Compliance Division & Enforcement Program

The Compliance Division in the Commissioner of Revenue’s Office:

  • Ensures the proper assessment of all property located within the County
  • Ensures fair and equitable taxes assessments, in accordance with state laws
  • Includes the Personal Property Enforcement Program, the Personal Property $100 Out-of-State License Plate Program and the State Income Tax Program

Personal Property Enforcement Program (PPEP)

  • The Personal Property Enforcement Program researches and investigates the status and tax liability of all County personal property and ensures that the Commissioner of Revenue properly registers and taxes all County personal property. In 2018, the Commissioner of Revenue implemented a new automatic license plate reader (“ALPR”) system to aid its compliance staff in ensuring that all vehicles regularly garaged in the county are in compliance with the registration, licensure and personal property taxation provisions of Virginia law and the Arlington County Code.  This system replaces one in which compliance staff gathered the same information manually, using paper lists and logs of vehicles.
  • All vehicles are subject to personal property tax, in accordance with Arlington County Ordinance § 14.2-69, and as of July 1, 2019, vehicles no longer are required to display a County decal on their windshield.
  • You can anonymously report a vehicle tax evader to the Commissioner of Revenue’s Office.

Personal Property $100 Out-of-State License Plate Fee Program

The Personal Property $100 Out-of-State License Plate Tax Program imposes a $100 annual license fee on the owners of motor vehicles that don’t display current Virginia license plates and aren’t exempt from doing so. (Note: This license fee doesn’t apply to vehicles owned by active-duty military personnel; out-of-state full-time students attending college in Virginia, except as noted below; vehicles registered with the U.S. State Department; taxicabs; and vehicles for hire.)

  • State law requires that all vehicles must be registered in Virginia within 30 days of moving to Virginia.
  • If you work in Virginia more than 60 days annually (even if you consider your domicile to be elsewhere), you must register your vehicle in Virginia. You also must register with Virginia if you reside in the Commonwealth for more than six months, even if you consider your permanent home to be elsewhere.
  • Full-time students may be exempt from the license fee if they attend school in Virginia. However, students lose this exemption if they work more than 60 days annually (except in limited circumstances related to degree requirements or financial aid programs).
  • There is no residency exemption for students who attend college in Washington, D.C., but live in Virginia.
  • A vehicle owned by a student’s parent will be subject to the license fee if the student operates the vehicle in Virginia for more than six months of the year.

To avoid the annual $100 assessment:

  • Register your car with the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
  • Inform the Commissioner of Revenue that you have obtained and affixed a current Virginia license plate on your vehicle or provide the necessary information and documentation to show your vehicle registration exemption with the DMV

For more program information, read Arlington County Ordinance § 27-11.2 and the $100 License Plate Fee FAQs.

State Income Tax Program

The State Income Tax Program assists Arlington residents with preparing and filing their state income tax returns, estimated tax payments and other issues involving the Virginia Department of Taxation. For more information, go to State Income Taxes.