State / Territory Benefits - Georgia
Department of Driver Services (DDS) Benefits
Health Insurance Benefits
Parks and Recreation Benefits
Veterans Administration (VA) Medical Facilities
Summary: The State of Georgia offers special benefits for its military Service members and Veterans including property tax exemptions, state employment preferences, education and tuition assistance, free driver's licenses, vehicle tags, home care for war Veterans, as well as hunting and fishing license privileges. Eligibility for some benefits may depend on residency, military component and Veteran disability status.
State Benefit Highlights and Eligibility
State Tax Advantage: None
State Income Tax Extension: 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 thereafter shall be disregarded in determining whether any filing requirement has been performed within the time limit prescribed for filing. [O.C.G.A. § 40-7-36]
Retired Military Pay: Taxpayers who are 62 or older, or permanently and totally disabled regardless of age, may be eligible for a retirement income adjustment on their Georgia tax return. Retirement income includes:
- Income from pensions and annuities
- Interest income
- Dividend income
- Net income from rental property
- Capital gains income
- Income from royalties
For married couples filing joint returns with both members receiving retirement income, the maximum adjustment for that year may be up to twice the individual exclusion amount. Retirement income exceeding the maximum adjustable amount will be taxed at the normal rate.
Military Disability Retired Pay: Retirees who entered the military before September 24, 1975, and members receiving disability retirements based on combat injuries or who could receive disability payments from the VA are covered by laws giving disability broad exemption from federal income tax. Most military retired pay based on service-related disabilities also is free from federal income tax, but there is no guarantee of total protection.
VA Disability Dependency and Indemnity Compensation: VA benefits are not taxable because they generally are for disabilities and are not subject to federal or state taxes.
Military SBP/ RCSBP/RSFPP: Generally subject to state taxes for those states with income tax. Check with state department of revenue office.
Homestead Tax Exemption for Disabled Veteran, Surviving Spouse Or Minor Children: Any qualifying disabled Veteran may be granted an exemption of $70,465 (or the maximum amount granted under Section 2102 of Title 38 of the United States Code, as amended) from paying property taxes for state, county, municipal, and school purposes. The value of the homestead residence in excess of this exemption remains taxable. This exemption is extended to an unremarried surviving Spouse or minor Children. [O.C.G.A. § 48-5-48]
Homestead Exemption for Surviving Spouse of U.S. Service Member Any unremarried surviving Spouse of a member of the armed forces of the United States who was killed or died as a result of a war or armed conflict engaged in by the armed forces of the United States may be granted an exemption of $70,465 (or the maximum amount granted a disabled Veteran under Section 2102 of Title 38 of the United States Code, as amended) from paying property taxes for state, county, municipal, and school purposes. The value of the homestead residence in excess of this exemption amount remains taxable. Applicants filing for this exemption are required to file information relative to their marital status with the tax commissioner's office in the county of residence, along with any other information required by the county board of tax assessors.
Standard Homestead Exemption: The home of each resident of Georgia that is actually occupied and used as the primary residence by the owner may be granted a $2,000 exemption from state, county and school taxes except for school taxes levied by municipalities and except to pay interest on and to retire bonded indebtedness. The $2,000 is deducted from the 40% assessed value of the homestead. The owner of a dwelling house of a farm that is granted a homestead exemption may also claim a homestead exemption in participation with the program of rural housing under contract with the local housing authority. [O.C.G.A. § 48-5-44]
Individuals 65 Years of Age and Older May Claim an exemption from state tax on their home and 10 acres of land surrounding the home: Individuals 65 years of age or over may claim an exemption from all state ad valorem taxes on their home and up to 10 acres of land surrounding the home. Ad valorem tax for state purposes will be due on the assessed value of land that exceeds the 10 acre limitation. [O.C.G.A. § 48-5-48-3]
Individuals 65 Years of Age and Older May Claim a $4,000 Exemption: Individuals 65 years of age or over may claim a $4,000 exemption applied to the assessed value of their home before calculating state and county property taxes. The $4,000 exemption is deducted from the 40% assessed value of the homestead before the tax amount is calculated, but only if the net income of that person and his Spouse does not exceed $10,000 for the prior year. Social security income is excluded from net income and other retirement income is excluded up to a specified amount. The owner must notify the county tax commissioner if for any reason they no longer meet the requirements for this exemption. [O.C.G.A. § 48-5-47]
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 death, nor shall such taxes apply for any prior taxable year ending on or after the first day served in the combat zone. [O.C.G.A. § 48-7-37]
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) [O.C.G.A. § 48-8-3]
Ad Valorem Tax on Vehicles: Exempt are Veterans who are verified by the 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 and upon which the free Disabled Veteran (DV) Motor Vehicle license plate is attached. [O.C.G.A. § 40-2-69]
University of North Georgia Military Scholarship (UNGMS): This scholarship is worth $70,000 over four years. The State of Georgia offers forty-two scholarships per year to Georgia high school seniors who attend the University of North Georgia and commission as officers in the Georgia Army National Guard after graduating with a bachelor's degree. The scholarship pays for the recipient's room, meals, tuition, books, uniforms, and fees. In addition, the recipient receives National Guard weekend drill pay, GI Bill, pay for attending Army basic and advanced training, and Army ROTC contract pay (starting beginning of sophomore year). The recipient may also be eligible for an enlistment bonus and monthly GI Bill kicker. Effective 15 August 2005, GMS Scholarship recipients are non-deployable as long as they are enrolled and remain in good standing with North Georgia and the Georgia Army National Guard. Application information
Eligibility: To be eligible for this scholarship you must:
- Be a resident of Georgia.
