Fuels (gasoline, diesel fuel, blended fuel, alternative fuel and aviation fuel) that are purchased in Virginia and used for specific purposes may be eligible for a refund of all or part of the Virginia motor fuels tax that was paid. Refund applications must be received by DMV within twelve months of the date that the fuel was purchased. For fuels tax rates, refer to Fuels Tax Rates.
Fuels receipts and/or other documents must be submitted for first time refund applicants, except those applicants submitting diesel vehicle refund claims. All applicants are required to maintain records to support their refund claim for a period of four years. DMV may request fuel receipts and other documents to support your refund claim at any time. (VA Code § 58.1-2261 D). Failure to provide supporting documents upon request may result in the denial or reversal of your refund claim. Documents sent with your application cannot be returned, so photocopies, scanned copies or other electronic images of the invoices/receipts are acceptable, as long as they are legible.
Types of Refunds
Virginia Motor Fuel law lists fuel uses eligible for refund. A few categories of fuel uses that may be eligible for refunds are listed below. To view the full list of eligible categories, refer to Fuel Uses Eligible for Refunds.
- Hunger Relief:
Fuel used in vehicles owned by non-profit, tax exempt, 501(c)(3) entities organized for the main purpose of providing hunger relief services or food to the needy.
- Diesel Vehicle:
When the tax rate on diesel fuel is higher than the tax rate on gasoline, fuel purchased and used in a diesel passenger car, pickup or panel truck or a truck with a gross vehicle weight rating of 10,000 pounds or less is eligible for a partial refund. The refund rate is the difference between the tax rate on diesel fuel and the tax rate on gasoline at the time that the fuel was purchased.
- Agricultural/Horticultural Uses:
Fuel used for agricultural or horticultural purposes in unlicensed vehicles and unlicensed equipment and other eligible fuel uses permitted by statute.
- Boats or Watercraft:
Fuel used in boats or watercraft.
- Bulk Fuels Exported to Another State:
Bulk fuels purchased with the Virginia fuels tax included and transported or delivered to a destination outside of Virginia.
Fuel used in the operation of taxis that have a valid operating authority at the time the fuel was purchased.
- Common Carriers of Passengers:
Fuel used by common carriers of passengers that have a valid operating authority for regular route service.
- Non-Highway Equipment/Uses:
Non-highway equipment and other eligible fuel uses permitted by statute.
Requirement for Receipts
First time refund applicants, except applicants submitting diesel vehicle refund claims, are required to submit fuel receipts/tickets/invoices to DMV with their claim. All applicants may be required to submit one or more of the following:
- Fuel receipts or invoices,
- Bulk fuel disbursement list,
- Vehicle or equipment lists or
- Other supporting documents which help to explain the Application.
In many instances, the refund system will prompt users when this information is required, or, if you submit a paper form, the instructions on the back indicate when supporting documents are required to be submitted. Please note that DMV may request fuel receipts or other documents in order to process the refund or may request such after the refund has been paid.
Failure to provide the requested information will result in denial or your refund or reversal of a refund that was previously paid. (Va. Code (§ 58.1-2261 D). Applicants must retain fuel receipts, paid tickets, invoices, or other documents to support the information on the application for a period of four years in case of an investigation. (Va. Code § 58.1-2261) All applications for fuels tax refunds require the applicant to certify the validity and accuracy of the contents submitted. All fuel receipts must contain the following information:
- Exact date of purchase, which cannot exceed 12 months from the date DMV receives the application for refund;
- Seller's name and Virginia location address from which the fuel was purchased;
- Number of gallons of fuel purchased (each purchase must be for 5 gallons or more);
- Type of fuel purchased;
- Amount paid for fuel; and
- Purchaser's name (for bulk deliveries only).
NOTE: Documents that are not legible will not be accepted.
Completing the Application
To receive a larger refund, accumulate fuel receipts and apply for the total gallons of your accumulated receipts. Tax rates in Virginia change annually on July 1; therefore, the refund period must be separated for January - June and July - December to ensure refunds are paid at the correct rate. The fuel receipts must not exceed twelve months from the date the refund claim is received by DMV.
The best way to submit your fuels tax refund application is using our online refund application system. Online submission allows you to submit and track the status of your refund(s) at your convenience and reduces processing time so that you will receive your refund sooner than if submitted by mail.