Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 46.2. Motor Vehicles
Chapter 6. Titling and Registration of Motor Vehicles
11/30/2021

Article 1. Titling and Registration, Generally.

§ 46.2-600. Owner to secure registration and certificate of title or certificate of ownership.

Except as otherwise provided, for the purposes of this chapter, a moped shall be deemed a motor vehicle.

Except as otherwise provided in this chapter every person who owns a motor vehicle, trailer or semitrailer, or his authorized attorney-in-fact, shall, before it is operated on any highway in the Commonwealth, register with the Department and obtain from the Department the registration card and certificate of title for the vehicle. Individuals applying for registration shall provide the Department with the residence address of the owner of the vehicle being registered. A business applying for registration shall provide the Department with the street address of the owner or lessee of the vehicle being registered.

At the option of the applicant for registration, the address shown on the title and registration card may be either a post office box or the business or residence address of the applicant.

Unless he has previously applied for registration and a certificate of title or he is exempted under §§ 46.2-619, 46.2-626.1, 46.2-631, and 46.2-1206, every person residing in the Commonwealth who owns a motor vehicle, trailer, or semitrailer, or his duly authorized attorney-in-fact, shall, within 30 days of the purchase or transfer, apply to the Department for a certificate of ownership.

Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to require titling or registration in the Commonwealth of any farm tractor or special construction and forestry equipment, as defined in § 46.2-100.

Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of this section, provided such vehicle is registered and titled elsewhere in the United States, nothing in this chapter shall be construed to require titling or registration in the Commonwealth of any vehicle located in the Commonwealth if that vehicle is registered to a non-Virginia resident active duty military service member, activated reserve or national guard member, mobilized reserve or national guard member living in the Commonwealth, or person who is serving a full-time church service or proselyting mission of not more than 36 months and who is not gainfully employed.

Code 1950, § 46-42; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-41; 1972, c. 301; 1978, c. 402; 1980, c. 469; 1986, c. 228; 1988, c. 363; 1989, c. 727; 2003, c. 297; 2007, c. 934; 2010, c. 135; 2013, cc. 244, 367, 783; 2016, c. 428.

§ 46.2-600.1. (Effective until January 1, 2022) Indication of special communication needs.

A. As used in this section, "disability that can impair communication" means a condition with symptoms that can impair the ability of a person with such condition to receive, send, process, or comprehend concepts or verbal, nonverbal, or graphic symbol systems, including autism spectrum disorders as defined in § 38.2-3418.17 and hearing loss.

B. The Department shall include on the application for registration of a motor vehicle an option for the vehicle owner to, if applicable, voluntarily indicate that he or a person who will regularly occupy his vehicle has a disability that can impair communication. On any application on which the applicant indicates that a person who will regularly occupy his vehicle has such a disability, the Department may require the applicant to certify that he has the consent of the regular occupant of the vehicle to release information pursuant to subsection D.

C. Any vehicle owner with a driver's license indicator authorized pursuant to subsection K of § 46.2-342 or special identification card indicator authorized pursuant to subsection L of § 46.2-345 or whose vehicle is regularly occupied by an individual with such an indicator shall be eligible for the registration indicator. Vehicle owners with a driver's license indicator or special identification card indicator and vehicle owners whose vehicle is regularly occupied by an individual with a driver's license indicator or special identification card indicator may apply to the Department for a registration indicator in a manner prescribed by the Commissioner.

D. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection A of § 46.2-208, the Department shall provide information regarding vehicle registrants who have indicated, pursuant to subsection B or C, that they or individuals who will regularly occupy their vehicles have a disability that can impair communication with employees and agents of criminal justice agencies as defined in § 9.1-101. The Department shall confirm the presence or absence of a registration indicator indicating that the registrant or a person regularly occupying the vehicle of a registrant has a disability that can impair communication, but it shall not provide information about the type of health condition or disability that the registrant or a person regularly occupying the vehicle of a registrant has.

E. Any vehicle owner who has a registration indicator indicating that the registrant or a person regularly occupying the vehicle of a registrant has a disability that can impair communication may have such indicator removed by requesting such removal, in writing, to the Department.

2020, c. 786; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, cc. 358, 359, 421.

§ 46.2-600.1. (Effective January 1, 2022) Indication of special communication needs.

A. As used in this section, "disability that can impair communication" means a condition with symptoms that can impair the ability of a person with such condition to receive, send, process, or comprehend concepts or verbal, nonverbal, or graphic symbol systems, including autism spectrum disorders as defined in § 38.2-3418.17 and hearing loss.

B. The Department shall include on the application for registration of a motor vehicle an option for the vehicle owner to, if applicable, voluntarily indicate that he or a person who will regularly occupy his vehicle has a disability that can impair communication. On any application on which the applicant indicates that a person who will regularly occupy his vehicle has such a disability, the Department may require the applicant to certify that he has the consent of the regular occupant of the vehicle to release information pursuant to subsection D.

C. Any vehicle owner with a driver's license indicator authorized pursuant to subsection K of § 46.2-342; special identification card indicator authorized pursuant to subsection L of § 46.2-345 or subsection H of § 46.2-345.2; or identification privilege card indicator authorized pursuant to subsection I of § 46.2-345.3 or whose vehicle is regularly occupied by an individual with such an indicator shall be eligible for the registration indicator. A vehicle owner with such an indicator on his credential and a vehicle owner whose vehicle is regularly occupied by an individual with a driver's license indicator or special identification card indicator may apply to the Department for a registration indicator in a manner prescribed by the Commissioner.

D. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection A of § 46.2-208, the Department shall provide information regarding vehicle registrants who have indicated, pursuant to subsection B or C, that they or individuals who will regularly occupy their vehicles have a disability that can impair communication with employees and agents of criminal justice agencies as defined in § 9.1-101. The Department shall confirm the presence or absence of a registration indicator indicating that the registrant or a person regularly occupying the vehicle of a registrant has a disability that can impair communication, but it shall not provide information about the type of health condition or disability that the registrant or a person regularly occupying the vehicle of a registrant has.

E. Any vehicle owner who has a registration indicator indicating that the registrant or a person regularly occupying the vehicle of a registrant has a disability that can impair communication may have such indicator removed by requesting such removal, in writing, to the Department.

2020, c. 786; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, cc. 358, 359, 421, 544.

§ 46.2-601. Appointment of Commissioner agent for service of process.

Each nonresident owner of a motor vehicle, trailer, or semitrailer applying for the registration thereof in the Commonwealth shall file with the application a duly executed instrument, constituting the Commissioner and his successors in office his attorney on whom all lawful process against and notice to the owner may be served in any action or legal proceeding brought as the result of the operation or use of any motor vehicle, trailer, or semitrailer registered by or for him, in the Commonwealth; and therein shall agree that any process against or notice to the owner shall have the same effect as if served on the owner within the Commonwealth. The service of the process or notice shall be made by leaving a copy of it in the office of the Commissioner with a service fee of three dollars to be taxed as a part of the costs of the suit. The Commissioner shall forthwith notify the owner of the service by letter.

Code 1950, § 46-125; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-139; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-602. Titling and registration of foreign market vehicles.

A. The Department shall not issue a permanent certificate of title or registration for a foreign market vehicle until the applicant submits proof that the vehicle complies with federal safety requirements.

B. The Department shall accept as proof that a foreign market vehicle complies with federal safety requirements documents from either the United States Department of Transportation or the United States Customs Service stating that the vehicle conforms or has been brought into conformity with federal safety requirements.

C. The certificate of title of any foreign market vehicle titled under this section shall contain an appropriate notation that the owner has submitted proof that it complies with federal safety requirements.

D. Any foreign market vehicle previously titled in the Commonwealth shall be titled and registered without further proof of compliance with federal safety requirements. If, however, proof of compliance is not submitted to the Department, the certificate of title shall contain an appropriate notation that the owner of the foreign market vehicle has not submitted proof that the vehicle complies with federal safety requirements.

E. No foreign market vehicle manufactured 25 or more years ago shall be subject to this section.

F. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection A, the Department shall issue a nonnegotiable title for a foreign market vehicle on submission of a complete application for a title including all necessary documents of ownership. A negotiable title will be issued on proof of compliance as provided in subsection A or for foreign market vehicles manufactured 25 or more years ago. The Department shall show on the face of any title issued under this section any negotiable security interests in the motor vehicle as provided in §§ 46.2-636 through 46.2-643.

G. The Department shall not transfer the title to a foreign market vehicle if ownership of the vehicle is evidenced by a nonnegotiable title, unless the nonnegotiable title owner is deceased. If the nonnegotiable title owner is deceased, a new, nonnegotiable title may be issued to the legatee or distributee in accordance with §§ 46.2-633 and 46.2-634.

H. A nonnegotiable title may be issued for the purpose of recording a lien. A negotiable certificate of title shall be issued on proof of compliance with all regulations prescribed in this section.

I. Notwithstanding other provisions of this section, the Department shall issue, on application, a temporary, nonrenewable 180-day registration to a foreign market vehicle upon:

1. Proof that the vehicle has been brought into compliance with all federal safety requirements and that the applicant is merely waiting for documentary releases from the Federal Department of Transportation;

2. Proof of satisfactory passage of a Virginia safety inspection; and

3. Submission of a complete application for a title, including all necessary documents of ownership.

J. The Department shall withhold delivery of the certificate of title during the 180-day period of conditional registration and shall not issue the permanent title until the requirements of subsection A of this section have been met.

K. Upon application, the Department shall issue a temporary one-trip permit for the purpose of transporting a foreign market vehicle from the port of entry to the applicant's home or to a conversion facility. The one-trip permit shall be issued in accordance with § 46.2-651.

1986, c. 613, § 46.1-41.2; 1989, c. 727; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 137.

§ 46.2-602.1. Titling and registration of replica vehicles.

Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, the model year of vehicles constructed or assembled by multiple manufacturers or assemblers shall be the model year of which the vehicle is a replica. No vehicle titled under this section shall be driven more than 5,000 miles per year as shown by the vehicle's odometer. No vehicle titled under this section shall be automatically eligible for antique motor vehicle license plates provided for in § 46.2-730.

Any vehicle registered under this section shall be subject to vehicle safety inspections as provided for in Article 21 (§ 46.2-1157 et seq.) of Chapter 10 and emissions inspections as provided for in Article 22 (§ 46.2-1176 et seq.) of Chapter 10. Such vehicles shall meet such safety and emission requirements as established for the model year of which the vehicle is a replica.

The Department shall assign each such vehicle a new vehicle identification number, line-make, and model year, if required.

2007, cc. 325, 393.

§ 46.2-602.2. Titling and registration of company vehicles of automotive manufacturers.

For the purpose of this section:

"Automotive manufacturer" means the entire worldwide affiliated group as defined in § 58.1-3700.1, as of July 31, 2007, if at least one member of the worldwide affiliated group is an automotive manufacturer, as classified under the 2007 North American Industry Classification System Codes 3361, 3362, and 3363 in effect as of December 31, 2007.

