Local Vehicle Registration License Fee - Effective July 1, 2010 (Article 17.2, Fairfax County Code)


Beginning July 1, 2010, Section 4-17.2-1 of the Fairfax County Code imposes a Local Vehicle Registration License Fee. This is pursuant to the authority granted by Article 11, Section 46.2-752 of the Code of Virginia.

Local Vehicle Registration Fee, Section 4-17.2-1

“There is hereby imposed by the Board of Supervisors a Local Vehicle Registration License Fee upon every motor vehicle, including but not limited to automobiles, trucks and motorcycles, regularly garaged, stored, or parked in the County.”

No Decal

Fairfax County used to issue windshield decals associated with local vehicle registration (separate from residential parking districts and the state required safety inspection sticker). This is no longer the case. Though payment of the Local Vehicle Registration License Fee is required, there is no longer any vehicle registration decal to purchase or display. Fairfax County will not issue any traffic violation or parking ticket for failure to display a Local Vehicle Registration decal. There is none to display (again, this is separate from residential parking districts and the state required safety inspection sticker).

Fee Exceptions, Section 4-17.2-2

Vehicle Registration fees do not apply to:

  • Vehicles owned by the United States government, the state, or any political subdivision thereof
  • Vehicles owned and used by diplomats, their families, and employees
  • Vehicles owned by full-time active duty military service members (and qualifying spouse) absent from their state of residence
  • Vehicles used as a daily rental passenger vehicle
  • Vehicles owned by volunteer rescue squads
  • Vehicles owned by volunteer fire departments
  • Vehicles owned or leased by auxiliary police officers
  • Vehicles owned or leased by auxiliary police chaplains
  • Vehicles owned or leased by active members of volunteer fire departments
  • Vehicles owned or leased by active members of volunteer rescue squads

The following applicants are entitled to exemption from the vehicle registration fees on one (and only one) vehicle:

  • Seniors and People with Disabilities receiving Tax Relief under Chapter 4, Article 16.1 of the Fairfax County Code for that vehicle
  • Disabled veterans
  • Honorably-discharged prisoners of war
  • Medal of Honor recipients
  • Members of the Virginia National Guard
  • Owners of antique motor vehicles

Also see below special rules for vehicles moving into Fairfax County from other Virginia localities and special rules for vehicles located in Fairfax County towns. If you are not required to register your vehicle with the Virginia DMV in cases where your vehicle is inoperable and not otherwise driven on public roadways, you may be eligible for a waiver of the Fairfax County registration fee. If you think you are entitled to one of these registration fee exceptions, please contact DTA at dtappd@fairfaxcounty.gov or call DTA at 703-222-8234, or visit DTA’s full service cashier counter at the Fairfax County Government Center.

Proration of Fees, Section 4-17.2-4(2)(c)

“Beginning as of July 1, 2010, vehicles with situs in Fairfax County shall be liable for the Local Vehicle Registration License Fee under Article 17.2 for the full calendar year 2010, and shall be subject to monthly proration beginning in calendar year 2011 on the same basis as specified for local personal property taxes, in Section 4-17.1-5 of the Fairfax County Code. Please note the following exceptions:

  • Move-in’s from other Virginia localities with current decals/fees (see below)
  • Town rules (see below)

In other words, the general rule is if your car has situs in Fairfax County as of July 1, 2010, you will owe the full fee amount and will be billed for such on your 2010 personal property tax bill. If you sold your car prior to July 1, you will not owe a 2010 registration fee on that vehicle (though you will still owe prorated personal property taxes). If you purchase a car or move one into the County between July 1, 2010 and December 15, 2010, you will owe the full fee for 2010 and will be billed for such on your 2010 personal property bill (although see special rules on “move-ins” below). Continuing with this example, if you sell a car between July 1, 2010 and the end of the year, the registration fee will not be prorated. You will still be charged the full amount for 2010.

In accordance with the law, beginning in 2011, DTA will prorate the fee amount to correspond to the number of months liable. So, for example, if you sell your car on April 30, 2011, your 2011 fee will be prorated to only reflect 4 months of liability. If you purchase a car on December 1, 2011, your fee will only reflect one month of fee liability. Please note, 2010 represents a transition year and there is no proration of fees for 2010. Fee proration does not begin until 2011.

