How to Renew a Virginia Car Registration
DMV vehicle registrations in Virginia must be completed with the Department of Motor Vehicles. Drivers can renew car registrations in VA online, by mail or in person and will be required to submit the following documentation:
- The renewal notice.
- Proof of vehicle insurance.
- Proof of passed emission inspection.
- Payment for the renewal fees.
To discover more about renewing car registrations in Virginia, explore the topics below.
When to Renew Your Virginia Car Registration
Drivers can renew auto registrations in Virginia for one, two or more years. To remind car owners of their duty, the VA DMV will send out renewal notices with the renewal deadline. Late registrants will be charged fees for renewing expired car registrations, as the department does not allow grace periods for renewals. In some cases, motorists may be able to request a one-month registration extension if the vehicle is required to pass an emission inspection. This extension will be valid only for the month of expiry and cannot be prolonged. Note that driving with an outdated credential is against the law and may lead to fines and penalties.
How to Renew Your Virginia Car Registration
The VA DMV offers three different methods for renewing car registrations: online, in person or by mail. The most convenient way to renew vehicle registrations in Virginia is online, either via the official DMV system or through third-party providers. Drivers can also visit a DMV Customer Service Center in person to renew their registration credential, or send the renewal notice to the DMV by mail. To find out more about each DMV vehicle registration renewal method, refer to the sections below.
The easiest way to renew car registrations in Virginia is online, using the VA DMV service or a third-party provider that will complete the procedure for you. Car owners will need to prepare certain information about the vehicle such as the last four digits of the Vehicle Identification Number and the title number. If your registration credential is set to expire in 15 days, you will need to print out an Official Internet Receipt to carry with you until the updated documents arrive in the mail. If you renew an expired car registration, you will not be able to obtain an extension with this receipt or operate your vehicle until you receive your new registration. Note that late car registration renewals in Virginia may incur late fees.
If you renew a car registration in Virginia in person, you will need to visit a DMV Customer Service Center or a DMV Select office and submit the following paperwork:
- Your renewal notice.
- Proof of passed emission inspections (if applicable).
- Proof of vehicle insurance (if applicable).
- Payment for the renewal fees.
Note that if you are renewing vehicle registrations in VA DMV Customer Service centers, you may be subject to additional transaction fees. Late fees will also be applicable to applicants who renew expired car registrations in VA.
DMV vehicle registration renewals in Virginia can also be completed by mail, by sending the renewal notice along with any supporting documentation and payment for the fees to the DMV. To complete this procedure, drivers will need to complete the auto registration renewal notice in the applicable fields and enclose the listed payment for the fees in the form of money order or check, as the DMV cannot accept cash payments. The complete paperwork should be sent to the Virginia DMV Renewal Center in Richmond. The DMV will send the updated credentials within 15 days from the date of submission. You should contact the DMV before renewing car registrations in VA by mail if any personal or vehicle information is incorrect on the renewal notice.
Liability Insurance Requirements
Applications for vehicle registration renewals in Virginia must be accompanied by documents proving liability insurance for the vehicle. Vehicle owners must comply with Virginia laws regarding the minimum required liability coverage, which is as follows:
- For death or bodily injuries of one individual per accident - $25,000
- For death or bodily injuries of two or more individuals per accident - $50,000
- For property damages per accident - $20,000
Note: State laws on liability insurance are extremely strict and there are high penalties for owners of uninsured vehicles or ones with expired policies.
Vehicle Registration Fees in VA
When renewing car registrations in Virginia, motorists must note the allotted registration fees. The VA auto registration renewal prices are calculated on the basis of the vehicle type and gross weight. In case drivers decide to renew their vehicle registration for longer than one year, or if they do not submit the application within the set time period, additional fees will be charged. Depending on the renewal method by which you choose to submit your application, you will receive a different service fee. Licensees who visit a VA DMV customer service center will be required to pay a $5 fee in addition to the regular price. If you want to avoid the aforementioned cost, you can send your request via mail instead of visiting an office. The online Virginia auto registration renewal gives applicants the option to save $1, provided they satisfy the conditions to renew via the Internet. Drivers who are eligible for a two- or three-year renewal will receive an additional discount of $2 when renewing for two years, or $3 if they renew for three years. For applicants renewing expired car registrations, the state's Department of Motor Vehicles will also charge a $10 late fee.
Note: Vehicle owners who have any outstanding fees, including parking citations or toll violations, you may not be able to apply for a renewal.
VA Vehicle Registration for Military Members
Residents whose Virginia car registration renewal date approaches while they are deployed overseas will be allowed a 90-day grace period to submit their application upon returning to the state (if eligible to do so). The 90-day extension to renew vehicle registrations in VA will be granted to active-duty military members, or their spouses and dependents, provided their vehicle satisfies the following conditions:
- It must be owned by a military member serving outside of the United States..
- The vehicle registration must have been valid at the time the car owner began his or her service.
- It must have the required liability coverage.
If you have a VA expired auto registration and you need to apply for the grace period, you will be required to present documentation proving your military status.
Note: The 90-day extension period is also available to members of the U.S. diplomatic service or employees of the U.S. government and their spouses and dependents.
New Virginia Resident
To be able to renew your vehicle registration in Virginia as a new resident of the state, you must first obtain an original VA credential. Residents who have recently moved to the country have 30 days upon arrival to complete the procedure. Prior to going to a DMV customer service center in VA, you are required to first insure and title your motor vehicle. Applicants may also need to show proof of a completed emissions inspection (if applicable). Note that the registration fee will be determined by your vehicle's type and weight, the license plate type, as well as the duration of your registration. The Department of Motor Vehicles will send a VA car registration renewal notice prior to expiration, as a courtesy reminder of your duty. To renew their auto registrations, new residents can utilize the online provider, or send the inquiry via mail.