"Company vehicles" means the following vehicles owned or operated by an automotive manufacturer having its headquarters in Virginia:

1. Vehicles used for sales or service training, advertising, public relations, quality control, and emissions or other testing and/or evaluation purposes;

2. Vehicles used for headquarters-related purposes, including but not necessarily limited to use by visiting executives or employees;

3. Vehicles provided for use by eligible headquarters employees or their eligible family members in compliance with established corporate policies as may from time to time be in effect, but not more than four vehicles may be leased for the benefit of any eligible headquarters employee at any one time; and

4. All other vehicles deemed by the automotive manufacturer to serve a headquarters function, but excluding any vehicles provided for use by eligible headquarters employees or their eligible family members in compliance with established corporate policies.

"Family members" means the spouse of an employee, and the children and parents of an employee or an employee's spouse.

"Headquarters" means a facility at which company employees are physically employed and at which the majority of the company's financial, personnel, legal, or planning functions are handled either on a regional or national basis.

Each automotive manufacturer having its headquarters in the Commonwealth shall be issued a motor vehicle dealer license or equivalent permit by the Commissioner. Such license or permit shall authorize the automotive manufacturer to dispose of company vehicles using a manufacturer's certificate of origin, but if disposed of within the Commonwealth of Virginia, such vehicles may only be transferred to a new motor vehicle dealer holding a franchise for the automotive manufacturer's line-make, provided each vehicle is transferred with a designation indicating that it is not a new motor vehicle as defined in § 46.2-1500. The automotive manufacturer and its affiliates may sell used motor vehicles directly to its lessees.

An automotive manufacturer having its headquarters in the Commonwealth may obtain a title for any company vehicle, but issuance of any such title shall be exempt from all fees except for the fee for issuance of a certificate of title as provided in § 46.2-627.

All company vehicles used as provided in this section may be driven using license plates issued and affixed as provided in Article 5 (§ 46.2-1545.1 et seq.) of Chapter 15. All such vehicles shall be classified as merchants' capital and subject to merchants' capital tax pursuant to Article 3 (§ 58.1-3509 et seq.) of Chapter 35 of Title 58.1.

2008, cc. 304, 753; 2015, c. 615.

§ 46.2-602.3. Titling and registration of converted electric vehicles.

A. Upon receipt of an application and such evidence of ownership as required by the Commissioner pursuant to § 46.2-625, the Department shall issue a certificate of title for a converted electric vehicle. The first certificate of title issued for a converted electric vehicle shall be an original certificate of title, regardless of the submission of a Virginia certificate of title issued for the vehicle prior to conversion.

B. 1. No converted electric vehicle shall be registered or operated on the highways of the Commonwealth until the owner submits to the Department a certification by a certified Virginia safety inspector that the conversion to electric propulsion is complete and proof that the vehicle has passed a Virginia safety inspection subsequent to the certification. Such certification shall be on a form approved by the Commissioner and the Superintendent and shall state that the inspector has verified that (i) the internal combustion engine has been removed; (ii) the fuel tank has been removed and not replaced; (iii) a traction battery pack has been installed that is distinct from the vehicle's original auxiliary battery system; and (iv) an electric motor has been installed to drive the wheels of the vehicle. The safety inspector may charge a fee not to exceed $40 to complete a certification pursuant to this subsection, but no such charge shall be mandatory. Any fee charged for such certification shall be in addition to any fee imposed pursuant to § 46.2-1167 for the completion of a Virginia safety inspection.

2. The completion of the certification required by this section shall not impose any liability on the safety inspector for the quality of the conversion process; however, nothing in this section shall be construed so as to relieve the safety inspector of any liability that may be imposed pursuant to Article 21 (§ 46.2-1157 et seq.) of Chapter 10 or under any regulation promulgated pursuant to § 46.2-1165, relating to the safety inspection of the converted electric vehicle.

3. The submission of a certification pursuant to this section shall be sufficient documentation to exempt the converted electric vehicle for which it is submitted from the emissions inspection program required by Article 22 (§ 46.2-1176 et seq.) of Chapter 10.

4. When necessary and upon application, the Department shall issue temporary trip permits in accordance with § 46.2-651 for the purpose of transporting the converted electric vehicle to and from an official Virginia safety inspection station.

C. The provisions of this section need only be satisfied once for each converted electric vehicle.

2012, c. 177; 2013, c. 216.

§ 46.2-602.4. Titling and registration of off-road motorcycle converted to on-road use.

A. For the purpose of this section:

"Converter" means a person who, through the act of conversion, alters an off-road motorcycle for on-road use on the highways by the addition, substitution, or removal of motor vehicle equipment, creating a motor vehicle to which Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards for new motorcycles will become applicable at the time of the conversion. A converter shall be considered a manufacturer responsible under 49 U.S.C. § 30112 for compliance of the motorcycle with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards and the certification of compliance required by those standards.

"Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards" means the standards prescribed by 49 C.F.R. Part 571.

"Manufacturer" means a person manufacturing or assembling motor vehicles or motor vehicle equipment.

"Motor vehicle equipment" means (i) any system, part, or component of a motor vehicle as originally manufactured or (ii) any similar part or component manufactured or sold for replacement or improvement of a system, part, or component, or as an accessory or addition to a motor vehicle.

"Off-road motorcycle converted to on-road use" means every off-road motorcycle that has been converted for use on the public highways with the addition of such necessary equipment to meet all applicable Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards for new motorcycles for the year in which it is converted.

B. Each converter shall certify in accordance with the requirements of subsection E that the off-road motorcycle converted to on-road use meets all applicable Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards for new motorcycles for the year in which it is converted. If the converter is unavailable or unknown, the owner shall certify that the converter is unavailable or unknown and that he assumes responsibility for all duties and corresponding liabilities under the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Act. If a converter or owner fails or refuses to provide the required certification, the vehicle shall remain an off-road motorcycle.

