SB 115 - Motor Veh. Tags - issuance to owner, transferral between vehicles

First Reader Summary

A bill to amend Title 40 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to motor vehicles and traffic, so as to define certain terms; provide that license plates and revalidation decals shall be issued to vehicle owners instead of assigned to vehicles; to provide that license plates and revalidation decals shall be transferred between vehicles in certain circumstances; to change certain provisions relating to operation of a vehicle with improperly transferred plates.

Thompson, Steve (33rd) Dean, Nathan (31st) Cheeks, Donald E (23rd)
Status Summary HC: SC: Trans LA: 01/27/97 S - Read 1st time
Page Numbers - 1/ 2/ 3/ 4/ 5/ 6/ 7/ 8/ 9/ 10/ 11/ 12/ 13/ 14/ 15/ 16/ 17/ 18/ 19/ 20/ 21/ 22/ 23/ 24/ 25/ 26/ 27
Code Sections - 40-2-6/ 40-2-21/ 40-2-31/ 40-2-41/ 40-2-42/ 40-2-45/ 40-2-61/ 40-2-62/ 40-2-70/ 40-2-80/ 40-2-83/ 48-5-440/ 48-5-471/ 48-5-473/ 48-5-474/ 48-10-5
Senate Action House
1/27/97 Read 1st time

SB 115 97                                          LC 25 0447 
 
      SENATE BILL 115 
 
      By:  Senators Thompson of the 33rd and Dean of the 31st 
 
 
                        A BILL TO BE ENTITLED 
                               AN ACT 
 
 
  1- 1  To amend Title 40 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, 
  1- 2  relating to motor vehicles and traffic, so as to define 
  1- 3  certain terms; provide that license plates and revalidation 
  1- 4  decals shall be issued to vehicle owners instead of assigned 
  1- 5  to vehicles; to provide that license plates and revalidation 
  1- 6  decals shall be transferred between vehicles in certain 
  1- 7  circumstances; to change certain provisions relating to 
  1- 8  operation of a vehicle with improperly transferred plates; 
  1- 9  to change certain provisions relating to operation of 
  1-10  unregistered vehicles; to change certain provisions relating 
  1-11  to motor vehicle registration and license requirements; to 
  1-12  change certain provisions relating to license plates and 
  1-13  revalidation decals; to change certain provisions relating 
  1-14  to display of license plates; to change certain provisions 
  1-15  relating to registration of delinquent vehicles; to change 
  1-16  certain provisions relating to issuance of license plates; 
  1-17  to change certain provisions relating to transfer of license 
  1-18  plates and revalidation decals; to change certain provisions 
  1-19  relating to issuance of license plates or revalidation 
  1-20  decals for salvage or rebuilt vehicles; to change certain 
  1-21  provisions relating to special, distinctive, commemorative, 
  1-22  promotional, and prestige license plates; to change certain 
  1-23  provisions relating to transfer of special license plates; 
  1-24  to amend Title 48 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, 
  1-25  relating to revenue and taxation, so as to define certain 
  1-26  terms; to change certain provisions relating to motor 
  1-27  vehicles subject to ad valorem taxation; to change certain 
  1-28  provisions relating to returns for ad valorem taxation of 
  1-29  motor vehicles; to change certain provisions relating to 
  1-30  what constitutes return of motor vehicles for ad valorem 
  1-31  taxation; to change certain provisions relating to transfers 
  1-32  of annual motor vehicle license fees, licenses, and plates; 
  1-33  to provide for related matters; to provide an effective 
  1-34  date; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes. 
 
  1-35       BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA: 
 
 
 
 
                                 -1- 
 
 
 
  2- 1                           SECTION 1. 
 
  2- 2  Title 40 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating 
  2- 3  to motor vehicles and traffic, is amended by striking 
  2- 4  paragraph (39) of Code Section 40-1-1, relating to 
  2- 5  definitions, and inserting in its place the following: 
 
  2- 6      "(39) 'Owner' means a person, other than a lienholder or 
  2- 7      security interest holder, having the property in or 
  2- 8      title to a vehicle. The term includes a person entitled 
  2- 9      to the use and possession of a vehicle subject to a 
  2-10      security interest in or lien by another person, but 
  2-11      excludes a lessee under a lease not intended as security 
  2-12      except as otherwise specifically provided in this 
  2-13      title." 
 
  2-14                           SECTION 2. 
 
  2-15  Said title is further amended by striking Code Section 
  2-16  40-2-6, relating to alteration of license plates or 
  2-17  operation of a vehicle with altered or improperly 
  2-18  transferred plates, and inserting in its place the 
  2-19  following: 
 
  2-20    "40-2-6. 
 
  2-21    Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, any person 
  2-22    who shall willfully mutilate, obliterate, deface, alter, 
  2-23    change, or conceal any numeral, letter, character, county 
  2-24    designation, or other marking of any license plate issued 
  2-25    under the motor vehicle registration laws of this state; 
  2-26    who shall knowingly operate a vehicle bearing a license 
  2-27    plate on which any numeral, letter, character, county 
  2-28    designation, or other marking has been willfully 
  2-29    mutilated, obliterated, defaced, altered, changed, or 
  2-30    concealed; or who shall knowingly operate a vehicle 
  2-31    bearing a license plate issued for another vehicle and not 
  2-32    properly transferred as provided by law shall be guilty of 
  2-33    a misdemeanor." 
 
  2-34                           SECTION 3. 
 
  2-35  Said title is further amended by striking subsection (b) of 
  2-36  Code Section 40-2-8, relating to operation of unregistered 
  2-37  vehicles, and inserting in its place the following: 
 
  2-38    "(b) Any vehicle operated in the State of Georgia which is 
  2-39    required to be registered and which does not have attached 
  2-40    to the rear thereof a numbered license plate and current 
  2-41    revalidation decal affixed to a corner or corners of the 
 
 
 
                                 -2- 
 
 
 
  3- 1    license plate as designated by the commissioner, if 
  3- 2    required, shall be stored at the owner's risk and expense 
  3- 3    by any law enforcement officer of the State of Georgia. 
  3- 4    It shall be a misdemeanor to operate any vehicle required 
  3- 5    to be registered in the State of Georgia without a valid 
  3- 6    numbered license plate properly validated; provided, 
  3- 7    however, that the purchaser of a new vehicle or a vehicle 
  3- 8    which does not have a current and valid registration or a 
  3- 9    used vehicle may operate such vehicle on the public 
  3-10    highways and streets of this state without a current valid 
  3-11    license plate during the 30 day period within which the 
  3-12    purchaser is required by Code Section 40-2-20 to register 
  3-13    or transferthe registration of such vehicle and provided, 
  3-14    further, that the purchaser and operator of a vehicle 
  3-15    shall not be subject to the penalties set forth in this 
  3-16    Code section during the period allowed for the 
  3-17    registration or transfer of registration.  If the owner of 
  3-18    such vehicle presents evidence that such owner has 
  3-19    properly applied for the registration of such vehicle, but 
  3-20    that the license plate or revalidation decal has not been 
  3-21    delivered to such owner, then the owner shall not be 
  3-22    subject to the above penalties." 
 
  3-23                           SECTION 4. 
 
