Virginia Driver’s License Renewal: All You Need to Know

Virginia Driver’s License Renewal: All You Need to Know

by Zutobi · Updated Mar 18, 2021

Renewing your license in Virginia is relatively straightforward. In this guide, we’ll explain everything you need to know!

How Often Do I Need to Renew My Driver’s License in Virginia?

In general, a Virginia license expires on the holder’s birthday eight years after issuance. If you are over 75, you need to renew every five years.

Renewing an Expired Driver’s License 

In Virginia, you can renew your license up to a year before it expires, and you can renew up to 90 days after it expires without a late penalty. Keep in mind that this is not a grace period for driving with your expired license.

If your license is expired for more than a year, you will have to retake the knowledge exam and driving skills test.

This is proven to be very difficult for older drivers –  if you need help studying you can try our Virginia practice tests and read our summarized handbook.

What is the Grace Period in Virginia?

There is no grace period for expired driver’s licenses in Virginia. Driving without a valid license is a Class 2 misdemeanor that can result in fines, penalties, and up to 90 days suspension on your license.

During Covid-19, the state gave 90 and 180-day extensions to accommodate the fact their offices could not process renewals or take in-person renewals for certain time periods.

Should I Upgrade to a REAL-ID?

Starting Oct 1, 2021, if you do not have a REAL-ID you will be unable to board a plane or visit certain government facilities. Some military establishments already prohibit entry with a standard driver’s license.

How to Renew a Virginia Driver’s License

You can renew in person at any Service Center up to a year before your license expires. You may also qualify to renew by mail or online. If you qualify, the Virginia DMV will send you instructions to do so in your renewal notice.

During Covid-19, the DMV is sending out invitations to drivers who are required to renew in person. This invitation allows these drivers to select a two-year renewal option by mail or online. If you want to renew your license for eight years, or if you need a REAL-ID compliant license, you will still need to make an appointment to apply in person.

Renewal By Mail

You will receive an invitation to renew in the mail if you are eligible. Remember, you can only renew by mail every other renewal period.

To do so, you will fill out the form, ensure everything is correct, and mail the form and your fee payment in the enclosed envelope to:

Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles

P.O. Box 26506

Richmond, VA 23260-6506

Your new license will arrive in about 15 days. You will not have a receipt or temporary paper license while you wait. Plan your renewal accordingly to stay valid while on the roads.

Renewal Online

You will receive an invitation to renew online if you are eligible to renew. You can only renew online every other renewal period.

You will start on the Virginia DMV renewal page. There you will verify your identity, make sure all the information is correct, and pay your fee by credit or debit card. 

Carry the receipt with you when you drive until your new license arrives. It should be delivered within 15 days.

Renewal In-Person

Follow these steps to renew your license in person. 

  1. Find a local Virginia DMV Center. Some locations will require you to book an appointment up to 90 days ahead of time.
  2. Collect your documents. You will need to turn in your expired license. If your license is expired for even one day, you may also need to provide proof of legal presence.
  3. Take the written and driving exam if your license has been expired for over a year.

Pass your exams on the first try with Zutobi’s Easy-to-Understand Virginia Manual and online practice tests

  1. Have a new picture taken
  2. Check to make sure the address, signature, and other information are up-to-date.
  3. Pay your fees. If you are upgrading to a REAL-ID, there is a $10 additional fee.
  4. You will receive a temporary license or receipt, and your renewed license will arrive in the mail in roughly 15 days.

That’s It

That’s everything you need to know about renewing your driver’s license in Virginia, make sure to do it well before your license expires to avoid unnecessary complications. If you need help studying for renewal exams, we’ve got your back.

Take our full course with tests and theory

550+ exam-like questions

All you need to ace your test

Perfect for first-timers, renewals and senior citizens

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