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  Vehicle Registration
Tax Commissioner
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General Information
New Motor Vehicle Title Tax

Effective March 1, 2013, House Bill 386 removes the sales tax and the annual ad valorem tax on newly-purchased vehicles. It replaces these taxes with a new title tax of 6.5% in 2013 and 6.75% in 2014. Here's what you need to know:

  • If you purchase a vehicle on or after March 1, 2013, you will pay the new title tax when you apply for the title and register the vehicle.

  • The new title tax is not due every year but is due each time the vehicle is sold and titled. It applies to dealer sales as well as sales between individuals.

  • The new title tax is based on a percentage (6.5% in 2013) of the fair market value, not the sales price, of the vehicle as determined by the Georgia Department of Revenue.

  • You will continue to pay the annual ad valorem tax on vehicle(s) that you currently own.

  • If you purchase a vehicle between January 1, 2012 and March 1, 2013 (when the new program begins), you have the option of paying the new title tax instead of the current annual ad valorem tax. You have from March 1, 2013 until February 28, 2014, to opt into the new program. Even though you have until February 28, 2014 to Opt in, you must complete the Opt In process by your renewal date or ad valorem taxes plus penalties are due.

  • All other existing annual vehicle registration requirements, including annual tag renewal fees, decals and emission tests (if applicable), remain in effect for all vehicle owners.
For a link to the Georgia Department of Revenue's FAQs, please click here:

For a link to the Georgia Department of Revenue's TAVT calculator, please click here:

The TAVT Opt In period has expired as of midnight 2/28/14.

Ad Valorem Taxes

Ad valorem tax is a value tax that is assessed annually and must be paid at the time of registration. Payment of ad valorem taxes is a prerequisite to receiving a tag or renewal decal. Ad valorem taxes are due each year on all vehicles including vehicles that are not operational, even if a tag or registration renewal is not being applied for. Taxes must be paid by the last day of your registration period to avoid a 10% penalty. Tax amounts vary according to the vehicle make and model and the tax district in which the owner resides. Ad valorem tax receipts are distributed to the state, county, schools, and cities. These levying authorities use this revenue to fund their general operations.


Emissions Inspections

Vehicle Emission Inspections Are Required Every Year in the 13 county metro Atlanta area.

Please be sure to include your passing "Vehicle Emission Inspection Report" with your vehicle’s registration renewal each and every year.

  • Who's Affected?
    Georgia's Clean Air Force presently conducts vehicle emissions testing in the 13 county metro Atlanta area. Most Gasoline powered vehicles that are less than 25 model years old weighing less than 8,500 pounds are required to be tested annually; motor vehicles that are 25 model years or older are exempt from emissions testing. Emissions tests are conducted at any state-certified inspection station and costs range from $10-$25.

  • New Vehicle Exemption
    For 2014 vehicle registrations and renewals, all gasoline powered model year vehicles 1990 to 2011 require a passing emissions test

  • Senior Exemption
    Senior Citizens may qualify for an exemption from emissions inspections if a vehicle is driven less than 5,000 miles per year, is 10 years old (2003) or older AND the primary owner is 65 year of age or older.

  • Repair Waiver Limit
    Each year, the repair waiver limit increases in accordance with the consumer price index. Currently, the repair waiver limit is $855.

  • Late Renewal
    If you are late renewing your registration for your birthday in a previous year, your vehicle will be tested according to the previous year’s rules.

For a listing of waiver centers and emission inspection stations, or for more information on emission testing, repair waivers, antique exemptions and other extension and exemption information, please call Georgia's Clean Air Force at 800-449-2471 or visit their website at


Method of Payment

In person: Cash, Credit cards (2.35% minimum $1.00), Debit cards ($1.50), Checks, Cashier's checks, and Money Orders are accepted at all three locations.

Via Web or Phone: Credit cards only which incur a 2.35% (minimum $1.00) convenience fee. Click here for web or phone renewal information.

By Mail: Company or Personal Check, Money Order or Certified Funds made payable to: DeKalb County Tax Commissioner. Checks must have name, local address (PO Boxes are not acceptable), and bank account number pre-printed on the check. Please enter two phone numbers, driver's license number, and tag number on the face of your check. Please do not send cash through the mail.

We cannot accept starter, counter, third party, payroll, or checks with an out of state or PO box address.

Newly Acquired Vehicles

Georgia residents who purchase vehicles from private owners must register the vehicle within 7 business days. However, if purchasing from a dealership, the customer must register within 30 days of purchase. New vehicle owners must apply for a title prior to or at the time of registration. Registration and application for the title must be made in person at one of our three locations. The new owner must present a valid Georgia driver's license. If an owner is unable to appear in person, an original notarized Power-of-Attorney and a copy of the Georgia driver's license for that person must be presented at the time of registration. The Power-of-Attorney must include the year, make, model, and vehicle identification number of the vehicle.

If a bank, credit union, or other lender has applied for the title, the application for title must be received and verified by the Georgia Department of Revenue - Motor Vehicle Division. This applies to vehicles purchased or leased. If you have leased a vehicle, you must provide the lease agreement at the time of registration.