C. Each converter, or owner if the converter is unavailable or unknown, shall permanently affix to each vehicle a label containing the following: (i) the name of manufacturer, (ii) the month and year of manufacture, (iii) the gross vehicle weight rating, (iv) the gross axle weight rating, (v) certification that the vehicle conforms to all applicable Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards in effect on the date of manufacture in the year in which it is converted, (vi) the vehicle identification number, and (vii) the motorcycle vehicle classification. Such label shall meet the requirements set forth in 49 C.F.R. § 567.4.

D. Upon receipt of an application and such evidence of ownership as required by the Commissioner pursuant to § 46.2-625, the Department shall issue a certificate of title for an off-road motorcycle converted to on-road use. The first certificate of title issued for an off-road motorcycle converted to on-road use shall be an original certificate of title, regardless of the submission of a Virginia certificate of title issued for the off-road motorcycle prior to conversion.

E. No off-road motorcycle converted to on-road use shall be registered or operated on the highways of the Commonwealth until the owner submits to the Department, upon a form approved and furnished by the Department, (i) certification that the motor vehicle has passed the motor vehicle safety inspection subsequent to the conversion; (ii) certification from the converter, or owner if the converter is unavailable or unknown, that the motor vehicle meets all applicable Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards; and (iii) certification that the motor vehicle has been labeled in accordance with subsection C.

F. When necessary and upon application, the Department shall issue temporary trip permits in accordance with § 46.2-651 for the purpose of transporting the off-road motorcycle converted to on-road use to and from an official motor vehicle safety inspection station.

G. Notwithstanding §§ 46.2-105 and 46.2-605, any certification required by this section found to be knowingly given falsely is punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor.

2015, c. 259.

§ 46.2-603. Issuance of certificate of title and registration card.

A. The Department, on receiving an application for a certificate of title for a motor vehicle, trailer, or semitrailer, shall issue to the owner a certificate of title and a registration card as separate documents.

B. Subject to all applicable federal laws, the Department may refrain from issuing a certificate of title in paper form and, instead, shall create only the electronic record of such title to be retained by the Department in its existing electronic title record system with a notation that no certificate of title has been printed on paper. The owner of a vehicle will be deemed to have obtained and the Department will be deemed to have issued a certificate of title when such title record has been created electronically as provided in this subsection. An owner or lienholder listed on a title record so created may at any time request and the Department shall provide a paper certificate of title for the vehicle. Except as provided in § 46.2-603.1, all transfers of vehicle ownership shall require a paper certificate of title in accordance with, and subject to, all applicable federal laws.

Code 1950, § 46-68; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-68; 1989, c. 727; 2005, c. 305; 2012, c. 650.

§ 46.2-603.1. Electronic titling program.

The Department may establish an electronic titling program for any "new motor vehicle" as that term is defined in § 46.2-1500. Participants in the electronic titling program shall submit electronic applications for original motor vehicle titles in a form and format prescribed by the Department. Participants must provide all documentation or information required by the Department to process the electronic title application, including an electronic manufacturer's certificate of origin and any information required by the Department in accordance with § 46.2-623. The records of a nationally recognized motor vehicle title database shall be searched prior to transfer of vehicle ownership. Participants shall collect from the purchaser of the new motor vehicle any fee charged for the search of the nationally recognized motor vehicle title database. Upon receipt of a completed electronic application, the Department shall refrain from issuing a certificate of title in paper form and, instead, shall create only the electronic record of such title to be retained by the Department in its existing electronic title record system with a notation that no certificate of title has been printed on paper. The owner of a motor vehicle will be deemed to have obtained and the Department will be deemed to have issued a certificate of title when such title record has been created electronically as provided in this section. An owner listed on a title record so created may at any time request and the Department shall provide a paper certificate of title for the vehicle.

2012, c. 650.

§ 46.2-604. Contents of registration card and certificate; vehicle color data; notation of certain disabled owners.

The registration card and the certificate of title shall each contain the date issued, the registration number assigned to the motor vehicle, trailer, or semitrailer, the name and address of the owner, a description of the registered motor vehicle, trailer, or semitrailer, and other statement of facts as may be determined by the Department. Every applicant for registration or renewal of registration shall indicate on his application the color that best describes the predominant color of the vehicle. In so doing, the applicant shall select a color from a list of standard, primary colors, developed by the Commissioner. Such color information shall be maintained in the Department's records and made available to law-enforcement agencies for their official use and may, in the discretion of the Commissioner, be indicated on the registration card and the certificate of title.

Whenever disabled parking license plates are issued under § 46.2-731 to the parent or legal guardian of a person with a disability that limits or impairs his ability to walk or that creates a concern for his safety while walking, the registration card for such vehicle shall so note.

Whenever (i) disabled parking license plates are issued under § 46.2-731 or DV disabled parking license plates are issued under subsection B of § 46.2-739 and (ii) the vehicle for which such license plates are issued is registered in the name of more than one owner, the registration card for such vehicle shall include a notation indicating which owner or owners of the vehicle is a "person with a disability that limits or impairs his ability to walk" as defined in § 46.2-1240. However, no vehicle owned and used by an organization for the transportation of disabled persons shall be subject to the notation requirement imposed by this paragraph.

The registration card shall contain forms for providing notice to the Department of a transfer of the ownership of the motor vehicle, trailer, or semitrailer. Whenever a Virginia-registered motor vehicle is sold or its ownership otherwise transferred, the seller or transferor shall notify the Department of the sale or transfer by completing the appropriate portion of the registration card. Section 46.2-113 shall not apply to failures to provide such notification.

