Driver Education

The Communication to Parents contains information regarding the new Virginia Department of Education grading policy for Driver Education.

Licensing Process

In the state of Virginia, students do not have to be enrolled in Driver Education to obtain a Learner's Permit.  They need to be 15 and a half years old.

See the Interactive Driver's License Study Guide for Learner's Permit Test

See the Virginia Driver's Manual

See the Virginia 45-Hour Parent/Teen Driving Guide

See the Road Skills Evaluation checklist

Licensing Process Flowchart

In order to take Behind the Wheel (BTW) through FCPS, you must be currently enrolled or have completed classroom Driver Education and have a valid Virginia Learner's Permit.  If a student is currently enrolled in classroom Driver Education, permission is required from the classroom teacher before taking BTW.  The DEC-District 8 (Pink Card) is obtained by completing classroom Driver Education and attending the Partners for Safe Teen Driving assembly. Once received by the student, the DEC-District 8 card is submitted to the Behind the Wheel instructor, along with the 45-hour driving log (if completed). Students must hold the Virginia Learner’s Permit for 9 months to obtain a Temporary Drivers License (TDL).  After receiving the TDL, which is valid for 6-months, the student will then receive a court date via U.S. mail informing them of the location, date, and time to go to court to receive their permanent Driver's License.

licensing process flowchart

Special Notice

License requirement for all Sophomores enrolled in FCPS

Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology will be offering 4 evening traffic safety programs (pdf) throughout the school year as part of new compulsory attendance requirements for new drivers. The dates for the mandatory 90-minute traffic safety program have been set (see below). This requirement must be met before a student can receive a Driver Education Certificate of Completion which is commonly known as a DEC-1 card.

All assemblies will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. in the location indicated below. Remember, as you can see in the attached letter those arriving late Will NOT be admitted.

Driver's license requirements in Virginia presentation - created especially for TJHSST students and their parents by Ms. Heidi Smith and is not an official DMV document.

Partners for Safe Teen Driving Assembly 2020-2021*

Please note: This assembly is only for current Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors. Freshmen may not attend. Sophomores do not need to pre-register, but Juniors and Seniors do. One parent or guardian must attend with each student.

Registration for Juniors and Seniors ONLY is done online through ACE.

Sophomores do not need to pre-register.

Assembly Dates for the 2020-2021 School Year

  • Quarter 1: Friday, October 9, 2020 - Auditorium, 6:30 - 8:00 pm
  • Quarter 2: Friday, December 4, 2020 - Auditorium, 6:30 - 8:00 pm
  • Quarter 3: Friday, February 19, 2021 - Auditorium, 6:30 - 8:00 pm
  • Quarter 4: Friday, April 16, 2021 - Auditorium, 6:30 - 8:00 pm

*Dates subject to change. Please check this page frequently for updates.

How to Register for Behind the Wheel

There are two ways you can register for Behind the Wheel. You only need to do one:

  1. Online through ACE
    • Click on Driver Education on left side
    • Click on Behind the Wheel Driver Education
  2. In Person or Call Ace Registration for hours and directions: 703-506-2284


Contact Heidi Smith ( for any questions or concerns.

Web content created by Heidi Smith, Driver Education teacher, for TJHSST.