New to Virginia
To obtain a Virginia driver's license and to register your car, you will need to apply in person at a DMV office. You will need to provide various documents and payment for the required fees. To be eligible to vote and to become an organ donor, you'll need to register once you become a resident of the state. If you're a military member, you may be exempt from some of the state's DMV requirements.
In Virginia, your motor vehicle and licensing agency is the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). You'll find yourself dealing with them for such services as:
- Applying for a VA driver's license or state ID card.
- Titling and registering a vehicle.
- Obtaining license plates or parking placards.
- Applying for a motorcycle endorsement.
If you have a boat that you'll need to register, you'll do so with the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (DGIF). Voter registration and elections in the state are overseen by the Department of Elections, though you can register to vote when you apply for a VA license or ID.
Once you become a resident of Virginia, you have 60 days to transfer your out-of-state driver's license to the state. You will need to apply in person at your local VA DMV office. If you have a commercial driver's license (CDL), you will only have 30 days to transfer for a VA CDL. See our following pages for more information:
NOTE: If you're a temporary resident, you don't have to get a Virginia license unless you stay here for longer than 6 months or become gainfully employed.
If you're a teenager, you will need to satisfy the requirements of the state's graduated driver's licensing (GDL) program before you will be eligible for a driver's license. See our page on Applying for a New Teen License in Virginia for complete details.
Need a form of ID in Virginia, but don't need to get a driver's license? Apply for a Virginia identification card. We tell you how to get one on our Identification Cards page.
In Virginia, you're required to register your vehicles with the DMV within 30 days of establishing residency. Please refer to our VA Car Registration page for more details.
Special Vehicle Registration
If you're an owner of a special vehicle, such as a recreational vehicle (RV), trailer, or moped, you must still register it with the DMV, but the requirements may be different. You can find more details on our section on Other Vehicle Registrations.
Car Insurance Requirements
In Virginia, you have two options regarding liability coverage. You can satisfy this financial responsibility by purchasing car insurance or by paying the VA DMV to drive uninsured. Please visit our Car Insurance in Virginia page for more information.
Depending on where you live and the age of your vehicle, you may be required to undergo an emissions inspection before your car can be registered in Virginia. You'll learn more about the process on our Virginia Car Inspections page.
Are you a registered organ donor? If not, you can learn more about this life-changing act and register for the program on our Organ Donation in Virginia page.
If you want to exercise your right to vote in Virginia, you'll need to update your voter registration to the state first. Our Voter Registration in Virginia page has all the details.
Active-duty members of the U.S. armed forces are exempt from many state-imposed regulations regarding driver's licensing and vehicle registration. Our Military Drivers in Virginia page is loaded with helpful information.
If you need to find any Virginia DMV office in the state, our DMV Office Finder will help you out.
Additional Helpful Resources: