Virginia Vehicle Registration

The front end of a vintage car
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Those wanting to drive on the roads legally will need to process a Virginia car registration. This process doesn’t take long when prepared. The VA registration process is streamlined, letting you get in, get out, and get on the roads in no time!

You must register your vehicle for the road if bought through a private sale, as many dealers submit documentation for you. Anyone driving in the state must register their vehicle or face the consequences (like a license suspension).

You may register and title your car in person at a VA DMV.

Virginia Vehicle Registration: Step-by-Step

You must register your vehicle after being leased, purchased, inherited, or gifted. Registration is quick and easy when you have the necessary documents prepared. You will do the registration process in person at your local DMV. There, you’ll provide documents and process fees.

What you’ll need to collect/bring:

  • VA driver’s license or state ID
  • Proof of vehicle ownership
  • The vehicle’s title
    • Notarized
    • Lien release (if applicable)
  • Completed forms
    • Registration or Title/Registration Application
    • Emissions Certificate
  • Payment method

Got all these ready? Take a trip to your DMV and complete the actions below.

The registration process includes a:

  • Title application or lease agreement
  • Identification and proof of residency
  • Insurance and vehicle inspection
  • Paying applicable fees and taxes

Those coming from out-of-state will need to get car insurance, complete an emissions check, and transfer their vehicle’s title. All this must be completed within 30 days of residency.

Everyone else? Keep reading to learn what’s needed.

Registering the Vehicle

Dealerships will automatically submit title documentation to Virginia’s DMV offices. You may register and title the vehicle if the dealer lets you or you’ve requested.

What’s next?

  1. Go to the DMV office
  2. Show your proof of ID
    1. License
    2. VA ID
  3. Provide the application:
    1. Option #1: Application for Registration (VSA 14)
    2. Option #2: Application for Certificate of Title and Registration (VSA 17A)
    3. Plus: Lien release, if applicable
  4. Provide the Emissions Certificate
    1. Counties: Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, Prince William, Stafford
    2. Cities: Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church, Manassas, Manassas Park
  5. Show proof of insurance
    1. Alternative: Pay a $500 uninsured motorist fee (operable up to 1 year)
  6. Pay the registration fees
    1. Gross weight
    2. License plate type
    3. Length of registration

You may also need to pay applicable county taxes during this registration. Complete these steps, and your vehicle is now registered in Virginia. Congrats!

You’ll receive a registration card upon completing the registration process. Your registration is good for 1 to 2 years (depending on your application). Call 804-497-7100 if you have questions regarding your VA car registration by talking with a representative.

Leased Vehicle Registration

A leased vehicle registration process is quick-and-easy — you will:

  1. Provide the leasing agreement
  2. Pay the registration fees

You may register a vehicle if your name is on the title using the same steps as detailed above. Otherwise, you’ll need a power of attorney to finish the registration.

Virginia Vehicle Registration Fees and Taxes

Below are the fees for registering a vehicle in Virginia. For most vehicles in Virginia, fees are calculated by the gross weight of the vehicle below is the complete list of items.

Vehicle Registration Fees

The registration fees provided below are applicable to a range of vehicles, including passage vehicles, pickups, motorcycles, and antique vehicles.

Passenger Vehicle4,000 lbs or less$30.75
Passenger Vehicle4,001 lbs to 6,500 lbs$35.75
Pickup Truck4,001 to 6,500 lbs (gross weight)$35.75
Pickup Truck 6,501 lbs to 10,000 lbs (gross weight)$44.75
Low Speed Vehicles$30.75
Antique Vehicle (One Time Fee)$50.00
Trip Permit$5.00
Late Fee$10.00

Trailer Registration Fees

0 to 1,500 lbs (per year)$15.00
1,501 – 4000 lbs (per year$28.50
4,001 or more lbs (per year)$40.00
Travel Trailers with Living Quarters$30.75
Late Fee$10.00

Typical registration costs include:

  • Emissions Inspections: $2
  • Late Fee: $10
  • Original Title: $15

Refer to Virginia’s DMV fees chart to better understand your specifics.

Vehicle Registration Refund

You can receive partial refunds if you cancel before expiration. Discounts and certain fees are non-refundable, including plate reservation fees, Virginia Road Tax for heavy trucks, and late fees.

Need a Registration Renewal

The renewal process is similar to the initial registration with a few exceptions to which paperwork you’ll file and fees paid. Use our VA Vehicle Registration Renewal Guide to learn what’s needed.

Question & Answer:

Below are some questions and answers from our users in Virginia state.

Does Virginia Car Registration Expire?

Yes, Virginia car registration does expire and needs to be renewed annually on the application that is required by Virginia law. The renewal would take effect on the first day of the month after the expiration.

Is there An Extension on Vehicle Registration in VA?

If your vehicle registration is due to expire within the current calendar month, you can apply for a one-month registration extension in Virginia. The extension comes with a $10 administrative fee, and prorated registration fees will be collected for the one-month registration period.

To be eligible for the extension, your vehicle registration must be valid.


Registering your vehicle with the Virginia DMV is a straightforward process. You’ll need to submit certain documents and pay related fees, but everything can be done from your home. If you encounter any difficulties during the registration process, don’t hesitate to contact the VA DMV for further assistance. Good luck