The certificate of title shall contain a statement of the owner's title and of all liens or encumbrances on the motor vehicle, trailer, or semitrailer described in the certificate and whether possession is held by the owner under a lease, contract, or conditional sale or other like agreement. The certificate of title shall also contain forms of assignment of title or interest and warranty of title with space for notation of liens and encumbrances on the motor vehicle, trailer, or semitrailer at the time of a transfer.

Code 1950, § 46-79; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-79; 1988, c. 363; 1989, c. 727; 1990, c. 79; 1998, cc. 285, 302; 2000, c. 667; 2004, c. 692.

§ 46.2-605. Altering or forging certificate of title, salvage/nonrepairable certificate, or registration card; penalty.

Any person who (i) with fraudulent intent alters any certificate of title, salvage/nonrepairable certificate, or registration card issued by the Department or by any other state, (ii) with fraudulent intent, makes a false statement on any application for a certificate of title, salvage/nonrepairable certificate, or registration card issued by the Department or any other state, (iii) forges or counterfeits any certificate of title, salvage/nonrepairable certificate, or registration card purporting to have been issued by the Department under the provisions of this title or by any other state under a similar law or laws or, with fraudulent intent, alters or falsifies, or forges any assignment of title, or salvage/nonrepairable certificate, (iv) holds or uses any certificate, registration card, or assignment, knowing the same to have been altered, forged, or falsified, shall be guilty of a Class 6 felony.

It shall be unlawful for any person to conspire with any other person to violate the provisions of this section.

Code 1950, § 46-12; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-85; 1986, c. 490; 1989, c. 727; 1996, cc. 591, 917.

§ 46.2-606. Notice of change of address.

A. Whenever any person who has applied for or obtained the registration or title to a vehicle moves from the address shown in his application, registration card or certificate of title, he shall notify the Department of his change of address within 30 days.

B. The Department may contract with the United States Postal Service or an authorized agent to use the National Change of Address System for the purpose of obtaining current address information for a person whose name appears in customer records maintained by the Department. If the Department receives information from the National Change of Address System indicating that a person whose name appears in a Department record has submitted a permanent change of address to the Postal Service, the Department may then update its records with the mailing address obtained from the National Change of Address System.

C. Anyone failing to comply with this section may be charged a fee of $5, to be used to cover the Department's expenses. Notwithstanding the foregoing provision of this subsection, no fee shall be imposed on any person whose address is obtained from the National Change of Address System.

1974, c. 347, § 46.1-52.1; 1989, c. 727; 1996, cc. 943, 994; 2010, cc. 25, 55.

§ 46.2-607. Duplicates for lost or mutilated indicia of titling and registration.

If any license plate, decal, registration card, or certificate of title is lost, mutilated, or has become illegible, the person who is entitled to the certificate shall immediately apply for and obtain a replacement after furnishing information of the fact satisfactory to the Department and after payment of the required fees.

A person who has twice obtained a replacement set of license plates or decals shall not be entitled to obtain another set of license plates or decals during the license period for which the original set of plates was issued unless the Commissioner finds that the replacement license plates or decals have been lost or mutilated without the fault of the person entitled to them.

Code 1950, § 46-53; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-55; 1968, c. 334; 1972, c. 609; 1982, c. 671; 1986, c. 165; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-608. When application for registration or certificate of title rejected.

The Department may reject an application for the registration of a motor vehicle, trailer, or semitrailer or certificate of title when:

1. The applicant for registration is not entitled to it under the provisions of this title or Title 43;

2. The applicant has neglected or refused to furnish the Department with the information required on the appropriate official form or other information required by the Department;

3. The required fees have not been paid;

4. The vehicle is not equipped with equipment required by this title or the vehicle is equipped with equipment prohibited by this title;

5. The applicant, if not a resident of the Commonwealth, has not filed with the Commissioner a power of attorney appointing him the applicant's authorized agent or attorney-in-fact upon whom process or notice may be served as required in § 46.2-601;

6. There is reason to believe that the application or accompanying documents have been altered or contain any false statement;

7. The vehicle is a commercial motor vehicle and is being operated by a motor carrier that has been prohibited to operate by a federal agency;

8. The vehicle is a commercial motor vehicle and the vehicle has been assigned for safety to a motor carrier that has been prohibited from operating by a federal agency or a motor carrier whose business is operated, managed, or otherwise controlled or affiliated with a person who is ineligible for registration, including the owner or a relative, family member, corporate officer, or shareholder; or

9. The vehicle is a commercial motor vehicle and the applicant has applied on behalf of or for the benefit of the real party in interest who has been issued a federal out of service order or if the applicant's business is operated, managed, or otherwise controlled or affiliated with a person who is ineligible for registration, including the applicant or an entity, relative, family member, corporate officer, or shareholder.

For purposes of this section, the terms "commercial motor vehicle" and "motor carrier" shall be as defined in § 52-8.4.

Code 1950, § 46-54; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-56; 1968, c. 605; 1986, c. 490; 1989, c. 727; 2011, c. 61.

§ 46.2-609. When registration may be suspended or revoked.

A. The Department may revoke the registration of a motor vehicle, trailer, or semitrailer and may revoke the registration card, license plates, or decals whenever the person to whom the registration card, license plates, or decals have been issued makes or permits to be made an unlawful use of any of them or permits their use by a person not entitled to them, or fails or refuses to pay, within the time prescribed by law, any fuel taxes or other taxes or fees required to be collected or authorized to be collected by the Department regardless of whether the fee applies to that particular vehicle.