- Receive a nomination from a state assembly member.
- Meet the academic requirements for, and gain regular admission, to University of North Georgia.
- Meet Army National Guard medical and physical standards.
- Agree to serve as an enlisted member in the Georgia Army National Guard while a Cadet at University of North Georgia.
- If offered, agree to accept a commission upon graduation from University of North Georgia and serve four years as a commissioned officer in the Georgia Army National Guard.
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. The maximum benefit is for four award years for a total of $8,000.00.
Eligibility: The following requirements apply to all categories of HERO Scholarship recipients:
- Must be enrolled or accepted for admission in an eligible Georgia college or university.
- Must meet Georgia residency requirements, as defined by GSFC.
- Must meet U.S. citizen or permanent resident alien requirements, as defined by GSFC.
- Must be in a matriculated status in an organized undergraduate program of study leading to a college degree, technical diploma, or technical certificate.
- Must not be obligated to pay a refund on a GSFC or Federal Title IV grant or scholarship.
- Must not be in default on a GSFC or Federal Title IV student educational loan.
- Must meet Federal Selective Service registration requirements.
- Must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress in accordance with the Federal Title IV standards and practices of the institution.
- Must be in compliance with the Georgia Drug-Free Postsecondary Education Act of 1990.
In addition to the General Student Eligibility Requirements, a HERO Scholarship recipient must meet all of the specific requirements for one of the three following categories of students:
The eligible student must be a member of the Georgia National Guard or be a U.S. Military Reservist who completed at least one qualifying term of service. A qualifying term of service is defined as deployment overseas, on or after February 1, 2003, for active service to a location outside of the United States and its territories designed by the U.S. Department of Defense as a combat zone, for a cumulative period of at least 181 days.
The eligible student must be the biological Child, adoptive Child, or legal ward of a member of the Georgia National Guard or the U.S. Military Reserves who completed at least one qualifying term of service. The student must have been age 25 or younger during the qualifying term of service. A qualifying term of service is defined as deployment overseas, on or after February 1, 2003, for active service to a location outside of the United States and its territories designed by the U.S. Department of Defense as a combat zone, for a consecutive period of at least 181 days.
The eligible student must be the biological Child, adoptive Child, or legal ward of a member of the Georgia National Guard or the U.S. Military Reserves who was killed or received 100 percent disability as a result of injures received in an eligible combat zone. The student must have been age 25 or younger during the qualifying term of service. A qualifying term of service is defined as deployment overseas, on or after February 1, 2003, for active service to a location outside of the United States and its territories designed by the U.S. Department of Defense as a combat zone. There are no minimum days of service required for Category C.
Be a surviving Spouse of a member of the Georgia National Guard or U.S. Reserves who was killed in a combat zone or died as a result of injuries received in a combat zone. The member must have been deployed outside of the United States for active duty service on or after February 1, 2003 to a location designated as a combat zone. The surviving Spouse must file an application for the initial Georgia HERO Scholarship award prior to June 1 of each year or not later that two calendar years following the death of the member, whichever is later, and no award can be issued later than six calendar years after the initial award was issued.
- Copy of DD214 military record or other acceptable military documentation for the Georgia National Guard member or the U.S. Military Reservist.
- Copy of the student's birth certificate, adoption document, or legal guardianship document. (Categories B and C only)
- Copy of death certificate. (Category C and D, if applicable)
- Copy of military record of injury. (Category C only, if applicable.)
Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children: It is the purpose of this compact to remove barriers to educational success imposed on Children of military Families because of frequent moves and deployment of their parents by:
- Facilitating the timely enrollment of Children of military Families and ensuring that they are not placed at a disadvantage due to difficulty in the transfer of educational records from the previous school district or variations in entrance or age requirements.
- Facilitating the student placement process through which Children of military Families are not disadvantaged by variations in attendance requirements, scheduling, sequencing, grading, course content or assessment. Facilitating the qualification and eligibility for enrollment, educational programs, and participation in extracurricular academic, athletic and social activities.
- Facilitating the on-time graduation of Children of military Families.
- Providing for the promulgation and enforcement of administrative rules implementing the provisions of this compact.
- Providing for the uniform collection and sharing of information between and among member states, schools and military Families under this compact.
- Promoting coordination between this compact and other compacts affecting military Children.
- Promoting flexibility and cooperation between the educational system, parents and the student in order to achieve educational success for the student.
Primary Points of Contact:
Col (Ret) Patricia Ross, Military Family Education Liaison
Address: 1800 Century Place, Suite 375, Atlanta, Georgia 30345-4304
Dr. James Robin Hines, Commissioner
Address: 2 Martin Luther King Drive SW, 1408 West Tower, Atlanta, Georgia 30334
Paid Leave for Military Service: State employees receive 18 days of paid leave per year while engaged in the performance of ordered military duty and while going to, and returning from such duty.
Eligibility: Georgia National Guard Service member or Army Reserve member.
Veterans Hiring Preference (State): Some Veterans may be eligible to receive either 5 or 10 points added to their passing score on a pre-employment. Below are the types of Veteran's preference granted by the State of Georgia.
In order to receive credit for Veteran's Preference, you must submit copies of the appropriate documentation to the appropriate Hiring Agency HR Department. Please note: Veteran's Preference cannot be awarded until copies of the appropriate documentation have been received. Also, copies of documentation may not be returned.
