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Registering an unused but 100% owned and in GA car.

Discussion in 'South Central - USA (TN, MS, AL, GA)' started by lmpdesigner, Feb 23, 2021.

  1. lmpdesigner

    lmpdesigner Formula 3
    Silver Subscribed

    Nov 5, 2003
    2,097
    Atlanta Georgia
    Full Name:
    Brian Willis
    I have a couple of cars that I own, were registered in GA but have been out of use (and hence not registered) for a while. Car(s) sat in garage-unregistered, unlicensed and uninsured for a while. Now I want to get them back on the road. So I need to register them, insure them, etc.

    Issue is (as I have learned) is that GA demands you pay the Ad Valorum tax every year, whether they are registered or not. Beyond the fact that the only way you know what the ad valorum fee is going to be is thru the registration letter you get every year-which, if car is unregistered, you dont get, it would appear that I owe all of the cumulative ad valorum taxes over the years, if I want to register the cars. Seems you can't own a car in GA without registering it and insuring it! Sorry-you can, but you will have to pay all past ad valorum if you want to register the car.

    So what do I do?

    1.) I thought about selling the car to a friend (no real money exchange hands.) He registers car, I then buy it back and do title transfer and I get it registered in my name. Save my buddy will have to pay the outstanding ad valorum taxes himself!

    2.) Just pay the Ad Valorum taxes. But they really add up! For my podunk Lotus 1991 Elan-worth maybe $15-$20K I will need to pay $2750 in Ad Valorum taxes! Will not say what they are for the Ferrari 360!!

    3.) I was thinking of doing a Montana LLC and plate routine. I know lots of people do it. Issue is that your insurance company is not legally required to pay for any accident damage if it shows up that the car has always been in GA, driven on a GA drivers license, etc. It is called fraud. And insurance companies are very switched onto the Montana "trick".

    So not sure what to do. I have power of attorney on my step mom in Tennessee so I suppose I could register car there, maybe---. Using her home as my Tenn address. Set up a Tenn bank account to pay insurance and registration fees. Both the Insurance companies and the Tenn DMV are pretty smart. If your car is registered in Tenn but pay anything out of a non-Tenn bank account they will drop your insurance, revoke the car's registration and maybe send a little letter in mail inviting you to visit the Tenn State police, as their will be a warrant sworn out for you! All due to committed a fraud with the Gov of Tennessee.

    So seems I am a bit screwed here. Has anyone else had a car that they have had sitting in the garage for a while, unregistered, who then tried to get it re-registered? Key is car had to be registered in GA at some point in the past and you still own it. (Never sold it.) So you had the car in your possession, in GA, for some period of time and did not pay any Ad Valorium taxes during that period. That is the issue.

    Anyway-what a royal PITA!
     
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  3. EastMemphis

    EastMemphis Formula Junior
    Silver Subscribed Owner

    May 25, 2019
    885
    Memphis, TN
    Full Name:
    John
    I don't know about the TN registration thing. We use several out of state accounts to pay our bills and the registration/insurance is certainly included. I think we use a bank out of Phoenix for most things. TN, at least in Memphis, has no inspection so the car never has to actually be seen by anyone to register it.

    Whether you can get away with driving a TN car in GA for any length of time is another story. Mississippi has a similar thing that they inforce strongly. For instance, the enforcement folks will go around to employer parking lots and record any out of state tags. They do that at the mall and all sorts of other places that locals will likely be. I'd bet GA does the same thing. They make a lot of money from those taxes and they have incentive to go for your throat.

    I suggest just paying the tax for the car you want to drive and sell the other one out of state.
     
  4. Ferrari Tech

    Ferrari Tech Formula Junior

    Mar 5, 2010
    681
    Georgia
    Full Name:
    Wade Williams
    I had the same issue years ago on my Chevelle. I paid the back taxes. It was a Chevelle so not that big of a deal, but I can understand your position.
     
  5. Ianjoub

    Ianjoub Formula Junior

    Dec 22, 2019
    739
    Homosassa, FL USA
    Full Name:
    Ian Joubert
    Vote in new reps to get rid of the ridiculous taxes? Not a short term solution though, is it?
     
  6. Gatorrari

    Gatorrari F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed

    Feb 27, 2004
    14,126
    Georgia
    Full Name:
    Jim Pernikoff
    Maybe you can ask the guys with Montana plates.....
     
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  8. BT

    BT F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa

    Mar 21, 2005
    14,841
    FL / GA
    Full Name:
    Bill Tracy
    Good idea, but elected officials never have been able to keep from adding new and ever more ridiculous taxes at every level. Maybe we are destined to be a Communist country?
     
  9. fatbillybob

    fatbillybob Two Time F1 World Champ
    Consultant Owner

    Aug 10, 2002
    20,381
    socal
    What if you just trade them in? Do you really need 8 wheels plugging up space that you don't drive?
     
  10. 4right

    4right Formula 3
    Rossa Subscribed

    If these cars were already registered in GA in the past, then all you will need to do is obtain insurance and then pay the past due Taxes that shouldn’t be that much. Something like $20 per year, possible penalties? At trip to the DMV should get you the answers that you are looking for.
     
  11. Ferrari Tech

    Ferrari Tech Formula Junior

    Mar 5, 2010
    681
    Georgia
    Full Name:
    Wade Williams
    Not that simple as Ga. taxes on cars can be steep. If you are paying back taxes, it can add up to a rather large amount for a very old car that may not have that much value. The tax laws have changed and a car purchased now gets taxed on the purchase and the renewal is inexpensive. I can see where trying to catch up can be costly.
     
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  13. lmpdesigner

    lmpdesigner Formula 3
    Silver Subscribed

    Nov 5, 2003
    2,097
    Atlanta Georgia
    Full Name:
    Brian Willis
    Try $5400 !!!! For the Lotus.

    Close to $10,000 on the Ferrari
     
  14. FerrariCognoscenti

    FerrariCognoscenti Formula Junior

    Jan 19, 2021
    303
    States these days are insane. I would go the Montana route and take my chances.


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