You may have noticed there was no new vehicle decal inclosed in your 2020 Personal Property Tax bills. Please keep the blue decal on your vehicle's windshield until further notice.
The City of Falls Church is one of the only Virginia localities to still have an annual motor vehicle license, more commonly referred to as the vehicle decal. Most Virginia localities have now eliminated their vehicle decals or moved to a permanent decal due to advances in technology such as license plate readers and the ability to import DMV car registration records into most software programs.
The Treasurer's Office is working on an ordinance to amend the City Code regarding the vehicle decal. The ordinance would eliminate the annual issuance of a new vehicle decal and move to a permanent decal instead. The City Council is scheduled to make a 2nd reading on the proposed ordinance at their October 13 Regular Meeting. You can submit comments about the proposed change in ordinance by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Benefits of a Permanent Decal
The visual aid of a decal on a vehicle is an important enforcement tool for small localities, including the City of Falls Church. It helps determine at a glance if a vehicle has been licensed in Falls Church and is taxed appropriately. This enforcement effort is carried out by parking enforcement officers issuing tickets to vehicles without a decal owned by City of Falls Church residents.
About the $33 Fee
The annual $33 fee is for the motor vehicle license, not for the actual decal itself.
However, a decrease in printing and postage costs would save tax payers approximately $12,000 per year. In addition, the annual burden to residents of keeping up with the current year decal would be lifted and City staff will be able to focus on other important issues in lieu of the annual awareness campaigns about when and which decal to use.
About the Decals
All cars, trucks, and motorcycles normally garaged within the city must be registered and clearly display a blue City decal.
The City's parking enforcement officer will ticket cars without decals properly posted on front windshields. Failure to display a decal within 60 days of a new or moved vehicle entering the City may result in citation from enforcement.
Obtaining a Decal for New Residents or New Vehicles
Once the registration is complete, the Treasurer's office will send a bill for the permanent decal. The decal will be mailed once the bill is paid in full.
The fee is $33 a year for most vehicles. Separate fee schedules apply to trucks, motorcycles, taxicabs, and buses. Decals must be purchased within 60 days by new residents or residents with a newly acquired vehicle.
Penalty for No Decal
City of Falls Church vehicles without valid decals may be ticketed in the cities of Falls Church, Alexandria, and Fairfax, the counties of Arlington and Loudoun, and the Town of Herndon. As of December 2013, the ticket fee is $50 (check city Code for most current fee).