How to register a vehicle in

Virginia

as a non-US resident

Virginia

at a glance

Major cities
Arlington
Major ports of arrival
Dulles International Airport (IAD)
Registration challenges
In-state address required
Proof of residency required
Average sales tax rate
5.73%

State Overview and Advice

In order to register a vehicle in Virginia, you need a Virginia address, and proof that you reside there.

If you do not want to obtain residency in the United  States, we recommend starting your visit in another state, or using visitor.us' services to register a vehicle that you buy in Virginia.

The Registration Process

Virginia vehicle registrations are handled by the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

If you purchase your vehicle from a dealership, the dealer will issue you Virginia temporary tags, valid for 30 days, whether you plan to register your vehicle in Virginia or elsewhere.

If you buy your vehicle from a private party and plan to register it in Virginia, bring the required items (below) to a DMV service center. Virginia Trip Permits, valid for three days, and only within Virginia, are available at DMV service centers.

For vehicles being registered in Virginia, Virginia sales taxes are payable to the dealer upon sale, or the DMV upon registration (if purchased from a private party).

Taxes and Fees

Sales Tax

State sales tax

5.30%

Average local sales tax

0.43%

Average combined sales tax

5.73%

Registration fees

Light Vehicle

Fees: $45.75

RV

Fees: $33 - $55

Motorcycle

Fees: $39.75

$15,000 car

$905

$50,000 RV

$2,910

$5,000 motorcycle

$326

Total taxes and fees

Registration Requirements

Prior owner's title

The vehicle's title must be signed by the owner(s) printed on the title, its odometer reading recorded (if less than 10 years in age), and be free of all liens in order for the prior owner's interest to be released.

Identification

A current, government-issued photo ID is required to register a vehicle in Virginia.

Bill of sale

A bill of sale is not required to register a vehicle in Virginia, although signing one with the vehicle's seller is recommended.

Application

VSA-17A - Application for Certificate of Title and Registration

Inspection

Emissions (smog)

Annual emissions inspections are required for vehicles 25 years old or newer registered in the following counties: Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, Prince William, Stafford.

Safety

An annual safety inspection is required in Virginia.

VIN

VIN inspections are not required in Virginia.

Insurance

Virginia's minimum liability insurance limits are 25/50/20.

Residency

People wishing to register a vehicle in Virginia must provide proof that they reside at the registration address.

Local Address

Vehicles registered in Virginia must be registered to a Virginia address.

The Alternative

When you sign up with visitor.us, this is what you get:

Company Formation

visitor.us forms a Limited Liability Company for you in Montana, the best state for international visitors to register vehicles.

Vehicle Purchase

Complete paperwork and funds transfer with the seller.
The seller will list your LLC and its address as the buyer on the vehicle's title, and visitor.us will arrange for it to be couriered to us for processing.

Insurance

Insurance from a top-rated insurance company that covers you, your vehicle, and your LLC.

Vehicle Registration

You buy a vehicle, we register it in MT. Why?
- MT sales tax: 0%
- Inspections not required in MT

Annual Actions

visitor.us will keep your registration current, and courier your annual decal and registration document to you ('hold at courier location for pick-up' available, if you're on the move).
Ready to get started?
Click Get Started now to connect with the visitor.us team.

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Want to learn more?

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