Below you will find answers to our most Frequently Asked Questions. If you do not find the answer you’re looking for, please contact CAPP customer service.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
- Signing up for CAPP
- Security/Two-Factor Authentication
- Online Payments
- Vehicle Registration
- Business Returns and Account Access
- Paying a Parking Ticket
- Contacting Us
Signing up for CAPP
- Why should I use CAPP?
- How do I sign up for CAPP?
- What kind of logon should I use?
- What kind of password must I use for CAPP?
- What is a DLN?
- Can I sign up using my spouse’s or partner’s information?
- I’m locked out of my account; how do I reset my password?
- Why can’t I see all my accounts?
- Can I use CAPP if I own a new vehicle, business, or dog and haven’t registered it or don’t have a recent piece of mail from the Treasurer or the Commissioner?
Using the CAPP system provides convenience and self-service options. Within CAPP, you can:
• View your tax account status
• Make payments
• Establish automatic bank payments
• Manage and update account information
• File returns
• Receive email notifications of bills to help avoid late fees
• Renew dog licenses
To create a CAPP Profile, you must own (not lease) a vehicle, real estate, a business, or a licensed pet in Arlington County, and have a valid email address to which you have access. In addition, you’ll need one of the following:
- An Arlington Tax Account Number (i.e. a vehicle account begins with “VPP” and a real estate account begins with “RES”)
- An Arlington Utilities Account Number
- The Virginia Title Number of a vehicle that is registered in Arlington County for personal property taxes
Because CAPP contains private information about your relationship with the county, you will also need to verify certain information about your tax accounts. This may include the last 4 digits of your Social Security Number or your Business’s FEIN, the Driver’s License Number you gave us when you registered a vehicle, and/or a Document Locator Number from a recent bill or collection notice.
PLEASE NOTE: Using a Utilities account to register for CAPP requires an adjustment in the system which must be done by CAPP staff. An additional requirement is that a Utilities account must have gone through its first billing cycle. If the account was recently established and the first bill has not been issued, please wait until that has occurred before signing up for CAPP.
Ready? Sign up for CAPP now.
If you are new to CAPP and setting up an account for the first time, you can create a logon that includes at least six characters of your choosing.
If you already have a CAPP account, your original logon will remain the same. Prior logons were required to be full email addresses. (The email address used for a logon does not have have to be a current or operating email address.)
Your password must be at least 8 characters long and include at least one lower case letter, one upper case letter, one number, and one special character.
Two-factor authentication (2FA) is an extra layer of security to prevent any unauthorized access to your CAPP account. You can opt to get an authentication code by email, text, or both.
A DLN is a Document Locator Number – a unique number that is printed on every piece of correspondence relating to CAPP-enabled accounts. The DLN can be found in the lower left section of most bills, letters, or returns sent from the Treasurer or the Commissioner of Revenue. If the correspondence includes a payment voucher, the DLN will be located above the voucher perforation.
It is a violation of Virginia law to gain access to private tax records by using false information or otherwise misrepresenting your identity. You MUST have authorization from the owner of the taxed property in order to access their records. If you have that authorization, choose “Authorized Representative” instead of “Owner/Co-owner” on any accounts related to property that you do not own.
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If you have accounts with us that are not showing, click “Link Additional Accounts” to add them. Call us at 703-228-3702 if you do not find the account that you are looking for or need assistance linking.
Some parking violations, including handwritten parking tickets, may not display immediately in CAPP. When you enter your citation number the screen may say “not found”, or have a $0.00 balance. Please proceed and enter the amount you are paying and click “next.” Payment still needs to be made and will be accepted if you are using the parking ticket, or citation number. If your ticket was issued over 4 weeks ago, and is still not available online, please email the Police Department at email@example.com.
You can pay online, by mail, in person, or “Pay by Phone.” All options are on the back of the parking ticket.
To make your payment online for a ticket that has not been found, you must manually enter the dollar amount of the ticket. The instructions are as follows:
Online payment: visit www.arlingtonva.us/capp.
- Click on “Make a Quick Payment”
- Select “Parking Tickets” and click “next”.