The following types of preference are currently granted:
Type (points given)
DD214 showing dates of service and type of discharge
VETERAN'S SURVIVING SPOUSE (10)
DD214; marriage and death certificates
DISABLED VETERAN (10)
Certificate of service-connected disability of at least 10% from the V.A. dated within the last 6 months; DD214
DISABLED VETERAN'S SPOUSE (10)
Disabled Veteran's documents dated within last 6 months; DD214; Veteran must have 100% disability; marriage certificate
Veteran's Hiring Preferences (Federal): By Federal law, Veterans who are disabled or who served on active duty in the United States Armed Forces during certain specified time periods or in military campaigns are entitled to preference over non-Veterans both in hiring into the Federal civil service and in retention during reduction in force. Veterans may be entitled to 5 or 10 points included in any scoring process for examination or interviews.
5-point Hiring Preference: Five points are added to the examination score or rating of a Veteran who served:
- During a war; or
- During the period April 28, 1952 through July 1, 1955; or
- For more than 180 consecutive days, other than for training, any part of which occurred after January 31, 1955, and before October 15, 1976; or
- During the Gulf War from August 2, 1990, through January 2, 1992; or
- For more than 180 consecutive days, other than for training, any part of which occurred during the period beginning September 11, 2001, and ending on August 31, 2010, the last day of Operation Iraqi Freedom; or
- In a campaign or expedition for which a campaign medal has been authorized. Any Armed Forces Expeditionary medal or campaign badge, including El Salvador, Lebanon, Grenada, Panama, Southwest Asia, Somalia, and Haiti, qualifies for preference.
10-point Compensable Disability (CP) Preference: Ten points are added to the examination score or rating of:
- A Veteran who served at any time and who has a compensable service-connected disability rating of at least 10 percent but less than 30 percent.
10-Point 30 Percent Compensable Disability Preference (CPS): Ten points are added to the passing examination score or rating of a Veteran who served at any time and who has a compensable service-connected disability rating of 30 percent or more.
10-Point Disability Preference (XP): Ten points are added to the passing examination score or rating of:
- A Veteran who served at any time and has a present service-connected disability or is receiving compensation, disability retirement benefits, or pension from the military or the Department of Veterans Affairs but does not qualify as a CP or CPS; or
- A Veteran who received a Purple Heart.
10-Point Derived Preference (XP): Ten points are added to the passing examination score or rating of Spouses, Widows, Widowers, or Mothers of Veterans as described below. This type of preference is usually referred to as "derived preference" because it is based on service of a Veteran who is not able to use the preference. Both a Mother and a Spouse (including Widow or Widower) may be entitled to preference on the basis of the same Veteran's service if they both meet the requirements. However, neither may receive preference if the Veteran is living and is qualified for Federal employment.
Ten points are added to the passing examination score or rating of the Spouse of a disabled Veteran who is disqualified for a Federal position along the general lines of his or her usual occupation because of a service-connected disability. Such a disqualification may be presumed when the Veteran is unemployed and
- Is rated by appropriate military or Department of Veterans Affairs authorities to be 100 percent disabled and/or unemployable; or
- Has retired, been separated, or resigned from a civil service position on the basis of a disability that is service-connected in origin; or
- Has attempted to obtain a civil service position or other position along the lines of his or her usual occupation and has failed to qualify because of a service-connected disability.
Preference may be allowed in other circumstances but anything less than the above warrants a more careful analysis.
A campaign medal holder or Gulf War Veteran who originally enlisted after September 7, 1980, (or began active duty on or after October 14, 1982, and has not previously completed 24 months of continuous active duty) must have served continuously for 24 months or the full period called or ordered to active duty. The 24-month service requirement does not apply to 10-point preference eligible Veterans separated for disability incurred or aggravated in the line of duty, or to Veterans separated for hardship or other reasons under 10 U.S.C. 1171 or 1173.
Business 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 upon meeting the following eligibility requirements: (1) be discharged under honorable conditions from the armed forces of the United States; (2) have 10 percent disability for certain wartime Veterans or a 25 percent service-connected disability for peace time-only Veterans; and (3) have an income that is not liable for state income taxes. [O.C.G.A. § 43-12-1 - § 43-12-4]
Operation Workforce: Launched in November 2012, Operation: Workforce serves as an online one-stop for Veteran resources and services in Georgia. This web portal provides resources from various state agencies and private organizations. Veterans are able to utilize these resources to translate their military occupational classifications into civilian occupations that best align with their skill set and training. Through this site, Veterans can also create a profile, upload a resume and search and apply for career opportunities posted by registered Georgia employers who have pledged to hire military heroes.
Troops to Trucks: This program expedites Veterans into civilian employment in the transportation industry. Military personnel who already have a military 348 license (Military Issued Tactical Vehicle License) are able waive the driving test for a Georgia Commercial Driver's license (CDL) at Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS) locations to expedite the licensing process for service members. This program helps meet the demand for more than 12,778 openings for commercial truck drivers projected in Georgia in the next four years. Please go to the DDS website to learn more.
Inspired by the statewide Troops to Trucks initiative, several local workforce investment areas have started CDL training programs aimed at Veterans under the same name.
Unemployment Insurance: Unemployment Insurance (UI) program provides temporary income for workers who are unemployed through no fault of their own and who are either looking for another job, have a definite recall to their jobs within 6 weeks of the last day worked, or are in approved training. The funding for UI benefits comes from taxes paid by employers. Workers do not pay any costs. Eligibility for benefits is determined based on past wages, reason for job separation, and availability and job search requirements. Claims are effective on the date they are filed and are not retroactive to the last day worked. Unemployment claims can be filed in person at any Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) career center or by Internet from any computer with appropriate Internet access.
