Changing name on car registration in Virginia is a process that you can complete at the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). A name change on car registration should be completed whenever you legally change your name in Virginia. To change name on car registration, you will need to submit the proper documentation showing your reason for completing a name change. After a name change car registration documentation should show your current legal name. Learn how to change name on car registration in Virginia and what documentation you need to support a name change on a car registration.
Reasons to Change Name on Registration in Virginia
A car registration name change in Virginia should be performed whenever your name legally changes. Changing your name on car registration is usually done after a marriage or divorce. If you petition a court for a legal name change for any other reason, then your car registration should be updated to reflect the change as well. Car registration name changes should be completed any time you take the steps to update your name on your drivers license. Since you should always carry your car registration card in your vehicle while driving, you will want your name to match on both your registration card and your driving credentials. Completing a name change on car registration in Virginia will ensure that your documentation is consistent. This is especially important if you are stopped by law enforcement and asked to show your license and registration card.
When to Complete a Name Change on Virginia Car Registration
A name change on car registration in Virginia should be completed shortly after your name legally changes. While you want to get a name change on registration submitted to the DMV quickly, there are a few steps you must take before changing your name on registration documents. First, you will need to visit a Social Security Administration (SSA) office and apply for a name change. Alternatively, you may mail a name change application and the appropriate documentation to the SSA. Note that changing your name on Virginia car registration, on your Social Security card and at other locations will require that you have a certified copy of your name change document. Because you will not receive your documents back from every location that you submit them to, it is wise to obtain more than one certified copy.
Another step to take before changing name on car registration in Virginia is to update your name on your driver license. A name change on car registration should be performed after a drivers license name change because you will usually need to show your driving credentials when updating your other records at the DMV. The DMV may not be able to verify your VA car registration name change if the name on your driver’s license has not been updated to match your new legal name yet.
Methods for Changing Your Name on Car Registration in Virginia
Since car registration name changes in Virginia involve a change in your identity, it is required that you visit the DMV in person to complete the transaction. You cannot complete a Virginia name change on car registration through the mail, by telephone or online because it would not be possible for the DMV to verify your new name. However, you may begin the car registration name change process online by starting an application. Even if you start an application online, you will still need to visit the DMV in person to present your name change documentation and finish the transaction. You cannot submit a complete name change application online.
Documents Needed When Changing Name on Car Registration in Virginia
Completing a name change on car registration in Virginia is only possible if you present legal documentation verifying your new name. Regardless of your reason for a car registration name change in Virginia, you will want to make sure that your documents are certified or otherwise official documents. The DMV will not accept photocopies or documents that appear to have been altered. A name change on a car registration will be delayed if the DMV denies your name change documentation. If your documents are not accepted, then you will need to obtain additional documentation to support your name change.
When checking your Virginia vehicle registration name change documents, the DMV will need to be able to connect your old name to your new name. A few of the most common documents used for a name change on car registration in Virginia include the following:
- A marriage certificate issued in Virginia or elsewhere
- A decree of divorce that shows evidence you are switching back to your maiden name
- Original court documents granting you an official name change
While car registration name changes in Virginia can be completed with a marriage certificate, note that civil union paperwork will not be accepted unless you have actually legally changed your name after a civil union. Changing car registration name information requires that you present your driving license, learners permit or other photo ID. Usually, changing your name on your car registration does not require that you present documentation showing your legal presence or residential address. However, if you are completing an address change and a name change, then you may bring this documentation as well.
How do I change my name on my car registration in Virginia?
You may begin the Virginia car registration name change process once you have changed your name at the Social Security Administration, changed your name on your drivers license and gathered your legal name change documents. To change name on registration, start by filing out the Driver’s License and Identification Card Application, which is used for updating driver records. The application can be printed from the DMV website or picked up in person at an office. Alternatively, you may visit the DMV website to begin a name change application online. If you start the car registration name change process online, then you will simply print out a confirmation email once your information has been entered. At the DMV, present your completed application or confirmation email along with your name change documentation. When your Virginia name change on car registration is complete, you may request a new registration card by paying a small fee.