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New Resident Guide
New Resident Guide
About the Guide
Public Information Office
1300 Courthouse Road
Stafford, VA 22554
Ph: (540) 658-4541
Monday - Friday
8:00 am - 4:30 pm
This guide is by no means all-inclusive, but it is meant to help new residents cross some basic chores off their to-do lists.
To drive legally in Virginia, you must get a Virginia driver’s license within 60 days of moving to the state (which, newcomers should note, is actually a commonwealth).
Two proofs of identity, one proof of Virginia residency, proof of legal presence and proof of your complete Social Security number (if you have been issued one) are required. A birth certificate, passport, resident alien card or other document is needed to prove you’re in the country legally.
For more information about acceptable documentation, see the
Department of Motor Vehicles website
One last word about getting a Virginia license: Be prepared to take a vision test.
Making Sure Your Vehicle is Legal
Your car, like you, needs some Virginia credentials. You’ve got 30 days to get them. Here’s what you have to do:
Title your vehicle in Virginia.
Meet Virginia’s minimum car insurance requirements, which are $25,000 for injury or death of one person; $50,000 for injury or death of two or more people; and $20,000 for property damaged. If you can’t get insurance, you must pay a $500 uninsured motorist fee.
Pass a vehicle-safety inspection and put a sticker on your windshield proving it. The inspection can be done for $15 ($5 for motorcycles) at many auto-repair shops. Look for car dealerships or service stations with a white poster out front with an official inspection station state seal on it.
In Stafford County, your car also must pass an emissions test - unless you have a valid emissions certificate from one of several other states (listed on the DMV Web site). Emissions testing is not required of certain vehicles, such as motorcycles and registered antique vehicles. The test costs up to $28. For more information and the location of emissions inspection stations, contact the
Department of Environmental Quality
Register your vehicle and get Virginia license plates at a DMV center. You can register your vehicle only after it passes a safety inspection and after you have insured and titled it.
Stafford does not require you to get a local vehicle decal.
One last thing drivers should know, especially speedy ones: Radar detectors are illegal in Virginia.
For detailed information on becoming a legal driver, check out the
DMV newcomers guide online
Board of Supervisors
are elected to four-year terms. Meetings are the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays at 3 pm at the County Administration Center, 1300 Courthouse Road.
School Board members
are elected to four-year terms. Meetings are the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays at the Bandy Administrative Complex, 31 Stafford Ave. Visit the
Stafford County Schools website
for school locations and information.
Real-estate and personal property taxes are collected twice yearly, on June 5th and December 5th. Information is available in the
You can register to vote at the DMV office when you get your driver’s license (as long as you’ll be 18 by the next general election), or you can visit your local
or call (540) 658-4000.
Voter registration forms also are available at public libraries, armed-forces recruitment centers and some state government offices.
For more information about registering to vote, call the
State Board of Elections
at (800) 552-9745.
Pet Licenses and Adoptions
Dog licenses and proof of rabies vaccination are required for dogs 4 months and older in Stafford County. State law requires cats 4 months and older to be vaccinated as well, but Stafford does not require cats to be licensed. Stafford also has
Dog licenses are available from the
. If your pet is normally found only in a zoo, check with your local
office to see if it’s legal to own.
Residents are responsible for getting rid of their own garbage, either by paying a private company or hauling it to a landfill or drop-off site.
For more information about trash pickup and recycling, visit the
The phone book has a long list of private employment agencies, and the Virginia Employment Commission has two offices in the Fredericksburg area. One is in Fredericksburg at 3501 Lafayette Boulevard, (540) 898-3806. The other is at 529 Meadowbrook Shopping Center in Culpeper, (540) 829-7430.
You can also search
VEC job listings online
. You can also search
Stafford County jobs online
The three major cable providers in the area are Comcast, Cox Communications and Verizon FIOS. Comcast has local offices at 10841 Houser Drive in Fredericksburg and at 1128 Garrisonville Road in Stafford. Call Comcast at 1-800-COMCAST (800) 266-2278, or go to
. Cox has a local office at 1310 Belman Road in Fredericksburg (540) 373-6343, or go to
. Verizon can be reached at (800) 837-4966 or go to
Phone and Utilities
Verizon Communications is the leading phone-service provider in the area. Call 1-800-VERIZON or go online to
For water and sewer services contact the
Department of Utilities
at (540) 658-8616.
Several local companies provide gas and electricity. View an
online listing of companies
The main Stafford office, 2650 Jefferson Davis Highway, (540) 659-7095, is open 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m.–2 p.m. Saturday.
The region also has many smaller post offices. You can find them in your phone book or by searching the
U.S. Postal Service website
The Free Lance–Star is the Fredericksburg area’s local daily newspaper.
You can subscribe by calling (540) 374-5002 or (800) 877-0500, ext. 5540, from 5:30 a.m.–5 p.m. weekdays, 6 a.m.–11 a.m. weekends and 6 a.m.–10 a.m. on holidays.
You can also subscribe online at the
Free Lance-Star's website
The newspaper’s main office is at 616 Amelia St. in Fredericksburg.
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1300 Courthouse Road, Stafford, VA 22554 • Ph: (540) 658-8600 •