How to Change the Name on a Virginia Car Registration

A name change on car registration in Virginia is often overlooked by drivers with a recent name change due to marriage, divorce and additional reasons. However, it is just as important to change name on car registration documents as it is on bank accounts and medical records. Responsible drivers take care to update all important documentation when they change their names, including car registration name changes. For more information about how to change name on car registration papers, continue reading below.

Why is it important to change name on car registration in Virginia?

You should not wait to change name on registration in Virginia. It is equally important to enact name change car registration records if you amend other important accounts with your new name, like credit cards, insurance cards and ID cards. Once the DMV processes the name change on car registration in VA, you can throw away old registration documentation and replace car registration cards with the updated information. This is important, because according to Virginia law, it is illegal to use a false name or address in any application for car registration documentation. If you get stopped, law enforcement will notice that the name on your Virginia drivers license and vehicle registration do not match. Consequently, if you do not change the name on vehicle documents, you could potentially be charged with a Class 1 misdemeanor. If convicted, you could face jail time and high fines. Virginia also requires that you carry your proof of registration on you when driving. To avoid any problems regarding a name change on car registration, you can easily take the necessary steps to update car registration records.

Before Changing Name on Car Registration in Virginia

A common misconception among motorists is that once they get a Virginia name change on drivers license credentials, that the car registration name change is automatically processed, as well. However, this is not the case, because a VA name change on car registration is not official until the driver files for a name change with the Social Security Administration (SSA). A corrected Social Security card is free, and will make changing name on car registration documents and other DMV records official. To change your name with the SSA, the organization requires drivers to mail in or hand-deliver one proof of identification document, one change of name document and the SSA Application for a Social Security Card form to their local SSA offices. Acceptable proof of identification documents and name change documents can be reviewed by downloading our complimentary guide.

How do I change my name on my car registration in Virginia?

You may move forward with changing name on car registration in Virginia once you have successfully applied for a name change with the SSA. A name change on car registration in VA will automatically update once the DMV registration name change process is complete. You must apply for a change of name on DMV vehicle records in person, and it requires form DL-1P, the Driver’s License and Identification Card Application. Complete this form online, save it and retrieve it when you visit the DMV in person. To retrieve the application for vehicle registration name changing, bring the confirmation email you receive upon completing the online application to the DMV. Also, bring one of the following documents, in addition to your VA-issued drivers license, photo ID or learner’s permit:

  • Opposite-sex or same-sex marriage certificate (civil union documents are not acceptable)
  • Divorce decree
  • Original or official court copy of order granting change of name

The final step in the process for changing name on car registration in Virginia involves ordering a new registration card. The system will automatically change name on registration records, so drivers who have MyDMV accounts can log on from home and print new registration cards displaying their updated names for free. You can access the MyDMV account with your drivers license number, your MyDMV account number or your Social Security Number. If you do not have a MyDMV account, the DMV will furnish a new registration card with name change by mail in about 10 to 15 days via the online request form. To bypass the MyDMV account log in, simply input the vehicle’s title number and the last four digits of the vehicle identification number (VIN) to have a changed name on car registration mailed to the address on file.

Same-Sex Marriage Name Change on Car Registration in Virginia

The state of Virginia allows same-sex marriage united legally the right to change names on car registration and other DMV documents. Furthermore, the process for changing names on DMV registration records is the same as that for opposite-sex marriages. A name change with the SSA is still the precursor for a name change at the DMV for same-sex marriages. Learn more about DMV name changes in our complimentary guide.