  3-24  Said title is further amended by striking paragraph (1) of 
  3-25  subsection (a) of Code Section 40-2-20, relating to motor 
  3-26  vehicle registration and license requirements, and inserting 
  3-27  in its place the following: 
 
  3-28    "(a)(1) Except as provided in subsection (b) of this Code 
  3-29    section, every owner of a motor vehicle, including a 
  3-30    tractor or motorcycle, and every owner of a trailer shall, 
  3-31    except as provided in paragraph (3) of this subsection, 
  3-32    during the owner's registration period in each year, 
  3-33    register such vehicle as provided in this chapter and 
  3-34    obtain a license to operate it for the 12 month period 
  3-35    until such person's next registration period. The 
  3-36    purchaser or other transferee owner of every new or used 
  3-37    motor vehicle or other motor vehicle which does not have a 
  3-38    current and valid Georgia registration, including tractors 
  3-39    and motorcycles, or trailer shall, within 30 days of the 
  3-40    date of purchase the initial registration period of such 
  3-41    vehicle, register such vehicle as provided in this chapter 
  3-42    and obtain or transfer as provided in this chapter a 
  3-43    license to operate it for the period remaining until such 
  3-44    person's next registration period which immediately 
 
 
 
                                 -3- 
 
 
 
  4- 1    follows such initial registration period, without regard 
  4- 2    to whether such next registration period occurs in the 
  4- 3    same calendar year as the initial registration period or 
  4- 4    how soon such next registration period follows the initial 
  4- 5    registration period; provided, however, that this 
  4- 6    registration and licensing requirement does not apply to a 
  4- 7    dealer which acquires a used motor vehicle and holds it 
  4- 8    for resale. The purchaser of every used motor vehicle, 
  4- 9    including tractors and motorcycles, or trailer which is 
  4-10    currently registered shall, within 30 days of the purchase 
  4-11    of such vehicle, transfer such registration as provided in 
  4-12    Code Section 40-2-42. No person, company, or corporation, 
  4-13    including, but not limited to, used motor vehicle dealers 
  4-14    and auto auctions, shall sell or transfer a motor vehicle 
  4-15    without providing to the purchaser or transferee of such 
  4-16    motor vehicle the current Georgia last certificate of 
  4-17    registration on such vehicle at the time of such sale or 
  4-18    transfer or, if such vehicle does not have a current and 
  4-19    valid Georgia certificate of registration, the last 
  4-20    certificate of registration for such vehicle; provided, 
  4-21    however, that in the case of a repossessed or leased motor 
  4-22    vehicle, a court ordered sale or other involuntary 
  4-23    transfer, a salvage motor vehicle, or a motor vehicle 
  4-24    which is stolen but subsequently recovered by the 
  4-25    insurance company after payment of a total loss claim, the 
  4-26    lienholder or lessor, the transferor, the salvage dealer, 
  4-27    or insurer, respectively, shall not be required to obtain 
  4-28    and transfer provide the certificate of registration for 
  4-29    such vehicle, but  such a person or entity other than a 
  4-30    lessor shall, prior to the sale of such vehicle, surrender 
  4-31    the license plate of such vehicle to the commissioner or 
  4-32    the county tag agent by personal delivery or by certified 
  4-33    mail for cancellation; provided, further, that in those 
  4-34    cases where there is no current and valid Georgia 
  4-35    certificate of registration or in those situations where 
  4-36    the person, company, or corporation selling or 
  4-37    transferring the motor vehicle does not possess the 
  4-38    certificate of registration, then the purchaser or 
  4-39    transferee of such motor vehicle, if such purchaser or 
  4-40    transferee is a licensed motor vehicle dealer, may apply 
  4-41    to the appropriate county or state for a replacement 
  4-42    certificate of registration." 
 
 
 
 
 
 
                                 -4- 
 
 
 
  5- 1                           SECTION 5. 
 
  5- 2  Said title is further amended by striking Code Section 
  5- 3  40-2-21, relating to registration periods, and inserting in 
  5- 4  its place the following: 
 
  5- 5    "40-2-21. 
 
  5- 6    (a) As used in this chapter, the term: 
 
  5- 7      (.1) 'Initial registration period' means the 30 day 
  5- 8      period immediately following the date of purchase or 
  5- 9      other acquisition of a new or used motor vehicle, 
  5-10      including tractors and motorcycles, or trailer. 
 
  5-11      (.2) 'Owner' has the meaning provided by paragraph (39) 
  5-12      of Code Section 40-1-1 except that such term shall mean 
  5-13      a lessee of a vehicle when the vehicle is operated under 
  5-14      a lease agreement. 
 
  5-15      (1) 'Registration period' means: 
 
  5-16        (A) In all counties except those for which a local Act 
  5-17        has been enacted pursuant to this Code section: 
 
  5-18          (i) For natural persons, the 30 day period ending at 
  5-19          midnight on the birthday of the owner whose surname 
  5-20          appears first on the certificate of title or other 
  5-21          record of ownership; or 
 
  5-22          (ii) For entities other than natural persons: 
 
  5-23            (I) The month of January for the owner whose name 
  5-24            begins with the letter A or B; 
 
  5-25            (II) The month of February for the owner whose 
  5-26            name begins with the letter C or D; 
 
  5-27            (III) The month of March for the owner whose name 
  5-28            begins with the letter E or F; 
 
  5-29            (IV) The month of April for the owner whose name 
  5-30            begins with the letter G or H; 
 
  5-31            (V) The month of May for the owner whose name 
  5-32            begins with the letter I or J; 
 
  5-33            (VI) The month of June for the owner whose name 
  5-34            begins with the letter K or L; 
 
  5-35            (VII) The month of July for the owner whose name 
  5-36            begins with the letter M or N; 
 
 
 
 
                                 -5- 
 
 
 
  6- 1            (VIII) The month of August for the owner whose 
  6- 2            name begins with the letter O or P; 
 
  6- 3            (IX) The month of September for the owner whose 
  6- 4            name begins with the letter Q or R; 
 
  6- 5            (X) The month of October for the owner whose name 
  6- 6            begins with the letter S or T; 
 
  6- 7            (XI) The month of November for the owner whose 
  6- 8            name begins with the letter U, V, or W; and 
 
  6- 9            (XII) The month of December for the owner whose 
  6-10            name begins with the letter X, Y, or Z; or 
 
  6-11          (iii) The provisions of divisions (i) and (ii) of 
  6-12          this subparagraph notwithstanding, January 1 through 
  6-13          April 30 for vehicles in excess of 26,000 pounds 
  6-14          which are owned by natural persons or entities other 
  6-15          than natural persons; or 
 
  6-16        (B) In those counties which are authorized by a local 
  6-17        Act enacted pursuant to this Code section to have a 
  6-18        four-month staggered registration period: 
 
  6-19          (i) For natural persons: 
 
  6-20            (I) The month of January for the owner whose 
  6-21            surname appears first on the certificate of title 
  6-22            or other record of ownership and whose birthday is 
  6-23            in the month of January, February, or March; 
 
  6-24            (II) The month of February for the owner whose 
  6-25            surname appears first on the certificate of title 
  6-26            or other record of ownership and whose birthday is 
  6-27            in the month of April, May, or June; 
 
  6-28            (III) The month of March for the owner whose 
  6-29            surname appears first on the certificate of title 
  6-30            or other record of ownership and whose birthday is 
  6-31            in the month of July, August, or September; and 
 
  6-32            (IV) The month of April for the owner whose 
  6-33            surname appears first on the certificate of title 
  6-34            or other record of ownership and whose birthday is 
  6-35            in the month of October, November, or December; or 
 
  6-36          (ii) For entities other than natural persons: 
 
  6-37            (I) The month of January for the owner whose name 
  6-38            begins with the letter A, B, C, or D; 
 
 
 
 
                                 -6- 
 
 
 
  7- 1            (II) The month of February for the owner whose 
  7- 2            name begins with the letter E, F, G, H, I, J, or 
  7- 3            K; 
 
  7- 4            (III) The month of March for the owner whose name 
  7- 5            begins with the letter L, M, N, O, P, Q, or R; and 
 
  7- 6            (IV) The month of April for the owner whose name 
  7- 7            begins with the letter S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, or Z; 
  7- 8            or 
 
  7- 9          (iii) The provisions of divisions (i) and (ii) of 
  7-10          this subparagraph notwithstanding, January 1 through 
  7-11          April 30 for vehicles in excess of 26,000 pounds 
  7-12          which are owned by natural persons or entities other 
  7-13          than natural persons; or 
 
  7-14        (C) In those counties which are authorized by a local 
  7-15        Act enacted pursuant to this Code section not to have 
  7-16        staggered registration periods, January 1 through 
  7-17        April 30. 
 
  7-18      For purposes of determining the registration period of 
  7-19      an owner which is an entity other than a natural person 
  7-20      in subparagraphs (A) and (B) of this paragraph, the 
  7-21      owner shall be deemed to be the owner whose name appears 
  7-22      first on the certificate of title or other record of 
  7-23      ownership. Any other provision of this paragraph 
  7-24      notwithstanding, registration of vehicles under the 
  7-25      International Registration Plan shall be as provided by 
  7-26      Code Section 40-2-88. 
 
