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Not Displaying a Vehicle Property Tax Decal is a Criminal Offense.

Not having a local property tax decal on your windshield can be a criminal offense in Virginia.This is particularly shocking considering that conviction would result in a criminal conviction being placed on a driver’s permanent criminal record. With the number of driver in the area who depend on their security clearance this is a major burden for such a minor crime.

§ 46.2-752(G) gives local county and city governments the right to create laws that make is a crime to not display your personal property sticker on your vehicle. § 46.2-752(K) gives local governments the right to enter into enforcement compacts with other counties and towns so that law enforcement in one jurisdiction can issue summons for violating the property tax laws of another jurisdiction (e.q. you get pulled over and summoned in Fairfax county for not having an Arlington County property tax decal on your car).

Many jurisdictions have taken advantage of this law and do charge driver’s with class 4 misdemeanors for failure to display their decals.

Fairfax County, Arlington County, Loudoun County, City of Alexandria, City of Falls Church, and The Town of Herndon have all entered into one of these compacts. So a car registered in the City of Alexandria can be stopped and ticketed in Fairfax and visa versa. Bellow of the Fairfax County ordinance that makes failure to display the decal a criminal charge and spells out the compact.

Fairfax County Code: Section 82-12-13. – Uniform Ordinance to enforce the Northern Virginia Local Motor Vehicle License Compact.

“Pursuant to Code of Virginia, Section 46.2-752(K), as amended, and the Northern Virginia Local Motor Vehicle License Compact (“Compact”) entered into by the Counties of Arlington, Fairfax, and Loudoun; the Cities of Alexandria, Fairfax, and Falls Church; and the Town of Herndon (“Participating Jurisdictions”):

(a)Any owner or operator of a motor vehicle who is required to display a local motor vehicle license for that vehicle by any Participating Jurisdiction must display such license at all times while such vehicle is operated or parked in Fairfax County.

(1)Any vehicle exempt in all of the Participating Jurisdictions from imposition of the license tax or fee under Code of Virginia, Section 46.2-755(A) is exempt from this Ordinance.

(b)A violation of this Ordinance shall constitute a Class 4 misdemeanor.

(1)When the operator is the owner of the cited vehicle, such violation shall be discharged by payment of the requisite fine and presentation of satisfactory evidence that the required license has been obtained.

(2)When the operator is not the owner of the cited vehicle, the violation may be discharged by payment of the requisite fine. (29-94-82; 8-99-82.)”

Luke J. Nichols

Spectrum Legal Defense

About Luke Nichols

Luke Nichols practices almost exclusively traffic law in Northern Virginia. His primary practice areas include reckless driving, speeding, DUI/DWI, refusal, hit-and-run, driving on a suspended license, and driving on a revoked license. Mr. Nichols has represented hundreds of Virginia drivers. You can also connect with Luke on Google+
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