The Basics

Of course, you cannot be a driver if you can’t safely operate a vehicle on the road! It’s vital to understand how to make your vehicle ready to legally move on the highways in the Commonwealth of Virginia.  It is also important to understand the highway system, its history, and both how and why it works to get you where you want to go.

Making Your Vehicle Legal to Drive

In order to prepare your vehicle for legal use on Virginia’s roadways, you must be certain that it is registered, titled, and insured.

Title is a legal document that establishes ownership of the vehicle. It is likely that your parents share legal title to the vehicle you drive, particularly if you are underage. Therefore, their name will be on the legal title of the vehicle as an owner, whereas your name would not be listed.

Most people cannot afford to purchase a vehicle on their own with cash so they do so on credit, using the services of a bank, credit union, or finance company associated with an automobile dealership. People who chose to finance the vehicle rather than pay full price immediately in cash will have their name listed on title along with a finance company or bank who loaned the money to purchase the vehicle. They will have a separate financial arrangement with the bank or finance company to pay them back the money loaned to them, with interest, under a schedule worked out and usually over a period of three to six years, sometimes expressed in months (ex: 36 to 60 months term).

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