What is an inoperable motor vehicle?

Section 10-3 of the Henrico County Code defines an inoperable vehicle as any motor vehicle, trailer or semi-trailer which is not in operating condition, does not display valid license plates, does not display an inspection decal that is valid, or does display an inspection decal that has been expired for more than 60 days or has an expired rejection decal.

May I keep any inoperable motor vehicles on my property?

Yes-IF they are kept within a fully enclosed building, such as your garage, you may keep as many as you’d like on your property. One inoperable motor vehicle can be kept on your property outside of a fully enclosed building if it is shielded or screened from view. Shielded or screened from view means not visible by someone standing at ground level from outside the property on which the vehicle is stored. Solid wood fences, walls and dense evergreen plantings of a sufficient height to screen the vehicle, are acceptable methods of shielding of screening when located in side or rear yards. Covering inoperable motor vehicles with tarps or car covers does not meet the requirements of the ordinance.

How do I report a violation of the Inoperable Motor Vehicle Ordinance?

If the vehicle is located on private property, you may call Henrico’s Community Maintenance Program at 501-4757. An inspector will investigate the report and make every effort to notify the property owner if they are in violation by leaving business cards, educational brochures, and notices at the dwelling and following up by U.S. mail. Property owners will normally be given 15 days to correct the violation before the inspector will follow up on the issue.

Willful compliance is the goal of the program. However, if voluntary compliance cannot be reached, a court summons may be obtained. Only one Notice of Violation will be issued in any 12 month period. Additional violations may result in a summons being issued to the property owner to appear in Henrico County General District Cour

What if I want to give the vehicle to charity?

The National Kidney Foundation and the Salvation Army both accept inoperable vehicles as donations. The Kidney Foundation uses the donations to benefit kidney patients in Virginia, and the Salvation Army used them to help support their Adult Rehabilitation Center. Both charities will tow your vehicle from your property FREE of charge, and your donation may be tax deductible. To donate an inoperable vehicle to one of these charities call the National Kidney Foundation of Virginia at (804) 231-0220 or the Salvation Army at (804) 359-0269.

For more information visit: www.donateacar2chairty.com/


Properties with trash, debris or litter often have other ordinance violations. When you call to report a problem, please be prepared to let the County staff know about any other problems on the property. To help the inspectors address and resolve all problems concerning the property, they will need to know:

  • Is the property vacant or occupied?
  • Are there any inoperable or unlicensed vehicles or trailers on the property?
  • Is there any trash, garbage or litter on the property that is not stored in a covered, watertight container?
  • Have you seen any evidence of rats on the property?