How to Renew Your Drivers License in Virginia
In Virginia, drivers can request a driver’s license renewal by submitting an application in a variety of methods. All drivers are required to complete a DMV license renewal at least once every eight years in the state of Virginia. The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) oversees drivers’ services in the state and is the organization that manages license renewals. In order to be eligible for a license renewal, all applicants must be able to meet basic state requirements.
In many cases, VA drivers can be found eligible to renew a driver’s license online through the DMV web portal. Virginia drivers who need a new license photo or who meet some other specific requirements are limited to requesting a renewal in-person or by mail. All renewal applications must be accompanied by the necessary application, supporting paperwork and processing fee. Keep reading to learn all the details you need to know to successfully renew your Virginia driver’s license.
Eligibility for Drivers License Renewal in Virginia
Note: Drivers can verify the expiration date of their driver’s license by locating it on the front of their card.
While visiting a driver’s license office is an option for all eligible drivers in Virginia, the DMV recommends submitting the renewal request online for fastest processing times. Drivers wondering where to renew a driver’s license should note that the eligibility requirements are the same at all agency locations. Eligibility requirements generally include showing proof of identification, proof of lawful presence in the U.S. if the driver has not renewed his or her license recently and proof of residency in the state.
Instances When You Cannot Renew Your Drivers License in Virginia
There are a few situations when a driver’s license renewal cannot be completed or can only be completed via specific application procedures. VA residents with an expired driver’s license of over one year are ineligible for renewal and must instead apply for a new license from the beginning, including passing the state’s driving knowledge and skills exams. For example, drivers that meet any of the following conditions are ineligible to renew a driver’s license online in Virginia:
- Your last renewal was NOT completed in-person.
- Your license has been suspended or revoked.
- You do not have a Virginia address.
- You are required to take the knowledge exam for other reasons.
- You must take the vision test (drivers 75 years of age and older), failed the VA DMV vision test or want to have a vision restriction removed from your driver’s license after having laser surgery to correct your vision.
- You are restricted to daylight driving only.
- You hold a commercial driver’s license (CDL).
- You owe money to the DMV for a prior transaction.
- Your name is to be changed or corrected on your driver’s license.
- You have a profile picture on your driver’s license or need to retake your picture.
How early can you renew your drivers license in Virginia?
All VA drivers can opt to renew their driver’s license as early as one year before the document’s expiration date.
Virginia DMV License Renewal Options
There are several driver’s license offices located throughout Virginia for in-person requests, and VA drivers located anywhere can use the online application method. VA drivers should remember that they can only submit an online application for every other renewal cycle (every 16 years).
How to Renew Your Drivers License Online
How to renew a driver’s license online in Virginia begins with getting familiar with the DMV’s web portal for driver services. VA Drivers who meet all requirements can take the following steps to submit an online driver’s license renewal form:
- Head to the VA DMV web portal.
- Create a profile and enter your identifying information to locate your record. Complete the application and upload the necessary supporting information.
- Pay the application fee by credit or debit card.
- Submit your application and wait to receive your renewed license in the mail.
How to Renew Your Driving License by Mail
A DMV license renewal request can be submitted by mail by VA drivers without an expired, suspended, revoked or Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) who meet the other conditions explained previously. Rest assured that requests sent by mail carry the same standard application fees as when applying online. When applying by mail, the driver’s previous license photo will be re-used for the new license.
The same one year time limit applies to applications submitted by mail, online or in-person. You can change your height, weight and donor status when renewing your license by mail as well. VA drivers that would like to submit a DMV license renewal application by mail can do so by taking the following steps:
- Gather the necessary supporting material in acceptable formats.
- Print or pick up the Driver’s License and Identification Card Application form. Then, complete, sign and date it.
- Prepare a check or money order in the amount of the necessary processing fee.
- Prepare a stamped envelope to receive the renewed license.
- Package the application, supporting material, application fee and envelope and mail it to:
Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles P.O. Box 26506 Richmond, VA 23260-6506
How to Renew Your Drivers License in Person
Many VA drivers choose to submit their driver’s license renewal request by visiting an approved licensing agent or Customer Services Center anywhere in the state. What you need to renew a driver’s license in-person is the same as what you need when applying online or by mail, unless additional conditions apply as is the case with some drivers. The VA DV also sets up mobile offices, known as DMV 2 Go or DMV Connect stations, to facilitate the processing of driver services in-person throughout Virginia. All in-person renewal applications must be accompanied by an additional $5 processing fee that can be waived if the applicant is also completing another DMV transaction at the same time.
Driver’s licenses renewal requirements for VA residents applying in person may include taking a new license photo and other obligations, as is necessary for the driver’s specific circumstances. VA drivers applying in-person for a DMV license renewal can take the following steps:
- Locate your nearest VA DMV licensing office. Make sure you are familiar with their available payment methods before heading in. In most cases, you can pay by cash, card or check or money order.
- Gather the necessary supporting material in acceptable formats.
- Print out or pick up the Driver’s License and Identification Card Application form. Then, complete, sign and date the application.
- Head into your nearest Driver Licensing agency to submit your complete application packet.
It is wise to make an appointment for in-person applications to avoid any long lines or unforeseen delays in the process.
Military & Out of State Renewal in Virginia
The driving license renewal fee is the same for applicants who are active members of the U.S. military and who are currently stationed outside of the state. Drivers in this category are granted an automatic three-year extension on the validity of their driver’s license while active duty.
How and where to renew a driver’s license for military members and their families is somewhat different in Virginia. In most cases, drivers that are members of the military and who would regularly qualify for a renewal online or by mail can easily meet the necessary conditions for an exception. To request a DMV license renewal, these drivers must submit the following documents in addition to meeting the basic renewal eligibility criteria:
- A completed and signed Vision Screening Report by a licensed physician.
- A completed and signed Re-Establishing your Virginia Residency or Qualifying for a Virginia Address Requirement Exception.
- A completed and signed License, ID Card and Records Payment Authorization.
- A self-addressed return envelope to receive the new license in the mail.
Virginia REAL ID Drivers License Renewal
Driver’s licenses and identification cards issued by VA driver’s license offices are compliant with the federal REAL ID Act. This means that VA licenses can be used as valid ID to take flights or gain access to federal buildings and areas across the country.
Virginia Drivers License Renewal Fees
In most cases, the driving license renewal fee for drivers in every class and category is $32 in Virginia. This fee covers the cost of producing a document that is valid for eight years and can typically be paid for in a variety of formats when submitting the request in-person.