- Enter the ticket # and click “next”.
- In the green box, enter the dollar amount of the ticket and select the box next to it (this will put a check mark inside the box) then, click “next”.
- Select “E-check” (no fee) or “Credit Card or Debit Card” (fees apply) as the payment method and proceed as directed.
Can I use CAPP if I own a new vehicle, business or dog and haven’t registered it or don’t have a recent piece of mail from the Treasurer or the Commissioner of Revenue?
You must first register your vehicle or business with the Commissioner of Revenue or your dog license with the Treasurer. Once that is done and you receive your first correspondence from us, you may use the Document Locator Number (DLN) listed there, or on any subsequent correspondence you receive from our offices (i.e. returns, renewals, bills, or other letters). You can also use CAPP if you only have a Utilities account, but this requires us to assist you with setting it up. Email us to assist you.
A DLN is located in the lower left corner of all correspondence regarding your accounts. If the correspondence includes a payment voucher, the DLN is located above the voucher perforation.
- If I pay online, do I have to create an account?
- What forms of payment can I use to pay online?
- What should I know before choosing my method of payment?
- Why am I charged a fee for paying by credit or debit card?
- How long will it take for my payment to be applied to my account?
- Can I schedule a payment for a future date?
- Can I opt out of paper bills?
- Can I pay more or less than the amount due of the bill?
- What are Automatic Payments (ABD) and how do I sign up?
- Can I change existing Automatic Payment information?
- What’s the difference between Automatic Payment and e-check payment?
- If my tax account is delinquent, are the associated late fees included in the amount due?
- Where can I locate my Bank Routing and Bank Account Numbers on my check?
- What fees are associated with this service?
No, you do not, but if you do register, you’ll get access to features like Bill Payer Notification, Automatic Bill Payment, and assessment and payment histories. If you choose not to create an account, you can always Make a Quick Payment without having a profile.
You can pay by e-check, or with a credit card or debit card.
You should know that paying by e-check, which is an electronic payment debited directly from a bank account, is free of charge. Credit and debit card payments require a fee charged by our card processing partner.
We offer the option of paying by credit or debit card as a convenience to those customers who wish to do so. However, card transactions have a cost, sometimes a substantial one. So, while we accept cards as a convenience to those customers who wish to use them, those customers must bear the cost of doing so. Retail merchants can absorb this cost and pass it on by increasing the price of their goods and services. If the convenience fees were absorbed by the County, however, at a minimum, it would cost millions of dollars annually, which would be borne by increasing taxes for everyone. What’s more, were these charges not passed on to the consumer, many more people could choose to pay increasingly larger amounts by credit or debit card, resulting in an ever-increasing expense for the County.
It is important to note that customers using credit and debit cards pay the convenience fee directly to the card processor. Arlington County does not receive any portion of the fee.
In most cases, payments will be reflected the next business day, but a payment may be delayed if staff attention is needed. Either way, the date on which a tax or fine payment was entered in CAPP will be used as the effective payment date for determining penalty and interest. If you are paying a utilities bill, payment must be received within 30 days of the bill date to avoid a late fee. Allow sufficient processing time for your payment to be posted to your utilities account. NOTE: If your payment is returned by the bank due to incorrect account numbers, insufficient funds, or other reasons, you will be responsible for fees, penalties, and interest until payment is provided.
Yes, for real estate, vehicle, business tangible (BTN) tax payments. When logged into CAPP and paying a single bill by e-check, you will be able to choose the date on which the money will be deducted from your bank account. This does not apply to credit card payments, quick payments, or payments made using the “View and Pay All Bills” link.
No. Laws and ordinances require that we use postal mail for official billing of taxes and most other County debt. CAPP is an alternative way of receiving bills and letters from us, but it doesn’t replace the official, legally required means.
Yes. You are free to pay any amount regardless of the amount due. Simply enter the amount you want to pay. However, if you choose to pay less than the full amount by the due date, penalties and interest will apply to unpaid balances, collection action will take place, and you may not receive any reminders to pay the remaining amount.
