Tax Exemption for Military Servicemembers & Legal Spouses

(Exemption applies to Personal Property Tax Only)

The Servicemembers’ Civil Relief Act exempts active duty military personnel from personal property tax in any state other than their legal state of residence. Therefore, vehicles titled in an active duty non-resident military person’s name(s) will be exempt as long as the active duty military member is in Virginia pursuant to military orders and furnishes a Leave & Earnings Statement (LES) for the period of situs (physical presence in this locality/state).

To apply for this exemption, active duty members are asked to submit:

  • A completed application(PDF, 199KB)
  • A copy of the active duty military member’s Military ID Card
  • A copy of the servicemember’s LES that corresponds (within three months) to the month and year in which the vehicle was either moved into Arlington County or purchased
  • If applying for tax relief for a leased vehicle, a copy of the lease agreement is also required
  • A copy of the active duty military member’s orders

 Spouses of military servicemembers may be eligible to be tax exempt on personal property registered in their names or titled jointly with their servicemember-spouse based on certain qualifying conditions provided in the federal “Military Spouses Residency Relief Act”.

To apply for exemption, the following documentation is required:

  • A copy of the LES for the active duty spouse as stated above
  • A copy of the non-military spouse’s military ID card (front & back)
  • An (PDF, 129KB)affidavit(PDF, 130KB)  from the non-military spouse attesting that he or she is ONLY stationed in Virginia in compliance with the military spouse’s orders
  • Proof of spouse’s legal state of residence or domicile (acceptable documentation includes a copy of a voter registration card, driver’s license [front & back], or personal property tax bill)

Once approved, the Commissioner of Revenue will annually mail a Vehicle Personal Property Tax Notice indicating that an exemption has been provided. Any changes that might affect the active duty member’s exempt status must be reported at this time by returning the form, or contacting our office at 703-228-3135. In addition, the active duty member and/or qualified spouse may be asked to provide certain documentation annually as continuing proof of exemption.

Note: Under any circumstance, if your vehicle is leased, you do not qualify for personal property tax exemption.

However, beginning with the tax year 2016, each vehicle leased by an active duty military member, his or her spouse, or both, may qualify to receive 100 percent tax relief for the first $20,000 of the vehicle’s assessed value. In order for a leased vehicle to qualify for Personal Property Tax Relief (PPTRA):

  • The lease must be in the name of the active duty servicemember and/or his or her spouse.
  • Neither party applying for the tax relief can be a Virginia resident and must be in Virginia due to military orders.
  • The lease document must require the lessee to pay the leasing company for any tax assessed against the vehicle.