If you have possession of the title and wish to make application, the back side of the original title must be completely filled out, recording the buyer name, the seller name, both signatures, the date of sale and current odometer reading. Do not use whiteout, or cross through an error on the back of a title. A notarized affidavit of correction will need to be completed which must accompany the title, and MV1 form if corrections to a title must be made. These forms are available at this web site or one of our three office locations. Please note both seller and buyer may be needed to complete an affidavit of correction, depending on the error.

If the vehicle is purchased from an automobile dealer, the dealer assignment section must be completed with registered dealers name, dealers master tag number and date of sale. Latest registration information of the vehicle will be required. Valid Georgia driver's license number, birth date, proof of insurance and emissions will also be required.


Registration Bill

The tag renewal and registration bill is a single part, laser printed, bar coded form designed to simplify the handling and processing of your registration. The registration bill will list ad valorem taxes (if applicable) and tag fees due on your vehicle. You are required to complete certain information and affix your signature on the registration form in order to receive a tag or renewal decal. The registration bills are mailed out approximately 45 days prior to the vehicle owner(s) birthday (expiration date). Registrations can only be accepted during the 30 day period preceding and ending on the vehicle owner(s) birthday.

We encourage registrations by mail, online and via phone to save time. Registration payments should be mailed early so as to allow time for return of your tag or renewal decal before your current tag expires on your birthday. When mailing your registration payment, please allow 10 days for processing and return of your tag or renewal decal. Registration payments must be postmarked no later than your birthday to avoid penalties. Late penalties are 10% of the ad valorem tax (if taxes applicable), plus 25% of the tag fee.

Registrations will be delayed and even considered late, if information is not provided on the form. To ensure timely processing and avoid penalties, please carefully read the instructions that are included with the registration form and enter all the required information in the appropriate spaces. By completing ALL SECTIONS of the registration form, timely processing is assured and penalties avoided.

Not receiving a registration renewal notice does not relieve the registrant/taxpayer from the obligation to register and pay taxes during their birthday registration period. Vehicle registration and payment of taxes are the responsibility of the registrant/taxpayer. If an annual registration bill is not received, please call (404) 298-4000.


  • Insurance:
    Georgia law requires that all vehicle owners carry proof of current Georgia liability insurance. Please click here for Insurance information effective January 1, 2004

  • Social Security Number:
    The vehicle owner(s) social security number or driver(s) license number may be required when registering a vehicle. Social security numbers serve as a means of owner identification and provide cross indexing and grouping of registration records. All social security numbers carried on vehicle registration records are protected by state law as confidential information.

    The State requires social security numbers for any resident who receives a handicap veteran, former prisoner of war, medal of honor, national guard, purple heart, military reserve or amateur radio tag.

  • Birth Date
    The vehicle owner/lessee date of birth is required when registering a vehicle. Upon initial registration the owner(s) birthday is recorded to establish the next registration renewal period and expiration date of the vehicle license plate. If a vehicle is owned by two or more persons, the birthday of the owner whose name appears first on the certificate of title is required.

    Vehicles owned by a business are not required to record a date of birth. The expiration date will be established according to the first letter of the business name. Be sure to check the box on the renewal form that indicates a business registration.

    Visa/MasterCard is accepted online for tag renewals at


Registration Renewal Period

  • For Persons: 
    Registrations expire on the vehicle owner/lessee birthday and must be renewed during the 30 day period preceding and ending on the owner/lessee birthday.

  • For Non-Persons:
    Registrations in the name of a business, corporation, or organization expire at the end of the business owner(s) designated registration month. Business registrations are staggered by month according to the first letter of the company name as shown on the registration application. Business owned vehicle registrations must be renewed during and no later than the end of the designated renewal month.

    Registration renewal applications postmarked after the end of any registration period will accrue a 10% ad valorem penalty (minimum $5.00) and a 25% tag penalty (minimum $5.00).

    Registering by mail offers time and money savings benefits and is strongly recommended! Registrants needing assistance may contact us in person at one of our three tag office locations (link to three locations), by contacting our Call Center at 404-298-4000 or click here


Renewal Schedule for Non-Persons:

Business Name Renewal Month Business Name Renewal Month
A-B January M-N July
C-D February O-P August
E-F March Q-R September
G-H April S-T October
I-J May U-V-W November
K-L June X-Y-Z December


Renewal Processing Methods

We have five convenient renewal processing methods:
  1. In person at any of our three convenient locations
  2. Via mail - PO Box 100025, Decatur, GA 30031-7025
  3. Pay by phone - Please call 877-496-0249 *#
  4. Via the web at *#
  5. Drop box at the main office located at 4380 Memorial Drive, Suite 100, Decatur, GA 30032 (mail dropped off at night will be considered received on that business day).

* In order to renew online or via our pay by phone system, a Renewal Internet Number (RIN) is required. This information is listed on your motor vehicle's renewal notice. If you do not have your renewal notice, please contact our office at 404-298-4000 to request your RIN.

# - Vehicles 8500 lbs or greater cannot be renewed online or via our pay by phone system.

Special License Plate Fee Changes

Effective immediately all "specialty license plates" now require a $35.00 annual fee. Examples of these plates are: Wildlife, Wildflower, Trout Unlimited, Alternative Fuel, Educator, Hobby Antique, Amateur Radio, etc. These special license plate fee changes were made by the Georgia State Legislature during the most current legislative session and signed into law by Governor Perdue on 5/12/2010. Please click here for detailed special license plate fee changes.

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