  7-27      (2) 'Vehicle' means every motor vehicle, including a 
  7-28      tractor or motorcycle, and every trailer required to be 
  7-29      registered and licensed under Code Section 40-2-20. 
 
  7-30    (b) The owner of every vehicle registered in the previous 
  7-31    calendar year shall register and obtain a license to 
  7-32    operate such vehicle not later than the last day of the 
  7-33    owner's registration period. The lessee of a vehicle being 
  7-34    operated under a lease agreement must register and obtain 
  7-35    a license to operate such vehicle not later than the last 
  7-36    day of the registration period of the lessee. 
 
  7-37    (c) The owner of any vehicle registered in the previous 
  7-38    calendar year who moves his or her residence from a county 
  7-39    which does not have staggered registration to a county 
  7-40    which has a four-month or 12 month staggered registration 
  7-41    period or who moves his or her residence from a county 
  7-42    which has a 12 month staggered registration period to a 
 
 
                                 -7- 
 
 
 
  8- 1    county which has a four-month staggered registration 
  8- 2    period or to a county which does not have staggered 
  8- 3    registration or the new owner of a vehicle registered in 
  8- 4    the previous calendar year which was transferred to such 
  8- 5    new owner after the new owner's registration period who 
  8- 6    resides in a county which has a staggered registration 
  8- 7    period shall, unless such vehicle has a current 
  8- 8    registration, register and obtain a license to operate 
  8- 9    such vehicle prior to the last day of such new owner's 
  8-10    registration period or, if such registration period has 
  8-11    passed for that year at the time of the change of 
  8-12    residence or at the time of transfer, not later than 30 
  8-13    days following the date of the change of residence or the 
  8-14    date of transfer. 
 
  8-15    (d) The transferee owner of a new or unregistered used 
  8-16    vehicle shall register and obtain or transfer a license to 
  8-17    operate such vehicle  as provided in subsection (a) of 
  8-18    Code Section 40-2-20. 
 
  8-19    (e) Any local law enacted pursuant to this Code section 
  8-20    shall specify either a staggered registration period of 
  8-21    four months or a nonstaggered registration period of four 
  8-22    months. If such local law is conditioned upon approval in 
  8-23    a referendum, the results of such referendum shall be 
  8-24    verified to the Department of Revenue." 
 
  8-25                           SECTION 6. 
 
  8-26  Said title is further amended by striking Code Section 
  8-27  40-2-31, relating to license plates and revalidation decals, 
  8-28  and inserting in its place the following: 
 
  8-29    "40-2-31. 
 
  8-30    (a) If the applicant meets the requirements set forth in 
  8-31    this chapter, the commissioner shall assign to the vehicle 
  8-32    issue to the applicant a license plate bearing a 
  8-33    distinctive number. 
 
  8-34    (b) Such license plates shall be of metal at least six 
  8-35    inches wide and not less than 12 inches in length, and 
  8-36    shall show in bold characters the year of registration, 
  8-37    the serial number, and either the full name or the 
  8-38    abbreviation of the name of the state, shall designate the 
  8-39    county from which the license plate was issued, and shall 
  8-40    show such other distinctive markings as in the judgment of 
  8-41    the commissioner may be deemed advisable, so as to 
  8-42    indicate the class of weight of the vehicle for which the 
 
 
 
                                 -8- 
 
 
 
  9- 1    license plate was issued. Such plates may also bear such 
  9- 2    figures, characters, letters, or combinations thereof as 
  9- 3    in the judgment of the commissioner will to the best 
  9- 4    advantage advertise, popularize, and otherwise promote 
  9- 5    Georgia as the 'Peach State.' The metal shall be of such 
  9- 6    strength and quality that the plate shall provide a 
  9- 7    minimum service period of five years. Every five years a 
  9- 8    new metal license plate shall be provided by the 
  9- 9    commissioner for issuance. Metal license plates issued on 
  9-10    or after January 1, 1997, shall be used for a period of 
  9-11    five years. 
 
  9-12    (b.1) Any valid license plate or revalidation decal 
  9-13    assigned to a vehicle under former provisions of this Code 
  9-14    section prior to the effective date of this subsection 
  9-15    shall be deemed issued to the current registrant of such 
  9-16    vehicle on the effective date of this subsection. 
 
  9-17    (c) The face of the license plate to be displayed shall be 
  9-18    treated completely with a retroreflective material which 
  9-19    will increase the nighttime visibility and legibility of 
  9-20    the plate. The Office of Highway Safety shall prepare the 
  9-21    specifications which such retroreflective material shall 
  9-22    meet. 
 
  9-23    (d) In those years in which a metal plate is not issued, a 
  9-24    revalidation decal with a distinctive serial number shall 
  9-25    be issued and affixed in the space provided on the license 
  9-26    plate assigned to the vehicle issued to the applicant 
  9-27    which shall indicate the year and month through which the 
  9-28    registration of the vehicle shall be valid; provided, 
  9-29    however, that if the commissioner determines that it is 
  9-30    necessary, two revalidation decals shall be issued for 
  9-31    each license plate to reflect the required information. 
  9-32    When an applicant is issued a revalidation decal and such 
  9-33    applicant registered the vehicle in another county the 
  9-34    previous year, the applicant shall also be issued a new 
  9-35    county decal which shall be properly affixed to the 
  9-36    license plate and shall replace the other county decal. 
 
  9-37    (e) The commissioner shall furnish without cost to each 
  9-38    tag agent reflective adhesive decals in sufficient number, 
  9-39    upon which there shall be printed the name of the agent's 
  9-40    county. Such a decal shall be issued with each metal 
  9-41    license plate and shall be affixed in the space provided 
  9-42    on the license plate without obscuring any number or other 
  9-43    information required to be present on the plate. 
 
 
 
                                 -9- 
 
 
 
 10- 1    (f) A county tag agent shall issue a county name decal for 
 10- 2    the agent's county only if: 
 
 10- 3      (1) The applicant is a resident of or a business located 
 10- 4      in the county named on the decal; 
 
 10- 5      (2) The applicant is registering a new vehicle in such 
 10- 6      county, is renewing a current vehicle registration, or 
 10- 7      is transferring registration of a vehicle to the county 
 10- 8      named on the decal; and 
 
 10- 9      (3) The application for registration of the vehicle is 
 10-10      being made in the county named on the decal." 
 
 10-11                           SECTION 7. 
 
 10-12  Said title is further amended by striking subsection (d) of 
 10-13  Code Section 40-2-32, relating to special license plates 
 10-14  commemorating a college or university, and inserting in its 
 10-15  place the following: 
 
 10-16    "(d) Special license plates issued under this Code section 
 10-17    shall be renewed annually with a revalidation decal, as 
 10-18    provided in Code Section 40-2-31, upon payment of an 
 10-19    additional $25.00 annual registration fee which fee shall 
 10-20    be collected by the county tag agent at the time of 
 10-21    collection of other registration fees and shall be 
 10-22    remitted to the state as provided in Code Section 40-2-34. 
 10-23    Special license plates issued under this Code section may 
 10-24    shall be transferred between vehicles as provided in Code 
 10-25    Section 40-2-80 40-2-42." 
 
 10-26                           SECTION 8. 
 
 10-27  Said title is further amended by striking paragraph (2) of 
 10-28  subsection (a) of Code Section 40-2-33, relating to issuance 
 10-29  of license plates, and inserting in its place the following: 
 
 10-30      "(2) In those instances wherein a vehicle shall be 
 10-31      purchased from a seller who is required to return the 
 10-32      vehicle for ad valorem taxation in a county other than 
 10-33      the county of the residency of the purchaser, the tag 
 10-34      agent where the vehicle is returned for taxation shall 
 10-35      collect the required fee for the registration of the 
 10-36      vehicle and, at the request of the purchaser, transmit 
 10-37      the fee and the application for registration along with 
 10-38      an appropriate certificate, which shall indicate that 
 10-39      all ad valorem taxes due thereon have been paid, to the 
 10-40      tag agent of the county of the purchaser's residency, 
 10-41      who shall issue the required license plate or 
 
 
 
                                 -10- 
 
 
 
 11- 1      revalidation decal. The tag agent transferring the 
 11- 2      application shall not be entitled to the fee prescribed 
 11- 3      for his services as agent of the commissioner for that 
 11- 4      purpose Reserved." 
 
