New Title Tax replacing sales tax and ad valorem tax

So those getting their Model S between Jan and Mar 2013 will have the option of paying the new Title tax or sticking with the old sales/ad valorem tax. The new Title tax for 2013 adds a 6.5% on the vehicle's fair market value, not as a percentage of the amount the purchaser paid for the vehicle. What would the fair market value be for a new Model S? Link for more info about this Title tax:

Good question. I expect that the State will have all sorts of issues with the fair market value of a Model S. Logically for a new Model S, that isn't sold at a discount by Tesla, the fair market value should equal the purchase price. I don't expect the State to be logical though.


Thanks for the link kublai!

From what I understand, you can estimate your taxes for both the title ad valorem and annual ad valorem (for comparison) on this website:

Obviously, if you buy the Model S after March 2013 then you won't have a choice and will have to pay the title ad valorem.

I still have questions around the sales tax. The new title ad valorum states that no sales tax will need to be paid. However, Tesla has a tax line item on my initial paper work. It is going to take some diligence to ensure I/we don't get double charged in the early going. If I gather any more info on this I will be sure to share it here.

-George Vetrano

I have inquired Tesla specialist regarding the new Title Tax vs the current annual ad valorem tax to see if we have a choice between the two if taking delivery next year. Will post what I get.

The new vehicle tax starts 3/1/2013. If you purchased anytime from 1/1/2012 through 2/28/2013 you pay the 'old way' (just sales tax plus normal tag fee), but you will have until 12/31/2013 to opt-in to the new system, paying a one-time total of 7% fee.

If purchased before 1/1/2012 - the vehicle remains under the 'old' system until you sell / transfer it to someone other than your spouse.

We purchased a new car in Sept 2012 and received paperwork from the state with this info. Since our sales tax was 6% at purchase, we will pay another 1% after 3/1/2013 and not have to pay the old ad-valorem tax for as long as we own the vehicle. (Just the annual tag/sticker fee.)

All purchases from 3/1/2013 forward only use the new system. Reportedly, this is meant to capture revenue from used cars in the private market that tend to be sold/transferred without the sale tax paid. After 3/1/2013, when you transfer a used car, the new registrant must pay this 7% tax to title/license the vehicle. I have not seen how they will prevent artificially low sales numbers being reported - perhaps they will use KBB as a guide, but ostensibly, they must have some standard to prevent the $1 transfers.

On the FaceBook page, Tesla Motor Fans - Atlanta, someone posted a letter from the DeKalb county tax commissioner saying cars purchased out of state has to continue to pay the yearly ad valorem the same way.

I saw that too. What is the status on that? I paid $7000 in sales tax last month. I was certainly hoping to opt in. I cannot see why we could not unless they assumed we did not pay sales tax which I did when I registered the car.

Check out the DoR FAQs:

The one stating "I'm a GA resident but I plan to buy a car in an adjoining state..."

Getting my car registered today, I can confirm that we will not be able to opt into the new tax when buying a Tesla, at least until they have a dealership in the state.

Also, you need to pay your Sales Tax to the state before you go to the tag office.

Ok, when I went to the GA DoR to pay the sales tax, the lady there said that I *could* opt into the new tax system after March 1. So, I will wait until then and then see what happens.

As long as the state gets their money, I'm not sure why having/not having an in-state dealership should matter, but when dealing with Govt...who knows, heck they likely don't know.

Since mine will not arrive until well after March 1, at which time the new program is the only option, I'm hoping this will be worked out by then.

Tesla does not have a dealership anywhere. They plan on keeping it that way in order to keep the price as low as possible, and provide superior service.

I just received my final paperwork today (2/28) and Pay Now button. I sent an email to my DS to ask for the paperwork to be changed to March 1 as I assume it is this final MVPA that is used to determine purchase date for tax purposes as it appears ownership to the car occurs at the time this is signed and not delivery. In case difficult to change, has anyone received a more recent update (or definitive update) as to whether we will be permitted to opt in. I also live in DeKalb County.

HUGE RELIEF: I just returned from the Gwinnett tag office where I was informed that they eliminated the "out-of-state purchase" restriction for opting-in last Tuesday (Mar 5th); however they have yet to update their systems to remove this restriction, so I was asked to return in a few weeks (after calling the Motor Vehicles dept for Gwinnett at 770-822-8818 to check on it before standing in line again). If you need to pay ad valorum in the meantime (which I might), the difference will be refunded when you opt-in.

I registered in DeKalb on March 8 and was glad to see that I was "required" to be under the new title tax. I am now exempt from having to pay the annual ad valorem tax. I was informed no opt-in required as long as bill of sale shows a March 1 or later date.

@ eichtolu

Hey there, I live in Dekalb County too (new Brookhaven) and got my Model S on March 2nd. Have made 3 trips to tag & title and left each time. Each time a different story, but they were trying to rope me into the 7% sales tax AND ad valorem for the out-of-state car. I read the law and didn't find anything explicit either way. Can you tell me, did you pay the 6.5% straight new tax or did you have to pay the 7% with opt-in. I am not going to fight over .5%, but the ad valorem is big deal. I actually pushed back my delivery date until March 1 just so that I could be guaranteed under the new law! Would love to meet up sometime too. These forums have been so helpful.

