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How to Renew a Driver's License in Virginia

Drivers License Online Services Guide

Virginia Drivers License Renewal

Residents can renew drivers licenses in Virginia in a variety of different ways including in person, online and by mail. Prior to their drivers license renewal date, drivers will receive a renewal notification from the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles - either by mail or electronically - indicating which method of renewal for which they are eligible. All drivers are required to apply for a DMV license renewal in person at least every other renewal cycle. Renewing drivers licenses in VA is allowed up to one year prior to the expiration date of the credential. To find out more information on how to renew drivers licenses in Virginia, continue reading below.

How to Renew Your VA Driver's License



Renew Virginia Drivers License

Note: Drivers can verify the expiration date of their driver's license by locating it on the front of their card.


To apply for a Virginia drivers license renewal, drivers must first be certain of which renewal method is available to them. Drivers must apply for a drivers license renewal in person at a VA DMV location every other renewal period. The preferred methods of renewal, which are online and by mail, are open to residents who meet certain eligibility criteria. The notice to renew your VA drivers license will be mailed to your address on file with the DMV. Residents who have opted for electronic notifications from the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles will instead receive an email or text reminder of their upcoming driver's license expiration date.

Fees

The VA driving license renewal fee is the same as the cost to obtain an original VA driver's license. The drivers license fee is $32 for an eight-year license without classes or endorsements. Driver's license holders who are eligible to renew by mail or phone but choose to renew in person will be charged an additional $5 fee. VA drivers license renewal fees are payable by cash, check, money order and debit or credit card.

When to Renew Your Virginia Driver's License

Virginia drivers can renew their expiring drivers licenses up to one year before the expiration date. Drivers licenses are typically renewed for a period of eight years and will expire on the date of birth of the holder. Residents 75 years of age and older will be issued a drivers license set to expire five years after issuance. Individuals required to register with the Sex Offender and Crimes Against Minors Registry will also be issued a five-year driver's license.

Expired License

Residents are required to renew expired drivers licenses within one year of expiration to avoid having to re-take the entire drivers license examination. Drivers who hold an expired drivers license will need to present proof of legal presence when applying for a renewed drivers license. Though, if you have shown proof of lawful presence in the United States to the VA DMV since January 1, 2004 the you are exempt from this requirement.

Note: The VA drivers license exam includes a knowledge test and road skills test. To prepare for the written portion of your exam, order a copy of our Virginia DMV practice test. It contains over 100 sample questions to help prepare you for the actual live test.

Requirements to Renew a Virginia License

Drivers renewing drivers licenses in Virginia must either visit a DMV office or use one of the preferred renewal methods: online or by mail. All license holders are required to visit a VA DMV location to renew their drivers license every other renewal cycle. Drivers applying in person must present the following type of documentation:

  • Proof of identity.
  • Proof of legal presence in the United States.
  • Proof of Virginia residency.
  • Proof of Social Security number.

VA Drivers License Online Renewal

License holders may renew drivers licenses online in Virginia if they meet the required guidelines. Drivers license renewal applicants with a valid noncommercial drivers license that has not suspended, revoked or cancelled are eligible to apply for credentials online and also by mail. Those permitted to apply for online drivers license renewals must log on to their MyDMV account on the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles DMV Now website. Applicants must enter identifying information into the system and provide a major credit card for payment in order to complete the online application process.

Renewing Your VA Drivers License in Person

To renew drivers licenses in person at a Virginia DMV office, license holders must present the appropriate documentation. Drivers who are required to apply for DMV license renewals include those who applied online or by mail during their previous renewal cycle and those who do not meet the requirements to apply using one of those preferred renewals methods. In-person drivers license renewal applicants must present the following documentation to obtain a drivers license:

  • Proof of identity.
  • Proof of legal presence in the United States.
  • Proof of Virginia residency.
  • Proof of Social Security number.

Non-U.S. Citizen

Drivers license renewals in Virginia are not granted to residents who are only authorized to be in the country on a temporary basis. Non-US citizens renewing drivers licenses will instead be issued a limited duration license that will be processed as an original driver's license. Applicants can only be issued an additional limited duration drivers license if they are not within 30 days of their last day of legal presence in the United States.

Out-of-State Renewals

Virginia residents may request a drivers license renewal packet if they are temporarily located outside the state for an extended period of time. The types of residents who may need to renew their drivers licenses by mail include members of the military and other federal government employees stationed out-of-state.

Residents who choose to apply for drivers license renewal by mail must request a renewal packet. The packet contains the following documents that need to be completed and returned to the Virginia DMV:

  • Vision Screening Report.
  • Drivers license application form.
  • Virginia residency reestablishment or exception form.
  • Drivers license payment authorization form.

The Vision Screening Report must be completed in English by a licensed eye care professional in the country in which the applicant is temporarily residing. Motorists renewing drivers licenses by mail while they are away must have a digital image on file with the DMV.

Drivers License Extensions

Driver's license extensions are may be obtained in lieu of VA drivers license renewals for residents that are employees of the federal government who are issued orders to serve out of the state or abroad. The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles issues driver's license extensions to the following types of residents:

  • Members of the U.S military.
  • Diplomats and/or Foreign Service members.
  • U.S. Government contractors or civilians.

The above mentioned residents and their accompanying dependents must request the appropriate extension packet from the VA DMV. Applicants must complete and sign the documents contained in the packet and return them along with proof of travel orders and employee identification cards and/or US passports.

Once the documents are received by the DMV office, the applicants will be issued a drivers license extension card that must be carried along with an expired drivers license in order to validate the credential.

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