Vehicle Registration Renewal

As a responsible driver in the state of Virginia, you are not only required to register your vehicle, you must also ensure that you complete vehicle registration renewal before your current card and stickers expire. The VA Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has simplified the process for you, but you may still have questions about the renewal process. In this article, the entire vehicle registration renewal for VA residents will be explained to keep the procedure stress-free.


Vehicle Registration Renewal Cycles

Presently, VA DMV works on the following renewal cycle:

  • 1-year registration renewal
  • 2-year registration renewal
  • Vehicle cannot weight more than 55,000 lbs
  • A vehicle isn’t registered in the International Registration Plan (IRP).
  • You are insured (haven’t paid $500 uninsured fee)
  • Vehicle is registered in an emissions test zone and has at least 1 year left on the inspection certificate
  • 3-year registration renewal
  • Includes conditions for 2-year renewal
  • Available to those who don’t renew by mail
  • A vehicle doesn’t require emissions testing


Keep in mind that your vehicle is required to pass yearly safety inspections. Some cities and counties have also mandated annual smog and emissions inspections.

Renewal Notifications

The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles sends out notifications to remind you to renew your vehicle registration at least several weeks before the expiration date. The notice is printed with:

  • The renewal date
  • Your individual renewal fee
  • Your emissions test status (if applicable)

Your registration renewal will not take place if you meet the following conditions:

  • Personal property taxes haven’t been paid
  • You have unpaid parking citations
  • Unpaid toll violations or other traffic fines

If you haven’t received your renewal notification yet and you know that your registration expiration is coming up, it may be because your address has changed recently. Be sure to check that your address is updated. Otherwise, you may be receiving electronic notifications rather than ones by mail. You can call the local DMV at (804-497-7100) or visit a Customer Service Center.

How to Renew Your Virginia Registration

To complete the renewal process online, you can access the MyDMV page and go from there. Be sure to have completed emissions testing, if applicable. On the website, you will need to do the following:

  • Input a DMV customer service number or SSN
  • Enter your birth date
  • Enter your vehicle’s title number
  • Input final four digits of the VIN
  • An appropriate method of payment
  • Print your renewal confirmation and keep it with you until the replacement arrives in the mail within 15 business days.

Renewing In Person

There are two places where you can go to renew your VA vehicle registration—either a DMV Select or the local DMV Customer Service Center. However, that the Customer Service Center, you’re charged an additional $5 for transactions. When appearing in person, bring the following:

  • Proof of successful emissions test, if applicable
  • Renewal notification or current registration
  • Driver’s license
  • Proof of auto insurance
  • Payment of applicable fees

Applicable Fees

VA vehicle registration renewal fees are based on the renewal cycle that you have chosen (or that applies to you) as well as vehicle model, weight, and your type of license plates. Some discounts may be applied to your multi-year registration. What you owe will be printed on the renewal notification.

If you still have questions or concerns about your vehicle registration renewal, you can call the local VA DMV at 804-497-7100 or visit the website for further assistance.