 11- 5                           SECTION 9. 
 
 11- 6  Said title is further amended by striking subsection (a) of 
 11- 7  Code Section 40-2-40, relating to registration of delinquent 
 11- 8  vehicles, and inserting in its place the following: 
 
 11- 9    "(a) The owner of a vehicle required to be registered 
 11-10    under Code Section 40-2-20 which was registered for the 
 11-11    previous year, who has failed to comply with Code Section 
 11-12    40-2-20 for the current year shall be deemed and held to 
 11-13    be a delinquent under this Code section; and the 
 11-14    registration of such vehicle shall, after the expiration 
 11-15    of the owner's registration period, be subject to a 
 11-16    penalty of 25 percent of the registration fee for such 
 11-17    vehicle in addition to the fee provided by law, provided 
 11-18    that such penalty shall in no event be levied prior to the 
 11-19    expiration of the owner's registration period, 
 11-20    notwithstanding that the owner failed to register such 
 11-21    vehicle within 30 days of its purchase an initial 
 11-22    registration period." 
 
 11-23                          SECTION 10. 
 
 11-24  Said title is further amended by striking Code Section 
 11-25  40-2-41, relating to display of license plates, and 
 11-26  inserting in its place the following: 
 
 11-27    "40-2-41. 
 
 11-28    Every vehicle required to be registered under this 
 11-29    chapter, which is in use upon the highways, shall at all 
 11-30    times display the license plate assigned issued to it the 
 11-31    owner for such vehicle, and the plate shall be fastened to 
 11-32    the rear of the vehicle in a position so as not to swing 
 11-33    and shall be at all times plainly visible. No person shall 
 11-34    display on the rear of a motor vehicle any temporary or 
 11-35    permanent plate or tag not issued by the State of Georgia 
 11-36    which is intended to resemble a license plate which is 
 11-37    issued by the State of Georgia.  The commissioner is 
 11-38    authorized to adopt rules and regulations so as to permit 
 11-39    the display of a license plate on the front of certain 
 11-40    vehicles. It shall be the duty of the operator of any 
 11-41    vehicle to keep the license plate legible at all times. 
 11-42    No license plate shall be covered with any material unless 
 
 
 
                                 -11- 
 
 
 
 12- 1    the material is colorless and transparent.  No apparatus 
 12- 2    that obstructs or hinders the clear display and legibility 
 12- 3    of a license plate shall be attached to the rear of any 
 12- 4    motor vehicle required to be registered in the state.  Any 
 12- 5    person who violates any provision of this Code section 
 12- 6    shall be guilty of a misdemeanor." 
 
 12- 7                          SECTION 11. 
 
 12- 8  Said title is further amended by striking Code Section 
 12- 9  40-2-42, relating to transfer of license plates and 
 12-10  revalidation decals, and inserting in its place the 
 12-11  following: 
 
 12-12    "40-2-42. 
 
 12-13    (a) A license plate or revalidation decal, when issued, 
 12-14    shall not be transferred from one vehicle to another and 
 12-15    shall not be used by any other person or upon any vehicle 
 12-16    other than the one to which it is assigned, except vehicle 
 12-17    of the same class acquired by the same person as otherwise 
 12-18    provided in this chapter. Any use of a license plate or 
 12-19    revalidation decal by any other person or persons in any 
 12-20    manner not provided for in this chapter shall be a 
 12-21    violation of this chapter. 
 
 12-22    (b) The commissioner is authorized to shall provide by 
 12-23    rules and regulations appropriate procedures whereby, upon 
 12-24    the payment of a fee of $5.00, and, upon preparation and 
 12-25    filing of an appropriate application therefor, annual and 
 12-26    five-year license plates and revalidation decals may shall 
 12-27    be transferred from one person vehicle to another vehicle 
 12-28    of the same class of which ownership is subsequently 
 12-29    acquired by the same person upon that person's transfer of 
 12-30    the vehicle for which such plate was originally issued. 
 12-31    If upon transfer of a vehicle a person acquires a vehicle 
 12-32    of a different class, he or she shall submit the license 
 12-33    plate currently issued to him or her for cancellation and, 
 12-34    upon payment of any additional fee for registering such 
 12-35    new vehicle, the commissioner shall issue a new license 
 12-36    plate to such person for use on such vehicle. License 
 12-37    plates and revalidation decals shall be transferred only 
 12-38    during the calendar year period for which issued. A person 
 12-39    acquiring a vehicle with an expired annual license plate 
 12-40    or expired five-year license plate shall obtain a current 
 12-41    year annual license plate or a current year revalidation 
 12-42    decal as provided for by this chapter." 
 
 
 
 
                                 -12- 
 
 
 
 13- 1                          SECTION 12. 
 
 13- 2  Said title is further amended by striking Code Section 
 13- 3  40-2-45, relating to issuance of license plates or 
 13- 4  revalidation decals for salvage or rebuilt vehicles, and 
 13- 5  inserting in its place the following: 
 
 13- 6    "40-2-45. 
 
 13- 7    The commissioner shall not issue a license plate or 
 13- 8    revalidation decal for any No person shall transfer a 
 13- 9    license plate or decal from one vehicle to any other motor 
 13-10    vehicle which is a 'salvage' or 'rebuilt' motor vehicle as 
 13-11    provided in Chapter 3 of this title unless the owner of 
 13-12    such vehicle submits satisfactory proof to the 
 13-13    commissioner that the motor vehicle inspection required by 
 13-14    Code Section  40-3-37 has been performed and such vehicle 
 13-15    has been determined to be in full compliance with the 
 13-16    law." 
 
 13-17                          SECTION 13. 
 
 13-18  Said title is further amended by striking subsection (g) of 
 13-19  Code Section 40-2-49, relating to license plates promoting 
 13-20  the Nongame-Endangered Wildlife Protection Program, and 
 13-21  inserting in its place the following: 
 
 13-22    "(g) If a vehicle owner to whom the department has issued 
 13-23    a wildlife Wildlife conservation fund license plate 
 13-24    acquires a replacement vehicle within the owner's 
 13-25    registration period, the department shall authorize a 
 13-26    transfer of the license plate to the replacement plates 
 13-27    shall be transferred from one vehicle to another 
 13-28    subsequently acquired vehicle in accordance with the 
 13-29    provisions of Code Section 40-2-42." 
 
 13-30                          SECTION 14. 
 
 13-31  Said title is further amended by striking Code Section 
 13-32  40-2-61, relating to special license plates for certain 
 13-33  officers of federal and state government, and inserting in 
 13-34  its place the following: 
 
 13-35    "40-2-61. 
 
 13-36    The commissioner shall design and issue distinctive 
 13-37    license plates to each United States Senator and 
 13-38    Congressman elected from the State of Georgia, the 
 13-39    Governor, the Lieutenant Governor, the Speaker of the 
 13-40    House of Representatives, and each Justice of the Supreme 
 13-41    Court and each Judge of the Court of Appeals to be placed 
 
 
                                 -13- 
 
 
 
 14- 1    on such official's personal motor vehicle.  Each such 
 14- 2    distinctive license plate shall indicate the individual's 
 14- 3    elected office and no county name decal need be affixed to 
 14- 4    such plate. The special license plate authorized by this 
 14- 5    Code section shall be issued to such elected official upon 
 14- 6    application and payment of a manufacturing fee of $25.00 
 14- 7    and upon compliance with the state laws relating to 
 14- 8    registration and licensing of motor vehicles and may shall 
 14- 9    be transferred as provided in Code Section 40-2-80. 
 14-10    Distinctive license plates issued pursuant to this Code 
 14-11    section shall be renewed annually, and revalidation decals 
 14-12    shall be issued upon compliance with the laws relating to 
 14-13    registration and licensing and upon payment of an 
 14-14    additional registration fee of $25.00 which shall be 
 14-15    collected by the county tag agent at the time for 
 14-16    collection of other registration fees and shall be 
 14-17    remitted to the state as provided in Code Section 
 14-18    40-2-34." 
 
