The Georgia Department of Revenue, Motor Vehicle Division has issued an updated Motor Vehicle Manual. This manual is detailed and addresses the State's requirements for titling and registering vehicles in the State of Georgia.
To view this manual online click "Motor Vehicle Online Manual".
Nonresident Service Member - Driver's License
A Georgia driver’s license is not required if the vehicle owner is stationed in Georgia as a nonresident service member.
The nonresident service member must provide a copy of the out-of-state/country driver’s license. The full legal name is required on Form MV-1 Tag and Title Application. The full legal name is the complete name recorded on the out-of-state/country driver’s license. The out-of-state/country driver’s license number and the name of the issuing state/country are required on the application. A copy of the out-of-state/country driver’s license, a copy of current orders, and Form PT-472NS Nonresident Service Members Affidavit for Title Ad Valorem Tax on Motor Vehicles showing they are stationed in Georgia must be submitted with the title application.
The vehicle owner is required to provide proof of Georgia residency when presenting an out-of-state/country driver’s license such as:
- utility or cell phone bill
- lease agreement
- employment verification
- bank statement
Nonresident Service Member - Vehicle Registration
Nonresident military personnel are not required to register their vehicles in Georgia as long as their vehicles display valid license plates from their home state. Nonresident military personnel have the option to purchase Georgia license plates provided they comply with all applicable requirements and are stationed in Georgia.
Nonresident military personnel who are stationed in Georgia based on military orders may be exempt from paying Title Ad Valorem Tax (TAVT) or ad valorem tax on any vehicle they own. The applicant is eligible for an exemption only if they do not register to vote in Georgia and do not own or co-own a home in Georgia for which they claim a homestead exemption.
To exempt Title Ad Valorem Tax (TAVT) the nonresident service member must provide the following:
- Current orders reflecting Georgia military base as permanent duty station
- Current Leave and Earnings Statement (LES) reflecting state/country of record other than Georgia
- Dependent identification card for qualifying dependents
Vehicles Purchased by Non-Resident Service Members
Generally, any motor vehicle purchased on or after March 1, 2013 and titled in Georgia is subject to a one-time title ad valorem tax fee (“TAVT”) and thereby receives an exemption from sales and use tax and the annual ad valorem tax, also known as the “birthday tax”. However, under the federal Service members Civil Relief Act (“SCRA”), a non-resident service member of the armed forces stationed in Georgia and their qualifying dependents are subject to different tax rules and therefore are not required to pay TAVT on the sale or purchase of a motor vehicle titled in Georgia nor can such persons be charged annual ad valorem tax on their motor vehicle. Instead, as noted in the Georgia Department of Revenue
Tax Guide for Motor Vehicle Dealers dated January 1, 2013, a non-resident service member is subject to sales and use tax on tangible personal property such as a motor vehicle. At the same time, a service member who is a resident of Georgia and who titles a car in Georgia is subject to the TAVT and will receive the associated exemption from sales and use tax and the annual ad valorem tax. Although non-resident service members paying sales and use tax is compliant with the requirements of federal law, the result may be that a non-resident service member will sometimes pay sales tax at a rate that is higher than the TAVT rate. Accordingly, this bulletin addresses the need to ensure an equitable rate of taxation for motor vehicles titled in Georgia for non-resident service members and their qualifying dependents.
In an effort to ensure that non-resident service members are not disadvantaged by their rate of taxation, a non-resident service member or their qualifying dependents titling a motor vehicle in Georgia may voluntarily pay the TAVT and in so doing can avoid having to pay sales tax. Dealers must calculate both the TAVT and sales tax and show non-resident service members the two options so the non-resident service member can make an informed determination.
For calendar year 2017, the TAVT rate is 7%. In Columbia County, the sales tax rate is 8%. Allowing non-resident service members to choose their method of taxation will ensure that non-resident service members are not disadvantaged by their rate of taxation.
This policy applies to any non-resident service member or their qualifying dependent who purchased a motor vehicle on or after March 1, 2013 resident, who is a citizen of the United States, and who is stationed at a military instrumentality within the State of Georgia solely by virtue of military orders. Qualified dependents means such service member’s spouse who is not a Georgia resident, such service member’s child who is not a Georgia resident, or an individual who is not a Georgia resident for whom the service member provided more than one-half of the individual’s support for 180 days preceding request for relief under the SCRA.
In order to prove their status as a non-resident service member or qualifying dependent, such persons should provide form PT-472NS to the selling dealer if the purchase is made at a dealership or directly to the county tag office if the purchase is made from an individual. The selling dealer and county tag offices should keep form PT-472NS on hand so it can be provided to a customer claiming non-resident service member status.
For additional information on the requirements to title and register vehicles in Georgia, you may refer to the appropriate tabs for titles (out-of-state/country), registration and insurance requirements.