B. The Department may suspend or revoke the registration card, license plates, or decals issued to a commercial motor vehicle if the motor carrier responsible for safety of the vehicle has been prohibited from operating by a federal agency. For purposes of this subsection, the terms "commercial motor vehicle" and "motor carrier" shall be as defined in § 52-8.4.

Code 1950, § 46-57; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-59; 1962, c. 368; 1972, c. 609; 1974, c. 171; 1989, c. 727; 2011, c. 61.

§ 46.2-610. Suspension of registration on theft or embezzlement of vehicle; notices.

Whenever the owner of any motor vehicle, trailer, or semitrailer which is stolen or embezzled notifies the Department directly or through law-enforcement authorities of the theft or embezzlement, the Department shall immediately suspend the registration of that motor vehicle, trailer, or semitrailer until such time as it shall be notified that the owner has recovered his motor vehicle, trailer, or semitrailer. In the event of an embezzlement the owner shall obtain a warrant for the arrest of the person charged with the embezzlement before the Department shall suspend the registration. Any such suspension shall be effective only for the current registration period in which the notice was given. If during that period the motor vehicle, trailer, or semitrailer is not recovered, a new notice may be given with like effect during the ensuing period. Every owner who has given a notice of theft or embezzlement shall immediately notify the Department of the recovery of his motor vehicle, trailer, or semitrailer.

Code 1950, § 46-4; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-60; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-611. Appeal.

From any action by the Department under this title suspending or revoking, rescinding or cancelling the registration of any motor vehicle, trailer, or semitrailer or suspending, revoking, cancelling, or repossessing any registration card, license plates, or decals or denying an application for transfer of title, an appeal shall lie in accordance with the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.).

Code 1950, § 46-60; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-61; 1972, c. 609; 1979, c. 478; 1986, c. 615; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-612. Failure to surrender revoked certificate of title, registration card, license plates or decals; other offenses relating to registration, licensing, and certificates of title; penalties.

A. It shall be unlawful for the owner of any motor vehicle, trailer, or semitrailer, for which license plates, decals, or registration cards have been revoked pursuant to this article, to fail or refuse to surrender to the Department, on demand, a certificate of title if it is incorrect in any material particular. Violation of this subsection shall constitute a Class 2 misdemeanor.

B. No person shall:

1. Display or cause or permit to be displayed any registration card, certificate of title, or license plate or decal that he knows is fictitious or that he knows has been canceled, revoked, suspended, or altered; or display or cause or permit to be displayed on any motor vehicle, trailer, or semitrailer any license plate or decal that he knows is currently issued for another vehicle. Violation of this subdivision shall constitute a Class 2 misdemeanor.

2. Fail or refuse to surrender to the Department or the Department of State Police, on demand, any certificate of title, registration card, or license plate or decal that has been suspended, canceled, or revoked. Violation of this subdivision shall constitute a Class 2 misdemeanor.

3. Use a false name or address in any application for the registration of any motor vehicle, trailer, or semitrailer, for a certificate of title, or for any renewal or duplicate certificate or knowingly make a false statement of a material fact, knowingly conceal a material fact, or otherwise commit a fraud in any registration application. Violation of this subdivision shall constitute a Class 1 misdemeanor.

Code 1950, § 46-61; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-62; 1962, c. 302; 1972, c. 609; 1989, c. 727; 2019, cc. 71, 79.

§ 46.2-613. Infractions relating to registration, licensing, and certificates of title; penalties.

A. No person shall:

1. Operate, park, or permit the operation or parking of a motor vehicle, trailer, or semitrailer owned, leased, or otherwise controlled by him on a highway unless (i) it is registered, (ii) a certificate of title therefor has been issued, and (iii) it has displayed on it the license plate or plates and decal or decals, if any, assigned to it by the Department for the current registration period, subject to the exemptions mentioned in Article 5 (§ 46.2-655 et seq.) and Article 6 (§ 46.2-662 et seq.). The provisions of this subdivision shall apply to the registration, licensing, and titling of mopeds on or after July 1, 2014.

2. Possess or use any registration card, license plate, or decal to which he is not entitled or knowingly permit the use of any registration card, license plate, or decal by anyone not entitled to it.

3. Willfully and intentionally violate the limitations imposed under §§ 46.2-665, 46.2-666, and 46.2-670 while operating an unregistered vehicle pursuant to the agricultural and horticultural exemptions allowed under those sections. A first violation of this subdivision shall constitute a traffic infraction punishable by a fine of not more than $250, and a second or subsequent violation of this subdivision shall constitute a traffic infraction punishable by a fine of $250.

B. For any summons issued for a violation of this section, the court may, in its discretion, dismiss the summons, where proof of compliance with this section is provided to the court on or before the court date.

Code 1950, § 46-63; 1950, p. 251; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-64; 1960, c. 79; 1972, c. 609; 1974, c. 400; 1975, c. 124; 1979, c. 620; 1989, c. 727; 1997, c. 283; 1999, c. 212; 2002, c. 93; 2006, cc. 444, 472; 2013, c. 783; 2017, cc. 204, 670; 2018, c. 425; 2019, cc. 71, 79.

§ 46.2-613.1. Civil penalty for violation of license, registration, and tax requirements and vehicle size limitations.

A. A civil penalty of $250 and a processing fee of $20 shall be levied against any person who while at a permanent weighing station:

1. Operates or permits the operation of a truck or tractor truck with a gross weight greater than 7,500 pounds, a trailer, or a semitrailer owned, leased, or otherwise controlled by him on any highway in the Commonwealth unless (i) it is registered, (ii) a certificate of title therefor has been issued, and (iii) it has displayed on it the license plate or plates and decal or decals required by this title.

