From the Virginia Poverty Law Center’s ABC’s of Foster Care 

What do I have to do in order to get my learner’s permit?

  • You must be able to prove that you are a Virginia resident and that you have regularly been attending school or you are “in good academic standing.”  If you are not “in good academic standing,” you can still apply for a learner’s permit if your social worker gives you written permission to get a learner’s permit.  This permission must be on a form that you get from the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Any person who is at least 16 years and three months old can be issued a driver’s license under certain conditions.  Most local departments of social services encourage and help their foster youth to get driver’s licenses before they leave foster care.  In fact, some local agencies pay for private driving lessons if driver’s education classes are not available through the local schools.

Before you can apply for your driver’s license, you must successfully complete a driver’s education course and have proof that you are regularly attending school and are in good academic standing.  If you are not “in good academic standing,” you must have a form signed by your social worker allowing you to obtain a driver’s license.  The form is available from the Department of Motor Vehicles.  You are also required to pay a small fee.  If you are under 18 when you apply for your driver’s license, you must also have your foster parent or social worker certify that you have driven a car for at least 45 hours (at least 15 of which were after sunset) with a learner’s permit and under the rules that apply to driving with a learner’s permit. 

Can I own a car while I am in foster care?

  • Yes, although you will have to use your own money to buy the car.  The local department of social services does not have funds to pay for cars for their youth in foster care

To apply for a driver’s license or leaner’s permit, you must bring two identification documents, one proof of legal presence and one proof of Virginia residence.  Your two forms of identification should include your birth certificate and either a certified copy of your school transcript/records, your Medicaid card, or an unexpired social services issued identification card with photograph. Your birth certificate will also provide proof of legal presence in the United States.  To prove that you are a resident of Virginia, you must bring something showing your current address, such as a payroll stub no more than two months old; a bank statement no more than two months old; or a certified copy of school records/transcript from the school you are currently attending.  You must also bring a copy of your social security card or some other document showing your social security number. 


Liability Insurance for Foster Parents

Va. Code Ann. § 63.2-911

The Department may provide liability insurance for civil matters for persons providing basic foster care services in foster homes, as defined in §§ 63.2-100 and 63.2-905, that are approved by local boards for children in their custody or children who the board has entered into an agreement to place where legal custody remains with the parents or guardians.