Title, Register, and Aquiring License Plates

Title Your Vehicle in Virginia

To register your vehicle in Virginia and obtain license plates, you must first title your vehicle within 30 days of moving to Virginia.

Register Your Vehicle and Acquire License Plates

After you have insured and titled your vehicle, register it at any Virginia DMV customer service center within 30 days of moving to Virginia. Your registration fee is determined by:

  • the empty weight or gross weight of your vehicle,
  • the type of license plate you purchase (see special license plates section), and
  • the period of time, one or two years, you choose to register your vehicle.

A two-year registration costs twice the annual fee and provides added convenience for our customers. However, the two- year renewal option is not available for vehicles with a gross weight of 55,000 pounds or more, vehicles registered under the International Registration Plan or uninsured vehicles.

As a courtesy, DMV will mail renewal reminders to you prior to the expiration date of your registration. To receive reminders on time, be sure to update your address with DMV. You can renew your vehicle registration online or by mail.

Keep the registration card with you whenever you operate the vehicle.

DMV will issue you two license plates, two decals showing the expiration date, and a registration card. Apply the decals as indicated on the plates, then place the plates on the front and rear of your vehicle so that they are securely fastened and clearly visible. If your vehicle is a motorcycle, DMV will issue you just one license plate for the vehicle.

It is illegal to mount license plates frames, colored glass, plastic or any other type of covering on your license plates that alters or obscures the letters, numbers, decals or the state where the vehicle is registered, and when the registration expires.