Georgia State Veteran's Benefits

The state of Georgia provides several veteran benefits. This section offers a brief description of each of the following benefits.

Georgia Veteran Housing Programs

War Veterans Homes
Treatment is provided at no charge to all honorably discharged war Veterans in the Georgia War Veterans Home, Milledgeville, and in the Georgia War Veterans Nursing Home in Augusta. The term "war Veteran" for this benefit means any Veteran who served on active duty in the armed forces of the United States, or on active duty in a reserve component, including the National Guard, during wartime or during the period January 31, 1955, through May 7, 1975. To determine eligibility for admission, see your local SDVS office.

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Georgia Veterans Tax Benefits

Exemption from Homestead Tax
Homestead Tax: Certain disabled veterans and certain widows/widowers, or minor children are allowed the maximum amount which may be granted under United States Code.

Exemption from Sales Tax on Vehicles
A disabled Veteran who receives a VA grant for the purchase and special adapting of a vehicle is exempt from paying the state sales tax on the vehicle (only on the original grant).

Ad Valorem Tax on Vehicles
Exemption for Veterans who are verified by VA to be 100 percent totally and permanently service-connected disabled and Veterans who are receiving or who are entitled to receive statutory awards from VA for: (1) loss or permanent loss of use of one or both feet; (2) loss or permanent loss of use of one or both hands; (3) loss of sight in one or both eyes; or (4) permanent impairment of vision of both eyes to a prescribed degree. Exemption is granted on the vehicle the Veteran owns or leases and upon which the free Disabled Veterans (DV) Motor Vehicle license plate is attached.

Exemption from State Income Tax
The period of time military personnel served on active duty as members of the armed forces of the United States in combat activities during a period designated by the President plus the next 180 days thereafter are disregarded in determining whether any filing requirement has been performed within the time limit prescribed for filing.

For individuals who are hospitalized as a result of an injury or confined as a prisoner-of-war, the period of service in the combat zone, plus the period of confinement and the next 180 days there after shall be disregarded in determining whether any filing requirement has been performed within the time limit prescribed for filing.

Certificate of Exemption
Disabled Veterans are exempt from payment of occupational taxes, administration fees, and regulatory fees imposed by local governments for peddling, conducting a business, or practicing a profession or semi profession.

Eligibility: Veterans must (1) be discharged under honorable conditions from the armed forces of the United States; (2) have 10 percent physical disability for certain wartime Veterans or a 25 percent service-connected physical disability for peace time-only Veterans; and (3) have an income that is not liable for state income taxes.

Abatement of State Income Taxes
Georgia law provides that service personnel who die as a result of wounds, disease or injury incurred while serving in a combat zone as a member of the armed forces of the United States, are exempt from all Georgia income taxes for the taxable year of his or her death, nor shall such taxes apply for any prior taxable year ending on or after the first day he/she served in the combat zone.

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Georgia Employment Benefits

Employment Preference
Extended to Veterans employed under the State Merit System.


A 5 point credit is extended to war veterans employed by the State of Georgia. A 10 point credit is extended to veterans employed by the State of Georgia with a VA service connected disability of 10% or more.

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Georgia Education Benefits

Georgia HERO Scholarship
The Georgia HERO (Helping Educate Reservists and their Offspring) Scholarship Program was created to provide educational grant assistance to members of the Georgia National Guard and U.S. Military Reservists who served in combat zones or the children of such members of the Georgia National Guard and U.S. Military Reserves. The grant is to attend an approved school for a maximum of up to four award years in the sum of $2,000.00 per award year. No person shall be eligible to receive grant assistance provided under this subsection in excess of $8,000.00.

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Other Georgia State Veteran Benefits

Hunting and Fishing Licenses
Georgia residents within certain categories are eligible for free honorary hunting and fishing licenses. Georgia residency is a requirement for a free honorary hunting and fishing license.

Returning Veterans – Returning veterans are entitled to a free honorary hunting and fishing license for a period of one year following issuance. Returning veterans are defined as veterans who are discharged from active duty as members of the regular  or reserve component of the armed forces of the United States, the United States Coast Guard, the Georgia National Guard, or the Georgia Air National Guard and who was on ordered federal duty for a period of 90 days or longer.

Permanently & Totally Disabled Veterans – Veterans with a permanent and total disability rating from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for a physical or mental impairment which prevents gainful employment are eligible. Veterans disabled because of a mental impairment will only be issued a free honorary fishing license.  Licenses in effect as of July 1, 1998 do not require renewal.  Licenses issued after July 1, 1998 require renewal every three years.  

Veterans Drivers' Licenses
Issued at no charge to eligible Veterans and National Guard or Reservists with 20 or more years of service.

