Administrative Code

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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 24. Transportation and Motor Vehicles
Agency 20. Department of Motor Vehicles
Chapter 121. Virginia Driver Training Schools Regulations
7/6/2020

24VAC20-121-100. General Instructor Licensing Requirements.

A. Individuals seeking an instructor's license shall submit, as required by these regulations, a completed application along with any associated fees and other appropriate documentation to the school with which they are employed. Schools shall be responsible for submitting the instructor applications, along with any associated fees and other appropriate documentation, to the department, as required by these regulations. Applicants seeking an original or a renewal of an instructor's license shall submit with their application a national criminal records check completed within 60 days of the submission date of the application.

B. Applicants must be at least 21 years of age and must be able to document with driving records at least five years of licensed driving experience, two years of which shall be experience in the United States or a territory thereof. These driving records must exhibit the individual's name, the driver's license number, the date of issue, the issuing jurisdiction, the date of expiration and notations of any convictions, license withdrawals, suspensions, revocations, cancellations, disqualifications or restrictions. In the event an applicant uses driving records from a foreign country to substantiate licensed driving experience, such records must be translated into English by an appropriate authority, as approved by the department, at the applicant's expense.

C. Individuals seeking an instructor's license must be employed by a licensed school. No instructor shall be employed by more than one school unless all the schools are owned by the same person. Instructors employed by more than one school shall have an application and other appropriate documentation and fees submitted to the department by each school that employs them.

D. Individuals licensed as instructors or seeking an instructor's license must be able to effectively communicate in English in an easily understood and comprehensible manner to their students and the department, as determined by the department.

E. Individuals seeking an instructor's license to teach in-vehicle instruction shall hold a valid driver's license from their state of domicile at the time of licensing and throughout the entire licensure period. If such driver's licenses are from another state or jurisdiction, the applicant must provide to the department a copy of their driving record from that jurisdiction with their application and every three months thereafter if they receive an instructor's license. Such driving record must be produced within 30 days of its submission to the department.

All applicants for a license to teach in-vehicle instruction and those persons who are currently licensed to teach in-vehicle instruction must also provide notice to the department, in a format prescribed by the department, of any traffic accidents, convictions of traffic infractions, misdemeanors, or felonies, as well as any administrative actions relating to driving or any driver's license revocation, suspension, cancellation, disqualification or other loss of driving privileges within 15 calendar days of the conviction or administrative action, or within 15 calendar days of the imposition of the revocation, suspension, cancellation, disqualification or other loss of driving privileges.

Applicants for a license to teach in-vehicle instruction shall not be approved if their current driving privileges are expired, suspended, revoked, cancelled or disqualified. Persons required to submit to periodic medical reviews may also be denied an in-vehicle instructor's license if, as determined by the department, their conditions are considered to pose a threat to the safety, health or welfare of driver training students or the public while these persons operate a motor vehicle.

F. Individuals who obtain an instructor's license shall at the time of licensing have a driving record with no more than six demerit points. After licensing, instructors shall maintain a driving record with no more than six demerit points. If during the licensure period the driving record of such individual accumulates more than six demerit points based on violations occurring in a 12-month period, the department shall suspend the person's instructor license and shall notify the instructor and the driver training school where the instructor is employed of such suspension. Safe driving points shall not be used to reduce the accumulated demerit points. In the event that the driving record is from another state, the department will apply Virginia's equivalent demerit points to convictions noted on such record.

Whenever the driver's license of such individual is suspended or revoked, or such person is convicted in any court of reckless driving, driving under the influence or driving while intoxicated, the department shall suspend the person's instructor license and shall notify the person and the driver training school where the instructor is employed of the suspension.