 14-19                          SECTION 15. 
 
 14-20  Said title is further amended by striking Code Section 
 14-21  40-2-62, relating to special license plates for members of 
 14-22  the General Assembly, and inserting in its place the 
 14-23  following: 
 
 14-24    "40-2-62. 
 
 14-25    The commissioner shall mail special and distinctive 
 14-26    license plates printed for members of the General Assembly 
 14-27    to the local tag agent in the counties wherein such 
 14-28    members reside on or before the owner's registration 
 14-29    period each year. Such special and distinctive license 
 14-30    plates shall be issued only upon applications made to the 
 14-31    local tag agent and payment of a $25.00 manufacturing fee. 
 14-32    License plates may be issued by the local tag agent upon a 
 14-33    proper application and in accordance with the terms of 
 14-34    this chapter. License plates issued pursuant to this Code 
 14-35    section need not contain a place for the county name 
 14-36    decal, and no county name decal need be affixed to a 
 14-37    license plate issued pursuant to this Code section. 
 14-38    Special and distinctive license plates issued pursuant to 
 14-39    this Code section shall be renewed annually, and 
 14-40    revalidation decals shall be issued upon compliance with 
 14-41    the laws relating to registration and licensing and upon 
 14-42    payment of an additional registration fee of $25.00 which 
 14-43    shall be collected by the county tag agent at the time for 
 14-44    collection of other registration fees and shall be 
 
 
                                 -14- 
 
 
 
 15- 1    remitted to the state as provided in Code Section 40-2-34. 
 15- 2    The special license plates issued pursuant to this Code 
 15- 3    section may shall be transferred to another vehicle as 
 15- 4    provided in Code Section 40-2-80." 
 
 15- 5                          SECTION 16. 
 
 15- 6  Said title is further amended by striking paragraph (1) of 
 15- 7  subsection (b) of Code Section 40-2-65, relating to special 
 15- 8  license plates for active reserve components of the United 
 15- 9  States, and inserting in its place the following: 
 
 15-10      "(b)(1) Upon transfer of the ownership of a private 
 15-11      passenger vehicle upon which there is a license plate 
 15-12      distinctively identifying the owner thereof as a member 
 15-13      of the 'United States military reserve' ,' such plate 
 15-14      shall be removed and the authority to use the plate 
 15-15      shall thereby be canceled; however, after such a 
 15-16      transfer of ownership occurs, should the said reservist 
 15-17      acquire and acquisition by the reservist of another 
 15-18      motor vehicle, the license plate issued pursuant to this 
 15-19      Code section may shall be placed on such newly acquired 
 15-20      motor vehicle, and such reservist shall notify the 
 15-21      commissioner of such transfer of the license plate to 
 15-22      such newly acquired motor vehicle in such manner as the 
 15-23      commissioner may prescribe by regulation. No transfer or 
 15-24      cancellation fee shall be charged for the transfer of 
 15-25      free reservist license plates. There shall be a transfer 
 15-26      and cancellation fee of $5.00 for the transfer of any 
 15-27      other reservist license plate." 
 
 15-28                          SECTION 17. 
 
 15-29  Said title is further amended by striking subsection (b) of 
 15-30  Code Section 40-2-66, relating to special license plates for 
 15-31  members of the Georgia National Guard, and inserting in its 
 15-32  place the following: 
 
 15-33    "(b) Upon transfer of the ownership of a private passenger 
 15-34    vehicle upon which there is a license plate bearing the 
 15-35    words 'National Guard' ,' such plate shall be removed and 
 15-36    the authority to use the same shall thereby be canceled; 
 15-37    however, after such a transfer of ownership occurs, should 
 15-38    the said member or retired member of the National Guard 
 15-39    acquire and acquisition by the member or retired member of 
 15-40    the National Guard of another motor vehicle, the license 
 15-41    plate issued pursuant to this Code section may shall be 
 15-42    placed on such newly acquired motor vehicle and such 
 15-43    member or retired member shall notify the commissioner of 
 
 
                                 -15- 
 
 
 
 16- 1    such transfer of the license plate to such newly acquired 
 16- 2    motor vehicle in such manner as the commissioner may 
 16- 3    prescribe by regulation and shall pay a transfer and 
 16- 4    cancellation fee of $5.00 and shall also pay license fees 
 16- 5    in an amount, if any, that the license fee for the newly 
 16- 6    acquired vehicle exceeds the license fee of the original 
 16- 7    vehicle. No transfer or cancellation fee shall be charged 
 16- 8    for the transfer of free National Guard license plates. 
 16- 9    There shall be a transfer and cancellation fee of $5.00 
 16-10    for the transfer of any other National Guard license 
 16-11    plate. Should a member of the National Guard who has been 
 16-12    issued a National Guard license plate be discharged or 
 16-13    otherwise separated except by retirement from the National 
 16-14    Guard, the immediate commanding officer of such member 
 16-15    shall obtain the discharged member's National Guard 
 16-16    license plate or plates at the time of the discharge and 
 16-17    shall forward same to the commissioner along with a 
 16-18    certificate to the effect that such member has been 
 16-19    discharged, and thereupon the commissioner shall issue a 
 16-20    regular license plate or plates, at no additional charge, 
 16-21    to such former National Guard member to replace the 
 16-22    National Guard plate. Should a member of the National 
 16-23    Guard enlist or be commissioned in the National Guard 
 16-24    after purchasing a regular license plate for the current 
 16-25    year, the commanding officer of the unit in which such 
 16-26    member enlists or is commissioned shall likewise secure 
 16-27    the regular license plate of such new member and return 
 16-28    same to the commissioner, along with a certificate to the 
 16-29    effect that such new member has been enlisted or 
 16-30    commissioned in the National Guard and the effective date 
 16-31    thereof, whereupon the commissioner shall issue a National 
 16-32    Guard license plate, at no extra charge, to such new 
 16-33    member to replace the returned regular plate. Upon such 
 16-34    request for a change in plate for a discharged member of 
 16-35    the National Guard or a newly enlisted member of the 
 16-36    National Guard, the commanding officer shall furnish such 
 16-37    member with a copy of the commanding officer's letter to 
 16-38    the commissioner requesting the appropriate change in 
 16-39    plate, which copy of such letter may be used by such 
 16-40    member pending the issuance of the new plate." 
 
 16-41                          SECTION 18. 
 
 16-42  Said title is further amended by striking subsection (b) of 
 16-43  Code Section 40-2-67, relating to special license plates for 
 16-44  state commanders of nationally chartered veterans' 
 16-45  organizations, and inserting in its place the following: 
 
 
                                 -16- 
 
 
 
 17- 1    "(b) License plates issued under this Code section may not 
 17- 2    be transferred so as to be used by any person other than 
 17- 3    the person to whom such plate was originally issued but 
 17- 4    may shall be transferred to another vehicle as provided in 
 17- 5    Code Section 40-2-80, except that such plates shall not be 
 17- 6    used by any person after vacating the office of commander 
 17- 7    of any of the organizations enumerated in this Code 
 17- 8    section." 
 
 17- 9                          SECTION 19. 
 
 17-10  Said title is further amended by striking subsection (a) of 
 17-11  Code Section 40-2-68, relating to special license plates for 
 17-12  Medal of Honor Winners, and inserting in its place the 
 17-13  following: 
 
 17-14    "(a) Motor vehicle owners who have been awarded the Medal 
 17-15    of Honor and who are residents of this state, upon 
 17-16    complying with the motor vehicle laws relating to 
 17-17    registration and licensing of motor vehicles, shall be 
 17-18    issued two distinctive personalized license plates free of 
 17-19    charge. Such license plates shall be fastened to both the 
 17-20    front and the rear of the vehicle. Such license plates may 
 17-21    shall be transferred to another vehicle subsequently 
 17-22    acquired by the Medal of Honor recipient as provided in 
 17-23    Code Section 40-2-80." 
 
