How to Renew an Expired Virginia Drivers License

by Tina Amo
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In most cases, you can renew your Virginia's driver's license up to a year before the expiration date. The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles allows customers to do so online, by mail or in person. However, if your license has expired you must renew in person. The process requires verification of your identity and legal presence. After you have been approved for renewal, you will receive a valid license in seven to 10 business days.

Valid Period

A Virginia driver's license is usually valid for eight years and expires on the holder's birthday, but there are some exceptions. For example, if you obtained your license when you were 16, it is valid for only four years, until your 20th birthday. If you are 75 and older it expires in five years.

Possible Repercussions for an Expired License

You can renew your license up to a year after it expires without any penalties. If it has expired for more than a year, you must retake the vision exam, driving knowledge test and driving skills test to renew it. This is similar to applying for a license like a new applicant.

Renewal Process

Visit the DMV and complete an application for a license, checking the option for renewal. You must show proof of your legal presence unless you did so once before on or after January 1, 2004, in which case you're not required to submit proof of legal presence. Acceptable documents include your U.S. birth certificate, U.S. passport, naturalization documents and permanent residence card. Show two forms of identification, such as the primary documents listed and secondary identification like your Social Security card and employer-issued picture ID card. Pay the processing fee of $32 as of 2015, and take a vision test. The department will send your license by mail.

Extending a License

The DMV extends driver's licenses for up to three years for individuals working outside the country, such as military personnel on active duty, members of the diplomatic service and employees or civilian contractors for the U.S. government or an agency representing the U.S. government. This also applies to their spouses and dependents. If you are eligible, visit the DDMV's website to request an extension. The department will send you a packet containing an application and other information you need to obtain an extension. The DMV will issue an extension card that you must carry with your expired license. You have up to 180 days to renew your license when you return.

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