License Renewal in Virginia

Renew Your Driver's License in Virginia

Before your Virginia driver's license expires, you need to renew it with the VA Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) in order to continue driving legally in the state.

On this page, you'll find information on how to renew your driver's license online, by mail, by phone, and in person.

REAL IDs in Virginia

The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles now issues both federally-compliant REAL ID driver’s licenses as well as non-compliant licenses. A REAL ID license allows you to use your license as approved identification for activities such as boarding an airplane or entry into federal and military buildings.

You can choose to apply for a REAL ID or a non-compliant license upon renewal—details are outlined below.

If you've already renewed your driver's license, you can check its status by contacting the VA DMV.

When to Renew Your Virginia Driver's License

Your driver's license expires on your birthday every 8 years.

If you were 16 or 17 years old when you got your drivers license, it will be valid until your 20th birthday.

The Virginia DMV will send you a renewal notice before your driver's license expires which will state whether you can renew it:

  • Online.
  • By mail.
  • In person.

You must renew in person if you:

  • Are upgrading your standard license to a REAL ID license.
  • Did not complete your last renewal in person.
  • Are renewing a commercial driver's license (CDL).
  • Need to take any tests.
  • Have:
    • an expired driver's license.
    • A learner's permit.
    • A driver's license that is suspended or revoked.
    • A driver's license that doesn't expire for at least another 12 months.
  • Are restricted to driving during the day.
  • Have failed a vision test.
  • Need to remove a vision restriction.
  • Have a name change or correction.
  • Have any outstanding Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles fees.
  • DO NOT have a:
    • Photo on file with the DMV.
    • Verified customer/driver license number.
    • Virginia address.
    • Verified Social Security number.
  • Have NOT verified your U.S. citizenship or legal presence.
  • Have a medical review.
  • Have failed you vision exam.

License renewal requirements differ based on the status of your driver's license, outlined below.

Valid Driver's License

If you hold a valid Virginia drivers license, you can renew it up to 12 months before it expires.

Expired Driver's License

If your Virginia drivers license is expired, you can still renew it.

If it has been expired for over 1 year, you'll need to retake a:

  • Vision exam.
  • Driving knowledge test.
  • Driving skills test.

Suspended Driver's License

If your Virginia driver's license is suspended, you'll need to reinstate your driving privileges before you can renew it.

For more information, please see our VA Suspended License page.

Check Your Driver's License Status: Order Your Driving Record

Is your Virginia driver's license suspended? Check your driving record to find out.

Lost, Stolen, or Damaged Driver's License

If your drivers license is lost, stolen, or damaged, you can still renew it.

Do not drive without a valid driver's license in Virginia. If you'd like to request a replacement card, please see our guide to Replacing a Lost License in Virginia.

Online VA Driver License Renewal

To renew your drivers license online, visit the Virginia myDMV website and provide:

  • Your driver license, DMV customer number, or your Social Security number.
  • Your birth date.
  • Payment for the $32 renewal fee.

The Virginia DMV online service portal will guide you through the driver's license renewal process.

By-Mail Driver's License Renewal

If you are eligible to renew by mail, the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles will send you a mail-in renewal application along with your renewal notice.

To renew by mail, you will need:

  • A completed mail-in application.
  • Payment for the $32 renewal fee. (Make checks payable to the Department of Motor Vehicles).

Mail the above to:

Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles
P.O. Box 26506
Richmond, VA 23260

You will receive your new driver's license in the mail within 15 days.

NOTE: If anything other than your address, height, or weight is incorrect on your pre-printed renewal application, contact the Virginia DMV at (804) 497-7100.

In-Person Driver License Renewal

NOTE: If you are eligible to renew online, but choose to renew in person, you will be charged an additional $5 on top of the renewal fee. If you are also conducting another VA DMV transaction, this additional fee will be waived.

To renew your Virginia driver license in person, visit your local Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles office and:

  • Bring all required identity and residency documents if you are upgrading to a REAL ID license.
  • Pass a vision exam.
  • Have a new photo taken.
  • Take a driving knowledge test, if you are under 21 years old and have any traffic violations.
  • Pay the $32 renewal fee. Payment can be made by:
    • Cash.
    • Check*.
    • Money order*.
    • Credit/debit card.
*Make checks or money orders payable to the Department of Motor Vehicles.

NOTE: If you have not verified your legal presence/U.S. citizenship with the Virginia DMV and your driver license has been expired, you must provide documents, such as your:

  • U.S. birth certificate.
  • Valid U.S. passport.
  • Certificate of naturalization.

For a complete list of accepted documents, visit the Virginia DMV website.

Non-U.S. Citizen Renewals

If you are not a U.S. citizen, you'll need to apply for a new temporary driver's license when your current license expires.

Visit your local Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles office with:

  • 1 document proving your identity such as your:
    • Valid foreign passport with an I-94 card or number.
    • Birth certificate.
    • Social Security card.
  • 1 document proving your legal presence, such as your:
    • Foreign passport and immigration/visa documents.
    • Permanent resident card.
  • 2 documents proving your Virginia address, such as a:
    • Utility bill.
    • Bank statement.
    • Rental agreement.
  • Proof of your Social Security number, if you have one.

For more information, please see the complete list of acceptable documents.

If your legal presence document does not have an expiration date, your temporary driver license will be valid for 1 year.

NOTE: You will not receive a temporary driver license if your legal stay will end in less than 30 days from when you apply.

Military Member Extensions

Notice for Military Members Stationed in Germany

If you are currently stationed in Germany, please be aware that some states require you to have a valid U.S. driver's license in addition to your USAREUR license. Read our article for more information.

If you are an active duty military member stationed outside of Virginia, you can apply for a driver's license renewal extension. This also applies to your spouse and dependents that are also out of state.

You can request an extension online. You'll need your:

  • Full name.
  • VA address.
  • Out-of-state mailing address.
  • Driver's license/customer number OR Social Security number.
  • Date of birth.
  • E-mail address.

You will receive a driver license extension package in the mail. Follow the instructions and include:

Use the envelope provided to send your documents to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles.

NOTE: You can also choose to renew your drivers license by mail while out of state. See the “Out-of-State Virginia Residents" section below for more information.

Your expired driver's license must be renewed at your local Virginia DMV office within 180 days of returning to Virginia.

Out-of-State Virginia Residents

If you are out of state and need to renew your Virginia driver's license, you can request an out-of-state renewal packet. You'll need your:

  • Full name.
  • VA address.
  • Out-of-state mailing address.
  • Your drivers license/customer number OR Social Security number.
  • Date of birth.
  • E-mail address.

To renew your Virginia driver license by mail while out of state, you'll need:

NOTE: If you do not meet the requirements to renew your driver license online, by mail, or by phone, you cannot renew your license while outside Virginia.


Driver's License and Identification Card Application
Submit to the DMV to apply for an original, renewal, OR replacement Virginia driver's license, learner's permit, OR motorcycle license.
Customer Vision Report
Form used to verify your vision meets Virginia DMV standards for an original or renewal driver's license application. Must be completed by an eye doctor.
DMS 004
Credit Card Charge Authorization
Fax this form to the VA Department of Motor Vehicles when using a credit card to make fee payments.
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