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Welcome to Fairfax Underground, a project site designed to improve communication among residents of Fairfax County, VA. Feel free to post anything Northern Virginia residents would find interesting.
Is it legal to repair your car in your own driveway?
Posted by: Repair Guy ()
Date: July 11, 2011 12:34PM

I need to do some body work, Not a HOA neighborhood. Thanks!

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Re: Is it legal to repair your car in your own driveway?
Posted by: henry ()
Date: July 11, 2011 12:36PM

Sure it is. The only thing that would be illegal is if you didn't contain the oil or antifreeze and let it run into a storm drain or something.

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Re: Is it legal to repair your car in your own driveway?
Posted by: not so fast... ()
Date: July 11, 2011 03:00PM

doing the actual work may be "legal", as long as it's for personal vehicles, but there other factors in play. IIRC, the county has some sort of "immobile vehicle" law, basically designed to keep junkers off cinderblocks out of public view. not sure what the time frame is, may be 30 days, maybe more, maybe less. best to check in any event.

there's also noise ordinances that must be followed, so no running the DA at 6 AM or 11 PM. when i see bodywork, i think bondo, and think of all the dust it creates. you'll need to check it's MSDS info to see if there's any restrictions on containment of it. i would think no, considering so many body shops do work with filler with bay doors open. i can tell you this though, it IS illegal to spray automotive paint un-contained. the new waterborn paints, i think, can be sprayed without a booth.

just remember, even though there's no HOA dictating what you can and cannot do, if a neighbor gets pissed off at or doesnt like what youre doing, they can call the cops and john Q lawman can show up and make things miserable for you. best to mention what youre planning to do to your immediate neighbors, so theyll know whats coming, rather than open your personal earl sheib one friday night for them to wake to saturday morning.

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Re: Is it legal to repair your car in your own driveway?
Posted by: ThePackLeader ()
Date: July 11, 2011 04:57PM

As long as the vehicle is in your driveway, ie on private property, then there's nothing preventing you from working on it. However, believe it or not, some shitholes in Maryland have laws against it (Go figure, fucking communist state).

==================================================================================================
"And if any women or children get their legs torn off, or faces caved in, well, it's tough shit for them." -2LT. Bert Stiles, 505th, 339th (On Berlin Bombardier Mission, 1944).

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Re: Is it legal to repair your car in your own driveway?
Posted by: Small Town ()
Date: July 11, 2011 05:04PM

I tried to research this, and can't find the info on the town website, but I thought that at one point Vienna had some sort of bullshit ordinance that prohibited a resident from working on their car, even in their driveway, unless it was an "emergency repair," done in very short order.

For other repairs, you were supposed to get a permit of some sort. I'm sure this ordinance was rarely acted upon, but if you had a neighbor pissed at you, you might get a ticket of some sort...

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Re: Is it legal to repair your car in your own driveway?
Posted by: Gordon Blvd ()
Date: July 11, 2011 06:48PM

man, that would REALLY have to be some sorta dick cop that would actually issue a ticket................

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Re: Is it legal to repair your car in your own driveway?
Posted by: Steverino52 ()
Date: July 11, 2011 06:57PM

Guess you've never been pulled over in Vienna... That's all they have!

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Re: Is it legal to repair your car in your own driveway?
Posted by: CygnusX1 ()
Date: July 11, 2011 07:01PM

I change my oil and coolant in my driveway all the time. Nice having a creek nearby my house too. Makes cleanup a snap!

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Re: Is it legal to repair your car in your own driveway?
Posted by: Gordon Blvd ()
Date: July 11, 2011 07:24PM

@Steverino - LoLz +1

have heard PLENTY of stories in my lifetime about that particular subject.................

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Re: Is it legal to repair your car in your own driveway?
Posted by: Steverino52 ()
Date: July 11, 2011 07:37PM

Yeah, I graduated from Oakton back in 1970... Dated a girl from Madison... It's a wonder I ever got away!

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Re: Is it legal to repair your car in your own driveway?
Posted by: Shadow ()
Date: July 11, 2011 10:37PM

Do what you want. We've put together a car from an empty shell, switched engines, transmissions, brake work, pretty much anything.

There are rules about car mobility; ie., the vehicle has to be able move under its own power forward and backward something like ten feet, and this is only an issue if someone complains about the vehicle and then you have 14 days, I believe, to get the car moving. It still doesn't have to be legal in any other way, just able to move under its own power. If that's not possible, it needs to be hidden from casual view (ie., surrounded by fencing, in a garage, etc.)

About a decade ago, some supervisor proposed banning work on cars, figuring only a select few people would be inconvenienced (I guess since he pays shops to fix his cars) The turn out in town meetings and hearings was unprecedented. They had never had so many sign up to talk or so many people show up at the meetings. The issue was ditched and the board learned there are a lot more people in the county that want to be able to change their own oil than they'd ever imagined.

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Re: Is it legal to repair your car in your own driveway?
Posted by: Girot's Garage ()
Date: July 12, 2011 12:06AM

Can't speak for the rest of the county, but the current Vienna zoning regulation...

An "inoperative motor vehicle" is defined as any motor vehicle, trailer or semitrailer that:

•Is not in operating condition; or
•For a period of 60 days or longer has been partially or totally disassembled by the removal of tires and wheels, the engine, or other essential parts required for operation; or
•Displays neither valid license plates nor a valid inspection decal.
•In order to keep your property in compliance with the Town Code, all vehicles on your property must either:
•Be operative and display valid license plates and inspection decal; or
•Be shielded or screened from view by an auto cover (one vehicle per property); or
•Display storage tags purchased from the Town (one vehicle per property); or
•Be parked within a fully enclosed structure.

