Motor Fuel Tax Unit
Motor Fuel Rules for Georgia Interstate Motor Carriers

I.        Georgia Rules and Laws

II.       What is IFTA?

III.      Who Needs an IFTA License?

IV.     Types of Licenses and Permits

V.      Report Requirements

VI.     How to Obtain a License or a Permit

VII.    Enforcement Regulations

I.       Georgia Rules and Laws

    Laws governing motor carriers in Georgia are found in the Official Code of Georgia, Title 48, Chapter 9. In January 1996, Georgia became a member of the International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) (Georgia Code 48-9-19). This places interstate motor carrier operations under the IFTA Articles of Agreement. You will receive a copy of the IFTA Procedures Manual upon registering. For additional copies, contact the Motor Fuel Tax Unit at (404) 656-4055.

II.     What is IFTA?

    IFTA is an agreement between all the US states except Alaska and Hawaii and most of the provinces/territories of Canada. The purpose of this agreement is to establish and maintain 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.

III.     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 tow axles and a gross vehicle weight or registered gross vehicle weight exceeding 26,000 pounds or 11,797 kilograms.

    • Has three or more axles, regardless of weight

    • Is used in combination when such 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; and other qualified vehicles used exclusively within Georgia. Additionally, Recreational Vehicles such as motor homes, pickup trucks with attached campers, and buses when used exclusively for personal pleasure by an individual are exempt.

    IV.     Types of Licenses and Permits

      There is only one Motor Fuel Use Tax License and one Motor Fuel Use Tax Permit issued by the Revenue Department. The license is the annual IFTA license. The permit is a temporary ten-day permit. The annual IFTA license 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. (Note: a carrier in the process of renewing for the next year may operate for the first 60 days of the new year on the prior license while the renewal is processed). This license requires the registrant to submit quarterly IFTA fuel use tax reports.

      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 ten consecutive 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. This emergency authority is granted by letter or facsimile message and should not exceed 30 days. The letter must be carried in the vehicle.

    V.      Report Requirements

      Motor carriers who obtain annual licenses are required to 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 imposed is based on the road use tax and surcharge, if any, 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. Assistance in completing these reports will be provided by the Motor Fuel Tax Unit, Motor Carrier Section (404) 656-4055.

    VI.    How to Obtain a License or Permit

      Annual licenses may be obtained from the revenue Department or through a permitting service or a professional preparer. Licenses are ordered through the Department by submitting an application and appropriate fees to the TAXPAYER SERVICES DIVISION Unit. The cost, including the decals and license, is three dollars 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 sixteen dollars plus the permitting services’ processing fee.

      VII.   Enforcement Regulations

        It is unlawful to operate a qualified vehicle that should be registered without carrying an IFTA license and decals or a ten-day permit (OCGA 48-9-38). If any vehicle is operated in violation of the registration provisions of the Code Section, the motor carrier is subject to a penalty of not less than $25.00 per incident (OCGA 48-9-45).

        Whenever any IFTA licensed motor carrier fails to file an IFTA return as required, he shall be subject to a penalty of $50.00 for each failure. Further, he will be required to file the returns before his license will be renewed. Whenever any IFTA motor carrier fails to pay any portion of the road use tax owed, he shall be subject to a penalty of $50.00 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 IFTA carrier’s license.