2. Operates or causes to be operated on any highway in the Commonwealth any motor vehicle that is not in compliance with the Unified Carrier Registration System authorized under 49 U.S.C. § 14504a, enacted pursuant to the Unified Carrier Registration Act of 2005, and the federal regulations promulgated thereunder.

3. Operates or permits the operation of any truck or tractor truck for which the fee for registration is prescribed by § 46.2-697 on any highway in the Commonwealth (i) without first having paid the registration fee hereinabove prescribed or (ii) if at the time of operation the gross weight of the vehicle or of the combination of vehicles of which it is a part is in excess of the gross weight on the basis of which it is registered. In any case where a pickup truck is used in combination with another vehicle, the civil penalty and processing fee shall be assessed only if the combined gross weight exceeds the combined gross weight on the basis of which each vehicle is registered.

4. (i) Fails to declare a motor vehicle to be operated for hire when required by § 46.2-2121.1 or obtain a proper registration card or other evidence of registration as required by this chapter; (ii) operates or causes to be operated on any highway in the Commonwealth any motor vehicle that does not carry the proper registration and identification required by this title, display an identification marker issued for the vehicle by the Department in the manner prescribed by the Department, or display any other identifying information required by this title; or (iii) operates or causes to be operated on any highway in the Commonwealth any motor vehicle requiring registration cards or identification markers from the Department after such registration cards or identification markers have been revoked, canceled, or suspended.

5. (i) Fails to obtain a proper registration card, identification marker, or other evidence of registration required by Chapter 27 (§ 58.1-2700 et seq.) of Title 58.1 or the terms and provisions of the International Fuel Tax Agreement, as amended by the International Fuel Tax Association, Inc.; (ii) operates or causes to be operated on any highway in the Commonwealth any motor vehicle that does not carry the proper registration and identification marker required by Chapter 27 (§ 58.1-2700 et seq.) of Title 58.1 or the terms and provisions of the International Fuel Tax Agreement, as amended by the International Fuel Tax Association, Inc., or any motor vehicle that does not display an identification marker or other identifying information as prescribed by the Department or required by Title 58.1 or the terms of the International Fuel Tax Agreement, as amended by the International Fuel Tax Association, Inc.; or (iii) operates or causes to be operated on any highway in the Commonwealth any motor vehicle requiring registration cards or identification markers from the Department after such registration cards or identification markers have been revoked, canceled, or suspended.

6. Operates or causes to be operated on any highway in the Commonwealth any truck or tractor truck or combination of vehicles exceeding the size limitations of Articles 14 (§ 46.2-1101 et seq.), 15 (§ 46.2-1105 et seq.), 16 (§ 46.2-1112 et seq.), and 18 (§ 46.2-1139 et seq.) of Chapter 10.

B. Upon collection by the Department, civil penalties levied pursuant to subdivisions A 1 and A 3 through 5 shall be paid into the Commonwealth Transportation Fund, but civil penalties levied pursuant to subdivisions A 2 and 6 and all processing fees levied pursuant to this section shall be paid into the state treasury and shall be set aside as a special fund to meet the expenses of the Department of Motor Vehicles.

C. The penalties and fees specified in this section shall be in addition to any other penalty, fee, tax, or liability that may be imposed by law.

2011, cc. 62, 73; 2012, cc. 22, 111; 2017, cc. 790, 815.

§ 46.2-613.2. Service of process in civil penalty cases for violation of license, registration, and tax requirements and vehicle size limitations.

Any person, whether resident or nonresident, who permits the operation of a motor vehicle in the Commonwealth by his agent or employee shall be deemed to have appointed the operator of such motor vehicle his statutory agent for the purpose of service of process in any proceeding against such person growing out of any violation under § 46.2-613.1. Acceptance by a nonresident of the rights and privileges conferred by Article 5 (§ 46.2-655 et seq.) of Chapter 6 shall have the same effect under this section as operation of such motor vehicle by such nonresident, his agent, or his employee.

2011, cc. 62, 73.

§ 46.2-613.3. Special processing provisions for civil penalties levied for violation of license, registration, and tax requirements and vehicle size limitations.

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, all civil penalties levied pursuant to § 46.2-613.1 shall be processed in the following manner:

1. The size and weight compliance agent charging the violation shall serve a citation on the operator of the vehicle. The citation shall be directed to the owner, operator, or other person responsible for the violation as determined by the size and weight compliance agent. Service of the citation on the vehicle operator shall constitute service of process upon the owner, operator, or other person charged with the violation as provided in § 46.2-613.5.

2. The size and weight compliance agent charging the violation shall cause the citation to be delivered or sent by first-class mail to the Department within 24 hours after it is served.

3. The owner, operator, or other person charged with the violation shall, within 21 days after the citation is served upon the vehicle operator, either make full payment to the Department of the civil penalty and processing fee as stated on the citation or deliver to the Department a written notice of his election to contest the charges in court.

4. Failure of the owner, operator, or other person charged with the violation to timely deliver to the Department either payment in full of the uncontested civil penalty and processing fee or a notice of contest of the violation shall cause the Department to issue an administrative order of assessment against such person. A copy of the order shall be sent by first-class mail to the person charged with the violation. Any such administrative order shall have the same effect as a judgment entered by a general district court.

5. Upon timely receipt of a notice of contest of a violation under § 46.2-613.1, the Department shall:

a. Forward the citation to the general district court named in the citation; and

b. Send by first-class mail to the person charged with the violation and to the size and weight compliance agent who issued the citation confirmation that the citation has been forwarded to the court for trial.

