Motorists in Georgia can expect longer lines and higher fees at some county tag offices as new vehicle tax laws take effect on March 1st.
The state is switching to a new Title Ad Valorem Tax.
Most Georgia residents are not aware of the change.
SANDRA SELF, CATOOSA CO. TAX COMMISSIONER "Beginning March 1st, all vehicle sales in Georgia...are going to be exempt from sales tax."
Lines at Tax offices in Georgia may be longer as they switch to the new system in March.
It's a one-time title tax called TAVT that replaces sales tax and the annual "birthday" tax.
SANDRA SELF, CATOOSA CO. TAX COMMISSIONER "Once a person has paid the new title ad valorem tax...when they renew their tag on their birthday, they won't pay any ad valorem tax..and that's a big change in the state of Georgia. "
One obvious difference after March 1st, will be a 6 and one-half percent sales tax imposed on those who purchase vehicles from another individual instead of an automobile dealer.
SANDRA SELF "People who buy from individual to individual ..We commonly call that casual sales..they don't pay any sales tax today, but March the first, they will be subject to TADT. That's a big change."
Most Georgia motor vehicle owners will remain subject to the ad valorem tax until they trade or buy a new vehicle.
SANDRA SELF "The option to take advantage of the TAVT opt-in ..The car must have been purchased from January 1, 2012...going forward..that's going to eliminate folks like me who bought theirs in 2011."
And, new residents of the Georgia will pay the Title Ad Valorem tax on their title and tag fees at the time of their initial registration.
There are some variations under the new law, regarding lease vehicles and buy-her-pay-here dealers.
SANDRA SELF "It will probably take 9 months to a year..maybe even longer, to realize the real impact on the law change."
Sandra Self says there's another bill before the legislature--House Bill 80 that will clear-up some murky areas of the new law.
If it passes, it will allow local residents who purchased vehicles out of state and paid the sales tax, to also take advantage of the opt-in provision.