@ richard_lawson
@ ianculling
@ jat

any more info from you all? Are any of you Fulton? I am Dekalb, but I was trying to understand if different counties are doing this differently (which I am pretty sure they cannot do, its a state law and its discrimination between citizens). ianculling, I know you are Gwinnett, were you able to finish registering? Did you pay sales w opt in or straight up title tax?

thanks all!

I went to the Brookhaven tax/tag office and only had to pay the 6.5% title tax and I am now exempt from the annual ad valorem tax. I think the key is whether the bill of sale is dated on or after March 1. In my case, it was dated March 1 which is when title to the car passed. I don't think the delivery date matters for tax purposes (my delivery date was March 8). I am assuming your bill of sale is in February since you took delivery on March 2. If so, I think you should still be able to opt-in since you have already paid more than the 6.5% -- you would then also be exempt from the annual ad-valorem tax going forward. I also live in the "new Brookhaven" so good to know another Model S is nearby.

This form should help clarify things - (Hope the link works as I copied it from a FaceBook, "Tesla Motor Fans - Atlanta" post on the subject). Basically, it now does not matter if the car is purchased out of state and if you purchased before March 1st, you paid 7% and after, 6.5%. No ad valorem after that, I believe and hope.

@ eichtolu

THANKS!!! This should be what I need. Actually, my bill of sale is dated after March 1, which made this even more confusing for me. And I went 2 times during the week of March 8th, which is after the effective date the DOR Notice came out.

If you want to meet up some time let me know!

@eichtolu, I have a grey model and I go to Kaleidoscope every now and then. What color is your so I can be on the look out and wave?

I am going to go back there today!

You should be fine when you go to the tag office. In fact, the day I registered my Model S the tag office person told me she had just registered another one earlier that day so we are growing in number in DeKalb County. I have black with grey interior Model S and will be on the lookout for a grey model when driving the streets of Brookhaven. Good luck at the tag office today.

I live in the outback, Bibb county. To my knowledge no Model S's here. Took delivery March 9th. I had my wife go to the tag office here last week with specific instructions to walk out if they did not allow her to pay the "Title ad valorem Tax". I had already discussed the GA title tax matter with Tesla and they dated my certificate of origin March 1st and my Bill of Sale (Final MVPA) March 2nd. At the tag office my wife was told that we had bought the car in California and therefore were not entitled to pay under the new law and would have to pay sales tax and continued annual ad valorem tax. My wife protested and stated that we had not been to California to purchase the car, and for the first time had laid eyes on a Tesla when we picked ours up at the Atlanta service center. After a bit of a run around the office supervisor stated that they had just changed the rule the evening before, and that vehicles purchased "out of state" were eligible for the new "Title Tax". Alls well that ends well. I guess things are still in a bit of flux.

Nice to see a few other Tesla owners already in Brookhaven! I live in Ashford Park and haven't seen one around - but @DSK and @elchtolu: look forward to seeing your's soon!

I have a White 40KwH arriving in June. Thanks for the tips on registering the MS.



Tesla didn't charge me a tax on my final MVPA. I know that I will need to pay it at the tag office. However, it was nice to not have to pay that ~$5000 right away.

I should have my Brown 40 kWh Model S next week. I am in Brookhaven at least once a week. Hope to see some Model S' the next time I am there :)

-George V

I received a notice yesterday saying that I can opt-in to the new tax through Feb 2014. I have to go in person and take all the documentation with me.

I finally got around to switching it -- you definitely want to. The online calculator had suggested it would pay off in about 1.5 years, but I actually saved $500 this year and about $900 every year from now on by switching.

You can also send the form in via fax or email, but I couldn't find the form online anywhere and if you do that make sure you leave plenty of time before you tag is due so you can get an updated tag renewal form.

Just spent an hour at the DMV office here in Savannah. I presented them with the temporary document that came when the car was delivered last Thursday but was told that was inadequate to register and title the car.

Has anyone else in Georgia had the same problem? By the way, the delivery "experience" for me was less than optimal. The delivery specialist kept changing the dates on me with little to no notice. It definitely soured the buying experience for me. To spend $80K for a car and not have better service was somewhat offputting, to say the least.

Did you bring the Manufacturer Certificate of Origin and bill of sale? They didn't come with my delivery but Tesla sent them to me a few days after along with an California temp tag.

@Windsurfer - I was quite happy with my delivery experience, even though it was at the year-end rush and they didn't even have a service center open in GA yet. My only complaint was it took a week to get the paperwork so I could register it (including the CA temporary tag).

@Bchin is correct - what you need is the manufacturer's certificate of origin and bill of sale. I had to pay sales tax at the GA DoR first and then take the receipt to the DMV, but with the TAVT now I believe you can pay it all at the DMV. Also, I understand recent deliveries they send the MCO directly to the DMV if you signed a limited power of attorney with Tesla.

Got my MS in January and just paid my tag - $55.00. Awesome!

I got my license and tag in the mail today. Very easy. All handled by Tesla at delivery.

Looking to take delivery later this month. Can anyone provide information on the Ad Valorem Tax here in GA.

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