How Much Are License Plates In Virginia?

In the state of Virginia, license plates cost between $40 and $55, depending on your vehicle's weight and the type of plate you choose.
If you want Virginia personalized plates, you will have to pay $10 in addition to the vehicle registration and personalized plate fees.

What Is The Process For Getting License Plates In Virginia?

In Virginia, vehicles are required to have both rear and front license plates.

(A rear license plate is required in every state in the United States. Some states require a front plate, while others do not.)

Here are the necessary steps to getting new license plates from the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (Virginia DMV).

1. Get your vehicle registration from the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles. You will be required to present paperwork such as proof of ownership, proof of insurance, and a valid driver's license or identification card.
2. Select the license plate you want. Virginia has a variety of standard and specialty license plates available, such as personalized plates, military plates, and college or university plates.
3. Pay the appropriate fees for your license plate. This may include both a one-time fee for personalized plates and an annual fee for the majority of other plates.
4. You will need to apply for your plates directly through the Virginia DMV.
5. Wait for the mail to deliver your license plates. After completing the registration process, Virginia license plates typically take 5-10 business days to arrive by mail.
6. Put your license plates on your car. All registered vehicles in Virginia must display two license plates, one on the front and one on the back.
7. Keep your license plates and vehicle registration up-to-date. You must renew your registration annually and pay any applicable fees to avoid late fees and penalties.
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Virginia License Plate Costs

There are many different types of license plates: passenger license plates, commercial vehicle plates, special license plates, trailer plates, and motorcycle plates.

Standard license plates measure 6 by 12 inches and are rectangular (motorcycle license plates are smaller, measuring 4 by 7 inches). They are made of aluminum, which is durable and resistant to rust.

The Virginia license plate has seven characters (across the 50 states, license plates have anywhere from six to eight characters).

Let’s look at how much Virginia license plate fees are for different types of plates.

How Much Is a Standard License Plate In Virginia?

A set of standard Virginia license plates costs:

1. $40.75 for cars 4,000 lbs and under
2. $45.75 for cars 4,001 lbs and over

Standard Virginia license plates can be put on passenger vehicles, business cars, trucks, and vans.

Standard license plates are issued in any of the following scenarios:

Purchase of a vehicle
Replacing lost, damaged, or stolen license plates
Surrendering special interest license plates and replacing them with standard license plates

Personalized Plates Fee

Virginia personalized plates have an annual fee of $10 in addition to the standard license plate fee.

Personalized Virginia plates can be ordered online, by mail, or at your local DMV office by submitting the following:

1. Complete the Virginia personalized license plate application (Form VSA-10)
2. Proof of vehicle ownership
3. Proof of insurance for the vehicle.
4. Pay the $10 fee for the personalized license plate, in addition to the standard license plate and registration fee.

Your personalized license plate will arrive in the mail. Delivery times can take up to 6 weeks to receive your personalized plate.

Special Interest Plates Fee

Virginia special plates have an annual fee of $10 in addition to the standard license plate fee, depending on the weight of your vehicle.

Available Virginia special interest plate designs include the following:

1. Alzheimer's Association
2. Butterfly Heritage
3. Greyhound Adopt
4. Move Over
5. Natural Bridge

Military License Plates Fee

Virginia military plates have an annual fee of $10 in addition to the standard license plate fee, depending on the weight of your vehicle.

According to 38 U.S.C. 101, you must provide a copy of active duty or retired ID card or DD214 showing dates of service, honorable military discharge status, and 180 days of active duty.

Military license plates can be personalized just like standard plates.

Disabled License Plates Fee

Virginia offers disabled license plates to those with disabilities. Disability license plates come with no additional fees.

To apply for disabled license plates, you must complete and submit a completed disabled parking plate or placard application (MED 10).

You can submit your application either in person at any DMV customer service center or DMV Select office, or by mailing it to:

Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles
P. O. Box 85815
Richmond, VA 23285-5815

How Much are Commercial License Plates In Virginia?

The cost for a commercial license plate in Virginia ranges from $40 to $801 per year depending on the type and weight of the commercial vehicle.

These plates are required to legally operate commercial vehicles on Virginia roads.

How Much are Motorcycle License Plates In Virginia?

Virginia motorcycle registration costs $24.75. This fee includes the license plate.

How Much are Trailer License Plates In Virginia?

A trailer license plate costs between $2.70 and $30 per year in Virginia. Naturally, you only need one license plate for a trailer, and it goes in the rear.

How Much Are RV Plates In Virginia?

Virginia recreational vehicle (RV) plates cost $40.75 per year. This annual fee covers license plates and registration for a motorhome.

Virginia Title Transfer Process

To complete the Virginia vehicle title transfer form, you will need to provide the following:

A vehicle safety inspection sticker
The completed VA vehicle title
Odometer reading
Emissions certificate
Payment for the title transfer fee: $15
Proof of the vehicle’s sales price (bill of sale or vehicle price certificate)
If applicable, the transfer of certificate of title with a lien (form SUT 4)

See our guide to transferring a Virginia car title for more detailed information on the title transfer process.
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Register Your Vehicle with the Virginia DMV

To apply for a Virginia license plate, you must have a valid car registration card from the Virginia DMV. VA registrations can be done in person. To make things more efficient, you will title and register your car at the same time.

Initial registration must take place in person at a local DMV office at the time of titling your vehicle by submitting the following:

Bill of sale.
Completed certificate of title.
Proof of identity and address.
Valid Virginia auto insurance policy.
Payment for the title transfer fee: $15.
Emissions test and safety inspection.
Payment for VA vehicle registration fees: from $30.75 to $116.49.
Payment for Virginia sales and use tax of 5.3% of the purchase price of the car.

Virginia License Plates FAQ

Does Virginia require emissions testing?

Some counties and cities in Virginia require that all gasoline- and diesel-powered passenger vehicles pass an emissions test. No emissions testing—no registration and title transfer.

The following counties and cities require emission testing:

- Alexandria county
- Fairfax county
- Loudoun county
- Prince William county

- Alexandria
- Fairfax
- Falls Church
- Manassas
- Manassas Park

If you live in one of these counties or cities and want to register your car, you will need to find an emissions inspection station and take the test.

If your car fits into one of the following categories, you don't have to get it tested for emissions, even in cities and counties that require emissions testing:

1. New cars with a manufacturer’s certificate of origin getting titled for the first time
2. Gasoline cars 25 years and older
3. Gasoline-powered cars that exceed 10,000 lbs
4. Diesel-powered cars manufactured in 1997 and before model year and exceed 8500 lbs
5. Clean fuel cars
6. Hybrid cars (gasoline hybrids are not exempt)

The fee for performing this test will be $28 per vehicle.

Does Virginia require vehicle safety inspection?

How do I order license plates?

How much does it cost to register a car in Virginia from out-of-state?

Virginia Registration Renewal Fee

License Plate Replacement Fees

Virginia Temporary License Plates

How To Check If a Car Has Back Fees?

Which forms do I need to submit when transferring an out-of-state title?

How much is a title transfer late fee?

What are some important facts about Virginia vehicle registration?

What are some important facts about Virginia vehicle titles?

How do I know that my registration is expiring?

What are the minimum insurance requirements in Virginia?

Can I register my car online?

What is the uninsured motor vehicle fee?