Virginia License Plate Information Summary
You'll apply for Virginia license plates at the same time you register your vehicle. You then renew your license plates at the same time you renew your registration.
You can transfer your Virginia license plates. You will get a sticker to put on you rear plate to demonstrate that it is up to date.
Virginia License Plates Offered
The Commonwealth of Virginia offers standard, vanity, disabled, and specialty plates. You can ask the DMV about the plates that are currently available.
Unless you drive a motorcycle, you must display plates on both the front and back of your vehicle. You will also have to have your tag visible, and you cannot put anything on your vehicle that will obscure any part of your license plate.
When You Need To Get Virginia License Plates
You need to apply for Virginia license plates within 30 days of moving to the state.
- If you purchase through a dealership, you can wait until the dealership arranges your plates. It is the obligation of your dealership to arrange for your official plates.
- If you purchase a vehicle in a private sale, you must immediately go to the DMV in person to register your vehicle and get your Virginia license plates.
Keeping Your License Plates Up To Date
When you registration is about to expire, you can renew your plates by phone, by mail, in person, or online. You will then get a new sticker stating your plates are up to date.
If Your Virginia License Plates Are Stolen
You do not have to file a police report if your plates are stolen or damaged. Instead, you can simply apply for new plates in person at the DMV, or by mail.
You will be charged $10 for plates with a decal, or $1 for a decal only.
Transferring Or Surrendering Your License Plates
When you buy a new vehicle, you can simply transfer your old Virginia license plates to it.
If you cancel your insurance or move to another state, you must surrender your Virginia license plates. You can do so in person at the DMV or send them to:
- Registration Renewal Work Center
Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles
P.O. Box 27412
Richmond, VA 23269
Virginia License Plate Costs
License plate fees vary by both the type of vehicle you are driving and the city you live in. Contact your local DMV to find out how much they will cost.