CAPP allows customers to enroll certain accounts for automatic, recurring payments using saved bank accounts. Credit and debit cards cannot be used for automatic payments. The eligible account types are Vehicle Personal Property (VPP), Real Estate (RES), Business Tangible (BTN), and Water/Sewer Utilities (UTL). Enrolled accounts with balances will have the designated bank accounts debited on the due date(s), with the option of monthly debits for Real Estate accounts. To enroll, click the Manage Automatic Payments link on your CAPP Profile and indicate which account(s) you would like to be paid automatically. You will then be required to enter a valid bank account and routing number.
Once the ABD enrollment request is submitted, the Treasurer’s Office staff will review the information submitted and send written confirmation. This may take between 3-5 business days for it to show up in your CAPP account. Requests submitted close to bill due dates may not be set up in time and may need to be paid separately to avoid late fees.
Can I change existing Automatic Payment information?
Yes, users can log into their CAPP profile anytime to change bank accounts, enroll new accounts to be debited automatically, or discontinue the service. Any change to your enrollment close to a due date may not take effect until after the bill is due. It is the user’s responsibility to ensure all financial information entered is accurate and that there are sufficient funds available to complete the payment.
What’s the difference between Automatic Payment and e-check payment?
E-check payments are on-time payments entered by the taxpayer. Automatic Payments will occur on set dates for the balance of the account at that time using a predetermined bank account. These payments will continue until the service is discontinued.
If my tax account is delinquent, are the associated late fees included in the amount due?
The balances shown in CAPP are correct as of the start of business on the most recent business day, including penalties and interest. If there have been changes to your account today that you wish to see in CAPP before making a payment, contact the Treasurer’s office for an updated balance.
Where can I locate my Bank Routing and Bank Account Numbers on my check?
Your bank routing number, account number and check number can be located at the bottom of your check. Your bank routing number is the 9 digits between the |: symbols.
Below are five examples of how your information may appear. The bank routing number is underlined in green and the account number is underlined in red. In these examples, you would enter the bank routing number as 126000107 and the account number as 6173694.
DO NOT ENTER YOUR CHECK NUMBER. Your check number is also located on the bottom of your check, on either side of the bank routing number or the account number.
What fees are associated with this service?
There are no fees associated with using CAPP, filing returns, or making e-check payments. For credit card and debit payments, our credit card payment service provider charges a handling fee depending on the type of payment being made.
Motor Vehicle Registration*
*Includes cars, trucks, buses, motorcycles, motor homes, trailers, semitrailers, boats, and aircraft.
- Do I have to Register my vehicle and pay tax?
- What documentation do I need to register my personal property?
- Why are you asking for my Social Security Number?
- What is a VIN?
- Where can I find the VIN?
- What if the VIN is not 17 characters long?
- How are cars valued?
- What timeframe am I taxed for?
- I am in the military, do I have to pay?
- I’m not a Virginia resident. Do I still need to do this?
- Is this property tax just an “Arlington” thing?
- Does my vehicle qualify for tax relief?
Nearly all vehicles located in Arlington County are subject to personal property tax, including vehicles that are not registered in Virginia, vehicles that do not run, and vehicles that are temporarily absent from Arlington County. A vehicle is temporarily absent if it does not acquire a taxable status in another jurisdiction.
You will be asked to attach either a Virginia registration, an out-of-state registration or a temporary registration.
The Arlington County Commissioner of Revenue is requesting your Social Security Number for local tax administration purposes pursuant to Virginia Code § 58.1-3017. Social Security Numbers are used as a means of identification, to facilitate tax collection and to provide tax refunds to taxpayers. Social Security Numbers are regarded and protected as confidential tax information and will not be disclosed for any purpose, except as required by law.
The Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) is a unique number (consisting of numerals and letters) assigned to a vehicle by the auto/truck manufacturer primarily for registration and identification purposes. Every vehicle manufactured since 1981 has a 17 character VIN. When decoded, each character of the VIN identifies specifics about that particular vehicle. For example, make, model, year, body style, engine size, etc.
