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The efficiency by which a node of a vehicular ad hoc network (VANET) can route messages to destinations heavily depends on the VANET's ability to keep track of the locations of its nodes (vehicles). Current location-management schemes lack scalability and, hence, are proven unable to work in large-scale networks. Therefore, location management in VANETs remains a major challenge. In this paper, we propose a new region-based location-service-management protocol (RLSMP) that uses mobility patterns as means to synthesize node movement and, thus, can be used in large VANET applications. The protocol attempts to relax the scalability issue suffered by other protocols by employing message aggregation in location updating and in querying. Furthermore, due to the protocol's intrinsic locality awareness, it achieves minimum control overhead. To evaluate the efficiency of the protocol, we study its performance analytically and by using simulation for a 2-D random-walk model, as well as on real mobility patterns. The performance of the protocol is compared with that of other prominent location-management protocols.