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. Learn more about Virginia vehicle registration renewal in the below sections.

The Methods for How to Renew Car Registration in Virginia

For drivers renewing car registration in Virginia, there are three options for doing so. Drivers can renew car registration online, by mail or in person. For those who need to renew expired car registration, by-mail renewal is not recommended. Because it can take between five and 15 days for decals to arrive in the mail, online vehicle registration renewal proves faster, and allows registrants to print receipts showing proof of renewal. Vehicle registration renewals handled by mail also incur additional fees, while other options do not. In fact, when drivers opt to renew car registration online in VA, the DMV gives a discount on renewal fees as an incentive to encourage online renewal. Learn more about how to renew car registration in VA by downloading our free guide.

Renew Virginia Car Registration Online

Drivers can access Virginia car registration online renewal services by logging in with either the title number of the vehicle, plus the last four digits of the car’s VIN, or via a personal DMVAccount using the driver’s Social Security Number or DMV customer number. If a car registration renewal is within 15 days of the expiration date, the Virginia DMV provides an official, printable receipt to use as proof of the completed online renewal. This receipt provides a 15-day extension on expired car registration in VA, allowing time for decals to arrive in the mail. The same receipt will also add a 15-day extension to an expired car registration that is less than 90 days out from the expiration date. Drivers should keep their receipts on them while driving, just in case an officer asks to see proof of car registration.

Mobile DMV Vehicle Registration Renewal in Virginia

A DMV Customer Service Center can process a DMV vehicle registration renewal for motorists in person. The alternative is a contemporary solution to renewing vehicle registration in Virginia and other DMV services. DMV 2 Go and DMV Connect are mobile DMV offices. The full-service DMV 2 Go mobile unit is similar to a tour bus, and provides DMV services like vehicle registration renewals while traveling around Virginia and serving residents. Additionally, DMV Connect is a traveling DMV operation with VA DMV registration renewal capabilities. The calendar of stops for the DMV 2 Go and the DMV Connect offers an array of locations and dates, so you can coordinate your VA car registration renewal when the DMV 2 Go is conveniently stopping near you. Daily stops on the mobile DMV unit routes include college and university campuses, businesses, retirement communities, assisted living homes, government centers and military bases. Learn more about DMV services and outlets in our complimentary guide.

How to Renew Virginia Car Registration by Mail

Before it is time to renew car registration in Virginia, you will receive a renewal notice in the mail. To complete car registration renewal requirements by mail, review the form, ensuring all the information stated is accurate. If your vehicle registration renewal notification shows an incorrect address, you can still submit renewal by mail. If there are other errors, call the DMV at the number listed below. A DMV customer representative can make changes to your DMV records. Next, fill out the VA renewal of registration form indicating if you are eligible for any discounts. Include the payment, and mail the envelope to the DMV. Download our informative guide to read more about by-mail car registration renewal.

Virginia Car Registration Renewal Requirements

A vehicle registration renewal in Virginia does not require a great deal of preparation, because when a car receives initial vehicle registration, the system saves all your information. This fact makes annual renewal of car registration in VA fast and easy. However, there are two other major responsibilities of car registration. First, if you live in the greater part of Northern Virginia, you are required to have biennial emissions inspections. When you receive your notification to renew VA car registration, you will know when it is your year to have the emissions checkup. If an emissions inspection is required, your renewal card will state “Emissions Inspection Required” on the bottom. Additionally, the Virginia DMV requires an annual safety check on all vehicles. Note that a safety inspection is different from an emissions inspection. You should renew this inspection surrounding the vehicle registration renewal. The associated sticker on your vehicle’s lower, driver-side window will tell you when you need to renew the safety inspection on your vehicle.