 17-24                          SECTION 20. 
 
 17-25  Said title is further amended by striking Code Section 
 17-26  40-2-70, relating to special license plates for certain 
 17-27  disabled veterans, and inserting in its place the following: 
 
 17-28    "40-2-70. 
 
 17-29    Any citizen and resident of the State of Georgia who has 
 17-30    been discharged from the armed forces under conditions 
 17-31    other than dishonorable, who is disabled to any degree 
 17-32    specified and enumerated in Code Section 40-2-69, and who 
 17-33    is the owner of a private passenger motor vehicle, but who 
 17-34    cannot qualify under Code Section 40-2-69, shall be 
 17-35    entitled to a special and distinctive automobile license 
 17-36    plate. Such license plate may shall be transferred to 
 17-37    another vehicle  subsequently acquired by such veteran or 
 17-38    jointly by such veteran and his or her spouse as provided 
 17-39    in Code Section 40-2-80. Such veteran shall be entitled to 
 17-40    such plate regardless of whether he or she is suffering 
 17-41    from a service connected or nonservice connected 
 17-42    disability. Such veteran must apply for such license plate 
 
 
 
                                 -17- 
 
 
 
 18- 1    and, upon compliance with the state motor vehicle laws for 
 18- 2    licensing of motor vehicles and payment of the regular 
 18- 3    license fee for plates as prescribed under Chapter 10 of 
 18- 4    Title 48, such veteran shall be issued similar license 
 18- 5    plates as prescribed in Code Section 40-2-71 for private 
 18- 6    passenger cars. There shall be no charge for the 
 18- 7    additional plate issued such veteran under this Code 
 18- 8    section. If a veteran has not been certified as disabled 
 18- 9    by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, such 
 18-10    veteran may submit to the Department of Veterans Service 
 18-11    such veteran's discharge papers and a certified statement 
 18-12    from a physician, licensed under Chapter 34 of Title 43, 
 18-13    certifying that in the opinion of such physician such 
 18-14    veteran is disabled to a degree enumerated in Code Section 
 18-15    40-2-69. If the certificate from the physician indicates 
 18-16    the qualifying disabilities which meet the standards of 
 18-17    the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, the 
 18-18    commissioner of veterans service shall submit a letter to 
 18-19    the Department of Revenue indicating that the veteran 
 18-20    meets the requirements of this Code section and qualifies 
 18-21    for a special license plate as provided in this Code 
 18-22    section." 
 
 18-23                          SECTION 21. 
 
 18-24  Said title is further amended by striking subsection (b) of 
 18-25  Code Section 40-2-71, relating to design of disabled 
 18-26  veterans plates and restrictions on issuance and transfer, 
 18-27  and inserting in its place the following: 
 
 18-28    "(b) Such license plates so issued may shall be 
 18-29    transferred to another vehicle subsequently acquired by 
 18-30    such disabled veteran as provided in Code Section 
 18-31    40-2-80." 
 
 18-32                          SECTION 22. 
 
 18-33  Said title is further amended by striking subsection (b) of 
 18-34  Code Section 40-2-73, relating to special license plates for 
 18-35  former prisoners of war, and inserting in its place the 
 18-36  following: 
 
 18-37    "(b) Owners of motor vehicles who are veterans of the 
 18-38    armed forces of the United States, who have been prisoners 
 18-39    of war, who were discharged under honorable conditions, 
 18-40    and who are residents of this state, upon complying with 
 18-41    the motor vehicle laws relating to registration and 
 18-42    licensing of motor vehicles, shall be issued one 
 18-43    distinctive personalized license plate free of charge and, 
 
 
                                 -18- 
 
 
 
 19- 1    upon the payment of the appropriate taxes and registration 
 19- 2    fees, shall be issued additional distinctive personalized 
 19- 3    license plates. Such license plates may shall be 
 19- 4    transferred to another vehicle subsequently acquired by 
 19- 5    such person individually or jointly with his or her spouse 
 19- 6    as provided in Code Section 40-2-80. Such license plates 
 19- 7    shall be fastened to the rear of the vehicles." 
 
 19- 8                          SECTION 23. 
 
 19- 9  Said title is further amended by striking subsection (e) of 
 19-10  Code Section 40-2-74, relating to special license plates for 
 19-11  disabled persons, and inserting in its place the following: 
 
 19-12    "(e) The commissioner may begin issuing disabled persons' 
 19-13    license plates with the year 1976. Any license plate 
 19-14    issued pursuant to the provisions of this Code section may 
 19-15    shall be transferred to another vehicle subsequently 
 19-16    acquired by such person as provided in Code Section 
 19-17    40-2-80." 
 
 19-18                          SECTION 24. 
 
 19-19  Said title is further amended by striking subsection (c) of 
 19-20  Code Section 40-2-75, relating to special license plates for 
 19-21  amateur radio operators, and inserting in its place the 
 19-22  following: 
 
 19-23    "(c) The commissioner shall make such rules and 
 19-24    regulations as necessary to ascertain compliance with all 
 19-25    state license laws relating to use and operation of a 
 19-26    private passenger vehicle before issuing these plates in 
 19-27    lieu of the regular Georgia license plate. Such plates may 
 19-28    shall be transferred to another vehicle subsequently 
 19-29    acquired by such person as provided in Code Section 
 19-30    40-2-80." 
 
 19-31                          SECTION 25. 
 
 19-32  Said title is further amended by striking subsection (e) of 
 19-33  Code Section 40-2-77, relating to special license plates for 
 19-34  antique vehicles, and inserting in its place the following: 
 
 19-35    "(e) Upon the sale or transfer of any antique vehicle or 
 19-36    hobby or special interest vehicle for which special 
 19-37    license plates have been issued to a person and the 
 19-38    subsequent acquisition of another antique or hobby or 
 19-39    special interest vehicle by the same person, the plates 
 19-40    may shall be transferred to the purchaser or transferee 
 
 
 
 
                                 -19- 
 
 
 
 20- 1    upon paying $5.00 to the commissioner subsequently 
 20- 2    acquired vehicle as provided by Code Section 40-2-80." 
 
 20- 3                          SECTION 26. 
 
 20- 4  Said title is further amended by striking paragraph (1) of 
 20- 5  subsection (b) of Code Section 40-2-78, relating to special 
 20- 6  license plates for firefighters, and inserting in its place 
 20- 7  the following: 
 
 20- 8      "(b)(1) Upon transfer of the ownership of a private 
 20- 9      passenger vehicle upon which there is a license plate 
 20-10      distinctively identifying the owner thereof as a 
 20-11      certified firefighter , such plate shall be removed and 
 20-12      the authority to use the plate shall thereby be 
 20-13      canceled; however, after such a transfer of ownership 
 20-14      occurs, should the said and acquisition by the certified 
 20-15      firefighter acquire of another motor vehicle, the 
 20-16      license plate issued pursuant to this Code section may 
 20-17      shall be transferred between vehicles as provided in 
 20-18      Code Section 40-2-80." 
 
 20-19                          SECTION 27. 
 
 20-20  Said title is further amended by striking Code Section 
 20-21  40-2-80, relating to transfer of special license plates, and 
 20-22  inserting in its place the following: 
 
 20-23    "40-2-80. 
 
 20-24    The commissioner is authorized to shall provide by rules 
 20-25    and regulations appropriate procedures whereby, upon the 
 20-26    payment of the fee prescribed in Code Section 40-2-42 for 
 20-27    transfer of license plates and revalidation decals, the 
 20-28    special and distinctive license plates and special 
 20-29    personalized prestige license plates authorized by this 
 20-30    article may be used upon and shall be transferred to 
 20-31    vehicles other than another vehicle of which ownership is 
 20-32    subsequently acquired by the same person upon that 
 20-33    person's transfer of the vehicle for which such plate was 
 20-34    originally issued." 
 
 20-35                          SECTION 28. 
 
 20-36  Said title is further amended by striking Code Section 
 20-37  40-2-83, relating to special or prestige license plates for 
 20-38  jointly owned vehicles, and inserting in its place the 
 20-39  following: 
 
 20-40    "40-2-83. 
 
 
 
                                 -20- 
 
 
 
 21- 1    (a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any 
 21- 2    resident person who is authorized to obtain a special or 
 21- 3    prestige license plate pursuant to this article may, upon 
 21- 4    complying with the motor vehicle laws relating to 
 21- 5    licensing, registration, and fees, obtain such special or 
 21- 6    prestige license plate in his or her own name and the name 
 21- 7    of any other person with whom he or she jointly owns a 
 21- 8    motor vehicle. 
 
 21- 9    (b) Any resident owner of a motor vehicle who has been 
 21-10    issued a special or prestige license plate and who 
 21-11    subsequently acquires a motor vehicle jointly with another 
 21-12    and who wishes to place such special or prestige license 
 21-13    plate on such jointly owned motor vehicle shall notify the 
 21-14    commissioner in such manner as the commissioner may 
 21-15    prescribe by regulation and shall pay a transfer fee of 
 21-16    $5.00, whereupon the commissioner shall change the 
 21-17    registration for such license plate to reflect such joint 
 21-18    ownership. 
 
 21-19    (c) (b) Upon the transfer of a jointly owned vehicle upon 
 21-20    which there is a special or prestige license plate and the 
 21-21    subsequent joint acquisition of a motor vehicle in the 
 21-22    sole name names of the person who is authorized to obtain 
 21-23    such special or prestige license plate pursuant to this 
 21-24    article and the same other previous joint owner, such 
 21-25    person shall notify the commissioner in such manner as the 
 21-26    commissioner shall prescribe by regulation and shall pay a 
 21-27    transfer fee of $5.00, whereupon the commissioner shall 
 21-28    change the registration of such special or prestige plate 
 21-29    to reflect the sole ownership by such individual the 
 21-30    license plate shall be transferred as provided by Code 
 21-31    Section 40-2-80. 
 
 21-32    (d) (c) If any resident person who is authorized to obtain 
 21-33    a special or prestige license plate and who has been 
 21-34    issued a special or prestige plate for a jointly owned 
 21-35    vehicle dies or for any other reason is no longer a joint 
 21-36    owner of such vehicle, the surviving owner of such vehicle 
 21-37    shall surrender the license plate to the commissioner and 
 21-38    shall obtain a regular license plate or some other type of 
 21-39    special or prestige license plate upon complying with the 
 21-40    motor vehicle laws relating to registration, licensing, 
 21-41    and fees." 
 
 
 
 
 
 
                                 -21- 
 
 
 
 22- 1                          SECTION 29. 
 
 22- 2  Said title is further amended by striking subsection (d) of 
 22- 3  Code Section 40-2-84, relating to license plates for 
 22- 4  veterans awarded the Purple Heart, and inserting in its 
 22- 5  place the following: 
 
 22- 6    "(d) Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, upon 
 22- 7    transfer of the ownership of a private passenger vehicle 
 22- 8    upon which there is a license plate distinctively 
 22- 9    identifying the owner thereof as such a veteran, such 
 22-10    plate shall be removed and the authority to use the plate 
 22-11    shall thereby be canceled; however, after such a transfer 
 22-12    of ownership occurs, should the veteran acquire another 
 22-13    motor vehicle, the license plate issued pursuant to this 
 22-14    Code section may shall be transferred between vehicles as 
 22-15    provided in Code Section 40-2-80.  The spouse of a 
 22-16    deceased veteran of the armed forces of the United States 
 22-17    who was awarded the Purple Heart citation shall continue 
 22-18    to be eligible to be issued a distinctive personalized 
 22-19    license plate as provided in this Code section for any 
 22-20    vehicle owned by such veteran ownership of which is 
 22-21    transferred to the surviving spouse or for any other 
 22-22    vehicle owned by such surviving spouse either at the time 
 22-23    of the qualifying veteran's death or acquired thereafter, 
 22-24    so long as such person does not remarry." 
 
 22-25                          SECTION 30. 
 
 22-26  Said title is further amended by striking subsection (d) of 
 22-27  Code Section 40-2-85, relating to license plates for 
 22-28  veterans who survived Pearl Harbor, and inserting in its 
 22-29  place the following: 
 
 22-30    "(d) Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, upon 
 22-31    transfer of the ownership of a private passenger vehicle 
 22-32    upon which there is a license plate distinctively 
 22-33    identifying the owner thereof as such a veteran, such 
 22-34    plate shall be removed and the authority to use the plate 
 22-35    shall thereby be canceled; however, after such a transfer 
 22-36    of ownership occurs, should the veteran acquire another 
 22-37    motor vehicle, the license plate issued pursuant to this 
 22-38    Code section may shall be transferred between vehicles as 
 22-39    provided in Code Section 40-2-80.  The spouse of a 
 22-40    deceased survivor of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor 
 22-41    on December 7, 1941, shall continue to be eligible to be 
 22-42    issued a distinctive personalized license plate as 
 22-43    provided in this Code section for any vehicle owned by 
 
 
 
                                 -22- 
 
 
 
 23- 1    such veteran ownership of which is transferred to the 
 23- 2    surviving spouse or for any other vehicle owned by such 
 23- 3    surviving spouse either at the time of the qualifying 
 23- 4    veteran's death or acquired thereafter, so long as such 
 23- 5    person does not remarry." 
 
 23- 6                          SECTION 31. 
 
 23- 7  Said title is further amended by striking subsection (d) of 
 23- 8  Code Section 40-2-85.1, relating to special and distinctive 
 23- 9  license plates for veterans, and inserting in its place the 
 23-10  following: 
 
 23-11    "(d) Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, upon 
 23-12    transfer of the ownership of a private passenger vehicle 
 23-13    upon which there is a license plate distinctively 
 23-14    identifying the owner thereof as such a veteran, such 
 23-15    plate shall be removed and the authority to use the plate 
 23-16    shall thereby be canceled; however, after such a transfer 
 23-17    of ownership occurs, should the veteran acquire another 
 23-18    motor vehicle, the license plate issued pursuant to this 
 23-19    Code section may shall be transferred between vehicles as 
 23-20    provided in Code Section 40-2-80.   The spouse of a 
 23-21    deceased retired veteran of the armed forces of the United 
 23-22    States or of a deceased person who served during World War 
 23-23    I, World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, or 
 23-24    Operation Desert Storm shall continue to be eligible to be 
 23-25    issued a distinctive personalized license plate as 
 23-26    provided in this Code section for any vehicle owned by 
 23-27    such veteran ownership of which is transferred to the 
 23-28    surviving spouse or for any other vehicle owned by such 
 23-29    surviving spouse either at the time of the qualifying 
 23-30    veteran's death or acquired thereafter, so long as such 
 23-31    person does not remarry." 
 
 23-32                          SECTION 32. 
 
 23-33  Said title is further amended by striking subsection (b) of 
 23-34  Code Section 40-2-86, relating to special license plates for 
 23-35  emergency medical technicians, and inserting in its place 
 23-36  the following: 
 
 23-37    "(b) Upon transfer of the ownership of a private passenger 
 23-38    vehicle upon which there is a special license plate as 
 23-39    provided in subsection (a) of this Code section , such 
 23-40    plate shall be removed and the authority to use the plate 
 23-41    shall thereby be canceled; however, after such a transfer 
 23-42    of ownership occurs, should an and acquisition by the 
 23-43    emergency medical technician acquire of another motor 
 
 
                                 -23- 
 
 
 
 24- 1    vehicle, the license plate issued pursuant to this Code 
 24- 2    section may shall be transferred between vehicles as 
 24- 3    provided in Code Section 40-2-80." 
 
 24- 4                          SECTION 33. 
 
 24- 5  Title 48 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating 
 24- 6  to revenue and taxation, is amended by striking Code Section 
 24- 7  48-5-440, relating to definitions of certain terms for 
 24- 8  purposes of ad valorem taxation of motor vehicles and mobile 
 24- 9  homes, and inserting in its place the following: 
 
 24-10    "48-5-440. 
 