The VIN should be listed on your state vehicle registration. The VIN can be found on your auto or truck by looking at the dashboard on the driver side of the vehicle. If the VIN can not be found, open the driver side door and look at the door post (where the door latches when it is closed). It is likely that the VIN will also be displayed in this location.
If the VIN on your auto/truck is not 17 characters long, double-check to make sure that you have copied it down correctly. If the result of a second look is that the VIN is still less than 17 characters long, the VIN is most likely from a pre-1981 vehicle. Prior to 1981, VINs varied in length from 11 to 17 characters. Information on vehicles manufactured before 1981 is limited.
The Arlington County Commissioner of Revenue uses the lowest value in recognized vehicle pricing guides, such as the N.A.D.A. Used Car Guide, to assess all vehicles. The actual price you paid for the vehicle may be the basis for the assessment only if the vehicle is not listed in a pricing guide.
The personal property tax year is from January 1 to December 31. Vehicles are assessed based on the number of months they have a taxable situs in Arlington. A period of half a month or more is considered a full month.
MILITARY: If you are an active-duty member of the United States military who maintains a legal residence outside of Virginia and resides in Virginia under military orders, your vehicle(s) may qualify for a military exemption. To qualify, a vehicle must be registered:
- solely in the name of the active duty service member, or
- jointly in the names of the active duty service member and his or her spouse who share a household, or
- solely in the name of the active duty service member’s spouse as long as he or she resides with the active duty military member.
Any service member or spouse requesting an exemption from personal property tax will be required to submit their military ID, Leave and Earnings Statement (LES), and documentation as to military orders and marital status (if spousal exemption is sought.). Co-owned vehicles where the co-owner is other than a spouse are only exempted when both owners are on active duty and are residents of another state. Leased vehicles do not qualify for military exemption. To find out if you qualify for this exemption, call the Commissioner’s office at 703-228-3135.
If you are a non-resident, you are liable for the personal property tax if your vehicle is in Arlington. You may be exempt from the tax during the first year if you provide the Commissioner’s office with a paid receipt or certified filing for a personal property tax (not an excise tax, an ad valorem tax, a sales tax, nor a registration fee) for the same vehicle and the same time period from a jurisdiction that does not prorate its tax.
In accordance with Virginia law, Arlington County’s Commissioner of Revenue assesses an annual license fee of $100 on vehicles garaged in Arlington that carry out-of-state license plates and are not exempt from the car tax (full-time student attending school in Virginia, military, congressmen, diplomatic status and taxi cabs). This fee is in addition to the annual vehicle tax and decal fee.
The State of Virginia requires vehicle owners to register their vehicles with the DMV in Virginia within 30 days of entering the state, unless otherwise exempted by law. Arlington residents must register their vehicles with Arlington County within 60 days of move-in or acquiring a new vehicle.
Current Virginia license plates may be obtained by visiting the DMV Select, located at the Commissioner’s office, 2100 Clarendon Boulevard, 2nd floor, or at any Virginia DMV Customer Service location. For more information for residents new to Virginia, visit http://www.dmvnow.com/webdoc/moving/newva.asp.
All cities and counties in Virginia have a personal property tax. Arlington County taxes cars, trucks, buses, motorcycles, motor homes, trailers, semitrailers, boats and aircraft. This tax is assessed by the Commissioner of the Revenue while taxes are paid to the Treasurer.
The vehicle must be owned or leased by an individual and NOT used for business purposes. A vehicle is considered to be used for business purposes if:
- More than 50% of the mileage for the year is used as a business expense for Federal Income Tax purposes OR reimbursed by an employer;
- More than 50% of the depreciation associated with the vehicle is deducted as a business expense for Federal Income Tax;
- The cost of the vehicle is expensed pursuant to Section 179 of the Internal Revenue Service Code; or the vehicle is leased by an individual and the leasing company pays the tax without reimbursement from the individual.
- How is my financial information protected?
- What can I do to help secure my information?
- My pop-up blocker reports pop-ups. Do I have to turn it off?
- What computers and browsers can be used with CAPP?
