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  • Green Driver State Incentives in Georgia

    Saving the planet also means saving money thanks to financial perks like federal and Georgia tax incentives. Read on to find out how driving a fuel-efficient vehicle—such as a hybrid, electric car (EV) or alternative fuel vehicle (AFV)can help you cut back on global warming and what you spend on your vehicle.

    Know that Georgia's green driver incentives and related laws might change as GA pays even more attention to environmental matters. Two additional resources worth keeping pace with include your local Motor Vehicle Division branch and the Alternative Fuels Data Center.

    Georgia Registration Emissions Testing Exemptions for Fuel Efficient Vehicles

    For the purposes of first time Georgia vehicle registration and registration renewal, the GA Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) exempts the following from an emissions inspection:

    • New vehicles (three most recent model years).
    • Dedicated alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs)*

    *The State considers AFVs to be vehicles that run solely on alternative fuel and do not run on regular gasoline. This includes vehicles that operate using:

    • Battery electricity.
    • Propane.
    • Natural gas.
    • Hydrogen.

    Check the online guide for AFVs eligible for a GA Alternative Fuel Tag.

    Please note that Georgia does not consider hybrid vehicles to be AFVs; so, the following hybrid examples must undergo an emissions inspection:

    • Ford Escape.
    • Honda Civic, Honda Accord, or Honda Insight
    • Toyota Prius or Toyota Highlander.

    This is not an exhaustive list. Consult your local MVD branch office for specifics.

    If your vehicle has the ability to run on regular gasoline, it must undergo a smog and emissions test—including bi-fuel and flexible fuel vehicles. For a full list of applicable vehicles, consult our GA Smog and Emissions Checks page or the Georgia Clean Air Force FAQs page.

    To find the nearest emissions testing center, scroll down to our locator widget at the bottom of the page.

    High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) Lane Exemption for Alternative Fuel Vehicles

    The Georgia Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) allows alternative fuel vehicles to use high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes—regardless of number of passengers—when displaying an GA alternative fuel tag. Look online to determine if your vehicle falls under the list of eligible AFVs. For information about alternative fuel vehicle license plates, including how to order one, required fees, and an example image, visit the Georgia Department of Revenue website.

    Auto Insurance Discounts for Eco-Friendly Driving and Green Vehicles

    Some Georgia auto insurance providers offer insurance discounts for having green driving habits and/or driving a fuel-efficient vehicle. Consult your car insurance company about potential green vehicle discounts such as:

    • Hybrid auto discounts.
    • Alternative fuel vehicle (AFV) discounts.
    • Economy car discounts.
    • Low-mileage discounts.
    • Pay as you drive discounts.

    Auto insurance discounts vary by provider and circumstances. For example, you might receive a 10% discount on car insurance for owning or leasing a hybrid car, while maintaining low mileage can earn you up to a 30% auto insurance discount.

    If your current GA auto insurance carrier doesn’t reward eco-friendly driving, find one that does. Compare auto insurance rates online and save some green for going green.

    Georgia Tax Incentives for Green Drivers

    Georgia offers tax incentives to the following GA taxpayers:

    • Individuals:
      • Alternative Fuel Vehicle (AFV) and Vehicle Conversion Tax Credit
      • Low Emission Vehicle (LEV) and Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Tax Credit.
      • Emissions Reduction Tax Credit.
    • Businesses:
      • Alternative Fuel and Advanced Vehicle Job Creation Tax Credit.
      • Electric Vehicle Charger Tax Credit.
      • Commercial Alternative Fuel Vehicle (AFV) Tax Credit

    If you have questions navigating these incentives when it comes time to file, consider consulting your preferred tax preparer or your local IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center.

    Alternative Fuel Vehicle (AFV) and Vehicle Conversion Tax Credit

    As an individual, you can get an income tax credit of 10% of your vehicle cost, up to $2,500, if you:

    • Purchase or lease a new, dedicated AFV.
    • Convert your vehicle to operate solely on alternative fuel* using a kit certified by the manufacturer to meet EPA low emission vehicle (LEV) standards. Your gasoline or diesel fuel system must be disabled or removed completely.

    Your vehicle must meet smog and emission standards (see above) and any portion not used during the year you bought or converted the vehicle can be carried over for 5 years.

    * Georgia defines alternative fuel as:

    • Electricity.
    • Natural gas.
    • Propane.
    • Hydrogen.
    • Coal-derived liquid fuels.

