Renewing Your License in Virginia
Renewing your driver license?
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You must renew your license every eight years (expires on your birthday) to remain road-legal. Specific renewal situations are explained below.
You're also required to carry car insurance. If you're in the market, you can compare rates at our Insurance Center.
Depending on your situation, you have four renewal options:
- In person
You can easily learn the status of your license by ordering a driving record report.
NOTE: Visit our CDL page for renewing a commercial license.
There are no late fees if you allow your license to expire, but you could face a stiff fine if caught by the police operating with an invalid license.
If you allow your license to expire for even one day, you can only renew in person and must provide proof of legal presence.
If your license has been expired for one year or more, you must re-take the road skill tests, the two-part knowledge exam and submit to another vision screening.
If you're just not sure if your driver's license has expired or not, you can always check by ordering a driving record report.
Visit our license suspension page for full details on how to reinstate a revoked or suspended license.
If you need an update on the status of your suspended license, consider ordering a detailed driving record report.
Suspended licenses generally result in higher insurance rates. Give thought to visiting our Insurance Center if you're in the market for a new provider.
Lose your license? Visit our Replacing a Lost License page for detailed information on how to apply for a duplicate.
Shortly before your license is due to expire, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will mail you a renewal notice. Your driver's license is valid for eight years (if you're 16 or 17 your license will expire on your 20th birthday). You can renew your license up to two years prior to its expiration date.
If you move, make sure to alert the DMV. Otherwise, there's a strong chance you won't receive your renewal notice. If you don't receive one, call (866) 368-5463 or visit your nearest customer service center.
Your renewal notice will specify whether you are eligible to renew your license by phone, online, or by mail. If you choose to renew by one of these methods, rather than in person, the DMV will use the same photograph that is on your current license.
You are not eligible to renew online, by mail, or by phone if:
- You're renewing a CDL
- Your license is expired
- You're under medical review
- Your license is suspended or revoked
- You're 20 years old and have been flagged with one or more traffic convictions
- You don't have a Social Security number on file with the DMV
- You renewed last time online, by phone or by mail
- You're 80 or older
- You're required to prove legal presence
Renewing online generally takes less than five minutes. To pay ($32) you must use Visa, American Express, Discover or MasterCard. Your new license should arrive in the mail within 15 days.
- Make sure all of the information, except height and weight, on your renewal application is correct (call (866) 368-5463 or (800) 435-5137 if any information is incorrect.
- Include a $32 check
- Mail to:
- Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles
- P.O. Box 26506
- Richmond, Virginia 23260-6506
Your new license should arrive in the mail within 15 days.
If eligible, call (888) 337-4782. An automated voice will instruct you how to proceed. Have your credit card (Visa, American Express, Discover or MasterCard) ready to pay.
You're new license should arrive within 15 days.
Visit any customer service center with:
- Your expiring license
- Your renewal notice./>*}
- Proof of legal presence, if applicable
- *Cash, check or credit card to pay the $32 license fee and a $5 in-person fee
As part of the DMV's efforts to make license issuing more secure, you will no longer receive your license while at the office. Instead, it will be mailed to you.
NOTE: You must pass a vision screening every time you renew in person.
*To encourage renewing online, by mail, or phone, the DMV charges a $5 in-person fee. You will not be charged if your renewal notice requests renewing in-person, or if you're conducting another transaction that requires appearing at a DMV office.
Although not mandatory, taking a supplemental traffic school is always a smart move. Not only does it refresh driving skills, but also, depending on your provider, can lower your insurance rates.
If your insurance carrier doesn't credit supplemental traffic courses, you may want to look for one that does at our Insurance Center.
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We put a lot of effort into making our content helpful & accurate. Please let us know if you see something that isn't clear or correct; we are here to ease any frustrations you may have while navigating DMV topics. We are not a government agency, please reach out to your local DMV, insurance agent, or respective professional for further assistance on specific situations.