Renewing Your Driver's License
Your Virginia driver's license normally expires on your birthday. When you renew your license, it will be valid for eight years. You may renew your driver's license as early as six months prior to the expiration date on your license.
Individuals required to register with the Sex Offender and Crimes Against Minors Registry (Virginia Code Chapter 9 of Title 9.1) (Registry) will be issued licenses valid for five years.
If you received your driver's license at age 16 or 17, it will expire on your 20th birthday. If you are age 20 or under when renewing and have received one or more traffic convictions, you must retake the two-part knowledge exam and any other knowledge exams for the type of license you hold.
Proof of Legal Presence Requirements:
- If your valid, unexpired license was issued prior to 01/01/04, you are "grandfathered" and do not need to prove legal presence at renewal.
- If your license has expired for as much as one day, proof of legal presence is required when applying to renew.
- You must present proof of legal presence in person.
- If you are authorized to be in the U.S. temporarily and have been issued a limited duration driver's license, the license cannot be renewed. A subsequent license will be processed as an original license. However, you will not be eligible to receive an original driver's license if your authorized stay in the U.S. is less than 30 days from the date you apply. Each time you apply for an original driver's license you must show two proofs of identity one proof of identity if under age 19), one proof of legal presence and one proof of Virginia residency. Proof of your social security number (if you have been issued one) is required also.
- If you present a valid legal presence document without an expiration date, you will be issued a limited duration license that is valid for one year. This does not apply to a U.S. birth document since it does not contain an expiration date.
- If you are on active duty in the military stationed outside of Virginia or in the U. S. Diplomatic Service stationed outside of the U.S., or a civilian employee or contractor of the United States government or an agency acting on behalf of the U. S. government serving outside of the U. S. you may be granted a license extension for up to three years in lieu of license renewal.
If your license has expired for more than one year, you must re-take all tests (vision screening, two-part knowledge exam, and road skills test). DMV will mail you a renewal application prior to the expiration date of your driver's license. To receive your renewal application on time, be sure to update your address with DMV. The renewal fee is the same as the licensing fee. For example, an 8-year driver's license with no endorsements costs $32. You may pay your fees with cash, money order, check, check card or major credit card. You may renew your driver's license every other renewal cycle online, by telephone (1-888-337-4782) or by mail. You may renew using any of these preferred methods unless:
- You hold a Commercial Driver's License (CDL).
- You are 20 years old and you have received one or more traffic convictions.
- Your license is expired.
- Your license is suspended or revoked. You will be required to show proof of legal presence. You may also be required to show other documents.
- You are under medical review.
- You are age 80 or older. (You must complete the vision screening requirements.)
- Other conditions may affect your eligibility to renew using one of these methods.
You must also renew in person if your social security number (SSN) on file at DMV does not match your number on file with the Social Security Administration or if you do not have an SSN on file. Your SSN on file with DMV must match the number on file with the Social Security Administration before DMV will renew your driver's license.
Your renewal notice will indicate if you are eligible to use a preferred renewal method.
If you're eligible to renew using the preferred services mentioned, but renew at a customer service center, you will be charged an additional $5 fee. The fee will not apply if the license renewal is accompanied by a transaction that must be done in person.
If you use a preferred renewal method, DMV will use the photograph on your existing license. If you renew at a Customer Service Center, a new photograph will be taken.
Refer to "Obtaining a Virginia Driver's License or Identification (ID) Card" (DMV 141).
You may hold either a driver's license or a CDL, but not both. If you hold a license of any kind, issued by any state within the United States, you are not eligible for a photo ID card. If you currently hold both a driver's license and a photo ID card, you will be required to surrender your photo ID card before you can renew your driver's license.
You may renew at a customer service center during any renewal cycle. You will be required to pass the vision screening any time you renew at a customer service center.
The renewal application also allows you to apply to register to vote or change your voter registration address.