safely evaluate your driving skills.
How do I register for BTW or Private Lessons?
- Easy, just click on the REGISTER tab at the top of the page. Find the appropriate button (teen or adult) and complete the form. You will need your learners permit and DEC-1 card (BTW only) and you’ll need to download and sign a copy of the SRDA contract. Once you submit the form, you’ll receive a confirmation from SRDA that your registration is being processed.
When will I start?
- Once you’ve submitted your registration, SRDA staff will process the paperwork and assign an instructor. The instructor will then contact you with a proposed schedule for you to approve. You may be contacted within a few days to a few weeks depending on your eligibility to be licensed and/or availability of the instructor and other students to be in the vehicle.
How much does it cost?
- Please click on the PRICING tab at the top of the page for current pricing and payment options