New residents or those registering a vehicle with Fairfax County
Department of Tax Administration for the first time must file a car tax registration form
within 60 days after purchase or entry into the County. Alternatively,
you may register by phone at 703-222-8234, in person at the Government Center, or
using our online
vehicle registration tool. Registration with the Virginia
Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) does not satisfy the local
registration requirement. A 10% penalty for late filing will be added
to the tax due if the registration is not completed with Fairfax County
within 60 days after purchase or entry into the County.
For vehicle renewals, taxpayers are only required to report changes
such as name, address, vehicle ownership, or vehicle location. These
changes must be reported to the County by May 1 of each year.
The Statutes which govern personal property assessments for automobiles
require that the value be (1) from a recognized pricing guide, (2)
applied uniformly, and (3) as of January 1 of the tax year. To meet
these requirements, Fairfax County, along with most other Virginia
jurisdictions, uses the January edition of the National Automobile
Dealers Association (NADA) Official Used Car Guide. For most vehicles,
the tax is based on the clean trade-in value as listed in the NADA
For new model year vehicles, the assessed value is based on a
percentage of MSRP. NADA Guide values are used for subsequent years.
Discounting from the MSRP provides a uniform assessment for each class
of new model vehicles, and generally provides a reasonable but
conservative depreciation curve when compared to the values in next
year's pricing guide. For more information regarding vehicle
assessments, please refer to our Car Values page.
A vehicle is subject to tax if it is normally garaged or parked in the
County, even if registered in another state. Tax on motor vehicles is
prorated for the portion of the year it is located in the County unless
the vehicle is moved to a non-prorating Virginia locality.
Vehicles not properly displaying Virginia license plates within 30 days
of purchase or residency are subject to Fairfax County's "No Plate" tax in
addition to personal property taxes. Virginia license plates may be
obtained when the vehicle is registered with the Virginia Department of Motor
The current tax rate for personal property
in Fairfax County is $4.57 for each $100 of assessed value.
Certain motor vehicles are exempt from the
If you believe that your vehicle has been over-assessed, you can appeal the assessment. Body
damage, rusting, and mileage are conditional factors for which
adjustments in value are most frequently made.
- Information on State Car Tax Subsidy.