If you have a garage, you can do anything you want, but if you don't...have fun with that project car if you live in Vienna...don't forget to purchase your "storage tags."

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Re: Is it legal to repair your car in your own driveway?
Posted by: Repair Guy ()
Date: July 12, 2011 04:41AM

Thanks!

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Re: Is it legal to repair your car in your own driveway?
Posted by: sumguy ()
Date: July 12, 2011 09:50AM

In Fairfax County you can repair your vehicle in your driveway. I have had cars in all sorts of disrepair for month and years and have recieved no tickets. However if you park a car or trailer in the grass you will get a warning then a ticket. These vehicle don't even need current tags or inspection (for storage in the driveway). Fairfax City will give you a ticket if the tag go dead on a car in the driveway.

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Re: Is it legal to repair your car in your own driveway?
Posted by: Ut videam ()
Date: July 12, 2011 11:18AM

sumguy Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> These vehicle don't even need current tags or
> inspection (for storage in the driveway).

False.

Quote

Cars, trucks or vehicles that don’t work may only be kept on a residential lot if stored in a garage or fully enclosed building. An inoperable vehicle is defined as one that:
  • Does not start and move under its own power; or
  • Does not display valid license plates; or
  • Does not display a valid inspection decal or one that has been expired for more than 60 days.

http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/code/vehicles/

http://library.municode.com/HTML/10051/level2/FACOCO_CH110INMOVETRSE.html#TOPTITLE

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Re: Is it legal to repair your car in your own driveway?
Date: July 12, 2011 11:19AM

Just be sure not to try this in certain HOA neighborhoods.

-----------------------------------------------

"...your suffering will be legendary even in Hell!"

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Re: Is it legal to repair your car in your own driveway?
Posted by: sumguy ()
Date: July 13, 2011 09:25AM

Thanks for the info. I'm lucky the police don't know their own laws. I've been cited for a trailer in the yard but not the 3 dead vehicles in the driveway with no tags.

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Re: Is it legal to repair your car in your own driveway?
Posted by: Tina H ()
Date: March 07, 2013 06:37PM

What a joke you are! Idiodic answer to someone asking a simple question. I despise assholes like you..Get a life

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Re: Is it legal to repair your car in your own driveway?
Posted by: Gordon Blvd ()
Date: March 07, 2013 07:06PM

What a joke you are! Digging up an almost TWO YEAR OLD THREAD. I despise assholes like you..Get a life

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Re: Is it legal to repair your car in your own driveway?
Posted by: Mike O'Meara Incest ()
Date: March 07, 2013 07:07PM

Are you a nigger of some sort?

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Re: Is it legal to repair your car in your own driveway?
Posted by: dude2000 ()
Date: August 29, 2013 09:58PM

it is illegal to dump oil. it contaminates the water supply... YOUR DRINKING WATER. what an asshole you must be. take the used motor oil to any auto mechanic and they will accept for free. asshole!

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Re: Is it legal to repair your car in your own driveway?
Posted by: Durr Brigade ()
Date: August 30, 2013 12:25AM

it is illegal to dump oil. it contaminates the water supply... YOUR DRINKING WATER. what an asshole you must be. take the used motor oil to any auto mechanic and they will accept for free. asshole!

I believe the person was making a joke...BACK IN 2011!

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Re: Is it legal to repair your car in your own driveway?
Posted by: Not a joke ()
Date: September 08, 2013 09:13AM

Doesn't matter that this thread is old; the question is a recurring one for many, and the answer isn't obvious or necessarily easy to find. Thx to the posters who cited the county ordinance.

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Re: Is it legal to repair your car in your own driveway?
Posted by: svennestle ()
Date: September 08, 2013 03:02PM

in america and non-facists countries and even some facist countries: yes

in fairfax: no always

go figure

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Re: Is it legal to repair your car in your own driveway?
Posted by: svennestle ()
Date: September 08, 2013 03:06PM

yes. don't dump anything especially gasoline in the water. but don't dump any chemicals period, not even large ammounts of soap.

yes. if your in a canned neighborhood like apartments or even townhouses they may legally prevent you from working on your car

why? they wish to insure your poorer so their money goes farther, the be generally preventing work and breaking things of others

and fairfax is just the gov to support that behavior with a heavy hand

(this is all assuming you'd clean up a mess you made and have home owners insurance etc as need be if you might injure someone else. if you wouldn't, well guess what you loose privelage with me too ! :)

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Re: Is it legal to repair your car in your own driveway?
Posted by: Waldenthreenet? ()
Date: September 08, 2013 03:09PM

if you wouldn't, well guess what you loose privelage with me too ! :)




What?

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Re: Is it legal to repair your car in your own driveway?
Posted by: svennestle ()
Date: September 08, 2013 03:10PM

don't leave your car up on a hydraulic jack

1) kids will knock it over you'll need a new steering knuckle. kids might get injured

2) JACKS SLOWLY loose height. you can't see it. but they do.

3) don't start a car fire too close to other parked cars. not anymore than normal risk any car might.

do buy chilton's and follow all safety advice

leave your hood up

1) it will fall on your hand and anyting under it causes a dent in the hood

2) walk away with a few tools left with that open hood. you find later some parts and tools are stolen

3) a neighbor who works for the county quietly reports you for things you didn't even do

this town is f'ing nuts - that part isn't in the chilton's guide



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/08/2013 03:19PM by svennestle.

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Re: Is it legal to repair your car in your own driveway?
Posted by: svennestle ()
Date: September 08, 2013 03:11PM

my dick is an inoperative vehicle by city code standards

suck it

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Re: Is it legal to repair your car in your own driveway?
Posted by: eesh ()
Date: September 08, 2013 03:42PM

svennestle Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> my dick is an inoperative vehicle by city code
> standards
>
> suck it



WTF

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