 24-11    As used in this article, the term: 
 
 24-12      (1) 'Antique or hobby or special interest motor vehicle' 
 24-13      means a motor vehicle which is 25 years old or older as 
 24-14      indicated by the model year or a motor vehicle which has 
 24-15      been designed and manufactured to resemble an antique or 
 24-16      historical vehicle. 
 
 24-17      (2) 'Driver educational motor vehicle' means a motor 
 24-18      vehicle which is furnished and assigned to a public 
 24-19      school in this state for use by the school in a program 
 24-20      of driver education when the assignment is authorized 
 24-21      and approved by the local board of education. 
 
 24-22      (2.1) 'Initial registration period' has the same meaning 
 24-23      as provided in paragraph (.1) of subsection (a) of Code 
 24-24      Section 40-2-21. 
 
 24-25      (3) 'Mobile homes' means manufactured homes and 
 24-26      relocatable homes as defined in Part 2 of Article 2 of 
 24-27      Chapter 2 of Title 8. Any mobile home which qualifies 
 24-28      the taxpayer for a homestead exemption under the laws of 
 24-29      this state shall not be considered a mobile home nor 
 24-30      subject to this article. 
 
 24-31      (4) 'Motor vehicle' means a vehicle which is designed 
 24-32      primarily for use upon the public roads.  Such term 
 24-33      shall not include heavy-duty equipment as defined in 
 24-34      paragraph (2) of Code Section 48-5-500 which is owned by 
 24-35      a nonresident and operated in this state. 
 
 24-36      (5) 'Owner' has the same meaning as provided in 
 24-37      paragraph (.2) of subsection (a) of Code Section 
 24-38      40-2-21. 
 
 
 
 
 
                                 -24- 
 
 
 
 25- 1      (6) 'Registration period' has the same meaning as 
 25- 2      provided in paragraph (1) of subsection (a) of Code 
 25- 3      Section 40-2-21." 
 
 25- 4                          SECTION 34. 
 
 25- 5  Said title is further amended by striking Code Section 
 25- 6  48-5-471, relating to motor vehicles subject to ad valorem 
 25- 7  taxation, and inserting in its place the following: 
 
 25- 8    "48-5-471. 
 
 25- 9    Every motor vehicle owned in this state by a natural 
 25-10    person is subject to ad valorem taxation by the various 
 25-11    tax jurisdictions authorized to impose an ad valorem tax 
 25-12    on property only if owned by such natural person at any 
 25-13    time during such person's registration period as provided 
 25-14    in Code Section 48-5-473. Every vehicle owned in this 
 25-15    state by an entity other than a natural person is, except 
 25-16    as specifically provided in Code Section 48-5-472, subject 
 25-17    to ad valorem taxation by the various tax jurisdictions 
 25-18    authorized to impose an ad valorem tax on property if 
 25-19    owned by such entity at any time during such entity's 
 25-20    registration period as provided in Code Section 48-5-473. 
 25-21    Taxes shall be charged against the owner of the  property, 
 25-22    if known, and, if unknown, against the specific property 
 25-23    itself." 
 
 25-24                          SECTION 35. 
 
 25-25  Said title is further amended by striking Code Section 
 25-26  48-5-473, relating to returns for ad valorem taxation of 
 25-27  motor vehicles, and inserting in its place the following: 
 
 25-28    "48-5-473. 
 
 25-29      (a)(1) Each year Except as provided in paragraph (2) of 
 25-30      this subsection, every owner of a motor vehicle subject 
 25-31      to taxation  under this article shall return the motor 
 25-32      vehicle for taxation and pay the taxes due on the motor 
 25-33      vehicle at the time the owner applies for registration 
 25-34      of the motor vehicle and for the purchase of a license 
 25-35      plate for the motor vehicle or at the time of the first 
 25-36      sale or transfer of the motor vehicle, provided that 
 25-37      taxes shall be due at the time of registration or 
 25-38      transfer of registration only if such vehicle was owned 
 25-39      during the owner's registration period. If no license 
 25-40      plate is required for the motor vehicle, the  owner 
 25-41      shall nevertheless return the motor vehicle for taxation 
 25-42      as provided for in this Code section not later than 
 
 
                                 -25- 
 
 
 
 26- 1      December 31 of each year, but no license plate need be 
 26- 2      purchased. 
 
 26- 3        (2)(A) A motor vehicle shall not be returned for 
 26- 4        taxation and no ad valorem taxes shall be due, 
 26- 5        payable, or collected at the time a vehicle is 
 26- 6        registered during any initial registration period for 
 26- 7        such vehicle unless the date of purchase or other 
 26- 8        acquisition of the motor vehicle or the date of 
 26- 9        application for such an initial registration occurs 
 26-10        within the owner's registration period as defined in 
 26-11        paragraph (1) of subsection (a) of Code Section 
 26-12        40-2-21. 
 
 26-13        (B) A motor vehicle shall not be returned for taxation 
 26-14        and no ad valorem taxes shall be due, payable, or 
 26-15        collected at the time of a transfer of the vehicle. 
 
 26-16    (b) Notwithstanding subsection (a) of this Code section, 
 26-17    in the case of an antique or hobby or special interest 
 26-18    motor vehicle, as defined in Code Section 48-5-440, the 
 26-19    owner or owners shall certify at the time of returning the 
 26-20    antique or hobby or special interest motor vehicle for 
 26-21    taxation, paying the taxes due on the motor vehicle, and 
 26-22    purchasing a license plate for the motor vehicle or at the 
 26-23    time of the first sale or transfer of the motor vehicle 
 26-24    that the vehicle is an antique or hobby or special 
 26-25    interest motor vehicle as defined in Code Section 
 26-26    48-5-440, and, upon said certification, said vehicle shall 
 26-27    be registered and a license plate issued with the 
 26-28    imposition of an ad valorem tax based on $100.00 
 26-29    valuation,; provided, however, that taxes shall be due at 
 26-30    the time of registration or transfer of registration only 
 26-31    if such  vehicle was owned during the owner's registration 
 26-32    period as provided in subsection (a) of this Code 
 26-33    section." 
 
 26-34                          SECTION 36. 
 
 26-35  Said title is further amended by striking Code Section 
 26-36  48-5-474, relating to what constitutes return of motor 
 26-37  vehicles for ad valorem taxation, and inserting in its place 
 26-38  the following: 
 
 26-39    "48-5-474. 
 
 26-40    The application for registration of a motor vehicle and 
 26-41    for the purchase of a license plate for the motor vehicle 
 26-42    shall constitute the return of that motor vehicle for ad 
 
 
 
                                 -26- 
 
 
 
 27- 1    valorem taxation but only if ad valorem taxes are due at 
 27- 2    the time of registration. The commissioner is  directed to 
 27- 3    prescribe a form for the application for registration 
 27- 4    which shall provide the information needed by the tax 
 27- 5    commissioner or tax collector in determining the amount of 
 27- 6    taxes due under this article." 
 
 27- 7                          SECTION 37. 
 
 27- 8  Said title is further amended by striking Code Section 
 27- 9  48-10-5, relating to transfers of annual license fees, 
 27-10  licenses, and plates, and inserting in its place the 
 27-11  following: 
 
 27-12    "48-10-5. 
 
 27-13    The annual fee paid for the licensing of the operation of 
 27-14    a vehicle and the license and plate issued for the vehicle 
 27-15    may be transferred from one person to another upon payment 
 27-16    of a fee of $1.00 for the transfer and upon preparation 
 27-17    and filing of an appropriate application for the transfer. 
 27-18    Each tax commissioner or tax collector shall retain as 
 27-19    commission 50� of each $1.00 collected for the transfer of 
 27-20    a motor vehicle license and plate. The fees and 
 27-21    commissions shall be turned over to the county treasury on 
 27-22    a monthly basis to be made a part of the general funds of 
 27-23    the county Reserved." 
 
 27-24                          SECTION 38. 
 
 27-25  This Act shall become effective upon its approval by the 
 27-26  Governor or upon its becoming law without such approval. 
 
 27-27                          SECTION 39. 
 
 27-28  All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are 
 27-29  repealed. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
                                 -27- 

Clerk of the House
Robert E. Rivers, Jr., Clerk
Last Updated on 04/20/98

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