Registering a Vehicle

To register a vehicle and obtain license plates, you must have liability insurance or pay the $500 uninsured motor vehicle fee. Insure your vehicle with a company authorized to do business in Virginia. At a minimum, your insurance policy must provide the following liability insurance coverage:

  • $25,000 for injury or death of one person;
  • $50,000 for injury or death of two or more people; and
  • $20,000 for property damage.

Insurance companies may factor in their policy premium the driving records of any individual of driving age that resides within an insured’s household. If you have any questions regarding the potential impact a newly licensed driver may have on your policy, you may wish to contact your insurance agent.

In some cases, liability insurance requirements may be higher. Refer to for more information about DMV’s Insurance Verification Program and Financial Responsibility Certifications.

Paying the uninsured motorist fee does not provide insurance coverage, but it allows you to register and operate the vehicle in Virginia for a one-year period.

Insure your Virginia-registered vehicle during the entire registration period even if it is not driven or is inoperable. Before you cancel your insurance, return the license plates to DMV and cancel the registration.

If you are caught driving without insurance and you did not pay the uninsured motorist fee, DMV will suspend your driving privilege until you:

  • pay a $500 fee, and
  • have your insurance company file a certificate that you have a policy with the required coverage limits. You will have to file this certificate of insurance for three years from the date you regain your driving privileges.
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