Skip to Content
Agencies | Governor
Search Virginia.Gov

Online Transactions

FAQ | Contact US | Logoff

Fuels Tax Refunds
Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is a fuels tax refund?

Virginia law allows a refund of the Virginia Fuels Tax either in whole or in part for uses eligible for a refund. The fuel purchases must be in quantities of at least five gallons at a time to qualify. Refunds are granted in accordance with the provisions of Virginia Code §58.1-2261 to any person who establishes they have paid the fuels tax and used or sold such fuel for one of the eligible uses as stated in §58.1-2259 of the Virginia Code. The refund application must be received by DMV within one year from the date of the fuel purchase shown on the paid ticket or invoice.


2. How much is the fuels tax in Virginia?

Virginia fuels tax rates can be found at Fuels Tax Rates and Alternative Fuels Conversion on DMV’s website. The Virginia fuels tax rates may change every six months (January – June and July – December).


3. Do I qualify for a refund?

Check the list and description of eligible uses to determine if you qualify. The Virginia fuels tax must have been paid on the fuel. It is unlawful to knowingly make a false statement on a refund application or submit false fuel receipts or tickets. Violations of this nature may be prosecuted as a class 5 felony, Virginia Code §18.2-434 and §46.2-105.


4. How do I apply for a refund?

Go to DMV’s online Fuels Tax Refund System at dmvnow.com. Registration is required the first time you use this system, thereafter, simply logon with your email address and the four-digit pin number you have chosen for your account.  Read the system prompts carefully. The submission process is two steps, first it is SAVED in “My Claims” then users must go to “My Claims”, check the box next to the claim(s) to submit and then click on “SUBMIT” at the bottom of the page.


5. How will I know my refund application was received by DMV?

You will receive an automated email from the Fuels Tax Refund system acknowledging your refund claim has been submitted which will have the refund application number and other information about your refund claim. Please ensure emails received from mcsftl@dmv.virginia.gov are not directed to spam. You can view the status of your claims by signing in to the Fuels Tax Refund System and selecting the “My Claims” tab on the top of the page. 


6. What information do I need to file a fuels tax refund claim?

To submit a refund claim, you will need to provide the refund claim period, number of gallons, fuel type (gas, diesel, etc.), how the fuel was used, and other information required for the type of refund claim you are submitting. The system will guide you through the application process and display messages when the fuel receipts or other documentation is required to be submitted to DMV. Any person making a false statement on an application for refund may be prosecuted as a class 5 felony, Virginia Code §18.2-434 and §46.2-105.


7. What is the refund claim period?

The refund claim period is the begin date, which is the oldest date on your receipts and the end date, which is the date on your most recent receipt. The refund claim period is separated into six-month periods (January – June and July – December) because the fuels tax rates may change every six months. By separating the claim periods, it insures customers are refunded at the correct fuels tax rate in effect at the time of their fuel purchases.


8. Can I get a fuels tax refund on Dyed Diesel Fuel?

No, dyed diesel fuel does not include the Virginia fuels tax, and therefore is not subject to a refund.


9. Do I need to send in fuel receipts with my application?

First time applicants, except for diesel vehicle refund claims for vehicles registered in Virginia, are required to send in fuel receipts/tickets/invoices and other documentation to support their first refund claim. The receipts must be legible and meet the criteria shown below. Electronic copies of the receipts are acceptable in place of the originals.


10. Does DMV investigate refund claims?

Yes. DMV will periodically request the fuel receipts or other documents to support refund claims. The VA Code §58.1-2261 D authorizes DMV to investigate refund claims before refunding the fuels tax or after the refund has been issued. Failure to provide the requested documents may result in denial or reversal of the refund. Applicants must retain paid tickets, invoices, or other documents from the seller documenting the purchase of the fuel on which a refund is claimed for a period of 4 years. Some receipts fade over time, therefore copies of the receipts are acceptable in place of the originals.


11. What are the criteria for the fuel invoices/tickets/receipts?

Invoices/tickets/receipts to support the refund application must have a date no more than 12 months prior to the date the refund application is received at DMV. The date of electronic submission to the DMV Fuels Tax Refund Work Center determines the date of receipt. Documentation must meet the following requirements:
       • Indicate the exact date of purchase (month/day/year).
       • Include the number of gallons and type of fuel purchased.
       • Show the amount paid for the fuel.
       • Must include the seller’s name and their physical location/address in Virginia.
       • Must be readable. Illegible, altered, or duplicate invoices/tickets/receipts will not be accepted.
       • Must be in date order.
       • Credit card receipts must have all of the required information listed above.
       • Invoices for bulk fuel purchases must also show the amount of fuels tax charged/paid.
IMPORTANT: Your refund claim may be reduced or denied for receipts that do not meet the above criteria.


12. How long do I need to keep the receipts and other documents?

Records to support refund claims must be maintained for four years. VA Code §58.1-2261 D authorizes DMV to investigate a refund claim before refunding the fuels tax or after the refund has been issued. Part of such investigation may include requiring persons to provide paid tickets, invoices or other documents from the seller documenting the purchase of the fuel on which a refund is claimed.


