New Registration

Before putting your key in the ignition of your car, truck, motorcycle, or tractor trailer and driving off, the state of Virginia requires all residents to have their vehicles registered. You might not know the process if you are new to Virginia or if this is your first vehicle. That is why we have written this article to help you learn how to apply for a new registration in VA.

How to Register a New Vehicle in VA

In order to begin the process to apply for a new registration, you have to complete the Form VSA-14 (Application for Registration) and take it to your local DMV office along with:

  • Proof of identity
  • Proof of address
  • Inspection certificate (see below)
  • Proof of auto insurance from a state provider OR you must pay a $500 fee as an uninsured motorist
  • Documents for vehicle title – only necessary if you already haven’t completed the titling process or had a transfer
  • Method of payment for any applicable fees

Upon the completion of your application for registration, you’ll receive a registration card that is required to be inside your vehicle always, and VA license plates. Keep in mind that you’ll need to renew your VA registration every 1-3 years, depending on the registration term that you choose.

Applicable Registration Fees

The factors below are what new registration fees are based off of:

  • The gross weight of the vehicle
  • The style of license plates you buy (plain or speciality)
  • Length of time for your registration (choice between 1 to 3 years).

You can check the fee chart on the Virginia DMV website for more details.

Do note that if you decide to register your automobile for two years, the initial registration fee is going to double.

Insurance Requirement

In VA, all motor vehicles must be covered by auto and liability insurance at all times. If you cannot purchase insurance before getting registered, you will have to pay a $500 fee.

Inspections Requirement

Before applying for a new registration, your vehicle needs to be inspected. Safety inspections are compulsory throughout the entire state, but emissions inspections are only mandatory in select cities and counties.

Counties have their own rules and regulations concerning safety and emissions inspections, as well as various fees attached. Check with your local DMV for more information.

When you have the emissions of your vehicle inspected, the inspection station will automatically update your car’s DMV record with the test results. Therefore, when you go to register your vehicle, the DMV won’t ask for proof unless your automobile either failed the test or there was a glitch that prevented the update from occurring.

New Residents

From the day you establish your residency in VA, you have 30 days to get your vehicle registration and title from the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). The steps to registering a vehicle from out of state is similar to the process discussed above. You will also need to do the following:

  • Procure auto insurance from a VA provider or pay the fee for uninsured motorists (see Insurance section)
  • Have a safety and emissions inspection, if necessary (see Inspections section)
  • Transfer your out of state tile – done while registering

The overall process for registering your vehicles is rather straightforward as long as you have the appropriate documents. If you have any further questions about how to apply for a new registration in VA, you can call the DMV help desk (804-497-7100) or ask in person at the local DMV near you.