Virginia’s motor vehicle history dates back to 1906 when Virginia
required licensing and registration of the first motor vehicles.
Not long after, in 1910, it was recognized that highways could be
funded using monies paid by motor vehicles, and the processes of
registration and licensure began to carry fees.
For 9 years, laws pertaining to motor vehicles were virtually
nonexistent and were definitely not governed by an organized
entity. In 1919, when the Automobile Acts were passed, drivers
saw the dawn of the titling laws and new powers of enforcement were
granted to the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles.
The Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles was then officially established
in 1923. Prior to this establishment as a separate government
agency, the majority of duties were the responsibility of police
offers. Once established, however, the department of law
enforcement was moved to the new DMV department.
1928 brought license testing requirements and vehicle safety
inspections. This year also brought about a separation of
departments and the Division of Motor Vehicles and Department of State
Police became independently existing entities.