13. How do I submit documentation?

Some types of refund applications require documentation to be submitted. The system will prompt users for documentation if required. Below are the available methods:
       • Information may be typed in the text box (limited space) displayed on the Fuels Tax Refund Online System.
       • Email attachments to mcsftl@dmv.virginia.gov. Include the refund application number to prevent a delay.
       • Fax documents to 804-367-0233. Include the refund application number to prevent a delay.
       • Send via US Mail. Include the refund application number to prevent a delay.

            Department of Motor Vehicles
            Tax Services, Room 601
            PO Box 27422
            Richmond, VA 23269-7422


14. Can I apply for a refund for fuel used in my boat?

Yes, boats/watercraft must be validly registered at the time the fuel was purchased. The boat registration number must be provided when you file the claim. DMV will verify Virginia and US Coast Guard registration numbers and expiration dates. If your boat is registered outside of Virginia, please submit a copy of your boat registration via email, fax, or US mail. Include the refund application number to prevent a delay in processing.


15. Can I apply for a refund for fuel used in my taxi/common carrier vehicle?

Yes,taxis and common carriers may apply for a refund if they have a valid Virginia Operating Authority Permit at the time the fuel was purchased. You must provide your operating authority permit number at the time you apply for a refund. Irregular route common carriers are NOT eligible for a refund.


16. Can I apply for a refund for fuel exported?

Yes, if the Virginia fuels tax was paid on fuel and such fuel was exported (delivered) to a state outside of Virginia you may qualify for a refund. A valid Virginia Fuels Tax license is required at the time of the transaction to be considered for a refund. (Va. Code §58.1-2259 F)


17. How do I apply for a refund on exported fuel?

Report each load exported from Virginia to another state on the application. If the fuel was originally destined for Virginia and diverted (the destination changed) to another state, a diversion number is required. Invoices/tickets/receipts/bills of lading must have the seller’s name and location address, the purchaser’s name, destination (shipped to) address, date of purchase, number of gallons, fuel type, and indicate the fuels tax paid. Bills of lading should be numbered and indicate the fuel destination. Tickets and receipts marked “duplicate” are not eligible for a refund. A valid Virginia Fuels Tax license is required at the time of the transaction to be considered for a refund. (VA Code §58.1-2259 F)


18. Can I apply for a refund for fuel used from my bulk storage tank?

Yes, as long as the fuel use qualifies for a refund. In addition to the fuel invoices/tickets/receipts and a vehicle/equipment list, you are required to retain a fuel disbursement list (TS218).This list must contain the date the fuel was pulled from the storage tank, number of gallons, and the vehicle/equipment in which the fuel was used. You may use your own form of record keeping instead of the TS218 to document fuel disbursements. Retain this information for a period of 4 years to support the application. You may be required to provide supporting documentation at any time during this 4-year period. Failure to do so may result in the denial or reversal of that refund.


19. Is fuel used for agricultural/horticultural purposes eligible for a refund?

Yes. Fuel used exclusively for agricultural or horticultural purposes on land(s) owned or leased by the owner or lessee of the vehicle may qualify for a refund. The vehicle/equipment must NOT be registered or required to be registered to qualify for a refund. Vehicles with F tags (farm tags) are registered highway vehicles and do NOT qualify for a refund. The fuels tax refund system will require you to provide a vehicle/equipment listing on an annual basis. Fuel used for lawn care does not qualify for this claim type, but may be refundable under the Non-Highway claim type.


20. Is a fuels tax refund applicable for vehicles that provide bulk spreading or spraying of agricultural liming material, chemicals, or fertilizer?

Yes, they are eligible for a refund of 55% of the state fuels tax paid. This type of refund is for businesses that provide bulk spreading or spraying services to farm owners. The fuels tax refund system will require a vehicle listing annually for these claim types. The list should include the license plate number and state of registration for each vehicle used in spreading or spraying these materials. The farm owner‘s name and the location of the farm(s) where the services were provided will be required with each application.


21. What type of non-highway equipment is eligible for a fuels tax refund?

Unregistered self-propelled equipment (not vehicles) manufactured or designed for a specific off-road use and used on the job site are eligible for a refund. The fuels tax refund system will require you to submit an equipment listing on an annual basis. Some examples of non-highway equipment include construction equipment, well drillers, excavating equipment, and lawn care equipment.  The VA Code requires that each purchase of fuel be for 5 gallons or more at one time to qualify for a refund.


22. Is fuel used in airplanes eligible for a refund?

Only nonprofit organizations that use aircraft for charitable air ambulance services are exempt from the fuels tax.


23. Is there a refund available for diesel fuel used in my passenger vehicle?

Yes, a refund equal to the difference between the rate of tax on diesel fuel and the rate of tax on gasoline and gasohol for diesel fuel used in a passenger car, pickup, panel truck, or a truck with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 10,000 pounds or less. The diesel fuel must have been purchased in Virginia. Records to support refund claims must be kept for four years. VA Code §58.1-2261 D authorizes DMV to investigate refund claims either before refunding the fuels tax or after the refund has been issued. Part of such investigation may include requiring persons to provide paid tickets, invoices or other documents from the seller documenting the purchase of the fuel on which a refund is claimed.





Newsroom | Web Policy

© Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) 2013, All rights reserved.
P.O. Box 27412
Richmond, VA 23269

Level A conformance icon, W3C-WAI Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0