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Virginia Vehicle Registration

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Virginia Vehicle Registration Summary

Read our Virginia Vehicle Registration page to learn about how to register a vehicle with the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), applying for car registration as a new resident, VA registration renewals, vehicle inspections, duplicate registration, address changes, Virginia car insurance requirements, and military member registration.

Registering a Vehicle in Virginia

To own or lease a vehicle in Virginia, you must register it by mail or in person at your local Virginia DMV office, a DMV Select location or a DMV mobile office.

In Virginia, drivers will process both registration and titling applications at the same time.

What to bring to the Virginia DMV:

Continue reading below for more specific details about how to register a vehicle in Virginia.

Registering Vehicles Purchased from a Dealership

When you purchase either a new or used vehicle from a licensed Virginia car dealer, the dealer may process the proper title work and submit paperwork for you to the VA DMV for processing. Generally, on your behalf this will occur within 30 days of the sale.

If the dealer does not offer this service, you must register and title your vehicle within 30 days from the date of purchase at your local VA DMV office.

Vehicles Purchased from a Private Party

To register your vehicle in Virginia please visit your local VA DMV office and present:

  • Proof of identification (a valid VA driver’s license).
  • Proof of residency.
  • A copy of the bill of sale.
  • A completed Application for Registration (Form VSA 14).
  • Your Virginia title with the “Assignment of Title by Owner” and “Application for New Owner Certificate of Title and Registration” sections filled out.
  • Proof of vehicle insurance.
  • A passing emissions certificate, if applicable.
    • Your vehicle must also pass an annual safety inspection and display a valid safety inspection sticker.
  • Payment for VA title and registration fees, and the applicable sales tax.

NOTE: You may either purchase new license plates or apply to transfer existing plates from another one of your vehicles to your new vehicle. and The VA DMV requires you to pay a $2 transfer fee. Both vehicles must weigh the same and be of a similar model.

Virginia Trip Permits

If you recently purchased a new vehicle, you can apply online for a Trip Permit to legally move an unregistered vehicle from one location to another.

Standard trip permits are valid for 3 consecutive days and only in Virginia.

To apply for a trip permit, you must provide:

  • The point of origin and destination.
  • Dates of travel.
  • Make, year, description, and original Bill of Sale for the vehicle.
    • The VA DMV requires this information if you have not purchased the vehicle yet, but
      you intend to purchase it within 15 days.
  • Insurance certification or payment of 1/12 of the Virginia uninsured motor vehicle fee.
  • Payment for the $5 VA permit fee.

Registering Leased Vehicles in VA Registrations

The Virginia DMV will title a leased vehicle in the name of the lessor (owner).

However, if a lessor permits the VA DMV to include your name and address on the title record, you may handle all registration transactions for your leased vehicle.

Otherwise, you may need to get power of attorney from the lessor.

If the lessor includes your name and address on the title record, you can register your leased vehicle by following the process in our section Registering a Vehicle in Virginia above.

VA Vehicle Registration for New Residents

New to Virginia?

NOTE: Virginia law requires you to transfer your out-of-state title and register your vehicle within 30 days of becoming a VA resident.

To register your vehicle, visit your local VA DMV and present:

  • A valid VA driver’s license or ID.
  • Proof of Virginia residency.
  • A completed Application for Registration (Form VSA 14) OR an Application for Certificate of Title and Registration (Form VSA 17-A).
    • Use (Form VSA 17A) if your vehicle was not previously titled in Virginia.
    • Proof of ownership (your vehicle title).
    • A passing vehicle safety and emissions inspection, if applicable.
      • Individual counties set emissions requirements. Please contact your local VA DMV office to determine if your county requires an emissions test for your vehicle.
      • If you are registering your vehicle in Virginia for the first time and the vehicle has a valid emissions certificate (performed in the last 12 months), you may title and register the vehicle without a Virginia emissions inspection.
    • Proof of Virginia liability car insurance.
      • You must pay a $500 uninsured motor vehicle fee (UMV) if you do not have insurance coverage on the vehicle.

VA Registration for Military Drivers

Registration for Non-Residents

The Virginia DMV does NOT require service members who are stationed in Virginia (but live out of state) to register their vehicles in Virginia.

However, if the vehicle is co-owned and uses out-of-state plates, all co-owners must be active-duty members of the military.

If all other co-owners do not actively serve in the military, you must register the vehicle in Virginia. Read more about Vehicle Registration for New Residents.

VA Military Residents

Active duty Virginia military residents must follow the steps outlined in our Registering a Vehicle in Virginia section.

Virginia military residents stationed out-of-state can register vehicles in their state of residence and later transfer their title and registration upon their return to Virginia.

Renewing Your Registration in Virginia

NOTE: You may not renew your registration if you have outstanding parking violations or property taxes.

In Virginia, you can renew your vehicle registration in person at your local DMV office, by mail, or online. You can also renew your registration at any DMV Select or mobile office.

To learn more about renewing your Virginia vehicle registration, please visit our Virginia Renewals Page.

Replace a Lost or Damaged Registration

If your VA registration card is lost, stolen, or damaged, you may apply for a duplicate online, by mail, or in person at your nearest DMV office.

Continue reading below for specific instructions.

Virginia Registration Replacements Online

To replace your Virginia registration online, you have 2 options. Both are free of charge:

  • You can sign in to your MyDMV Account if you already have one. This option allows you to
    print your replacement immediately.

    • After you log in, verify your address is correct. If your address is incorrect, you need to update your address on the online portal before printing your duplicate registration.
    • If you do not use your VA MyDMV Account, you can enter the last 4 digits of your title number and the last 4 digits of your vehicle identification number (VIN). The Virginia DMV will send your replacement by mail within 15 days.

    Once you log in, be ready to provide the following:

    • Your license plate number.
    • A valid VA driver’s license.
    • Your email address.
    • Your vehicle year, make and model.

Registration Replacements In Person

To replace your Virginia registration card in person, you’ll need to visit your local DMV office, or a DMV 2 Go mobile office. The VA DMV will ask you to present the following:

Changes to Your Virginia Car Registration

In Virginia, you can update your name and address on your vehicle registration. Please see below to learn exactly how to handle registration changes.

Name Changes

The Virginia DMV allows you to make changes to your name on your Virginia vehicle registration online or in person.

However, you must first file your new name with the Social Security office and change your name on your Virginia driver’s license.

Name Changes in Person

To change your name on your vehicle registration in person, visit your local DMV office and bring your:

  • Virginia driver license.
  • Legal documents supporting your name change, such as a:
    • Marriage license if the name change is due to marriage.
    • Divorce decree.
    • Court-ordered name change document.
    • Payment for the $2 fee.

To change your name on your title there is a $15 replacement title fee.

Online Name Changes

To change your name on your registration online, you’ll first need to change your name on your Virginia driver’s license.

The Virginia DMV will update your vehicle records with your new name. Next, visit the Virginia DMV’s online portal to order your duplicate registration card.

You can read more in our section above, Virginia Registration Replacements Online.

Address Changes on Virginia Vehicle Registration

You can change your address with the Virginia DMV online, by phone, by mail or in person.

You have 30 days from the time of your move to change your address with the DMV.

Online Address Change in Virginia

To change your address online, please visit the VA DMV’s website online portal. When you begin the process, be ready to provide your:

  • current driver’s license number or Social Security Number.
  • Date of birth.

Follow the prompts to complete your address change.

Address Changes in Person

To change your address in person, visit any DMV office location and bring:

Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles
P.O. Box 27412
Richmond, VA 23269

Address Changes by Phone

To change your address by phone, please call the VA DMV at 804-497-7100.

Vehicle Registration Fees in VA

The Virginia DMV determines vehicle registration fees by factoring in vehicle weight, length of registration period and plate type.

VA Vehicle Registration Fees

Below are some of the current Virginia registration and registration related fees:

  • Passenger vehicles 4,000 pounds or less: $30.75M
  • Passenger vehicles 4,001 to 6,500 pounds: $35.75
  • Pickup trucks 4,001 to 6,500 pounds gross weight: $35.75
  • Pickup trucks 6,501 to 10,000 pounds gross weight: $44.75
  • Motorcycles: $24.75
  • Original title application fee: $15
  • Replacement Virginia title fee: $15
  • Replacement registration card fee: $2
  • ag transfer fee: $2
  • Late registration penalty fee: $10
  • Trip permit: $5
  • Vehicle sales use/tax: 4.15% of vehicle sales price (minimum charge $75).

For a complete list of registration fees in Virginia, you may visit the VA DMV’s website.

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Last Verified:
Oct 27, 2022