The Virginia DMV is a valuable resource if you want to take care of anything related to driving or traffic services, such as registration, renewals, and driving records. Though many of its services can be accessed online, you’ll have to go in person to a local office branch to handle tasks like applying for a new driver’s license or titling a recently purchased vehicle. The Virgnia DMV offers a cornucopia of services that may seem overwhelming at first, but can be much more approachable upon proper research.

Find the Closest Virginia DMV Office

The first step to dealing with the DMV is knowing where to go. There are full-service and partial-service stations set up around the state, and they all share the same database of Virginia drivers. This means that you can conveniently process your records and submit paperwork at all DMV locations in Virginia. The online Virginia DMV branch locator will tell you where each of their many offices are located, and you can search by zip code to identify the most conveniently located one for you. You will also find all the relevant contact information for getting in touch with individual branches around Virginia.

Booking an Appointment with the Virginia DMV

Unfortunately, the Virginia DMV offers appointments only for motorcycle license tests, commercial license tests, and inspections of salvage vehicles. All other services must be accomplished by showing up to your local service center and waiting your turn in line. That may sound a little daunting, but you can decrease your chances of spending an entire day at the DMV by visiting during non-peak hours, such as the middle of the week. You can even avoid going to the DMV altogether in some cases by taking advantage of their various online services

The Paperwork of the Virginia DMV

The Virginia DMV’s online document library is where you will find all of the forms they use to process services and requests. You can download all the necessary applications and other documents you will need long before you even show up to the DMV in person. This will save you time and ensure you have all the information you need before making the trip. Some forms like the Virginia bill of sale are useful to have while buying or selling a car, ensuring that you have some proof of transaction during a private sale. 

The Virginia Driver’s Point System

Virginia’s driving point system assigns both positive safe points and negative demerit points to drivers depending on the behavior they display on the road. A safe driving point is assigned for every full calendar year that you drive without committing a moving violation, for a maximum of five safe points. You can also earn safe points by voluntarily attending a state-approved driver education program. Safe points are used to offset demerit points, which are accrued by committing moving violations in a vehicle. Each traffic violation is worth between three and six points depending on its severity. Safe points may provide a small cushion against demerit points, but you may still have your license suspended if you get too many strikes against you in a short period of time.

Getting a Copy of Your Virginia Driving Record

Viewing your official Virginia driving record is as easy as entering your birth date and Social Security number into the Virginia Record Request online service. You can determine your present status as a driver and see how many points you already have counting against you. You driving record also serves as proof of being a responsible driver, which is useful in some employment situations, and for when insurance providers need to determine how much of a liability you are to insure. A clean driving record means keeping your license, looking favorable to some employers, and a lower liability coverage cost.