Change in decal location: Effective January 1, 2018, Virginia state inspection stickers will no longer be affixed to the bottom center of a vehicle’s windshield. The state inspection stickers will now be placed in the bottom left corner of the windshield, when viewed from inside the vehicle. Existing Virginia vehicle inspection stickers are to remain in their current position — in the bottom center of the windshield. Once a vehicle is inspected and issued a 2019 sticker, the new inspection sticker must be placed in the lower left corner, which is consistent with other states across the nation.
The requirements related to Arlington County decals as set forth in the County Code §14.2-71 “Display of License Tags,” remains unaffected, requiring that Arlington County decals be affixed to the inside of the windshield of a motor vehicle and placed adjacent to the State inspection sticker and no higher than three (3) inches from the bottom of the windshield. However, during the transition period, January 2018 through December 2018, it is acceptable for an Arlington County decal to be located in the center of the windshield or adjacent to the Virginia state inspection sticker. Police officers and Public Service Aids will allow latitude in the position of the decal until January, 1, 2019.
Arlington County Code requires a county decal to be displayed on the front windshield of every vehicle within 60 days of purchasing the vehicle or moving it into the county. Arlington County Police will ticket all vehicles garaged, stored, or parked in Arlington County that do not display a valid county decal.
- The County decal changes every year with your annual vehicle personal property tax payment in October, and you must display the new County decal by November 15 each year.
If you are a new resident/resident with a new vehicle
- Register your vehicle with the Commissioner of Revenue’s Office
- Pay the decal fee — $33 for most vehicles (Note: If you’ve moved from another county that required a decal and it was issued within the current tax year — January 1 to December 31— the Treasurer’s Office will issue you a County decal for no fee if you present proof of purchase from the issuing county.)
- Look for your decal in the mail, which should arrive within seven to 10 days after the Treasurer’s Office receives your decal payment
If you are a current resident
- Who doesn’t have a newly registered vehicle, you will receive your decal with your tax bill
- Who has outstanding debt with the County, you will not receive your decal with your tax bill — you will receive your vehicle decal from the Treasurer’s Office once you pay your outstanding debt and the decal fee
Note: You must pay all personal property taxes and any outstanding debt, including parking violations, to receive your vehicle decal from the Treasurer’s Office.
If you did not receive a County decal with your bill, please click here.
14th Annual Decal Design Competition
The winner is Schuyler Workmaster, an 11th grader from Bishop Denis J. O’Connell High School. Schuyler’s pastel drawing is entitled “The Arlington Skyline and Potomac River.” For more information on Schuyler and on the competition, please read here.
To see all of the submissions and descriptions from this year’s competition, please visit here.
Background on Decals
Arlington began requiring local licensing of vehicles in 1949, which took the form of a metal tag attached to the license plate. The first windshield decal was issued in 1967; decals were first produced with a color image in 2000. In 2003, residents were given the opportunity to vote on the image, and in 2005 the Treasurer’s Office started the Decal Design Competition for high school students.