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License Fee / City Decal Information
Frequently Asked Questions
At the recommendation of City Treasurer, Barbara O. Carraway, City Council unanimously voted to eliminate the City decal effective Sunday, January 1, 2006. Although there is no longer a decal required on a vehicle's windshield, a license fee is charged.
- Although a City decal will not be issued, will I still be charged a fee?
Yes, Chesapeake residents will be charged a City License Fee.
- Will I receive a bill in the mail for my City License Fee?
Yes, the City License Fee will be included as a separate item on the annual Personal Property tax bills sent by the City Treasurer.
- How much is the City License Fee?
The amount of the City License Fee has not changed. The fee is determined by the amount of the vehicle's gross weight. See Rates for Chesapeake Motor Vehicle Licenses.
- When is the City License Fee due?
The City License Fee is due on or before June 5th, or as indicated on your tax bill.
- How do I pay my City License Fee?
Along with the annual Personal Property taxes, the City License Fee can be paid by personal check or money order and returned to the City Treasurer by first class mail. From your home, it can be paid online by credit card or E-check. Additionally, it can be paid in person at any one of the four Treasurer's Office locations.
- What will happen if I do not pay my City License Fee on time?
If the City License Fee is not paid on time, a late-payment penalty of $10.00 will be added to the City License Fee.
- What will happen if I do not pay my City License Fee in the current year?
If the City License Fee is not paid in the current year, then, according to Virginia's Attorney General, it will remain due and be collectible.
- If I have owned my vehicle for two years and never paid a City License Fee, will I be required to pay for those outstanding years even though there is no longer a City decal?
Yes, according Virginia's Attorney General, the City Treasurer is authorized to charge the owner for outstanding City License Fees dating back three years.
- You should notify the Commissioner of the Revenue's office when any of the following events occur:
- A change in ownership due to purchase, acquisition, sale, trade or disposal.
- A change in the name or address of the person or persons owning or leasing the motor vehicle, trailer or motorcycle.
- A change in the use of the motor vehicle, trailer, or motorcycle from personal to business use or vice versa.
- Occurrence of an event which causes a motor vehicle, trailer or motorcycle to acquire or lose location.
- Any other change affecting the assessment or levy of Personal Property tax on the motor vehicle, trailer or motorcycle for which a return was previously filed.
- If I receive 100% tax credit under the Personal Property Tax Relief Act for my vehicle, which is valued at $1,000 or less and used for non-business purposes, will I receive a bill for my City License Fee?
Yes, the City License Fee is now included on the annual Personal Property tax bill. If, due to the PPTRA tax credit, you do not pay Personal Property taxes, you will still receive a bill for the City License Fee.
- If I purchase a new vehicle during the year, will I be able to transfer my paid City License Fee from my old vehicle to the new one?
No, the City License Fee is charged to each vehicle garaged in the City of Chesapeake between January 1st and June 30th of each year. It will not be charged to any local vehicles purchased after June 30th of each year until the following year's annual Personal Property tax billing.
- If I move from Chesapeake to another state and/or city, will I receive a refund for my City License Fee?
No, under the new ordinance, there is no refund for moving from Chesapeake or for the disposal of a vehicle. As well, there is no transfer of the City License Fee to a newly acquired vehicle.
- If I am in the active-duty military and a non-resident of Virginia, do I have to pay the City License Fee?
No, active-duty military personnel who have legal residence in a state other than Virginia are exempt from the City License Fee. However, they must provide a copy of their LES (Leave & Earnings Statement) annually as proof of out-of-state residency to the Commissioner of the Revenue.
- What is Filing by Exception?
The City Council voted to adopt Filing by Exception in October 2005, which became effective in January 2006. Essentially, once you have filed a Personal Property tax return with the Commissioner of the Revenue, then you are not required to file again until there is a change in location or status.
- How does Filing by Exception differ from the Annual Vehicle Filing?
Each December, the Treasurer mailed a decal application / vehicle registration form to each vehicle owner. The form was required to be signed and returned to the City. Using Filing by Exception, the City will continue to obtain vehicle registrations by receiving the information weekly from the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles match, but the decal application/vehicle registration form will no longer be mailed. In addition to receiving vehicle registration information from the DMV weekly, a citizen may come into the office of the Commissioner and register his/her personal property. Effective January 2006, you will no longer be required to annually file with the City unless the location, status or ownership of your property has changed.
- How will the City know when I purchase another vehicle?
Weekly, the City receives information from the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles about newly acquired vehicles garaged in Chesapeake.
- How long after a change in location or other triggering event should I notify the Commissioner?
After the change in location or other triggering event, you should contact the Commissioner of the Revenue's office within thirty (30) days:
Main: 757-382-6730Any notifications received in the Treasurer's Office will be provided to the Office of the Commissioner of the Revenue.
- If I am active-duty military personnel and in Chesapeake solely by reason of military orders but my legal residence is in another state other than Virginia, do I have pay the City License Fee?
No, active-duty military personnel, who are here solely by reason of military orders and legally reside in a state other than Virginia, are exempt from the City License Fee upon presentation of their current LES (Leave and Earnings Statement) to the Commissioner of the Revenue.
- Who do I notify and how do I inform the City of my exemption?
Active-duty military personnel should notify the Commissioner of the Revenue of the exemption by providing that office with a copy of their LES (Leave & Earnings Statement) annually as proof of out-of-state residency.
As a convenience, active duty military personnel may also send their proof of out-of-state residency via facsimile transmission or email: