Title Ad Valorem Tax (TAVT)
Effective March 1, 2013, any motor vehicle title for which there is a transfer of ownership shall be exempt from sales and use taxes and shall not be subject to the annual ad valorem tax. Any such motor vehicle shall be subject to a Title Ad Valorem Tax based upon the fair market value of the vehicle. The title ad valorem tax shall be paid to the Columbia County Motor Vehicle Office at the time of titling and registration.
An owner has thirty (30) days from the date the vehicle was purchased or the date the ownership was transferred (casual sale) to apply for a title to avoid being charged a 10% Title Ad Valorem Tax penalty fee, with an additional 1% penalty every thirty (30) days thereafter.
Additionally, for dealer sales a penalty of 5% of the TAVT liability will be assessed for any application and/or TAVT that is not submitted to the Columbia County Motor Vehicle Office within thirty (30) days from the purchase date. An additional 5% will be assessed every subsequent month that the application for title and/or TAVT is late.
Vehicles that do not meet the statutory definition of motor vehicles are exempt from the Title Ad Valorem Tax and would continue to be subject to sales tax and annual ad valorem taxes. This includes:
- Pull behind Campers
- Mobile Homes
- Vehicles that are not titled in Georgia
- Vehicles not required to be titled in Georgia
Immediate Family Member – Transfer of Ownership
Immediate Family Member is defined at one’s spouse, parent, child, sibling, grandparent or grandchild.
Whether a motor vehicle transferred or inherited by an immediate family will be subject to the TAVT will depend on whether the former owner had paid TAVT:
1. If the former owner of the vehicle had not paid TAVT and was paying annual ad valorem tax on the vehicle, the new owner may choose to either:
- Continue paying annual ad valorem tax on this vehicle, and therefore not be subject to the TAVT, or
- The new owner may elect at the time of transfer to pay the TAVT based on the current fair market value of the vehicle at the applicable rate for the current year.
2. If the vehicle is acquired from a family member who paid the TAVT at the time they purchased the vehicle, then the new owner’s TAVT will be 0.50% (one-half of one percent). In this case the new owner does not have the option to revert back to the annual ad valorem tax system.
Joint Ownership and Title Ad Valorem Tax
In situations where joint ownership has been established on a title and one owner is being removed through application for a new title, the TAVT is not due at the time of new application. The ad valorem status will remain as it was prior to the new issuance.
In situations where an additional owner is being added by way of title application, the TAVT is due at the time of the application.