Virginia Car Registration and Car Title Services

Whenever you purchase a motor vehicle in Virginia, you are required to obtain a Virginia car title and complete your car registration within 30 days of your purchase. A vehicle title must be obtained before you will be able to complete a new car registration, so it is crucial that you understand how to get car title documents within the state of Virginia. Additionally, the methods of getting your Virginia car title and getting car registration will differ, depending on if you purchased your vehicle from an authorized dealership or from an individual. While a dealership will usually handle your initial vehicle title and car registration for you, there are other steps you will be required to take if you purchase a vehicle from a private seller. Additionally, new residents of Virginia must also seek Virginia car title paperwork and register their vehicles within 30 days.

Once you have completed your new car registration, it becomes your responsibility to perform a vehicle registration renewal on an annual basis, unless you pay for more than one year at a time. Understanding how to renew car registration renewal and the numerous methods available to you can save you a lot of time and hassle. Depending on where you reside in Virginia and the type of motor vehicle you drive, you may also be required to complete emissions testing, in addition to your initial check.

There may be a time where you will need to obtain a copy of car registration, including in cases of a damaged or lost car registration, or if you need to make a change, such as a name change on car registration or an address change. That is why it is important for you to understand the methods available to you and the cost of replacing car registration in Virginia.

When buying or selling a vehicle to another individual, there are key topics that you should learn about. Discover more about what a salvage vehicle title is and how to spot one in a transaction. Understand more about the importance of a bill of sale in Virginia and how it protects both the buyer and the seller from potential vehicle-related disputes in the future. Finally, learn more about how to transfer car title papers to your name or that of another owner.

Learn more about the different types of vehicle registration and car titling services in Virginia by continuing on to the below topics.

How to Register & Title a Vehicle in Virginia

Having Virginia car registration is legally required in order to operate a motor vehicle, including after the purchase of a vehicle. While new Virginia residents will have 30 days to obtain new car title documents and complete DMV car registration, current residents will need to obtain new car registration immediately, and will have to apply for a permit to move a vehicle that is not registered. The registration of vehicle process is crucial and taken seriously in Virginia, with severe penalties awaiting those who do not register. Read More

How to Renew a Car Registration in Virginia

State law requires all drivers to handle Virginia vehicle registration renewal on all motor vehicles operating on state roads. Motorists driving without updated DMV vehicle registration renewal face a potential violation citation and fine if convicted. Drivers who do not follow the steps to promptly renew car registration in VA also take the risk of having points added to their driving records. Drivers should obtain registration renewal as soon as the notification comes in the mail or via eNotifications for drivers who opt in to receive emails or text messages from the DMV. Drivers who wait past the expiration date to renew car registration will have to pay late fees, in addition to the registration renewal fees. Read More

How to Replace a Car Registration in Virginia

Lost car registration in Virginia should be addressed in a timely manner if drivers wish to continue operating vehicles in the state. While DMV lost registration cards are common, and drivers misplace and replace them frequently, in Virginia, it is illegal to drive without this vital DMV document. Additionally, driving a car without filing for proper registration with the DMV or driving with an expired registration is an even worse offense. Failure to maintain valid registration or to replace car registration immediately will cost you a fine. Fortunately, Virginia drivers can obtain a copy of car registration easily from the VA DMV. Read More

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. Read More

How to Change the Address on a Virginia Car Registration

Drivers must apply for Virginia address change on car registration documents within 30 days by following the steps enforced by the DMV. When changing car registration address details, drivers must provide a principal residence address, which is a street address, not a business address or a post office box. Virginia does allow drivers to provide an alternate Virginia address to display on driver documents if the principal address is not preferred. There are a few different ways to change car registration address in VA including by mail, in person and online. Read More

Virginia License Plates

A Virginia DMV license plate serves multiple purposes, from generating revenue for the state to identifying cars and drivers. Car registration plates also designate legally registered vehicles that the DMV has cleared for operation on VA roads. Because Virginia requires one VA DMV license plate on the front and another on the rear of a vehicle, it is easier for law enforcement to distinguish vehicles committing moving violations and other offenses. Virginia offers over 250 customized license plate designs for drivers to select from. Furthermore, the DMV offers a variety of options for purchasing VA license plates. For instance, the user-responsive online purchase portal allows drivers to order DMV license plates from the comfort of their own homes, while the DMV Select program makes in-person ordering convenient. Read More

How to Transfer a Car Title in Virginia

In some situations, a Virginia car title transfer is necessary. The most common reason for a transfer title request in VA is when a vehicle is sold through a private sale. In addition, when the current registered owner of a vehicle becomes deceased, there are different guidelines (depending on the circumstances) to make the process of transferring car title possession easier during an otherwise difficult time. Read More

How to Replace a Car Title in Virginia

The DMV issues a Virginia car title replacement when a vehicle title is lost, illegible or mutilated. The Virginia DMV makes obtaining a car title replacement simple, and even gives a discount to drivers who order their replacement car titles online. The process to replace a lost car title in VA allows car owners to visit their nearest DMV customer service centers. Read More

How to Change the Name on a Virginia Car Title

The DMV offers a car title name change in Virginia to a car owner who has recently changed his or her name as a result of a legally recognized event. Preowned automobile buyers may also need to update name on car title documents when changing the name from the previous owner to the new owner. The DMV also requires a title amendment when a charitable organization sells or donates a vehicle, or when a vehicle owner sells or donates a vehicle to a charitable organization. In any of the aforementioned situations, the DMV will issue a substitute title to fulfil VA car title name change modifications. Learning how to receive a title with a name change, as well as how to retitle a vehicle, are both important processes to review. Read More

Salvage Titles in Virginia

The DMV reserves Virginia salvage title designation for vehicles that have been otherwise deemed totaled by insurance companies, or have had excessive damage due to something monumental, such as flood damage. A Virginia salvage vehicle title is either a declaration by the owner or a declaration by the insurance company. Whether owner or insurance company, both parties must follow the steps to request a salvage title on the vehicle. Read More

Emissions Inspections in Virginia

Virginia emissions testing is a biannual requirement of vehicles housed in certain counties and cities in Northern Virginia. The DMV enforces all vehicles to pass an emissions and smog check biannually, or every other year. The VA DMV provides two convenient options to meet this registration prerequisite. Without following the steps to get smog checks and emissions testing in Virginia, vehicle owners will not be permitted to renew vehicle registration or drive vehicles legally in the state. Read More

Virginia Bill of Sale Forms

A Virginia bill of sale is required any time a private sale of a vehicle takes place. A vehicle bill of sale is also needed when titling a vehicle. There are preferred and official documents accepted by the VA DMV when a Virginia car owner sells a vehicle. There are two main forms of bill of sale for cars in Virginia when sold through individuals, and not dealers. The first form, SUT 1, is for vehicles older than five years, while the SUT 1A is for vehicles five years old and newer. In either case, it is essential to learn how to complete a bill of sale properly to ensure your vehicle is legally titled with the Virginia DMV. Read More