Eligibility: Driver's license issued without charge to: (1) Veterans who were residents of Georgia at the time of enlistment or commissioning and are residents at the time of application for the license or who have been residents of Georgia for at least two years immediately preceding the date of application for the license. Individuals must have served on active duty in the armed forces of the United States or on active duty in a reserve component, including the National Guard, during wartime or any conflict when personnel were committed by the President, except for periodic transfer from reserve status to active duty status for training purposes, and who were discharged or separated under honorable conditions. The individual need not have been assigned to a unit or division which directly participated in such war or conflict. (2) any member or former member of the National Guard or reserve forces who has 20 or more years creditable service.

Honorary Driver's License
Issued without charge to: (1) any Georgia resident who is the surviving spouse of a Veteran who was eligible for a Veteran's license, so long as the surviving spouse does not remarry; or (2) any resident of Georgia who is the spouse of a Veteran who would qualify for a Veteran's license were it not for the Veteran's permanent disabilities which preclude the operation of a motor vehicle.

National Guard Driver's License
Any member of the Georgia National Guard or Reserve who is in good standing and has completed at least one year of satisfactory service is eligible for a free National Guard Driver's License.

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Vehicle License Tags
Medal of Honor Tags:
Special license plates are issued without charge to a Veteran who is a legal resident of Georgia and who is a Medal of Honor recipient. Two distinctive license plates will be issued to be placed on the front and rear of the motor vehicle owned by the Medal of Honor recipient.

Free Disabled Veteran Tags (Automobile/Motorcycle): Provided at no charge to: (1) any Veteran who was separated under honorable conditions and who served on active duty in the armed forces or on active duty in a reserve component, including the National Guard, and who is receiving or entitled to receive a statutory award from VA for (a) loss or permanent loss of use of one or both feet; (b) loss or permanent loss of use of one or both hands; (c) loss of sight in one or both eyes; or (d) permanent impairment of both eyes to the extent that there is central visual acuity of 20/200 if there is a field defect in which the peripheral field has contracted to such an extent that the widest diameter of visual field subtends an angular distance no greater than 20 degrees in the better eye; or (2) any Veteran separated under honorable conditions and verified by VA as receiving or entitled to receive compensation at the 100 percent rate as a result of being totally disabled permanently or totally disabled non-permanently.

Georgia law allows a disabled Veteran to obtain only one license plate at no charge. It can be placed on either a leased or owned vehicle.

Paid Disabled Veteran Tags: Disabled Veteran tags are available to Veterans who were separated under honorable conditions and who meet the same degree of disability which is required for the issuance of Free DV tags, but are unable to qualify for a free license plate. These DV tags are not issued free but may be purchased at regular license plate rates.

POW Tags: One license plate will be issued at no charge to any Veteran who is a former prisoner-of-war, who was discharged under honorable conditions, and who is a legal resident of Georgia. Former prisoners-of-war are exempt from paying ad valorem taxes for state, county, municipal and school purposes on the vehicle on which they place the no charge POW license plate. Additional plates may be purchased upon payment of the appropriate taxes and registration fees. A widow/widower of a deceased former POW is eligible for the issuance of a free POW tag so long as they remain unmarried.

Purple Heart Tags: Recipients of the Purple Heart medal are entitled to one license plate at no charge. Additional tag(s) can be obtained by paying the regular license fees plus a manufacturing fee.

ID Cards
Personal identification cards are available to Veterans who do not have a motor vehicle driver's license and who would, otherwise, be entitled to issuance of a Veteran's driver's license.

Reduced Fees for Disabled Veterans
Any service connected disabled Veteran who was discharged under honorable conditions can visit/use state parks historical sites and recreational areas at reduced rates. A 25% reduced fee for all facilities, lodging, and any recreational activities in the State of Georgia will be granted by the park upon presentation of the entitlement card.

Eligibility: Veteran who is a legal resident of the State of Georgia and has been certified by DVA as a disabled veteran. For this purpose, a disabled veteran is a veteran who has been discharged under honorable conditions from any branch of the armed forces of the United States and has a physical disability that was incurred during the period of service in the armed forces.

Commemorative Service License Plates
Anyone who served during active military combat is eligible for a free commemorative service license plate if he/she is Georgia resident on active duty or a veteran with a discharge from the armed forces of the United States under honorable conditions. The surviving spouse of a qualified deceased active duty member or veteran is also eligible as long as he/she does not remarry.

There is no registration fee, manufacturing fee, or annual registration fee for this specialty plate. An applicant is also entitled to one additional specialty plate upon payment of a $25 manufacturing fee. 

