How to Renew Your Car Registration in Virginia

Like all other states, Virginia requires vehicle owner to register their vehicles, and then to renew their registration each year. Registration is important for a number of different things, including ensuring that you’re current on your automotive taxes (your tags). Fees are also put towards paving the roadways and other maintenance.

In the state of Virginia, you have a couple of options when it comes to renewing your car registration. You can opt for the standard one-year renewal if you like, but you can also purchase your registration in two or three year segments. There are a few caveats here, though.

If you’re renewing every two years, your car cannot be over 55,000 pounds, and it cannot be registered with the IRP. You also need a full year left on your emissions sticker (if emissions testing applies to you).

If you’re renewing every three years, the same rules apply, but you also cannot renew by mail and your vehicle cannot be garaged in an area with mandatory emissions testing.

There are three ways to renew your car registration in Virginia – by mail, online, or in person.

To renew by mail:

If you'd like to renew your registration by mail you would need to:

  • Double check that the renewal notice you received is correct.
  • Have your emissions test completed (if that applies to you).
  • Mail a check or money order to the following address:

Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles
Attn: Renewal Center
PO Box 27412
Richmond, VA 23269

  • You should receive your renewal within 15 days.

To renew online:

If you'd like to renew your registration online you will need to:

  • Make sure your emissions testing is complete if applicable.
  • Go to the Virginia DMV page
  • Enter the information required (date of birth, Social Security number, DMV customer service number, title number, the last four digits of the car’s VIN)
  • Pay the fee (you’ll need to use a credit or debit card, or pay with an e-check)
  • Print out your receipt.
  • Your renewal will be mailed to you within 15 days.

To renew in person:

If you'd like to renew your registration in person you will need to:

  • Take proof of emissions testing (if applicable)
  • Take your renewal notice/current registration
  • Take your driver’s license
  • Take proof of insurance
  • Pay the fee with cash, check, money order or credit/debit card
  • Note: You need to go to either a DMV Select office, or to the DMV Customer Service Center.

For more information, see the Virginia DMV website.


The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

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