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Military Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to be a Virginia resident to title and register a vehicle in Virginia?
No. However, you are required to provide proof of the address you provided on DMV's Application for Certificate of Title and Registration (form VSA 17A).
Does a vehicle have to be titled in Virginia in order to be registered in Virginia?
Yes.
Do I have to get a Virginia driver's license while I am stationed in Virginia?
If you are an active duty member of the Armed Forces stationed in Virginia, you, your spouse and dependent children may drive with a valid driver's license issued by your home state or country. It is not necessary for you to obtain a Virginia driver's license. However, if you decide to apply for a Virginia driver's license, refer to DMV's the Military Guide (formerly titled Guide for Members of the Armed Forces) for more information on the necessary documents.
If I live off base or off post, what documents will I need to verify proof of address to get a Virginia title and register a vehicle?
Normally, an original lease or mortgage agreement, or an electric, cable or phone bill, which lists your physical address, are acceptable. These documents cannot be generated from your home computer.
What sales taxes are required when purchasing a vehicle in Virginia?
Everyone is required to pay the sales and use tax when purchasing a vehicle. However, the sales tax is waived if these conditions are met:
  1. The vehicle is being registered for the first time in Virginia.
  2. The applicant holds a valid title or registration issued to him/her by another state or a branch of the US Armed Forces.
  3. The applicant has either owned the vehicle for longer than 12 months or provides evidence of a sales tax paid to another state.
What personal property taxes are required when purchasing a vehicle in Virginia?
Any person who is active in the military is exempt from taxation if his/her home of record is outside of Virginia pursuant to the federal Service Member's Civil Relief Act. However, the vehicle must be registered in the name of the active military person only. If the vehicle is jointly owned and the co-owner is non-military, the vehicle is taxable. Also, the service member must have checked "yes" on all DMV records when asked if the applicant is an active member of the military.
Am I required to purchase a county or city decal for my vehicle?
Depending on your location, you may have to purchase a locality decal. City and county decals are issued by localities, not DMV. In most cases, however, active duty service members are exempt from buying decals and paying personal property tax. To be eligible for the military exemption, you may be required to visit the county or city government offices where you reside.
Do I need to notify DMV if I am deployed to another area and want to cancel my insurance on vehicles I have registered in Virginia?
Yes, even if you are deployed outside of Virginia, you must notify DMV of insurance cancellations, and tag and license plate deactivation. If your tags are still valid, they must be surrendered to DMV. Visit City of Virginia Beach: Vehicle Registration Exemptions and Discounts for more information about exemptions for the city of Virginia Beach.
What if I am required to attend a driver improvement clinic in connection with my Virginia driver's license, but I am not stationed near a driver improvement clinic?
If you are a member of the military or a dependent, you may be eligible for an extension. The extension may be granted only if the military member or dependent is stationed outside Virginia in a jurisdiction that does not offer an approved eight-hour driver improvement clinic. The military person or dependent must provide a copy of military papers indicating military status, assigned station and the date of return to Virginia. The clinic completion date may be extended to 90 days after the date of return. For an extension, fax the request and military papers to the Conviction Processing Work Center at (804) 367-6211 or (804) 367-6694. Visit Driver Improvement Clinics for more information.