Move-In’s from other Virginia Localities With Current Decals/Fees

There is an exception to the general rule above, found in Virginia Code, Section 46.2-752(H). State code mandates that “no person who has purchased a local vehicle license, decal, or sticker for a vehicle in one county, city, or town and then moves to and garages his vehicle in another county, city, or town shall be required to purchase another local license, decal, or sticker from the county, city, or town to which he has moved and wherein his vehicle is now garaged until the expiration date of the local license, decal, or sticker issued by the county, city, or town from which he moved.”

With proof of payment or purchase of the former locality’s fee, DTA can waive or refund the Fairfax County registration fee that may have been charged in the same year. If you have any questions, or to provide proof of payment or purchase, please contact DTA at dtappd@fairfaxcounty.gov or call DTA at 703-222-8234. This can also be handled at DTA’s full service cashier counters at the Fairfax County Government Center.

Town Rules, Section 4-17.2-4(2)(a) and (b)

“Vehicles properly registered with a situs location within the towns of Clifton, Herndon or Vienna, shall purchase a motor vehicle decal or pay a local vehicle registration license fee to such town, if any, in lieu of paying the Fairfax County Local Vehicle Registration License Fee under this Article. If in any year the applicable town does not impose and collect such fee, vehicles properly registered within such town shall then be liable for the Fairfax County Local Vehicle Registration License Fee for that year.”

(a) Moving from the County to a Town During the Same Year: “a vehicle with a non-town Fairfax County situs location shall be liable for the Local Vehicle Registration License Fee under this Article in any given year, even if the vehicle subsequently moves to a town situs location during that year. No refund or proration shall be provided upon moving into the town, although a proration in accordance with subsection c (see above) shall be allowed if the vehicle subsequently loses situs within Fairfax County during the same calendar year.

Example— A vehicle moves from Reston to the Town of Herndon in April, 2011. The vehicle is liable for a 12 month fee for 2011 to Fairfax County. The fee will not be prorated out to reflect the move into the town. Fairfax County would stop charging its fee beginning in 2012 under this scenario. However, if the vehicle is subsequently sold or moves out of Fairfax County later during tax year 2011 (for instance, from the Town of Herndon which is in Fairfax County to Maryland), the Fairfax County fee for 2011 can then be prorated. Simply moving into the town of Clifton, Herndon or Vienna during the year will not result in a prorated fee. The full amount of the Local Vehicle Registration License Fee will be due to Fairfax County for that year.

(b) Moving from a Town to the County During the Same Year: This is just the opposite of the scenario in (a) above. “A vehicle properly registered with a situs location within the town of Clifton, Herndon, or Vienna shall not be liable for the Fairfax County Local Vehicle Registration License Fee under this Article in any given year, even if the vehicle subsequently moves to a non-town Fairfax County situs location during that year, as long as a comparable license fee has been paid to such town for that tax year.”

Example— A vehicle moves from the Town of Vienna to Chantilly in June, 2011. The vehicle will not be liable for the 2011 Fairfax County fee. A prorated Fairfax County fee will not be charged during the year of move-in from the town. The town’s fee will be paid in full to the applicable town. Fairfax County will not begin to charge its fee until the next tax year in such cases.

Fee Amounts, Section 4-17.2-3

The amount of Vehicle Registration fees are as follows:

  • $18 for motorcycles.
  • $23 for any taxi or other vehicle that is kept for rent or hire operated by a chauffeur for the transportation of passengers. An additional fee of $5 is charged if the weight of the vehicle is more than 4,000 pounds.
  • $23 for a bus used exclusively for transportation to and from church school, for the purpose of religious instruction, or church, for the purpose of divine worship. If the empty weight of the vehicle exceeds 4,000 pounds, the fee is $28.
  • $33 for all other vehicles with a weight of 4,000 pounds or less.
  • $38 for all other vehicles with a weight of more than 4,000 pounds.

Payment of Fees, Section 4-17.2-4(1)

“The Local Vehicle Registration License Fee shall be annually assessed on applicable vehicles at the time such vehicles are registered with the County, or the registration is renewed pursuant to Article 17.1 of the Fairfax County Code. Any such annual fee shall be billed and payment collected at the same time and subject to the same payment deadlines as for personal property taxes set out in Article 17.1 of the Fairfax County Code (see payment deadlines).

If you have questions in this regard, please feel free to contact DTA at dtappd@fairfaxcounty.gov or call DTA at 703-222-8234. Town Halls should be contacted concerning the town rules for their specific decals or registration fees.

 


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