If you reside outside DeKalb County, you are not legally permitted to register or renew tags for your automobile here.
In an effort to better educate the public on this issue, County Clerk James L (Jimmy) Poss has issued the following press release in the form of a question and answer forum. Poss also addressed in the statement eligibility requirements for Special Purpose License Plates and plates for elected officials.
Q: Is it true that some persons who live just outside DeKalb County have been coming to your office expecting to get services here, such as vehicle renewals of license tags, etc.?
A: "Yes; these requests have been increasing over the past few weeks"
Q: Is it illegal to provide such services?
A: "Yes; when we knowingly provide service to individuals with a physical location outside our county it is illegal. By doing this we are preventing that county to receive revenue belonging to them"
Q: Is it a major problem for your office?
A: "Yes; we adjoin six other counties and have experienced this in every area of the county except where we border Putnam. Of the six counties bordering us all are collecting a wheel tax except for Putnam".
Q: Can you give us an example of what you are experiencing?
A: "Yes; when processing new registrations or renewals we enter a person’s information in our system. This is to search and cross reference physical addresses to determine eligibility. We have recognized these occurrences when a road continues into adjoining counties, also when road names are not appearing in our county and with individuals wanting to use their second home here without proper proof of eligibility".
Q: What would you like people to know and understand about this issue?
A: "For individuals state law uses the term “Bona Fide Residence”, simply meaning a person is living at a physical location within our county. For Business owners, law allows the owner to register the vehicle in any county where a “Physical Presence” can be established. I understand that certain people have previously been allowed to complete these transactions here. Some for a number of years, but to uphold state law and office uniformity we cannot knowingly continue service outside DeKalb County"
Q: Who may qualify to obtain a “Special Purposes” license plate?
A: "There are multiple plates in this category. For example we have several applicants receiving Emergency, Fire, and Rescue Squad plates. In order to fulfill each departments request we ask our local emergency agencies to provide us a list of their employees or members. Each of these tags have eligibility requirements for our office to follow and most require the applicants name on the title and registration to issue these tags"
Q: What about license plates for elected officials? Are they just for the public officials themselves?
A: "Yes, Just like Special purpose plates these tags also have eligibility requirements and most require the applicants name on the title and registration to issue these tags. There also multiple plates in this category. Such as State House and Senate, U.S. Senate and Congress, Sheriff, Judicial etc."
"In closing, it’s a pleasure and most humbling feeling to serve the people of DeKalb County. However; to maintain uniformity within our office we must follow laws and guidelines set for us. Our office aims to provide equal and honest service to the best of our skill and ability," Poss concluded.