Registering Vehicle From Out Of State

If you’re new to the state of Virginia, you’ll have a 30 day period after you establish your residency to register your out of state vehicle. You’ll also have to complete your vehicle titling within this time period.


Before you register your vehicle with the VA DMV, you’ll have to do the following things:


  • Get an insurance policy meeting Virginia’s minimum coverage requirements with a licensed Virginia insurance carrier
  • Complete a vehicle safety inspection
  • If necessary, have an emissions and smog test done


How to Register Out of State Vehicle

In order to complete your vehicle registration, you’ll have to go to your local DMV office in person. There is no current way to complete a vehicle registration online or through the mail. You’ll need to bring the following documentation:


  • Your complete Application for Registration
  • Proof of identity such as your current driver’s license or passport
  • Proof of address such as a rental agreement or utility bill
  • Proof of insurance
  • The inspection certificate for the vehicle
  • Payment for the registration fees
  • Documentation for the titling of your vehicle
  • Payment for the titling of your vehicle


After the completion of your registration, you’ll be presented with a Virginia registration card. This card must be kept in the vehicle at all times. You’ll also receive Virginia license plates. Depending on the option you choose, your vehicle registration will have to be renewed within either one or two years.


The DMV help desk is available to answer questions. You can call 804-497-7100 if you need further information regarding your registration procedures.



Registering a Leased Vehicle

If you lease your vehicle, you can register it with the DMV in your name provided the owner of the vehicle permits this. Your name and address will be added to the title and registration of the vehicle. If your name and address are already on the title, you can register the vehicle without getting owner permission. If your name and address aren’t on the title, you need to receive a power of attorney statement from the vehicle’s owner.



Trip Permits

If your vehicle doesn’t have a registration, but you need to drive it to an inspection station or the DMV, you can apply for a trip permit. This specialized permit is valid for only 3 days. Your vehicle must have insurance before you can drive it.


To receive a trip permit, you can apply online or submit your application in person. The following documentation is required:


  • Proof of ownership such as a bill of sale or your vehicle title
  • Information regarding the vehicle’s current location
  • Information on where you will move the vehicle
  • The dates the vehicle will move
  • Proof of insurance
  • $5 to cover the permit fee


Vehicle Registration Fees

VA doesn’t have a flat fee rate for its vehicle registrations. Instead, fees are based on several factors:


  • The gross weight of the vehicle
  • The kind of license plate you buy
  • Whether the registration lasts for one or two years


When you register your car for two years instead of one, your registration fees will be doubled. You can visit the VA DMV’s website or call your local office for information on the exact amount you can expect to pay. All relevant forms and information can be downloaded and printed on the DMV website.