Two-factor authentication (2FA) adds a second level of authentication to your account log-in. When you only have to enter your username and one password, that’s considered a single-factor authentication. Think of 2FA as an extra line of defense that’s tougher than the strongest password. We all want your information to be safe; 2FA will help.
When you log into CAPP using your user name and password, instead of immediately gaining access, you will be asked to provide another piece of information: your cell phone number or email address. After you provide that information, CAPP will send you a unique one-time passcode (OTP) to your phone or email, whichever you have chosen. You must then enter the OTP in order to gain access to CAPP. Once the device you are working on is verified, CAPP will remember it and you shouldn’t need to verify it again.
Arlington County takes information protection very seriously. There are multiple layers of security within the application to protect your data. Your access to CAPP uses Secure Socket Layer (SSL) from your browser to protect any information you submit or view from the CAPP system. Your account passwords are protected so that even CAPP administrators cannot access this information.
The site is protected from “Phishing” and other “Trojan Horse” attacks with Extended Validation. Look for the “County of Arlington (US)” green bar in newer browsers to ensure that you are at the legitimate CAPP site.
Because you establish your own unique profile and password, you will be able to view and control who has access to your accounts. All information transferred to your computer is done over a secure connection. You can help maintain this security by doing the following:
- Do NOT provide your account numbers, DLNs, or password to anyone else.
- Choose a password that is different from those you use for your email, social networking, or other web sites whose security may be compromised.
- Change your password periodically and be sure your password is something known only by you. Your password is used to access your account information. It should be kept confidential in order to reduce your security risks.
- Always log off. Once you have completed your transactions it is important to log off so you do not leave a “live” session active for someone else to use.
- When you log out of CAPP you should always close the web browser to ensure your personal data is not viewable by the next person to use the computer.
There are some links within CAPP , including credit card payments, that will launch or pop-up a new window of information that may be blocked by your computer from displaying on your screen and which may also prevent your ability to print documents. It is recommended that you either disable your computer’s pop-up blocker features or change your computer’s pop-up blocker settings to allow pop-ups while navigating through the CAPP secure website. CAPP will never display advertisements or other pop-up windows except to enable a feature you request, such as viewing or printing a document.
You may refer to your browser’s (i.e., Internet Explorer, Safari, or Firefox) Internet Options or Preference settings to locate your pop-up blocker settings. You may also locate pop-up blocker features in additional toolbars that may be installed on your browser, such as Google and Yahoo. Some Internet users have more than one pop-up blocker feature installed that may need modification.
It is recommended that you use Internet Explorer 8 (or higher), current or newer versions of Safari, Google Chrome, and Mozilla Firefox as your browser to access the CAPP website. Using a different browser may reduce site functionality. For your security, you may wish to disable any local settings, utilities, or browser settings that auto-fill or auto-complete fields in your browser. There are no restrictions regarding what computer you use (PC’s, Macs, Linux, netbooks, mobile phones, etc) as long as you are using a supported browser.
To be able to view and print letters properly, you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader 7.0 version or greater.
Business Returns and Account Access
- I filed my return in CAPP but need to make a correction. Can I do that online?
- Can I change my address or contact info online?
- What if I’m no longer in business?
- Can I have my accountant or tax professional create a CAPP profile for me?
- Can more than one CAPP profile have access to my accounts?
- What if I own or am employed by multiple businesses. Can I access all my businesses with one logon ID? Can I use the same email address?
- How do I restrict the access that my employees and/or third-party accountants have to my accounts?
- I have multiple tax accounts. Can I access all of my tax accounts in CAPP?
- I’m a third-party accountant or tax preparer. Can I access multiple clients’ accounts with my CAPP profile?
Any return you file or payment you make through CAPP can be changed until it is processed by our internal tax system (usually early the next morning). Business License and Business Tangible returns submitted through CAPP can be amended online at any time after that. But once a payment or other return is processed, it cannot be changed online. You will need to contact the appropriate office to inquire about how to make changes. For business tax returns, contact the Business Tax Division at 703-228-3060. For vehicle registrations, contact the Personal Property Division at 703-228-3135. For payments and dog license renewals, contact the Treasurer at 703-228-3090.
