Virginia Vehicle Registration

Virginia Vehicle Registration: Complete Guide

Virginia Vehicle RegistrationWhen buying a used car, you need to do some research before buying it. Get the VIN number of the car you’re interested in and make sure to do a VIN check first. The VIN will show you the car’s history to see if there are any past or current problems with the vehicle, including repair records.

Run a Free Vehicle Report:

The state of Virginia requires its residents to title and register their motor vehicles with the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles. Your vehicle must pass an annual safety inspection and display a valid safety inspection sticker before it can be operated in the state’s public roads.

Check out all the information you need here at if you want to:

How to Register your Vehicle as a New Virginia Resident

To register your vehicle with the Virginia DMV, you will need to go to your local DMV office in person and submit the following:

  • A completed Application for Registration (Form VSA 14)
  • Proof of identity and address
  • The inspection certificate for your vehicle (smog and emissions checks)
    • Before registering a vehicle, that vehicle will need to be inspected for safety, and depending on where you are registering the vehicle, you might also need to pass a smog and emissions test. Check out this guide for more information.
  • Proof of Virginia car insurance (or payment for the $500 uninsured motorist fee IF you are unable to get car insurance before registering the vehicle).
  • Payment for fees

How to Register an Out-of-State Vehicle in Virginia

Upon moving to Virginia, you must register your out-of-state vehicle with the VA DMV within 30 days of establishing residency. To register an out-of-state vehicle in Virginia, you will first need to pass a VA safety inspection and then process the vehicle title transfer from another state to Virginia.

Go in person to a Virginia DMV office and bring along the following:

  • If you bought the vehicle within the last 12 months, you will need to submit proof of the purchase price
    • You will also need to submit proof of payment of the sales tax in the other state
  • Payment for fees

After completing the car title transfer, you can now register your vehicle.

How to Re-register a Salvaged Vehicle in Virginia

A salvage certificate in Virginia is given to a vehicle that costs more than 75 percent of its actual cash value to repair. A vehicle with a salvaged title will not be allowed to be driven on the road or be registered. The vehicle must first be rebuilt or repaired, then the owner will have to apply for a new title with the VA DMV.

Rebuilt vehicles must be examined by the VA DMV before a certificate of title is issued. You will need to schedule an appointment to get the vehicle inspected. To schedule a rebuilt vehicle examination, submit the following:

Mail the payment and documents to:

Department of Motor Vehicles
Vehicle Branding Work Center
P.O. Box 27412
Richmond, Virginia 23269-0001

Bring the following for the examination:

  • Proof that the vehicle has passed a VA state inspection
  • A copy of the Request for Examination of Rebuilt Salvage Vehicle (Form LES 022A)
  • Receipts for any parts that were purchased for the rebuilding/repair of the salvaged vehicle
  • A photo of the vehicle in its salvaged condition, before it was repaired
  • Old parts or components where the VIN can be seen (if applicable)

Once your vehicle passes the inspection, you will be given the new title. Allow for at least 24 hours for your vehicle records to be updated before applying for a vehicle registration.

How Do I Change My Address with Virginia DMV?

You are required to notify the VA DMV and provide your new principal address within 30 days of moving to a new location within the state. Your principal address should have a street address, and a post office box or business address will not be accepted.

However, if you do not want your residence address to appear on your VA driver’s license or photo card, you can give an alternate address to the VA DMV in addition to your residence address, provided that the alternate address is also within the State of Virginia.

Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles
PO Box 27412
Richmond, VA 23269

If you want a new VA driver’s license or new photo ID card that reflects your new address, you can acquire one for a fee.

How to Transfer a Vehicle Between Family Members

When transferring the vehicle to a family member, you will need to visit your local DMV in person to title and register the vehicle. Submit the following documents:

Military Vehicle Registration in Virginia

Military personnel stationed in Virginia can title and register their vehicles in Virginia. The vehicle may be registered in the name of either the active duty military person or the active duty military person’s spouse, individually or in both names, jointly.

Under Virginia law, military personnel who are active duty and are not legal residents of the State of Virginia are exempt from paying personal property tax and vehicle license fees on vehicles owned solely by the military member.

To receive the exemption, the service member must submit:

  • The vehicle registration
  • Copy of the current Leave & Earning Statement (LES)

If the vehicle is owned by the spouse of an active duty member who would like to apply for the exemption, an Exemption Affidavit must be completed and submitted with the military member’s LES to qualify for the exemption.

Vehicle Registration Renewal in Virginia

Virginia requires vehicle owners to renew their registration each year. You will receive a renewal notice by mail several weeks before your registration will expire. There are three ways to renew your vehicle registration in Virginia – in person, online, or by mail.

How to Renew Your Virginia Vehicle Registration in Person

You can renew in person at any of the following locations:

Bring with you the following:

  • Driver’s License.
  • Proof of passing an emissions test, if necessary.
  • Your renewal notice or current registration certificate.
  • Proof of insurance.
  • Payment for your renewal fee.

NOTE: If you renew in person at a customer service center or mobile office, you will pay an additional $5 fee for each vehicle registration renewal transaction.

How to Renew Your Virginia Vehicle Registration Online

To renew online, you will need to:

Enter the Title Number and Last 4 digits of VIN.


Login to your MyDMVAccount using your Social Security Number or DMV customer number

  • Pay the renewal fee (Credit Card, Debit Card, or E-Check)
  • Print out your receipt.
  • Your renewal will be mailed to you within 15 days.

How to Renew Your Virginia Vehicle Registration By Mail

To renew by mail:

  • Check that the renewal notice you received in the mail is correct. If your address is incorrect on the notice, you can still renew by mail. If any other information is incorrect, call DMV at (804) 497-7100 to speak with a DMV customer service agent about the incorrect information.
  • Complete the registration renewal form.
  • If you are eligible for a multi-year discount and renew your vehicle registration for two years, you will receive a $2 discount.
  • Have your emissions test completed (if applicable).
  • Mail your payment and registration renewal form to:

Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles
Attn: Renewal Center
P.O. Box 27412
Richmond, VA 23269-0001

Virginia Vehicle Registration Fees

Type of VehicleFees
Passenger vehicles4,000 lbs or less: $40.75
Passenger vehicles4,001 lbs to 6,500 lbs: $45.75
Electric vehicle$64.00 (Annual fee in addition to registration fees)
Pickup Truck4,001 to 6,500 lbs gross weight: $45.75
Pickup Truck6,501-10,000 lbs gross weight: $51.75
Low speed vehicle$40.75
Antique vehicle permanent registration$50.00 (one-time)
Trip permit$5.00
Late fee$10.00

NOTE: There is as additional $2.00 for emissions inspections if your vehicle is garaged in Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, Prince William or Stafford counties or cities of Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church, Manassas, or Manassas Park.