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Transportation

Transportation options

Student fees include use of local buses, part of the Blacksburg Transit bus system. Students can present a valid Hokie Passport to ride the Blacksburg Transit buses without charge. The bus system is extensive and meets most area transportation needs for Virginia Tech students.

Students who have bicycles should register them with campus police and keep them locked when not in use.

Parking 

Parking at the LCI’s Blacksburg location does not require a permit. However, students are asked to park only in public parking areas.

Students must not park on the side of the 840 building facing the day care (children's school) center or in the parking lot in front of the day care center. This space is reserved for building visitors. Parking is prohibited in the Firehouse/Verizon or Dollar General lots, and in front of other small shops or restaurants near the school. Parking is also prohibited in spaces reserved for disabled people (marked with a painted wheelchair). Parking is allowed in any of the other large parking lots on the same side of the street as the LCI or in the parking garage next to the University Mall. Parking in the wrong spaces or lots may result in the car being towed or getting a ticket.

Limited metered parking is available on the Virginia Tech campus in front of Burruss Hall (the main campus administration building) and the campus bookstore. Other parking on campus requires a permit. Campus parking rules are strictly enforced. More information is available on the campus parking website.

Obtaining a driver's license

Everyone must have a valid driver's license in order to operate a motor vehicle. A driver's license is also a form of identification. Information on obtaining a driver's license can be found on the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles website.

If you have a valid driver’s license from your home country, you may drive legally drive in Virginia using this driver’s license for up to six months after your arrival. After that, you are required by the Commonwealth of Virginia to obtain a valid Virginia driver’s license in order to be a legally licensed driver. 

If you are from out-of-state and possess a valid driver's license, DMV may exchange your out-of-state driver's license for a Virginia driver's license if you meet the identity, legal presence, residency, and social security requirements and Virginia's driver education requirements, if applicable.

Applicants for a driver's license must be at least 16 years and 3 months old and pass a three-part exam designed to test knowledge, vision, and driving skills. The Virginia Driver's Manual and identification requirements for the driving exam may be found on the DMV website.

Students may apply for a driver's license at any DMV office. The closest for the Blacksburg campus is:

Department of Motor Vehicles
385 Arbor Drive
Christiansburg, VA 24073
Phone: 540-381-7171

For international students, a driver's license will expire on the same date that immigration forms (I-20, DS-2019) expire.

Purchasing a car

If students want to purchase a car, they must have a valid driver's license. They need to register their car at the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles and show proof of automobile insurance, or pay the uninsured motorist fee. All vehicles must pass yearly safety and emissions inspections.

Renting a car

Cars may be rented for trips on weekends or during school breaks. Students may rent a car if they are over 21 and have a valid driver's license and a major credit card. Rental companies charge more for drivers under 25 and drivers without U.S. automobile insurance. There are various car rental companies in Blacksburg.

Airport car rentals:
Roanoke Regional Airport

Driving regulations

All drivers, including students, are responsible for knowing and following all of the rules. Driving regulations are strictly enforced by police. The Virginia Driver's Manual has the information drivers need to know for driving a car.

Some examples of basic rules students should know while driving in Virginia:

  • Obey the speed limit. Virginia laws are very strict with respect to speeding. Large fines may be imposed for driving modestly above the speed limit. Criminal penalties may be imposed for speeding in excess of 80 miles per hour or 20 miles over the speed limit.
  • Observe crosswalks. People walking on foot always have the right of way. Stop at crosswalks (striped areas designed for crossing the road) whenever a person is on the crosswalk.
  • Never drive after drinking alcohol. Police deal strictly with people who drive under the influence, which includes arresting them, giving them a large fine, and suspending their driver's licenses.
  • Stop for school buses. When school buses stop to pick up schoolchildren, cars are required to stop and remain stopped until all children are clear and the bus moves again. If cars are traveling on the opposite side of a divided highway separated by a physical barrier or unpaved median area, they are not required to stop.
  • Stop for emergency vehicles. When police, fire, and rescue vehicles or ambulances approach drivers using a siren, flashing light, or both, the drivers of other cars must immediately pull over to the right edge of the road and stop until the emergency vehicle has passed.
  • Drivers must remain in their cars if they are stopped by police. If they are pulled over by police for any reason, they should not leave their car. Leaving their car will be unexpected and may be seen as a sign of danger. Drivers should stay in their car with their hands on the steering wheel until the officer completes his or her business.
  • Buckle the seat belt. Drivers may be fined if they are stopped while not wearing a seat belt. Drivers are also responsible for making sure that their passengers and children are properly secured in the car.