When filing a claim, you should have:
- Your social security number, as a claim cannot be filed without a social security number
- Valid government-issued unexpired picture identification
- Employer-issued separation notice or letter, if available
- Names, addresses, and dates of employment of all employers for the last 18 months
- Alien number and expiration date for non-citizens
- SF-50 or SF-8 form and paystubs for federal employment in the last two years
- Most recent DD-214, orders to report or of release, military earnings/leave statement, or W-2 form(s) for former military personnel
- Personal banking account and routing number for direct deposit
- A copy of your most recently filed income tax return or quarterly estimated income tax payment record(s), if applying for Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) and you are self-employed or a farmer
Unemployment claims can be filed in person at any Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) Career Center or by Internet from any computer with appropriate Internet access. Use the (GDOL) Interactive Voice Response System, OLIVoR, to access locations of GDOL Career Centers, establish a PIN for unemployment insurance, claim weekly unemployment benefits, or inquire about weekly unemployment payment. The OLIVoR telephone number is 1-866-598-4164
Active Military and Dependents License Renewal via Mail: Military personnel on active duty can request a Georgia driver's license/ID card renewal through the mail.
The same privilege is also extended to a military person's Spouse and any licensed dependents or ID card holders living with the person who is on duty in a foreign domain or in a state other than Georgia. Application
Free Licenses for Veterans and Honorary License for Spouse: Qualified Veterans are eligible for a free driver's license. The free driver's license can be issued for regular or long term. Qualified Veterans must submit an original Certificate of Eligibility (DS-516), approved by the Georgia Department of Veteran Services.
Applicants age 59 years or older must renew the driver's license every five (5) years. Successful completion of the vision exam is required at each renewal after age 64.
The Spouse of a disabled honorably separated Veteran who does not have a driver's license or the unmarried Spouse of a deceased honorably separated Veteran is entitled to the same driver's license available to the Veteran. Applicant must submit an original Certificate of Eligibility (DS-516) approved by the Georgia Department of Veteran Services.
Eligibility: To obtain the Certificate of Eligibility (DS-516), submit the following documents to the State Department of Veteran Services.
Veterans - Present your separation papers (DD-214), declaring the following:
- Actual Wartime Service*
- Honorable Discharge
- Applicant must be a resident of the state of Georgia, either at the time of entry into service or at least 2 consecutive years preceding date of application
Unmarried Surviving Spouse - Present the death certificate of deceased Spouse with the separation papers (DD-214).
*Activation for training purposes does not qualify an individual for a Georgia Veterans Driver's License.
Handicapped Parking: If a disabled Veteran's license plate from Georgia, or any other state, is properly displayed on the Veteran's vehicle, the Veteran is authorized to park in parking areas designated for the handicapped without obtaining special handicapped parking area permits.
National Guard Free License: All members or former members of the Georgia National Guard, who have 20 or more years of creditable service, are entitled to a free Veteran's license by submitting a document of certification stating the applicant's eligibility.
The Certificate of eligibility must be obtained from the Adjutant General of the State of Georgia and brought into any Customer Service Center to have a driver's license issued.
A distinctive driver's license can be issued to any member of the Georgia National Guard in good standing and who has completed at least one year of satisfactory service by submitting a certificate of eligibility (DS-318). This driver's license is renewable during the time of service in the National Guard or until 20 years of service has been obtained which entitles you to a Veteran's License.
The Certificate of eligibility (DS-318) must be obtained from the local National Guard Commanding Officer and brought into any Customer Service Center to have a driver's license issued.
Disabled Veteran (Free) Service-Connected License Plate: Disabled Veteran tag is provided free of charge to a disabled Veteran who has a letter from the Veterans Administration or a card issued by the Georgia Veterans Services. The letter is required for first time applicants stating the applicant is 100% disabled (service connected). Upon the death of the Veteran, the surviving Spouse may request/retain the tag provided they do not remarry. To request/retain the tag, a certified copy of the Veteran's death certificate and Marriage License is required. Only one additional tag can be purchased by paying the $25.00 manufacturing fee (one-time fee) plus $20.00 annual registration fee. Cost to purchase first tag: $0. Cost to renew first tag annually: $0. Application Form MV-9W
Disabled Veteran (Free) Motorcycle License Plate: Disabled Veteran motorcycle tags are provided free of charge to a disabled Veteran who has a letter from the Veterans Administration or a card issued by the Georgia Veterans Services. The letter is required for first time applicants stating the applicant is 100% disabled (service connected). A second plate may be purchased at the cost of $25.00 plus $20.00 annual registration fee. Upon death of the Veteran, the surviving Spouse may continue to receive the free special license plates and revalidation decals until the death of the surviving Spouse. A set of plates with the same number will be issued for the vehicle. Only one additional set of plates will be issued. Application Form MV-9W
Former Prisoner of War (POW) License Plate: One free license plate will be issued free to any Veteran who is a former POW, who was discharged under honorable conditions, and who is a legal resident of Georgia. A second plate may be purchased at the cost of $25.00 plus $20.00 annual registration fee. Upon the death of the Veteran, the surviving Spouse may request/retain the tag provided they do not remarry. To request/retain the tag, a certified copy of the Veteran's death certificate, DD 214, and Marriage License is required. Application Form MV-9W
Purple Heart Army License Plate: Recipients of the Purple Heart medal are entitled to one free license plate.
