Georgia Rules and Laws
Georgia is a member of the International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA). This places interstate motor carrier operations under the IFTA Articles of Agreement. View the IFTA articles of agreement and order more copies.
Laws governing motor carriers in Georgia are found in the Official Code of Georgia; Title 48, Chapter 9.
IFTA is an agreement between all the U.S states except Alaska and Hawaii and most of the provinces/territories of Canada. This agreement establishes the concept of one fuel use license and one administering base jurisdiction for each licensee. The licensee’s base jurisdiction will be the administrator of this agreement and execute all the provisions with respect to the licensee.
Who Needs an IFTA License?
Any qualified motor vehicle engaged in interstate commerce that is based in Georgia and is not IFTA registered in another jurisdiction must register and file reports and payments covering all jurisdictions with Georgia.
A qualified vehicle is one designed or maintained to transport persons or property which:
- Has two axles and a gross vehicle weight or registered gross vehicle weight more than 26,000 pounds or 11,797 kilograms.
- Has three or more axles, regardless of weight
- Is used in combination when the combination exceeds a gross vehicle weight of 26,000 pounds or 11,797 kilograms
The following vehicles should not register with the Motor Fuel Tax Unit:
- School buses
- Federal, state or local government vehicles
- Transit buses
- Recreational vehicles such as motor homes, pickup trucks with attached campers, and buses when used exclusively for personal pleasure
- Other qualified vehicles used exclusively within Georgia
Types of Licenses and Permits
The department issues a Motor Fuel Use Tax License and a Motor Fuel Use Tax Permit.
- The license is an annual IFTA license that is issued with two decals and an IFTA license. One decal must be attached on or near the doors on each side of the cab. One license is issued to the motor carrier registering the vehicle. A copy of this license must be maintained in each vehicle since it identifies which company or person has registered the vehicle. The IFTA license is valid from the date of issuance until the last day of the year, or until the Commissioner suspends or revokes it. This license requires the registrant to submit quarterly IFTA fuel use tax reports.
- The permit is a temporary 10-day permit. A temporary permit is issued for each unregistered motor vehicle that is entering the state. A vehicle that is IFTA registered in any jurisdiction does not need a temporary permit even if Georgia was not listed on the IFTA registration as a state normally traveled. The temporary permit will allow the specific vehicle it is issued for to travel in the state for 10 straight days as shown on the face of the permit. The temporary permit must be carried in the vehicle it was issued to during this period. There are no fuel use tax reports to be filed with this type permit.
In addition to the above, the commissioner may authorize a motor vehicle to operate in the state in an emergency without an annual license or temporary permit. The commissioner grants this emergency authority either by mail or fax and should not exceed 30 days. The letter must be carried in the vehicle.
Motor carriers who get annual licenses must submit quarterly fuel use tax reports (IFTA Forms 100 and 101). The forms will be mailed during the last week of the reporting quarter and are due back by the end of the following month. These reports are required whether or not you had any operations for that quarter. The report will cover operations in all IFTA jurisdictions. Any money due will be included. The Revenue Department will disseminate the data and any money due to the other jurisdictions. Any remitted money must be in US currency.
The road use tax is based on the road use tax and surcharge of each jurisdiction. It is based on the number of gallons used in that jurisdiction. Credits for over purchases in one jurisdiction may be used to offset under purchases in another. These credits and debits are calculated at the road use tax rate where the purchase was made or the debit incurred. If you need help completing these reports, contact the Motor Fuel Tax Unit's Motor Carrier Section at 404-656-4055.
How to Obtain a License or Permit
You can get an annual license from the Department of Revenue or through a permitting service or a professional preparer. To order through the department, submit an application and appropriate fees to the Taxpayer Services Division. The cost, including the decals and license, is $3.00 per vehicle. Permitting services and preparers will normally charge an additional processing fee. If a permitting service or a professional preparer signs the application for you, you must provide them with a power of attorney.
Ten day temporary permits are obtained through permitting services. The cost is $16.00 plus the permitting services’ processing fee.
You cannot operate a qualified vehicle that should be registered without carrying an IFTA license and decals or a 10 day permit (OCGA 48-9-38). If you operate any vehicle that violates the registration provisions of the Code Section, you are subject to a penalty of at least $25.00 per incident (OCGA 48-9-45).
If you fail to file an IFTA return as required, you will be subject to a penalty of $50.00 for each failure. You will be also have to file the returns before your IFTA license will be renewed. Whenever you fail to pay any portion of the road use tax owed, you will be subject to a $50.00 penalty of or 10% of the amount owed, whichever is greater. Interest on the unpaid taxes will accrue at the rate of 1% per month or portion thereof. The department may require all back taxes, penalty and interest to be paid before renewing an your license.