Disabled Veterans' License Plates
A veteran is eligible for a free disabled veteran's license plate if he/she is a Georgia resident, has qualifying service in the armed forces of the United States, and meets the disability requirements. Qualifying service includes current active duty service in the armed forces of the United States or a discharge under honorable conditions. The surviving spouse of a qualified veteran is also eligible as long as he/she does not remarry.

Gold Star License Plates
The spouse, mother, father, sibling, child, or step-parent of a service member who has been killed in action while serving in the armed forces of the United States is entitled to a Gold Star specialty plate. Upon payment of all ad valorem taxes and other fees due at registration of a motor vehicle an eligible family member may apply for a Gold Star license plate. One free license plate shall be allowed for the spouse, mother, and father and they may purchase additional license plates for each motor vehicle they register in this state. Siblings, children, or step-parents may purchase Gold Star plates for motor vehicles registered in this state.

Military Medal Award License Plates
Anyone whose service during active military combat resulted in the award of a qualifying medal may be eligible for a free Military Medal Award License Plate. These plates are available to both honorably discharged veterans and active duty service members who are Georgia residents. The surviving spouse of a qualified deceased service member or veteran is eligible as long as he/she does not remarry. There is no registration fee, manufacturing fee, or annual registration fee for this specialty plate. Applicants are entitled to one additional specialty plate upon payment of a $25 manufacturing fee. Applicants are also required to pay a $25 annual registration fee for the additional specialty plate.

National Guard License Plates
A member of the Georgia National Guard is entitled to one free National Guard specialty plate. The surviving spouse of a member of the National Guard who was killed while serving in a combat arena is also eligible as long as he/she does not remarry. There is no registration fee, manufacturing fee, or annual registration fee for this specialty plate. An applicant is also entitled to one additional specialty plate upon payment of a $25 manufacturing fee. An applicant will also be required to pay a $25 annual registration fee for the additional specialty plate.

Reserve Component License Plates
An assigned or attached member of troop program units of any branch of the active reserve components of the United States inside or outside the State of Georgia is entitled to one free reserve component specialty plate, which will identify his/her specific reserve military branch of service. A retiree from any branch of the active reserve components is also entitled. The surviving spouse of a member of the active reserve components of the United States who was killed while serving in a combat arena is also eligible as long as long as he/she does not remarry. There is no registration fee, manufacturing fee, or annual registration fee for this specialty plate. An applicant is also entitled to one additional specialty plate upon payment of a $25 manufacturing fee. An applicant will also be required to pay a $25 annual registration fee for the additional specialty plate.

Retired Military Veterans' License Plates
Veterans who retired from active duty with the armed forces of the United States are entitled to one free retired military veteran specialty plate, if they are residents of Georgia. The surviving spouse of a qualified deceased military retiree is also eligible as long as he/she does not remarry. There is no registration fee, manufacturing fee, or annual registration fee for this specialty plate. Applicants are also entitled to one additional specialty plate upon payment of a $25 manufacturing fee. Applicants will also be required to pay a $25 annual registration fee for the additional specialty plate.

Handicapped Parking
Holders of DV license tags are authorized to park their vehicles displaying such tags in parking areas designated for the handicapped without obtaining special handicapped parking area permits. This does not apply to federal parking areas.

Motor Fuel Service to Handicap
When there is an option on the price of fuel at a full-service/self-service facility, a station employee, upon request will dispense fuel at the lower price from the self-service pump into vehicles bearing HV or DV license tags if: (1) the handicapped/disabled Veteran is driving the vehicle into which fuel is to be dispensed; and (2) the Veteran is not accompanied by a person at least 16 years of age who is not blind or has impaired mobility.

Guardianship
The Uniform Guardianship Act provides for appointment of a guardian for incompetent Veterans and for Veterans' children when VA benefits are involved. These appointments are made on the basis of certificates issued only by VA.

Vital Statistics
Veterans, dependents, VA or Veterans' organizations, may obtain copies of marriage, divorce, birth and death documents without charge, through the Department of Veterans Service, provided the copies are to be used for establishing disability or death claims with VA, and the request is in writing.

Service Records
There is no charge for recording of Veterans' discharge certificates (DD Form 214) in county Superior Courts.

Assistance
All Georgia Veterans and their dependents are urged to visit the nearest office of the Georgia Department of Veterans Service for complete information on benefits for which they may be eligible as well as professional assistance in obtaining them.

Cemeteries
Any member of the Armed Forces who is a veteran under the rules established by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and was separated under other than dishonorable conditions, and who has been a resident of Georgia for at least two years immediately preceding his/her death is eligible for burial in the Georgia Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Milledgeville or Glennville.

Visit the Georgia Department of Veterans Service website for more information on any of these programs.

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