- Former Military (Veterans, Retired): DD-214 required or in the case of a retired Reserve member, you must furnish approved documentation supporting the current retired membership status from that reserve unit.
- Active Military: If you are an active duty member, a copy of the approved documentation supporting your current membership in the respective reserve or National Guard unit is required.
Only one additional plate can be obtained by paying the $25.00 manufacturing fee (one-time fee) plus $20.00 annual registration fee. The ownership of this tag cannot be relinquished. Upon the death of the Veteran, the surviving Spouse may request/retain the tag provided they do not remarry. To request/retain the tag, a certified copy of the Veterans Death Certificate, Marriage Certificate and Form DD-214 are required. Application Form MV-9W
Pearl Harbor Survivor License Plate: Survivors of Pearl Harbor are eligible for one free auto tag. Only one additional plate can be obtained by paying the $25.00 manufacturing fee (one-time fee) plus $20.00 annual registration fee.
Eligibility: Release or Discharge form such as: WD AGO 53, WD AGO 55, WD AGO 53-55, NAVPERS 553, NAVMC 78PD, NAVCG 553 (note: this is not an exhaustive list) showing Pearl Harbor Survivor.
The surviving Spouse of Veterans of the Armed Forces of the United States who survived the attack on Pearl Harbor may request/retain the license plate as long as they do not re-marry. DD-214, Death Certificate, and Marriage License required. Application Form MV-9W
Veteran Army License Plate: Army Veterans are eligible for one free auto tag. Only one additional plate can be obtained by paying the $25.00 manufacturing fee (one-time fee) plus $20.00 annual registration fee. The ownership of this tag cannot be relinquished.
- Former Military (Veterans, Retired): DD-214 required or in the case of a retired reserve member, you must furnish approved documentation supporting the current retired membership status from that reserve unit.
- Active Military: If you are an active duty member, a copy of the approved documentation supporting your current membership in an Active Duty Army, Army Reserve or National Guard unit is required.
Upon the death of the Veteran, the surviving Spouse may request/retain the tag provided they do not remarry. To request/retain the tag, a certified copy of the Veterans Death Certificate, Marriage Certificate and Form DD-214 are required. Application Form MV-9W
National Guard License Plate: National Guard Service members are eligible for one free auto tag. Only one additional plate can be obtained by paying the $25.00 manufacturing fee (one-time fee) plus $20.00.
Eligibility: All current or retired Georgia National Guard Service members. Required annually is a current dated letter from Commanding Officer. Application Form MV-9W
Reserve Army License Plate: Army Reserve members are eligible for one free auto tag.
Eligibility: All current or retired US Army Reserve members are eligible for one free auto tag. Current dated letter from Commanding Officer and Driver's License Number are required. Only one additional tag active or retired may be issued at $70.00. Application Form MV-9W
Retired Army License Plate: Retired Army members are eligible for one free auto tag. Only one additional plate can be obtained by paying the $25.00 manufacturing fee (one-time fee) plus $20.00 annual registration fee. A copy of Form DD-214 reflecting service is required. Application Form MV-9W
Gold Star Family License Plate: The first plate issued to the Spouse, Mother and Father of a fallen Service member is free. Additional plates can be issued to the Spouse, Mother and Father or the first plate and additional plates issued to siblings, Children, Stepparents, by paying the $25.00 manufacturing fee (one-time fee) plus $20.00 annual registration fee. Required Documents: Copy of the DEERS (Department of Eligibility and Enrollment Services) Report dated prior to the death of the fallen Service member. If the DEERS report is not immediately available, please provide a copy of the fallen Service member's obituary published within two years after the Service member's death, listing the eligible Family member's full name. The Gold Star license plate shall not be transferred except to a vehicle subsequently purchased by the eligible Family member.
Commemorative Service License Plate: 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. Applicants will also be required to pay a $25 annual registration fee for the additional specialty plate. Application Form MV-9W
Qualifying service during active military combat includes active duty service during:
- World War II
- Korean War
- Vietnam War
- Operation Desert Storm
- Global War on Terrorism (as defined by Presidential Executive Order 13289, Section 2)
- War in Iraq
- War in Afghanistan
Military Medal Award License Plate: Anyone whose service during active military combat resulted in the award of one of the qualifying medals may be eligible for a free military medal ward specialty license plate if he/she is a 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 these specialty plates. 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. Application Form MV-9W
Qualifying medals for the military award specialty license plate include:
- Medal of Honor
- Distinguished Service Cross
- Defense Distinguished Service Medal
- Homeland Security Service Medal
- Distinguished Service Medal
- Silver Star
- Defense Superior Service Medal
- Legion of Merit
- Distinguished Flying Cross
- Bronze Star
- Air Medal
Click here for additional Military plates that are available.
In-State Grace Period for Expired Driver's Licenses: Georgia law allows a six-month grace period for a Service member whose Georgia driver's license expires while he/she is on active duty outside the State of Georgia. This grace period is not added to the expiration date.
Service members are allowed to drive in Georgia on an expired Georgia driver's license for six months after the date he/she is discharged or reassigned back into the state.
They are exempt from being cited for driving with an expired license. If cited, a copy of the official military orders or a written verification signed by his/her commanding officer must be brought into a Customer Service Center and a waiver will be issued.
Medical Benefits: Actual medical expenses and/or loss of wages are paid by worker's compensation for State Active Duty National Guard members for injuries that occur in the line of duty.
Eligibility: Georgia National Guard Service members on State Active Duty.
Health Insurance: TRICARE Reserve Select is a premium-based plan, available worldwide for Selected Reserve, (Reserve and National Guard) and their Families who meet the following qualifications:
- Not on active duty orders
- Not covered under the Transitional Assistance Management Program
- Not eligible for or enrolled in the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) program or currently covered under FEHB, either under their own eligibility or through a Family member.
The plan provides comprehensive health care coverage when you're not activated and covered by active duty TRICARE benefits.
Group Insurance: Georgia Guard Insurance Trust (GGIT) offers low cost group insurance to Guard members and former Guard members in increments of $10,000.00 up to $50,000.00. The GGIT also allows the Spouse and dependent Children to be covered under this plan.
Eligibility: Any Georgia National Guard Service member that is within the ninety (90) days after joining the National Guard may enroll prior to the 91st day after joining, without furnishing evidence of insurability. If a member does not apply within the ninety (90) day period after joining the National Guard, the member may still apply, but the Company reserves the right to accept or reject the application.
Veterans Affairs Life Insurance: The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides valuable life insurance benefits to Veterans, Active and Reserve Component Service members and their Families to provide financial security given the extraordinary risks involved in military Service. The VA provides the following life insurance benefit programs:
- Service Member's Group Life Insurance (SGLI)
- Veterans Group Life Insurance (VGLI)
- Family Members Group Life Insurance (FSGLI)
- Service Members Group Life Insurance Traumatic Injury Projection (TSGLI)
- Service-Disabled Veterans Life Insurance (S-DVI)
- Veterans Mortgage Life Insurance (VMLI)
Injury and Death Benefits: State Active Duty National Guard members receive pay, allowance, medical expenses for 90 days. If the Service member is or remains disabled after 90 days, benefits become the same as Federal benefits including death gratuity, Widows pension & funeral expenses up to $500.00.
Eligibility: Georgia National Guard Service member.
One-Time Honorary Veterans Hunting and Fishing License: A free hunting and fishing license issued once for military Veterans discharged on or after July, 1 2005. The Honorary Veterans License will be valid for 12 months from the date of issue. It covers all recreational hunting and fishing licenses (except Federal Duck Stamp). This specifically includes: Alligator, Hunting, Primitive Weapons, Big Game, Wildlife Management Area (WMA), Georgia Waterfowl Conservation, Fishing, and Trout licenses. It does not include commercial licenses. Click here for application. [O.C.G.A. § 27-2-4 (g) (1)-(2)]
Eligibility: Applicants for the Honorary Veterans License must be military Veterans who meet all of the following criteria:
- Have not previously received this license.
- Served on active Federal duty for 90 or more days.
- Discharge date is July 1, 2005 or later (Veterans discharged before July 1, 2005 are not eligible for this license).
- Currently reside in Georgia.
3 Year Disability Hunting & Fishing License: Resident Disability Licenses are full privilege sportsman's licenses, and include all state paid recreational hunting and fishing privileges. This free license is available only to Georgia residents, and is good for three years. It can be renewed before expiration by sending documents showing continued disability. The Disability License includes hunting, big game, Wildlife Management Area (WMA), alligator, Georgia waterfowl conservation, salt and freshwater fishing and mountain trout licenses. [O.C.G.A. § 27-2-4 (a)]
Eligibility: A Veteran may receive an honorary license provided he/she is permanently and totally disabled so as to prevent gainful employment, and provided the certification of 100% disability is made by the Department of Veterans Affairs.
To obtain the resident disability license, you will need to send the following with your completed application:
- Either of the following two certifications:
- If Veteran's Affairs certified your disability- a copy of the Veterans Affair's letter stating that you are 100% disabled, or one of the other documents listed in the application. The letter or document needs to be dated within the last year, and rather than being date stamped have a date included in the letter. If you are using the Veterans Affairs letter, the application describes a procedure near the bottom of the front page after "Veterans Office:" that we have worked out with the Veterans Office to request an acceptable Hunting and Fishing License Authorization Letter with an included date - please show them this section of the application if they are unfamiliar with the procedure.
- If the Social Security Administration certified your disability, you may send us a copy of the BPQY form (SSA-2459) AND the BPQY cover letter (SSAL634) dated within the past year. You may obtain these from the Social Security Office by calling 1-800-772-1213, and ask for a BPQY (SSA-2459) form and cover letter (SSA-L634).
- Proof of Georgia residency - a copy of your Georgia driver's license or a copy of your official Georgia ID card.
Lifetime License Option: Georgia residents may obtain a lifetime license - that does not have to be renewed - instead of the disability license: cost for adults age 16 to 60 is $500, cost for Veterans under 60 is $400, cost at age 60 is $95, and at age 65 the lifetime license is free.
Click here for application.
Disabled Veteran Admission to Georgia State Parks: Disabled Veterans who are Georgia residents and present a Certificate of Eligibility from their Veterans Benefits Coordinator are entitled to a 25% discount on Annual Park Passes, Individual or Family Friends Memberships, individual accommodations, recreation fees such as mini-golf and boat rental, golf fees and historic site admission.
When making online reservations, the full fee will be charged to your credit card. Upon check-in and presenting proof of eligibility, you will be reimbursed for your discount. In order to apply for a state park discount card, qualified Veterans should take a copy of their military discharge certificate (DD Form 214), verification of a VA service-connected disability, and proof of residency to a GDVS Veterans Field Service Office. A Veterans Field Service Officer will verify eligibility and forward the application to the GDVS Central Office. Applicants will receive their state park discount card in the mail. [O.C.G.A. § 12-3-9.1]
Active Duty and Retired Military Admission to Georgia State Parks: Active duty and retired military who are Georgia residents are entitled to a 25% discount on the daily or Annual Park Pass. ID must be shown.
Georgia War Veterans Nursing Home (GWVNH): The Georgia War Veterans Nursing Home is a 192-bed skilled nursing care facility located adjacent to the campus of the Augusta University and the Charlie Norwood Veterans Affairs Medical Center. It is operated under an interagency agreement between the Georgia Department of Veterans Service and Augusta University.
Primarily, the facility provides medical and nursing services to Georgia's aged and infirmed Veterans. GWVNH also serves as a teaching facility to acquaint medical, pharmacy, and allied health students with the medical conditions and diseases of the aged. This provides students with practical experience and helps them gain expertise in treating the disabled and the elderly.
Georgia War Veterans Home: The Georgia War Veterans Home, situated on approximately 17 acres in Milledgeville, is a 375-bed facility licensed and certified by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to provide skilled nursing care to aged and infirm Georgia war Veterans. The home operated three skilled nursing care facilities in 2014, which included the Richard B. Russell Building with 86 budgeted beds; the Joe T Wood Building with 140 budgeted beds; and the Alzheimer's Wing of the Pete Wheeler Building with 24 budgeted beds.
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, is eligible for burial in the Georgia Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Milledgeville or in the Georgia Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Glennville. There is no charge for the gravesite, vault, marker, or use of the committal chapel for interment service for an eligible Veteran or Spouse/eligible Family member. All costs for a casket, preparation of the body for burial, and other funeral costs (transportation, use of funeral home, minister, etc.) must be arranged through a funeral home of your choice and paid for by the Veteran, the Veteran's estate, or survivors.
- A Veteran under the rules established by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and separated under other than dishonorable conditions.
- A member of the Reserves/National Guard who was eligible for retirement pay at the time of death or would have been entitled to retired pay but for the fact that they were not at least 60 years of age.
- A member of the U.S. Armed Forces or a reserve component of the U.S. Armed Forces, who died in the line of duty while on active duty, or active duty for training.
- An eligible Veteran's Spouse may be interred in the same plot as the Veteran at GVMC. A copy of the marriage certificate is required.
- An eligible Veteran's dependent (unmarried, under age 21, or life-long dependency on the Veteran) is eligible for burial at GVMC. Documentation of eligibility is required.
- A copy of the Veteran's DD 214 or other documentation verifying active military service must be furnished.
Veteran's ID Card: A Veteran who meets the eligibility and residence requirements for a free Veteran's driver's license and still cannot obtain one may be eligible for a free Veteran's ID card. A Veteran is not eligible for a Georgia ID card if he/she possesses a valid driver's license from another state. [O.C.G.A. § 40-5-103]
Eligibility: In order to obtain a free Veteran's ID card, the applicant should take proof of his/her qualifying service and residency to a GDVS Veterans Field Service Office. A Field Service Officer will verify his/her eligibility and issue a completed Certificate of Eligibility (DS-516). The applicant must then take the completed DS-516, together with all required identifying documents (birth certificate or passport; Social Security card; two documents showing residential address; and, if applicable, name change documentation) to a Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS) office. A DDS representative will verify eligibility and issue a free Veteran's ID card.
Honorary ID Card: The Spouse of a disabled Veteran who meets the eligibility and residency requirements for a free Veteran's driver's license and still cannot obtain one may be eligible for a free honorary ID card.
The surviving unremarried spouse of an eligible deceased Veteran may be eligible for a free honorary ID card.
A Spouse or surviving Spouse is not eligible for a Georgia ID card if he/she possesses a valid driver's license from another state. For clarification regarding eligibility qualifications, please refer to the eligibility and residence requirements listed under the Veteran's Driver's License in the above section.
In order to obtain a free honorary ID card, the Spouse or surviving Spouse should take proof of qualifying service and residency to a GDVS Veterans Field Service Office. A Service Officer will verify his/her eligibility and issue a completed Certificate of Eligibility (DS-516).
The Spouse or surviving Spouse should take the completed Certificate of Eligibility to a Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS) office, along with documentation of his/her identity, residential address, full social security number, and U.S. citizenship or proof of lawful presence in the United States. A DDS representative will verify his/her eligibility, and issue a free honorary ID card. For more information, visit dds.ga.gov; or call 678-413-8400 inside the Metro Atlanta area; or 866-754-3687 inside Georgia, but outside the Metro Atlanta area. [O.C.G.A. § 40-5-103]
Motor Fuel Service to Handicapped: 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 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. [O.C.G.A. § 10-1-164.1]
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. [O.C.G.A. § 29-7-1 - § 29-7-17]
Vital Statistics: Veterans, dependents, or Veterans' organizations, may obtain copies of marriage, divorce, birth, and death documents without charge through GDVS, provided the copies are to be used for establishing disability or death claims, and the request is in writing. [O.C.G.A. § 38-1-1]
Military Commissary Access: If you have been rated as 100% disabled by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for a service-connected disability, you are eligible to shop in military commissaries and exchanges once you obtain the proper ID card. In order to get an ID card, applicants will need to obtain a verification letter from the Department of Veterans Affairs and take it to the ID card section of a military installation.
Veterans Health Administration
VA Medical Centers
Augusta: Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center, 950 15th St, Downtown or 1 Freedom Way, Uptown, 706-733-0188
Decatur: Atlanta VA Medical Center, 1670 Clairmont Rd, 404-321-6111
Dublin: Carl Vinson VA Medical Center, 1826 Veterans Blvd, 478-272-1210
Athens: Athens Clinic, 9249 Highway 29 North, 706-227-4534 / Fax: 706-227-4538
Carrolton: Trinka Davis Veterans Village Clinic, 180 Martin Dr, 678-423-4970 x2155 / 2156
Hinesville: Hinesville Clinic, 500 East Oglethorpe Hwy, 912-408-2900
Rome: Rome Outreach Clinic, 30 Chateau Dr, SE, 706-235-6581 / Fax: 706-291-3753
Community Based Outpatient Clinics
Albany: Albany Clinic, 814 Radford Blvd, Bldg 7000, 229-446-9000
Atlanta: Fort McPherson/East Point CBOC, 2575 N.Martin St Bldg 700
Atlanta: Henderson Mill VA Clinic, 2296 Henderson Mill Rd
Austell: Austell VA CBOC, 2041 Mesa Valley Way, 404-329-2222 / Fax: 770-948-3276
Blairsville: Blairsville CBOC, 1294 Highway 515 East, Suite 100, 404-329-2222 / Fax: 404-417-1595
Brunswick: Brunswick CBOC, 1111 Glynco Pkwy, Bldg 2, Suite 200, 912-261-2355
Columbus: Columbus Clinic, 1310 13th Ave, 706-257-7205
Decatur: Atlanta VA Clinic, 250 N Arcadia Ave, 404-329-2222
East Point: East Point VA Clinic, 2575 N.Martin St, Bldg 700
East Point: Fulton County VA Clinic, 1513 Cleveland Ave, Bldg 300
Flowery Branch: Oakwood CBOC, 4175 Tanners Creek Dr, 404-329-2222 / Fax: 404-728-8229
Fort Benning: FT Benning VA Clinic, 6635 Bass Rd, Bldg 9214, 706-257-7205 / Fax: 706-626-0827
Kathleen: Perry Outreach Clinic, 2370 S Houston Lake Rd, 478-224-1309 / Fax: 478-224-1316
Lawrenceville: Gwinnett County VA Clinic, 1970 Riverside Parkway
Lawrenceville: Lawrenceville Clinic, 455 Philip Blvd, Suite 200, 404-329-2222 / Fax: 404-417-1708
Macon: Macon Clinic, 5398 Thomaston Rd, Suite B, 478-476-8868 / Fax: 478-476-8161
Milledgeville: Milledgeville Community Based Outpatient Clinic, 2249 Carl Vinson Hwy SE, 478-414-4540 / Fax: 478-414-4575
Newnan: Newnan CBOC, 39-A Oak Hill Ct, 404-329-2222 / Fax: 404-417-2910
Savannah: Savannah Clinic, 325 West Montgomery Crossroad, 912-920-0214
St Marys: St Marys CBOC, 205 Lakeshore Point, 912-510-3420 / Fax: 912-510-3425
Statesboro: Statesboro Clinic, 950 15th St Downtown, or 1 Freedom Way Uptown, 706-733-0188
Stockbridge: Stockbridge CBOC, 175 Medical Blvd, 404-329-2222 / Fax: 404-728-5096
Valdosta: Valdosta CBOC, 2841 N Patterson St, 229-293-0132 / Fax: 229-293-0162
Waycross: Waycross Clinic, 515B City Blvd, 912-279-4400 / Fax: 912-279-4448
Vet Center - 877-927-8387
Atlanta: Atlanta Vet Center, 1800 Phoenix Blvd, Bldg 400, Suite 404, Box 55, 404-17-5414 / Fax: 770-907-0674
Augusta: Augusta Vet Center, 2050 Walton Way, Suite 100, 706-729-5762 / Fax: 706-736-2417
Columbus: Muscogee County (Columbus) Vet Center, 2601 Cross Country Dr, Condominium B-2 Suite 900, 706-596-7170 / Fax: 706-568-7630
Lawrenceville: Lawrenceville Vet Center, 930 River Centre Place, 404-728-4195 / Fax: 770-963-6393
Macon: Macon Vet Center, 750 Riverside Dr, 478-477-3813 / Fax: 478-746-7023
Marietta: Marietta Vet Center, 40 Dodd St, Suite 700, 404-327-4954 / Fax: 770-419-1314
Savannah: Savannah Vet Center, 321 Commercial Dr, 912-961-5800 / Fax: 478-274-5751
Duluth: VISN7: VA Southeast Network, 3700 Crestwood Pkwy, Suite 500, 678-924-5700
Veterans Benefits Administration
Regional Benefit Office
Decatur: Atlanta Regional Benefit Office, 1700 Clairmont Rd, 1-800-827-1000
Intake Site (Pre-Discharge Claims Assistance)
Fort Benning: Fort Benning, Dept of VA, Bldg 2751, 6520 Marchant Ave
Fort Gordon: Fort Gordon, Dept of VA, Bldg 33800
Fort Stewart: Fort Stewart/Hunter Army Airfield, Audie Murphy Soldier Center (3 ID Welcome Center)
Kings Bay: Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base, Fleet & Family Support Center, Naval 1063 USS Tennessee Ave, Bldg 1051
National Cemetery Administration
Decatur: Southeast District, 1700 Clairmont Rd, 4th Fl, 404-929-5899 / Fax: 404-929-5900
Military Installations in Georgia
Please see the Georgia Resource Locator for additional information
Georgia Air National Guard
Document Review Date: 30 May 2016