How Much is the Tax on a Vehicle in Georgia?

Last Updated: July 03, 2022 7 min read

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How Much is the Tax on a Vehicle in Georgia?

Georgia has two motor vehicle property types of taxes: Title Ad Valorem Tax (TAVT) and Annual Ad Valorem Tax. Each vehicle you register in Georgia is subject to either one of the tax systems. The good thing is that you can only be subject to one or the other and won't have varying tax amounts due each year.

Title Ad Valorem Tax (TAVT)

This tax system became effective on March 1, 2013, after the Georgia General Assembly passed HB386 in the 2012 Legislative Session.

TAVT is a one-time tax collected when the vehicle is titled. Or every time vehicle ownership is transferred, or a new resident registers a car in Georgia for the first time.

The current TAVT rate in most Georgia counties is 6.6% of the vehicle's fair market value. However, according to the New Georgia Law, effective July 1, 2019, new residents to Georgia pay TAVT at a reduced rate of 3%. Which can bring more residents to Georgia, drum up more DMV fees overall, and increase the total amount of taxes paid. That's in part why at the end of a lot of movies, you will see that they were filmed in Georgia.

The dealership or leasing company pays the TAVT and may also include the amount in the fees for people who lease cars. That's why you are hearing commercials on Spotify about sneaky fees. But that's for another time.

Exemptions to this tax include:

  • Non-titled vehicles, boats, and trailers.
  • Vehicles transferred or inherited between immediate family members, including spouses, parents, children, siblings, grandparents, or grandchildren, are exempt. Suppose the car is within the TAVT system. In that case, the family member can pay a reduced TAVT rate of 0.5% of the vehicle's fair market value. However, suppose it is under the annual ad valorem tax system. In that case, you can stay under it or pay full a one-time title ad valorem tax.
  • Military veterans, this includes disabled veterans, prisoners of war, purple heart recipients, and medal of honor recipients, may be exempt from paying this tax.
  • Public Safety-First responders get a TAVT exemption up to a maximum of $50,000 fair market value combined for all vehicles they register during three years.
  • Vehicles older than 1985 and not required to have titles are only affected if the owner decides to get a title.

Make sure to research whether you're eligible for an exemption before paying this tax. This is true for many taxes, as a citizen it is your responsibility to prove that you have exemptions from taxes. Seems backward, but that is why you should have a trusty CPA in your tool belt.

Annual Ad Valorem Taxes

Annual Ad Valorem Taxes

This tax was unofficially known as the 'birthday tax' because it is due each year on your birthday. What a great birthday present, I would love to get renewal notices on my birthday, maybe even more than going to the dentist!

While TAVT applies to vehicles bought on March 1, 2013, or later, this tax applies to those purchased before this date. Also, non-titled vehicles or those not taxed under TAVT or alternative ad valorem tax.

Assessed annually, the Annual Ad Valorem Tax is due each year whether or not the vehicle is operational. It must be paid on the birthday of the person who registered the car. It is a prerequisite for receiving a new tag or renewal decal. A failure to make payments by the due date attracts a 10% penalty.

The amount a person will be required to pay will depend on the district in which they reside and their vehicle's current fair market value. You can use the following formula:

(Fair Market Value x 0.4) x (Millage Rate/1,000) = Ad Valorem Tax)

How Much is the Tag and Title in Georgia?

How Much is the Tag and Title in Georgia?

A vehicle's title is a legal document. It identifies all registered cars and contains information including the vehicle's tag, who owns it, the make, model year, gross vehicle weight, and vehicle identification number (VIN).

A flat-rate tag fee of $20 applies for all vehicle tags and an $18 title fee for an original Georgia title application. New Georgia residents must apply for registration within 30 days of moving to Georgia to apply for the state title at your local County Tag Office.

Suppose you fail to apply for a title within 30 days of moving, vehicle purchase, or transfer date. In that case, you will get a penalty of $10. A penalty fee of $10 doesn't seem like much but that could be an extra 25% on top of the fees that you have to pay. So if you look at it with a percentage-based mind, it is a lot more than you would want to pay.

Application for change of ownership will cost $18.00, and you must provide the original title. Replacing a title with new titles will cost you $8. An additional $10 will apply if you submit your application in person or via expedited mail. At that point, you might as well write a personal check as well.

Where Do I Apply For Title and Pay TAVT?

Submit the application for title and TAVT payments to the County Tag Office in your county of residence. Suppose you purchase a vehicle at a dealership. In that case, they can accept your application and TAVT payment and deliver them on your behalf to the County Tag office you reside. If you have purchased a vehicle third party, then search for your county's name plus County Tag Office on Google. An example query could be the Fulton County Tag Office, which provides a result of multiple locations and it appears that kiosks can now be used to renew tags.

How Long Can I Drive Without a Tag in Georgia?

How Long Can I Drive Without a Tag in Georgia?

Driving without a valid registration is a criminal offense in Georgia. However, new residents must register their vehicles 30 days from the date they move to Georgia. Seven calendar days after a purchase has occurred, you will also be fined for late registration. That means you shouldn't wait around and just get it registered.

For new purchases, register within seven business days from the date of purchase.

Does Georgia Have a Sales Tax on Cars?

Georgia does not have sales taxes on cars. Instead, they charge Title Ad Valorem Tax (TAVT) which replaced both sales and the annual ad motor vehicle tax.

How is TAVT Calculated?

Get TAVT by multiplying the vehicle's fair market value by the rate in effect on the bill of sale. Reductions can be made for trade-ins when a dealer makes the sale, but not for a private individual.

Is There a Tool for Calculating TAVT?

The Georgia Department of Revenue offers a TAVT calculator that allows you to estimate the amount you need to pay. You need your car's VIN to use this tool.

How is Fair Market Value Determined for a Motor Vehicle?

How is Fair Market Value Determined for a Motor Vehicle?

For a new vehicle, the fair market value is the higher value between the retail selling price and the value listed in the state motor vehicle assessment manual. This amount can be reduced by the trade-in value and any rebate or cash discounts provided during the sale. The retail selling price includes the charges for delivery, freight, documentation fees, and other such fees. For used cars, the fair market value is the value identified in the state motor vehicle assessment manual.

Bottom Line

Driving without a valid registration is a criminal offense in Georgia. The better you understand the relevant taxes and registration fees in Georgia, the more prepared you will be when making a vehicle purchase or registering a car from a different state.

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