Virginia Car Registration (All You Need to Know)

Virginia Car Registration

So you just bought a new car

Or maybe you’re transferring one from out of state…

Whatever the case, you’ll need to register it with the State of Virginia. 

And we’re here to tell you how to do that.

What’s more, we’ll also show you how to renew a Virginia car registration — in case that’s what you need. 

To top it all off, we’ll look at the different Virginia vehicle laws. 

So are you ready?

Let’s go!

How to Register A Car in Virginia

The Virginia car registration process involves getting your vehicle titled. 

Follow these steps to get it done: 

  1. Prepare the following original documents to get your vehicle titled. Check the table below for what documents are needed.
For Brand New Vehicles:For Used Vehicles: For Out-of-State Vehicles:
Manufacturer’s Certificate of Origin/Manufacturer’s Statement of Origin

Application for Title and Registration (Form VSA-17A)

Proof of address

Proof of purchase price (bill of sale, seller’s declared sale price on the title, or buyer’s order)
Virginia title with the Certification of Buyer section completed

Application for Title and Registration (Form VSA-17A)

Proof of address

Proof of purchase price
Application for Title and Registration (Form VSA-17A)

Title or registration card from the previous state of residence 

Previous owner’s out-of-state title signed over to you

Vehicle Price Certification (Form SUT1) signed by the seller or purchaser

Proof of address

Proof of purchase price 
  1. Get the minimum requirement for vehicle insurance (check below for more details) or pay the $500 uninsured motor vehicle fee. 
  1. Complete a vehicle safety inspection. You should receive a safety inspection sticker.
  1. Pass an emission inspection at a certified station (if applicable). You can check here if you need to meet this requirement. 
  1. Complete the Application for Registration (Form VSA-14) to start the registration process. Don’t forget to complete the ‘Insurance Certification’ section. 
  1. Write a check or money order of $15 for the titling fee. You also need a check/money order for the Sales and Use Tax. If you are exempt from this tax, bring proof of exemption or complete the Purchaser’s Statement of Tax Exemption (Form Sut3). 
  1. Write a check or money order for the registration fee.
  1. Mail all the documents and payments to the DMV at any of the addresses listed below.

For the U.S. Postal Service:

Virginia DMV

Titling Department

P.O. Box 27412

Richmond, VA 23269

For UPS & FedEx:

Virginia DMV

Titling Department

2300 West Broad St

Richmond, VA 23269

NOTE: You can also choose to submit the documents at any customer service center. You can schedule an appointment at the DMV center here
  1. Receive your Virginia car registration and title. 

Your vehicle is now titled and registered in Virginia!

For more details, including how to register for-hire vehicles, you can check out the VA DMV website. 

How to Renew A Car Registration in Virginia

It doesn’t end there. 

Remember, Virginia vehicle registrations must be renewed annually. 

But don’t worry. 

It’s a lot easier to renew a registration. 

Moreover, the VA DMV sends you renewal reminders when your expiration date is near. You can even sign up for e-notifications here

Now, you have three options to renew your car registration: 

  • Online
  • By mail
  • In-person

How to Renew a VA Car Registration Online

  1. Go to the online vehicle registration portal. 
  1. Prepare your renewal notice or vehicle registration card. 
  1. Input your title number and the last four digits of your vehicle registration number (VIN) OR sign in to your DMV account. 
  1. Follow the prompts to complete your renewal. 
  1. Pay the renewal fee by credit card, debit card, or bank and check. For online renewals, you get a $1 discount. 
  1. Print your official receipt. This receipt will give a 15-day extension to your vehicle registration if your current registration expires in fewer than 15 days.
  1. Wait for your new vehicle registration to arrive via mail within 15 days. 

How to Renew a VA Car Registration By Mail

If you want to renew by mail, you just need to mail in your vehicle renewal reminder. Don’t forget to fill in the required fields and attach your payment by check or money order. 

Mail it to the address from where the notice came from.

How to Renew a VA Car Registration In Person

  1. Prepare the following documents:
    1. All documents you brought when you registered for the first time
    2. A filled-out Application for Registration (Form VSA-14)
    3. Proof of address
  1. Visit any customer service center.
  1. Submit your documents and pay the renewal fees. 
  1. Receive your new registration. 

And you’re done! 

Virginia Vehicle Laws

It’s important to know what laws apply when you’re registering your vehicle in Virginia. 

We already know that you’re required to register and title it…

But what other laws should be followed?

Title and Registration

Yes, you already know that you need to title and register your vehicle. 

But is there a deadline?

In Virginia, you’re required to register your vehicle and get your license plates within 30 days of moving to Virginia or purchasing your vehicle. 

Once you have your registration card, you must have it with you whenever you’re operating the vehicle. 

The best thing is to leave the registration card in your vehicle. 

License Plates and Decals

To know that your vehicle is registered, you’ll be given license plates and decals. 

Now, according to the law, these license plates should be placed on the front and rear of your vehicle. And it should be clearly visible. 

The decals indicating the month and year of your registration should also be placed on the license plates. 

There are designated areas where to stick the decals, so make sure that you follow the right placement. 

If you want to change or design a new set of license plates, you can do so here. 

Safety Inspections

Just like your registration, your vehicle should undergo a safety inspection every year. 

And you need inspection stickers to prove this. 

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Remove old inspection stickers (if any). 
  1. Pay for the inspection
    1. $20 for private vehicles, including trailers and motor homes
    2. $12 for motorcycles and autocycles
    3. $51 for tractor trucks, trucks that weigh over 26,000 or more, and vehicles designed to carry 15 or more people
  1. Bring your vehicle into the inspection lane. 
  1. Go through the inspection process.
  1. Receive your inspection sticker and place it on your vehicle. 

Vehicle Insurance 

As we said earlier, you need to have vehicle insurance before applying for registration. 

Now, Virginia requires the following minimum coverage:

  • For policies effective before January 1, 2022:
    • $25,000 for injury or death of one person
    • $50,000 for injury or death of two or more people
    • $20,000 property damage
  • For policies effective on or after January 1, 2022:
    • $30,000 for injury or death of one person
    • $60,000 for injury or death of two or more people
    • $20,000 property damage


And that is everything you need to know about the Virginia car registration. 

Vehicle registration is just as important as getting a driver’s license. 

Without both, you won’t be able to operate a vehicle in Virginia. 

Remember, a vehicle title is different from a registration so make sure to get both. 

And don’t forget to renew your registration and get your vehicle inspected every year! 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *