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Old 07-02-2008, 09:40 AM
 
146 posts, read 358,284 times
Reputation: 62

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Does anyone know how much it costs to register a vehicle in Virginia if you are military and have a home of record in a different state? I know most states exempt a lot of the taxes associated with vehicle registration with personnel in situations such as this. I could either re-register my car in CA for another year, or go through the hassle of registering it by mail from our home of record Vermont, or I'd like to register it where I'm going to live in VA. I've already checked the website. It has some great info about how to qualify to be able to register it, but no prices.

Thanks in advance for any info.

Kevin
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Old 07-02-2008, 11:39 AM
 
3,992 posts, read 6,620,358 times
Reputation: 2470
In Virginia, there are TWO aspects to vehicle registration...the license plates which are issued by the State Dept of Motor Vehicles....and then there is the COUNTY (NOT STATE!!!!) personal property tax (the dreaded "car tax").


The State does have a Sales or Use tax, but any newcomer is exempt from that tax IF they paid it to another State (when they bought the car) OR they have owned the car for over one year. DMV will charge you a $10 title fee (one time fee) and the license plates are about $40 per year for the average car (goes by vehicle weight)....so the plates should cost you about $50 initially, and $40 a year after that.

Then you have the inspections which are done at lots of gas stations/repair places. There are two inspections:

1. Safety inspection: done once a year for $16 (they put a sticker on the windshield which the police enforce.

2. Emission inspection: done every TWO years for $28. (there is nothing attached to the car for emissions, you have to submit proof to DMV in order to buy plates)

If you decide to register in Va, do the inspections first so you can take the emissions report to DMV.


Now for the County car tax...non-resident military personnel are exempt as long as there NO CIVILIAN OWNERS, including spouses, children, etc. I can't emphasize that enough! Civilians are NOT exempt from the County car tax.
Register the car in the military member(s) name ONLY!! They do NOT care that the spouse is "only here because of hubby or wifey's military orders"!

Some localities (but not Fairfax County) issue a tax decal to be displayed on the windshield...it will be free IF you are exempted from the local car tax. Sticker or not, you have to contact your locality to obtain the tax exemption. If you don't, they'll send you a tax bill (they don't know that you're military, just that you recently registered a vehicle in Virginia).

To recap:
There are no STATE exemptions of fees for non-resident military personnel.
The military exemption is from the County Tax Assessor....so long as there are NO civilian owners.

I suspect that Virginia is cheaper than most States to register a car (so long as you qualify for the local tax exemption). I'd say it's about $70 per year, including the inspections for most cars.

To wit: VA DMV operates a pretty busy office inside the Pentagon building.
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Old 07-02-2008, 07:07 PM
 
146 posts, read 358,284 times
Reputation: 62
Wow! Thanks for the great info! That was thorough enough to answer all my questions. I do however, after reading the info, think I will register it here in CA before I leave and then VT after that. I'm not certain I want to even deal with all of the taxes and forms and lines etc. That being said, I was hoping to keep the tags local so I don't get looked at like being a tourist. I guess that's a small price to pay for simplicity of registration.

Thanks again for the info.

Kevin
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Old 07-02-2008, 08:34 PM
 
Location: SF Bay Area
11 posts, read 36,328 times
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How long can you keep an out of state plate without the cops hounding you?

I am due to register my car the same month I will be relocating from California.
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Old 07-02-2008, 10:04 PM
 
3,992 posts, read 6,620,358 times
Reputation: 2470
Quote:
Originally Posted by russian_doll View Post
How long can you keep an out of state plate without the cops hounding you?

I am due to register my car the same month I will be relocating from California.
I know a guy that kept his out-of-state tags for the entire 8 years he lived here. Never got caught.

There's so many military personnel around here who can legally maintain out-of-state tags, that the cops don't get too worked up about it. If they stopped every out-of-state car...there would be no time for anything else.

However if they stop you for something else, they'll probably ask how long you've been around here. You might want to practice your response so you'll be able to keep a straight face if/when that happens!
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Old 07-05-2008, 07:53 PM
 
Location: Virginia
5,328 posts, read 6,901,236 times
Reputation: 1896
Quote:
Originally Posted by car54 View Post
I know a guy that kept his out-of-state tags for the entire 8 years he lived here. Never got caught.

There's so many military personnel around here who can legally maintain out-of-state tags, that the cops don't get too worked up about it. If they stopped every out-of-state car...there would be no time for anything else.

However if they stop you for something else, they'll probably ask how long you've been around here. You might want to practice your response so you'll be able to keep a straight face if/when that happens!
I think you can keep out of state tags, you just need to register the car with the county you are in for property tax purposes.

They may not check, until a neighbor reports you.

My wife and I had an issue once with the county. You are supposed to register if the car is parked in the county for more than 30 days, which we knew. My wife (at the time fiance'), brought with her a car that her parents owned. She received a notice from the police that she needed to register with the county. So, she went to the county building with the car's registration so that she could register it with the county. We went round and round with the lady behind the desk.

County: "This isn't in your name".
Wife: "I know, it is my parents' car, I am driving it. I received a notice that I need to register for a county sticker".
County: "But you can't because it isn't in your name. Your parents need to do it."
Wife: "But they aren't here. They are 7 hours away."
County: "What are you waiting for? Why don't you transfer the registration?"
Wife: "Because it isn't my car. It belongs to them. I can't just take it. I am only using it. They are in PA."
County: "How long has it been in the county?"
Wife: "Months".
County: "Then it needs to have a county sticker."
Wife: "I know that's why I am here."
County: "But it isn't registered in your name."

This went on and is actually kind of funny in a stupid way. They wanted a sticker on it, but the person who was driving it couldn't do it because she didn't own it and the owners didn't live here. Eventually she got so flustered that she just registered it in my wife's name with the county. As long as they got their $, they didn't care in the end.
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