Motor Vehicles

  • 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 Guide. 

  • 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 Vehicles.

  • 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 car tax.

  • 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.


Contact Fairfax County: Phone, Email or Twitter | Main Address: 12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax, VA 22035
Technical Questions: Web Administrator

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