6. Notices and pleadings may be served by first-class mail to the address shown on the citation as the address of the person charged with the weight violation or, if none is shown, to the address of record for the person to whom the vehicle is registered.

7. An alleged violation that is contested shall be tried as a civil case. The attorney for the Commonwealth shall represent the interests of the Commonwealth. The disposition of the case shall be recorded in an appropriate order, a copy of which shall be sent to the Department in lieu of any record that may be otherwise required by § 46.2-383. If judgment is for the Commonwealth, payment shall be made to the Department.

8. Notwithstanding any other provisions of this section, any and all citations and notices required by this section to be provided to the person charged with a violation or received from the person charged with a violation, with the exclusion of the citation as set out in subdivision 1, may be served or provided in an electronic manner if the Department and the person charged with the violation have agreed to utilize electronic notification.

2011, cc. 62, 73.

§ 46.2-613.4. Special seizure provisions for unpaid fees and penalties.

Any size and weight compliance agent authorized to serve process under the provisions of this chapter may hold a vehicle without an attachment summons or court order, but only for such time as is reasonably necessary to promptly petition for an attachment summons to attach the vehicle.

After finding reasonable cause for the issuance of an attachment summons, the judicial officer conducting the hearing shall inform the operator of the vehicle of his option to either pay the previously assessed fees and penalties due the Commonwealth or contest the charge through the attachment proceeding. If the operator chooses to make payment, he shall do so to the judicial officer, who shall transmit the citation along with the fees and penalties to the Department for distribution in accordance with subsection B of § 46.2-613.1.

The Commonwealth shall not be required to post bond in order to attach a vehicle pursuant to this section. The size and weight compliance agent authorized to hold the vehicle pending a hearing on the attachment petition shall also be empowered to execute the attachment summons if issued. Any bond for the retention of the vehicle or for release of the attachment shall be given in accordance with § 8.01-553 except that the bond shall be taken by a judicial officer. The judicial officer shall return the bond to the clerk of the appropriate court in place of the officer serving the attachment as otherwise provided in § 8.01-554.

In the event the fees and penalties are not paid in full, or no bond is given by, or for the person responsible for paying the fees and penalties, the vehicle shall be stored in a secure place, as may be designated by the owner or operator of the vehicle. If no place is designated, the officer or size and weight compliance agent executing the attachment summons shall designate the place of storage. The owner or operator shall be afforded the right of unloading and removing the cargo from the vehicle. The risk and cost of the storage shall be borne by the owner or operator of the vehicle.

Whenever an attachment summons is issued for unpaid fees and penalties the court shall forward to the Department both a copy of the order disposing of the case and the citation prepared by the size and weight compliance agent but not served.

Upon notification of the judgment or administrative order entered for such unpaid fees and penalties and notification of the failure of such person to satisfy the judgment or order, the Department, the Department of State Police, or any law-enforcement officer or size and weight compliance agent shall thereafter deny the offending person the right to operate a motor vehicle or vehicles on any highway of the Commonwealth until the judgment or order has been satisfied and a reinstatement fee of $50 has been paid to the Department. Reinstatement fees collected under the provisions of this section shall be paid by the Commissioner into the state treasury and shall be set aside as a special fund to be used to meet the expenses of the Department.

When informed that the right to operate the motor vehicle has been denied, the driver shall drive the motor vehicle to a nearby location off the public highways and not move it or permit it to be moved until such judgment or order has been satisfied. Failure by the driver to comply with this provision shall constitute a Class 4 misdemeanor.

All costs incurred by the Commonwealth and all judgments, if any, against the Commonwealth due to action taken pursuant to this section shall be paid from the fund into which the civil penalties levied pursuant to § 46.2-613.1 are paid.

Officers of the Department of State Police and all other law-enforcement officers are vested with the same powers with respect to the enforcement of this chapter as they have with respect to the enforcement of the criminal laws of the Commonwealth.

2011, cc. 62, 73; 2012, cc. 22, 111.

§ 46.2-613.5. Procedures for issuing and serving process in civil penalty cases.

Any size and weight compliance agent authorized to enforce the provisions of § 46.2-613.1 may issue a citation for a violation of such provisions. Such size and weight compliance agent may also serve an attachment summons issued by a judge or magistrate in connection with a violation of § 46.2-613.1.

Service of any such citation shall be made upon the driver of the motor vehicle involved in the violation. Such service on the driver shall have the same legal force and validity as if served within the Commonwealth personally upon the owner, operator, or other person charged with the violation, whether such owner, operator, or other person charged is a resident or nonresident.

2011, cc. 62, 73.

§ 46.2-614. Right to recover damages not affected.

Nothing contained in this chapter shall affect the right of any person injured in his person or property by the negligent operation of any motor vehicle, trailer, semitrailer, or locomotive to sue and recover damages.

Code 1950, § 46-67; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-67; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-615. Registration effective after death of owner.

Upon the death of an owner of a registered motor vehicle, trailer, or semitrailer, its registration shall continue in force as a valid registration until (i) the end of the registration period for which the license plates or decals are issued or (ii) the ownership of the motor vehicle, trailer, or semitrailer is transferred before the end of the registration period by the executor or administrator of the estate of the deceased owner or by a legatee or distributee of the estate, as provided in § 46.2-632 or 46.2-633, (iii) its ownership is transferred to a new owner before the end of the registration period by the survivor of its two joint owners, or (iv) its ownership is transferred pursuant to § 46.2-633.2.

Code 1950, § 46-92; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-96; 1968, c. 187; 1972, c. 609; 1989, c. 727; 2013, c. 318.