The registration application must include a description of the vehicle and a statement of all liens of the vehicle.
No motor vehicle subject to an emissions test may be registered until it has passed such test or been issued a waiver.
Whenever any person who has applied for or obtained the registration or title to a vehicle moves from the address shown in his or her application, registration card, or certificate of title, he or she shall notify the DMV of the change of address within 30 days.
The DMV may reject an application for the registration of a motor vehicle, trailer, or semitrailer or certificate of title when the applicant has neglected or refused to furnish the DMV with the information required on the appropriate official form or other information required by the DMV; the required fees have not been paid; the vehicle lacks required equipment or contains prohibited equipment; or there is reason to believe that the application or accompanying documents have been altered or contain false statements.
There is no period of grace for late registration. However, there is a 90 day grace period for active duty military personnel stationed outside the United States and their accompanying spouse and dependents.
Registration for Non-Residents
Non-residents may operate a motor vehicle in the state without registering or paying any fees to the Commonwealth for a period not to exceed 6 months if the vehicle is registered in another state.
Other than for purposes of pleasure (any purpose other than to conduct business), a non-resident regularly operating within the Commonwealth must register his or her vehicle(s) with the Commonwealth.
Any owner who operates or permits to be operated 1 or more of these vehicles either simultaneously or alternately as often as 4 times in any 1 month shall be considered to be regularly operating them in the Commonwealth.
Military personnel on active duty in Virginia may retain vehicle registration in their home state.
Registration expires on the last day of the 12th or 24th month next succeeding the date of registration. Every registration shall be renewed annually or biannually on application by the owner and by payment of the fees required by law. A $10 late fee is assessed on all registration renewal transactions that occur after the expiration date. However, there will be a 10-day grace period for transactions conducted by mail to allow for administrative processing.
The operator of any motor vehicle, trailer, or semitrailer being operated on the highways in the Commonwealth shall have in his or her possession the registration card issued by the DMV or the registration card issued by the state or country in which the motor vehicle, trailer, or semitrailer is registered; and his or her driver’s license, learner’s permit, or temporary driver’s permit.
The registration card shall contain the date issued; the registration number assigned to the motor vehicle, trailer, or semitrailer; the name and address of the owner; a description of the registered motor vehicle, trailer, or semitrailer; and other statements of fact as may be determined by the DMV.
There is a $1 per year discount for each year of a multiyear registration. In addition to any other fee imposed and collected by DMV, a service charge of $5 shall be charged for any registration renewal carried out in any of its customer service centers, if the transaction is one that can be conducted by mail, telephone, or electronic means.
Motor vehicles having a gross weight of 10,000 lbs. or less that are registered in the Northern Virginia region must have emissions inspections.
Inspections must be done on a biennial basis at official emissions inspection stations. This rule does not apply to motorcycles, “clean fuel” vehicles, hybrid cars, antique vehicles, or vehicles 4 years old or less.
A vehicle will qualify for a waiver if it has failed an initial inspection and subsequently fails a re-inspection if the owner provides written proof that at least $175 was spent on improvements to a pre-1980 model vehicle or $200 for 1980 and newer vehicles; and that any emissions control system which has been removed, damaged, or rendered inoperable has been replaced and restored to operating condition.
Visit the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles for more information.
OBD is utilized as part of the state emissions inspection process.
Motor vehicles, trailers, and semitrailers, except for antique vehicles, are required to be inspected for safety upon registration and must be re-inspected within 12 months of the month of the first inspection and at least once every 12 months thereafter. New motor vehicles that have been inspected in accordance with the manufacturer or distributor are exempt from the safety inspection.
Safety inspection stickers must be displayed on the windshield of vehicles.
A safety inspection sticker issued for any vehicle that is principally garaged outside the Commonwealth registered to a person in the armed services of the United States will be deemed not to have expired during the period of the owner’s official absence from the Commonwealth.
Title and Registration Fees
Title Fee: $10.00
Registration Fee: $38.75–$43.75
Title Fee: $10.00
Registration Fee: $26.75
Plate Fee: $10.00
Registration Fee: $2.00
Driver’s License Fee: $10.00
Title Fee: $10.00
Special Plates: $10.00/year