How to Renew a Drivers License in Virginia

There are many ways to renew drivers licenses in Virginia. Drivers license renewal can be done in person at a DMV center, online or through the mail. However, the procedures for DMV license renewal in Virginia vary, and you must follow the steps to renew properly. You can renew your license up to one year before its expiration date. If you have an expired drivers license in VA, you will not be able to legally drive. To learn more about how to renew drivers license credentials in Virginia, refer to the sections below.

Renewing Drivers License in Person in Virginia

The first way to renew your drivers license is by going in to a DMV customer service center. If you renew your drivers license this way, you will be required to take the vision screening exam again. This exam requires you to look into a machine and read out numbers and/or letters to the test administrator. If you pass this exam, you can renew your driver license. If you do not pass the exam, further steps may be required to complete the drivers license renewal successfully.

In addition to taking the vision screening test to complete the DMV license renewal, you will also have to take a new photograph. When taking this photo for your renewed driver license, you must not be wearing anything that disguises your appearance. This includes paint, extreme makeup, wigs, fake facial hair and more. You also cannot squint or distort your face while taking the photo. Head coverings can only be worn in the photo for your VA driving license renewal for religious or medical reasons. If you wear a veil for religious reasons, you must move it so that your face can be fully pictured.

If you complete the drivers license renewal in person, you will have to pay a renewal fee. If you are able to renew drivers license online or through the mail, but you choose to renew at the physical DMV office, you will incur an additional fee. You can avoid this charge if the DMV driver license renewal is done alongside another transaction that is required to be completed at the DMV center. Learn more about renewing driver license credentials in VA at the DMV by downloading our free guide.

Renew Drivers License Online or by Mail in Virginia

“Can you renew your license online in Virginia?” is a common question asked by drivers in the state. When it comes to where to renew drivers license credentials, at certain times, you will be allowed to perform your drivers license renewal online or through the mail. This can only be done every other renewal. So, if you renewed your license either way the last time, then you cannot do it again until you have completed a drivers license renewal in person. The renewal application that the DMV will send you before your license expires will note how to renew drivers license, and which methods you can use to renew the license. If you sign up for electronic renewal reminders, you will also be notified as to whether you have to come into the DMV or if your license can be renewed via mail or online. You can fulfill your online drivers license renewal on the DMV’s website.

To renew a license to drive via mail, send your application in before the date that your Virginia drivers license expires. Before sending in your application to renew the drivers license, review it to make sure that all of the information printed is correct. If the address, height or weight is printed wrong, you may still complete the drivers license renewal via mail. If any of the other information is false, call the DMV and provide the correct information. Answer all of the questions on the application and sign it. Be sure to date the DMV license renewal application. Once this is done, mail it off to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles in Richmond. It can take up to 15 days for you to receive your new license via mail. Learn more about online and by-mail drivers license renewal by downloading our comprehensive guide.

Drivers License Renewal Fees and License Terms in Virginia

The driving license renewal fee in Virginia is the same as the licensing fee. To finish the drivers license renewal process, this fee can be paid by cash, check, money order or by using a credit or debit card.

Once you renew your drivers license, you will be able to use it for eight years. You will have an expired drivers license if you do not renew it before your birthday on the eighth year of its validity. If you are 75 years or above, then your license will only last for five years. The same is true if you have been mandated to register with the Sex Offender and Crimes Against Minors Registry.

There are a few cases where your license may be temporarily extended. If you are in the military, a diplomat or an employee or a contractor who is outside of the country, in lieu of driver license renewal, you could be given a license extension. These can last for up to three years, which means that you would not have to renew your drivers license until the extension is up.

If you have an expired driver license, then you must show proof of legal presence when you renew the DMV license. You will not have to do this if you have already shown the DMV evidence of your legal presence since January 1, 2004. If you held a limited license, that cannot be renewed. You will have to apply for a whole new license once the limited license expires. If you have had an expired drivers license for over a year, you will be required to retake your DMV tests.

If you have a drivers license and an ID card, you must give your ID card to the DMV before completing the drivers license renewal process. You can only have either a drivers license or a commercial drivers license, as well. If you have both, you must surrender one before renewing the license to drive. Learn more about drivers license renewal in Virginia by downloading our complimentary guide.