How to Renew Your Car Registration in Virginia?

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The Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles alerts when they need to renew with a renewal notice. This notice includes the renewal date, fees, and if you’ll need an emissions test (Northern VA residents).

The renewal period is also printed on the vehicle registration card.

Drivers have a 15-day grace period after renewal to complete this transaction. You cannot renew without delinquent property taxes, parking citations, or toll violations. If you did not receive your notice or need to check the status of your renewal, you may visit a local DMV, visit the VA DMV website, or call 804-497-7100 for more information.

What’s Needed to Renew a Registration in Virginia

You will need the renewal notice or registration card to renew your car. The process is quick and easy if you have documents ready. Here is what you’ll need.

  1. Identification
    1. Driver’s license
    2. VA ID
  2. Vehicle essentials
    1. Renewal notice or registration card
    2. Vehicle insurance
    3. Conditional: Emissions test
  3. Valid payment method
    1. Renewal fees
    2. Local taxes and fees
    3. Hybrid/Electric: $64 license tax

You can renew your vehicle for 1 – 3 years if applicable. Check with your local DMV to better understand what’s available, or visit the VA DMV site for more information.

Forgoing renewal may cause a suspended license, extra late fees, and/or penalties.

Vehicle registration renewal is available:

  • Online
  • In-Person
  • By Mail

Note: Your vehicle’s registration address must be current at the time of renewal. If not, you can update this information online before renewing. If your current registration already expired (but within 90 days), you can still renew, but you’ll pay a $10 late fee.

How to Renew a Virginia Car Registration

The registration fees for most passenger vehicles vary. Your final price may include the vehicle’s weight, type, and county. Plus, whether you’re paying in-person, late, need an emissions test, or have other business at the DMV.

Renewing Online

Renewing online is preferred and saves you $1 – $4 for convenience.

  1. Get your emissions test (if applicable)
  2. Visit VA’s MyDMV
  3. Fill in your DMV customer or SSN
    1. DoB
  4. Enter your vehicle information
    1. Title Number
    2. Last 4-digits of the VIN
  5. Confirm the details and pay the renewal fee

You can print a renewal registration letting you drive for 15 days until the finalized registration arrives.

Renewing In-Person

Find your local VA DMV in our directory, then do the following:

  1. Certificate of emissions test (if applicable)
  2. Your license or ID
  3. Renewal information
    1. Option: Renewal notice
    2. Option: Registration card
  4. Proof of auto insurance
  5. Payment for the renewal fee

Note: You will pay an extra $5 fee (per transaction) when renewing in person.

Renewing by Mail

Mail renewal is available but a little slower than the others. You will receive a small discount doing it this way but not as much as renewing online. You will include the applicable emissions test results, renewal notice, and copies of your information and make a check/money order to the DMV.

Mail your information to:

Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles

P.O. Box 27412

Richmond, VA 23269

Lost, Damaged, or Stolen Title and Tags

Something happened to your vehicle’s title and/or tags preventing you from finalizing your car’s registration. See our Title Replacement Guide


Whether you renew online, in person, or by mail, the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles makes it easy to complete the registration process. Ensure you have all the necessary documents and fees ready before beginning, and you’ll be done in no time. Good luck.