Vehicle Issues 

Vehicle Issues Facts at a Glance
  • Junk cars are an eyesore and a safety concern for neighborhoods!

  • Vehicles must be parked on "improved surfaces" in most neighborhoods, not on the lawn!

  • Some parts of the County limit how commercial vehicles, RVs and boat trailers can be parked on the street or in the neighborhood.

  • One person's junk car is another one's "antique." If you have questions about vehicles and what is or is not permissible in neighborhoods contact Neighborhood Services at 703-792-7018 or

  • If you are having issues with traffic in or around your neighborhood (if you need traffic calming strategies or if you are having problems with "cut-through traffic", contact Prince William County's Department of Transportation for assistance. 

  • Inoperative or unsafe vehicles parked on public roads should be reported to the Prince William County Police non-emergency number at 703-792-6500 or click here for the PWC Police Department page.


The Law Regarding Vehicles, Parking and Storage

Vehicle licensing and safety is a State issue handled by the Department of Motor Vehicles. 
However, Prince William County is concerned with land use (zoning) and safety as it has to do with parked vehicles on private property in neighborhoods.  So the County does enforce ordinances that deal with the safety of vehicles and parking in the community.
Certainly, junk cars are an eyesore! But the problem is that one person's eyesore is another person's antique. Some  people have a hard time seeing their vehicles or "engine tinkering project" as having the potential to be simply a "junk car" in the eyes of neighbors.
The County Code does not have the right to decide what looks nice but is instead tasked with addressing the safety of a vehicle.
Inoperative Vehicles (IOVs)
A vehicle without current tags or an inspection sticker has not been 'certified' as safe so is considered an 'inoperative' vehicle. Inoperative vehicles cannot be parked outside a garage and cannot be housed in a "carport". Inoperative vehicles that are parked on the street should be reported to the Police Department's non-emergency number 703-792-6500. If the inoperative vehicle is parked on private property outside of a garage it should be reported to Neighborhood Services online or at 703-792-7018.

 Parking on the Grass

All vehicles on properties of one acre or less must be parked on an 'improved surface' (asphalt or concrete surface) or they are in violation of the County Code. There are some areas of the County where parking on 'unimproved surfaces' that is gravel or grass are granted a zoning designation called a 'non-conforming use' or NCU. Unless the residential property has an NCU all vehicles on private property must be parked on an asphalt or concrete surface not gravel or grass. Report violations to Neighborhood Services online or at 703-792-7018.

Commercial Vehicles 

The County has zoning ordinances that are meant to preserve the residential character of neighborhoods and safety ordinances to maintain sight lines and emergency vehicle passage. Certain types of vehicles like cement trucks, garbage trucks, bulldozers, tractors or trailers of a tractor-trailer truck are prohibited in neighborhoods or on lots less than 10 acres in agricultural districts. The code can be found on the Police Department's page about Commercial Vehicle Parking Restrictions.  The police enforce the code that restricts parking on the street to commercial vehicles that weigh 12,000 pounds or less. 








Property Code Enforcement Staff enforces the restriction that commercial vehicles that weigh 10,100 pounds or more cannot be parked or stored on residential properties, public parking lots or on lots less than 10 acres in agricultural districts.  These vehicles include box trucks, flatbed trucks, stake bed trucks, step vans or trailers.  In general, panel vans used by craftspeople to carry ladders and equipment to job sites are legal.  More details can be found in the Commercial Vehicle Parking Restrictions

The specific definition of a commercial vehicle is available in the code Chapter 32 Article I.   Article III Part 300 provides more details about motor vehicle parking and storage. Click here to view the code.  


Watercraft, RVs, Boat Trailers, Camping Trailers

Some parts of the County prohibit RVs and boat trailers from being parked on the street. Visit Watercraft Boat Trailer RV and Camping Trailers for a discussion of the ordinance boundaries of areas where they are prohibited on the street and a link to a map showing where the ordinance is enforced.

ATVs and Dirt Bikes

State laws and County ordinances are concerned with the safety of riders, protection of property and the rights of property owners. Prince William County's Police Department is the source of information about safety laws and ordinances on 

Antique Vehicles

Antique vehicles are licensed by Virginia's Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). For more information about the proper licensing of these vehicles go to DMV's Frequently Asked Questions about antique vehicles.

Questions on Vehicle Issues in the Neighborhood?

If you have any questions about vehicles in neighborhoods contact Neighborhood Services at 703-792-7018 or email us at