Renewing Your Driver's License
You may renew your driver's license as early as one year prior to the expiration date on your license.
DMV will mail you a renewal application prior to the expiration date of your driver's license, or you can opt to receive an electronic renewal reminder. If you choose to receive your renewal notice by mail, make sure that your current address is on file with DMV. If your address has changed, then 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 classes or endorsements costs $32. You may pay your fees with cash, money order, check, debit card, or major credit card.
How Long Is My License Valid?
Your renewed license will be valid for eight years, and will expire on your birthday. However, if you received your license at age 16 or 17, then it will expire on your 20th birthday .
If you are age 75 or older, your renewed license will be valid for five years (Virginia code 46.2-330)
Individuals required to register with the Sex Offender and Crimes Against Minors Registry (Virginia Code Chapter 9 of Title 9.1) will be issued licenses valid for five years.
Temporarily Living Outside of Virginia?
If you are on active duty in the military stationed outside of Virginia, in the U. S. Diplomatic Service stationed outside of the U.S., or are 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. For more information, refer to Temporarily Outside of Virginia.
Renewing By Mail Or Online
Every other renewal cycle, you may renew your driver's license by one of DMV's "preferred methods". These are:
Your renewal notice will indicate if you are eligible to use one of these preferred renewal methods.
There are several conditions which would prevent you from renewing by preferred method. To find out if any of these apply to you, refer to Ineligibility To Renew by Mail or Online.
Renewing at a Customer Service Center
You may renew at a customer service center during any renewal cycle. In that case, you will be required to pass the vision screening test and a new photograph will be taken.
$5 Fee for In-Person Renewals
If you are eligible to renew using the preferred services (i.e., online, by mail, or by telephone) described above, but instead renew at a customer service center, you will be charged an additional $5 fee. However, the fee will not apply if the license renewal is accompanied by a transaction that must be done in person.
Proving Legal Presence When Renewing
- If your valid, unexpired license was issued prior to January 1, 2004, you are "grandfathered" and do not need to prove legal presence at renewal.
- If you hold a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) you will be required to present federally acceptable proof of citizenship, legal permanent resident status in the United States or certain temporary status. . If you have presented an acceptable proof of U.S. citizenship or Legal Permanent Resident status to DMV since January 1, 2004, you will not be asked to do so again.
- If your license has expired for as much as one day, you must provide proof of legal presence when applying to renew. However, this requirement is waived if you have provided DMV with evidence since January 1, 2004, that you are a U.S. citizen or a legal permanent resident of the U.S.
- If required, 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 is required, if you have been issued one. For more information about identification and residency requirements, refer to Applying for a Driver's License.
- If you are temporarily authorized to be in the U.S. and present a valid legal presence document without an expiration date, you will be issued a limited duration license that is valid for one year.
For more information, refer to "Obtaining a Virginia Driver's License or Identification (ID) Card" (DMV 141).
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.
Possessing a License and/or an ID or CDL
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 hold either a driver's license or a commercial driver's license (CDL), but not both.