G. The department may refuse to approve any application, including originals or renewals, in which the applicant has been convicted of a felony, including but not limited to bribery, forgery, fraud or embezzlement under the laws of the Commonwealth or any other jurisdiction, or a conviction of any offense included in Article 7 (§ 18.2-61 et seq.) of Chapter 4 of Title 18.2 of the Code of Virginia (Criminal Sexual Assault) or of any similar laws of any other jurisdiction, or any misdemeanor or felony conviction involving:

1. Sexual assault as established in Article 7 (§ 18.2-61 et seq.) of Chapter 4 of Title 18.2 of the Code of Virginia;

2. Obscenity and related offenses as established in Article 5 (§ 18.2-372 et seq.) of Chapter 8 of Title 18.2 of the Code of Virginia;

3. Drugs as established in Article 1 (§ 18.2-247 et seq.) of Chapter 7 of Title 18.2 of the Code of Virginia;

4. Crimes of moral turpitude;

5. Contributing to the delinquency of a minor;

6. Taking indecent liberties with a minor;

7. The physical or sexual abuse or neglect of a child;

8. Similar offenses in other jurisdictions; or

9. Other offenses, as determined by the department, which would indicate that the applicant may present a danger to the safety of students or the public.

Instructor licenses may be suspended or revoked if a conviction for any of the offenses outlined in this subsection occurs during any licensure period.

H. Instructor applicants shall not be issued a license if they have a conviction of driving under the influence, reckless driving, refusal to submit to a breath or blood test under § 18.2-268.2 of the Code of Virginia, or vehicular or involuntary manslaughter, or of any similar offense from any other jurisdiction within a period of five years prior to the date of the application. If the applicant's driving privileges were revoked for any such conviction, then the five-year period shall be measured from the license restoration date rather than the conviction date. Instructor licenses issued shall be revoked if a conviction, as outlined in this subsection, occurs during the licensure period.

I. Except as otherwise provided in these regulations, an individual seeking an instructor's license shall have at least a high school diploma or equivalent. After initial licensure or renewal, instructors shall attend annual training sessions provided by the department. These one-day training sessions shall be held in each of the department's regional districts every year, as deemed necessary by the department.

These sessions shall include, as appropriate and necessary, updates on department forms, audit processes and other procedural changes, and new legislation that has implications for driver training. They also shall include discussions about any issues or concerns raised by either the department or the licensees.

When available, these sessions shall also offer information about the latest in driver training instructional techniques as well as other new developments in driver training in order to enhance overall professional training skills and abilities.

The schedule for such training sessions shall be developed by the department and provided to each instructor through the school that employs them at least 30 days in advance of the scheduled sessions. The schedule also shall include provisions for a make-up training session for those licensees who could not attend the training session in their region. Attendance shall be mandatory and shall be at no cost to licensed instructors, other than those costs associated with travel to and from the training session, including lodging and meals.

Each licensed instructor who, without valid excuse, fails to attend and complete a scheduled training session or a scheduled make-up training session shall be subject to a minimum 30-day license suspension, which shall not be lifted until the instructor has completed a special make-up training session. Special make-up training sessions shall be provided only when necessary, and instructors attending such sessions will be required to pay the department's cost for providing the special make-up training session.

J. All instructors shall complete training on the current curriculum and other course work, as required and approved by the department, prior to instructing students. Evidence of such training shall be maintained by the school employing the instructor and provided to the department upon request.

K. The fee for an instructor license shall be set pursuant to these regulations. The instructor's license period shall expire when the respective school license expires. At the discretion of the department, instructor licensing fees may be prorated on a monthly basis.

L. The instructor license application package shall be submitted by the school employing the instructor to the department in a format prescribed by the department. All proper applications will be either approved or denied by the department within 30 business days of receipt from the school employing the instructor.

M. All licensed instructors shall have their instructor's license in their possession at all times while providing instruction.

N. Each instructor licensed by the department shall notify the department in a format prescribed by the department within 30 days of establishing a new residential address.

O. In the event that a school licensed by the department changes its name or address, the school shall, no later than 30 days prior to such change (i) notify the department of the school's name or address change, (ii) request revised instructor's licenses for the instructors it employs reflecting the change and (iii) submit to the department the processing fees set forth in these regulations for revising and reissuing an instructor's license for each of its instructors.

After receiving the processing fees, the department will revise and reissue the instructor's licenses, as requested, and will cancel the previously issued licenses. Once it receives the revised licenses from the department, the school shall return the cancelled instructor's licenses to the department.

Statutory Authority

§§ 46.2-203 and 46.2-1703 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Volume 24, Issue 04, eff. January 1, 2008; amended, Virginia Register Volume 27, Issue 09, eff. February 2, 2011.

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