You may notify us of such changes using CAPP. To ensure your privacy and our ability to assess your taxes appropriately, most of these requests will require verification by our staff. Note that address changes for other County service agencies cannot be submitted through CAPP; contact those agencies directly. For your utilities (water/sewer/refuse) account, contact the Department of Environmental Services at 703-228-5000. For Real Estate Assessments, contact 703-228-3920.
You will be able to notify us of such changes using links inside CAPP. To ensure your privacy and our ability to assess your taxes appropriately, most of these requests will require verification by our staff.
Yes, but we strongly suggest that you create your own master account, and then allow them to create a secondary account. That will allow you to control access to your accounts should you ever change accountants. If your accountant is based in Arlington and is registered with us for a Business License, they should register for their own CAPP Profile, and then request third party access to your accounts through that.
Yes. Multiple individuals can create profiles to access an account. The customer with the “Master” profile has the authority to manage the web access rules for any additional customer profiles.
CAPP allows for three “Access Type” options for customer profiles:
- Master – The profile with Master authority status is granted “All Access” functionality to the account, with the additional ability to manage profile access rules to the account. There can be only one profile with Master authority. Note: To request “Master” access level, or removal of the “Master” access level from an individual that is no longer employed by a business, the business owner/officer must contact the Commissioner of Revenue.
- Account Manager – Will have the same access authority as the Master, except the ability to remove the Master profile’s access.
- View – Profiles with view only access will not be able to make changes, submit requests, file returns, or make payments.
CAPP also allows you to control the access third-party tax preparers have to your account.
What if I own or am employed by multiple businesses. Can I access all my businesses with one logon ID? Can I use the same email address?
If you own your own business and are also an employee of another business, you should register your CAPP profile as your own business (i.e., sole prop or non-sole prop) and then request third party access to your employer’s business.
If you own or are employed by multiple businesses, you will need to create profile for one business, and then request third-party access to the other businesses. If the businesses have the same ownership and should be separate accounts on one customer record, contact the Commissioner of Revenue to have the records merged.
If you have the master profile on your accounts, you can adjust the permissions of the other profiles as follows:
- All Access – file returns, make payments, submit requests (close/reactivate account, change mailing address, change DBA name, request filing extensions, and installment agreements), modify information, and manage profile access to the account.
- File – view all information and file returns.
- File & Pay – view all information, as make payments and file returns.
- Pay – view all information and make payments.
- View – view account information, but not submit requests or modify information.
Depending on the information you provided when you established a CAPP profile, other accounts associated with your customer record may be available. If you need to add others, select the “Add Access to Account” link from the CAPP Customer home page. You will then be required to verify information for the account you wish to add.
For business taxes, each owner, officer, or designated employee that successfully requests access to one tax account will automatically receive access to all tax accounts for that taxpaying entity. The individual with the “Master” level authority for the taxpaying entity may then limit access to specific tax accounts.
I’m a third-party accountant or tax preparer. Can I access multiple clients’ accounts with my CAPP profile?
Yes. If your own business has an Arlington Business License, you should first create a CAPP profile for yourself. Then, you can add access to the business tax accounts for all your clients under your profile. After logging in, select the “Add Access to Another Account” link from your CAPP Home page. You will be required to enter the requested information for each of the client tax accounts to which you require access.
The account owner will then be able to log in to their CAPP Profile to change the third-party’s access level: (a) “file”, (b) “pay”, (c) “file and pay”, or (d) “view” only.
If you are not an Arlington-based business, you will need to maintain separate profiles for each client, as though you were an employee of the client.
For specific questions regarding taxes and payments, contact the appropriate office at the telephone numbers listed below:
- Commissioner of Revenue Business Tax Division: 703-228-3060
- Commissioner of Revenue Vehicle Personal Property Division: 703-228-3135
- Treasurer’s Office: 703-228-3702
Business hours: Monday – Friday, 8a.m. – 5p.m.