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Federal Employees Returning From Outside the U.S.

Vehicle Inspection

Active military members residing in Virginia and returning from an official absence have 14 calendar days to obtain a current vehicle safety inspection sticker. For more information about Virginia’s inspection requirements, contact the Virginia State Police at or (804) 674-6774.

Vehicle Registration

Any of the following individuals stationed or serving outside of the United States and returning to the Commonwealth are granted a 90-day grace period from the date they return to the United States to renew their vehicle registration:

  • Active duty United States military service members,
  • Members of the diplomatic service of the United States,
  • Civilian employees of the United States government or any agency or contractor thereof,
  • Spouses and Dependents of those listed above.

The vehicle registration may be renewed prior to returning to Virginia.

To receive a 90-day grace period waiver for the $10 late fee, the vehicle must:

  • Be owned or leased by a person or persons, spouses or dependents, serving outside of the United States;
  • Have had a valid registration issued by DMV at the time the owner began service or civilian employment outside of the United States;
  • Be properly insured at the time of renewal;
  • Display the latest license plates and decals issued by DMV;
  • Be operated only by persons who are civilian employees, members of diplomatic service, or active duty military and their spouses and dependents serving outside of the United States who possess the latest registration card issued by DMV for the vehicle and the following documents:

    Active Duty Military Orders or other military documentation demonstrating that the applicant is entitled to the grace period. (military member, spouses and dependents)
    Diplomatic Service
    1. Present either of the documents below:
      • Current diplomatic orders, OR
      • A certification letter written on U.S. government letterhead stating the applicant is serving in a diplomatic capacity, or accompanying a diplomat (spouses and dependents), outside of the United States. This letter must include 1.) the applicant's name, and 2.) a signature by the applicant's supervisor.
    2. Copy of applicant's passport or U.S. passport card indicating diplomatic status OR a copy of their employee ID card.
    Civilian Employee
    1. Present a copy of either:
      • the U.S. Military Civilian Employee or Government Employee Identification Card, OR
      • the U. S. Military or Department of Defense Contractor Identification Card
    2. A copy of the travel orders or a certification letter, on U. S. government letterhead (for civilian employees, spouses, and dependents) or on contractor's letterhead, signed by the commanding officer/supervisor.