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What You Need to Know about Georgia’s Ad Valorem Tax

January 19, 2016
Cars in a parking lot

Buying a new car can be stressful. Plus, maintaining it once you have it isn't quite a walk in the park. One thing you shouldn’t have to worry about is how to pay your taxes.

Back in 2013, the way Georgians pay tax on their vehicles changed. The old ad valorem tax, dubbed the “birthday tax,” still applies to vehicles purchased before March 1, 2013 in most Georgia counties. If that is the case for you, you’ll pay the tax annually within the 30 days preceding your birthday, either renew online, at a Motor Vehicle Division Service Center kiosk near you or at your County Tax Commissioner’s Office. The amount of the tax changes based on the current value of your vehicle.

If you bought your car on or after March 1, 2013 or if you have moved to the state of Georgia since then, you will need to pay a one-time Title Ad Valorem Tax, or TAVT, when you title your car in Georgia. The amount of this tax will be determined by multiplying the vehicle’s fair market value by the rate of the tax at the time of purchase. For vehicles bought in 2016 through 2018, the tax rate will be 7%. This rate will be reevaluated in 2018 and 2022 to determine if it needs to change, but under the current law it will never exceed 9% of the vehicle’s fair market value.

Residents need to register their new vehicles, pay the Title Ad Valorem Tax and give it a Georgia license plate within 7 days of purchase. New Georgia residents have 30 days from their move date to register vehicles and pay the Title Ad Valorem Tax.

Vehicle Checklist

No matter which version of the ad valorem tax you pay, there are a few things you’ll need to do to legally drive your vehicle as a Georgia resident:

  • Insure your vehicle
  • Title your vehicle in Georgia with an $18 fee
  • Receive a Georgia license plate (feel free to support an interest or cause with a special license plate)
  • Pay the ad valorem tax (annually or one-time with your title)
  • Renew your tags annually with a $20 fee (and $1 mailing fee if applicable)
  • Get an annual emissions test if you are a resident of metro Atlanta

Getting a new car can be a dream-come true. Never let fear of the unknown stop you from achieving your dreams. If you still have questions, see the Georgia Department of Revenue for more on registering your vehicle and frequently asked questions about the Title Ad Valorem Tax. Also, feel free to check out our Popular Topic and infographic on Ad Valorem Taxes.

About the Author

Rachel Hart is the User Interface designer for GeorgiaGov. She visually organizes information and writes blogs on a variety of government-related topics.

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