Starting Jan. 1, 2018, cigarette retailers and wholesale dealers must use the new Cigarette Resale Certificate of Exemption (ST-10C) issued by Virginia Tax to buy cigarettes tax exempt for resale in Virginia. 

Form ST-10 will no longer be accepted for these purchases. 

How to apply for an exemption certificate (ST-10C)

Full application process

You must meet the following requirements: 

  • Be registered as Retail Sales and Use Tax dealer or wholesale dealer and be in good standing with us. 
  • Have a physical place of business in Virginia that meets specific requirements: 
    • Retail cigarettes are sold on a regular basis. 
    • All local zoning regulations are met. 
    • Fully equipped sales and office space is at least 250 square feet in a permanent, enclosed building zoned for retail business. 
    • All records regarding the purchase, sale, storage, handling, or transporting of cigarettes are stored at the business location.  
    • A sign with business hours is displayed, and the business is open during those hours. 
    • The business doesn't share space with any other taxpayer who has been issued a cigarette exemption certificate.
  • Have a local business license for each place of business as required by the locality. 
  • Provide upon request, a copy of the business corporate charter and articles of incorporation, partnership agreement, or organizational registration from the Virginia State Corporation Commission, depending on the type of business entity. 

If you meet all the requirements, complete and submit the Form ST-10C Application and include a $50 nonrefundable application fee.

If you have multiple physical places of business, you only need to submit 1 application. However, you must list all physical locations on the application. You will be issued a cigarette exemption certificate for each qualifying location. You can only purchase cigarettes and resell them at the location listed on each certificate.

We will verify your information and conduct background checks. After verification and a 30-day waiting period, we will mail you a cigarette exemption certificate for each approved business location. 

Expedited application process

To qualify for the expedited application process, you must have:

  • A valid ABC license or 
  • An Other Tobacco Product (OTP) distributor’s license or
  • A retail sales and use tax registration for a physical place of business in Virginia and have been in good standing with us for 5 years or more.

If you qualify for the expedited process, you must complete and submit the Form ST-10C Application

You are not required to pay the application fee, and will not be subject to a background check or waiting period.

Using Form ST-10C

  • You can use Form ST-10C to purchase cigarettes for resale in Virginia only. You cannot claim sales tax exemption for cigarettes that will be taken out of Virginia.
  • Keep records of all purchases made with your Form ST-10C as well as records of your sales of cigarettes.
  • If you close or move your business, notify us immediately.
Suspension and Revocation of Form ST-10C

Virginia Tax has the authority to suspend or revoke a cigarette resale exemption certificate that has been issued if a retailer or wholesale dealer does not follow the requirements in the guidelines. 


See the complete cigarette resale exemption certificate guidelines for more details. If you have questions, contact our Tobacco Unit at or call 804.371.0730.