    This includes any other fuels other than alcohol derived from biological materials. Hybrid vehicles do not qualify.

    For more information, contact the Georgia Environmental Protection Division at (404) 363-7046.

    Low Emission Vehicle (LEV) and Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Tax Credit

    As an individual, you can get a Georgia income tax credit of:

    • 10% of the vehicle cost, up to $2,500 if you purchase or lease a low emission vehicle (LEV).
    • 20% of the vehicle cost, up to $5,000, if you purchase or lease a zero emission vehicle (ZEV).

    Any portion not used during the year you bought or leased the vehicle can be carried over for up to 5 years.

    NOTE: Georgia defines ZEVs as vehicles that put out absolutely no tailpipe and evaporative emissions. ZEVs include electric cars but not low-speed vehicles. Hybrid, diesel, and gasoline vehicles do not apply to this tax credit.

    For more information, visit the Alternative Fuels and Tax Credits website or contact the Georgia Environmental Protection Division at (404) 363-7046.

    Emissions Reduction Tax Credit

    As an individual, you can get an income tax credit equal to 10% of equipment and installation costs if you install diesel particulate emissions reduction technology equipment at a truckstop, depot, or other facility. The tax credit is good for the year the equipment is installed.

    For more information, contact the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority at (404) 463-3000.

    Alternative Fuel and Advanced Vehicle Job Creation Tax Credit

    This tax credit is for businesses* that create alternative energy products for biofuel, battery, and electric vehicles. This is an annual tax credit for 5 years and the amount depends on the:

    • Number of eligible full-time employee jobs.
    • The county in which the business is located and how that county's employment rates and income levels ranks.

    * Retail businesses aren't eligible.

    Learn more at the Alternative Fuels Data Center (AFDC) website.

    Electric Vehicle Charger Tax Credit

    Eligible businesses that purchase electric vehicle chargers located in Georgia and accessible to the public can claim an income tax credit of 10% of the cost of the EVSE, up to $2,500.

    For more information, contact the Georgia Environmental Protection Division at (404) 363-7046.

    Commercial Alternative Fuel Vehicle (AFV) Tax Credit

    This tax credit begins July 15, 2015 and applies to new commercial medium-duty and heavy-duty vehicles operating on at least 905 alternative fuels including electricity, propane, natural gas, and hydrogen fuel.

    Tax credits range between $12,000 to $250,000 per vehicle (depending on vehicle type) and the vehicle:

    • Must be purchased before June 30, 2017.
    • Remain registered in Georgia for at least 5 years.
    • Be certified by the Georgia Board of Natural Resources.
    • Accumulate at least 75% of its mileage in Georgia.

    For more information refer to House Bill 48, 2014 and Georgia Code 48-7-29.18 and 48-7-29.19.

    Federal Tax Credits for Fuel-Efficient Vehicle Owners

    In addition to the Georgia-specific incentives, there are a number of federal tax credits for fuel-efficient vehicle owners. You might also qualify for tax credits offered by the IRS if you own:

    • Electric cars.
    • Hybrids.
    • Plug-in hybrids.
    • Diesels.
    • Alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs).

    For additional information on federal tax credits for green vehicle owners, consult fueleconomy.gov's Tax Incentive Information Center.

    Weight Exemption for Idle Reduction Technology

    Because idle reduction technology adds weight to a vehicle, Georgia allows equipped vehicles to exceed the following state weight limits by up to 400 pounds:

    • Gross weight.
    • Axle weight.
    • Tandem weight.

    As long as you can prove the idle reduction technology weight—in writing or certification—and show or certify full-time functionality, you can avoid penalties. For more on this, refer to the Idle Reduction Weight Exemption section of the Alternative Fuels Data Center.

    Georgia Power’s Charging Rate Incentive for Plug-In Electric Vehicles (PEVs)

    Georgia Power offers a discount on electricity to customers who own a plug-in electric vehicle. You can easily apply using the online Plug-In Electric Vehicle Application. Or learn more about this private PEV charging rate incentive regarding nighttime charging and changing the times in which you use electricity.

    Find a Nearby Georgia Emissions Testing Station

    If you drive an eco-friendly vehicle but GA still requires a smog test and emission testing, use our GA Emissions Testing Station tool to find a testing location near you.