2018 Georgia Code
Title 40 - Motor Vehicles and Traffic
Chapter 1 - Identification and Regulation
Article 3 - Motor Carriers
Part 1 - Georgia Motor Carrier Act of 2012
§ 40-1-56.1. Unpaid assessments; liens on identifiable vehicles; perfection; suspension of registration
(a) Whenever any motor carrier or limousine carrier owes penalties to the department which were imposed for violations pursuant to Code Section 40-1-56 and the violation relates to an identifiable vehicle, then the motor carrier or limousine carrier shall have 60 days from the date of the assessed penalty or final judicial review following an appeal of the assessment. If the assessment is not paid within the 60 days, such assessment shall become a lien upon the identified motor vehicle found to be in violation, and the lien shall be superior to all liens except liens for taxes or perfected security interests established before the debt to the department was created.
(b) The department shall perfect the lien created under this Code section by sending notice thereof on a notice designated by the department, by first-class mail or by statutory overnight delivery, return receipt requested, to the owner and all holders of liens and security interests shown on the records of the Department of Revenue maintained pursuant to Chapter 3 of this title. Upon receipt of notice from the Department of Public Safety, the holder of the certificate of title shall surrender the same to the state revenue commissioner for issuance of a replacement certificate of title bearing the lien of the department unless the assessment is paid within 60 days of the receipt of notice. The Department of Revenue may append the lien to its records, notwithstanding the failure of the holder of the certificate of title to surrender such certificate as required by this subsection.
(c) Upon issuance of a title bearing the lien of the department, or the appending of the lien to the records of the Department of Revenue, the owner of the vehicle or the holder of any security interest or lien shown in the records of the Department of Revenue may satisfy such lien by payment of the amount of the assessment, including hearing costs, if any, and payment of an additional reissuance fee of $100.00 which shall be paid to the Department of Revenue. Upon receipt of such amount, the department shall release its lien and the Department of Revenue shall issue a new title without the lien.
(1) The department, in seeking to foreclose its lien on the motor vehicle arising out of an assessed violation pursuant to Code Section 40-1-56, may seek an immediate writ of possession from the court before whom the petition is filed, if the petition contains a statement of facts, under oath, by the department, its agents, its officers, or attorney setting forth the basis of the petitioner's claim and sufficient grounds for issuance of an immediate writ of possession.
(2) The department shall allege under oath specific facts sufficient to show that it is within the power of the defendant to conceal, encumber, convert, convey, or remove from the jurisdiction of the court the property which is the subject matter of the petition.
(3) The court before whom the petition is pending shall issue a writ for immediate possession upon finding that the petitioner has complied with paragraphs (1) and (2) of this subsection. If the petitioner is found not to have made sufficient showing to obtain an immediate writ of possession, the court may, nevertheless, treat the petition as one being filed under Code Section 44-14-231 and proceed accordingly.
(4) When an immediate writ of possession has been granted, the department shall proceed against the defendant in the same manner as provided for in Code Sections 44-14-265 through 44-14-269.
(1) Whenever any motor carrier or limousine carrier fails within 60 days of the date of issuance of a penalty involving an identifiable vehicle assessed pursuant to Code Section 40-1-56 either to pay the assessment or appeal to the department for an administrative review, the Department of Revenue may act to suspend the motor vehicle registration of the vehicle involved. However, if the motor carrier or limousine carrier requests an administrative review, the Department of Revenue shall act to suspend the registration only after the issuance of a final decision favorable to the department and the requisite failure of the motor carrier or limousine carrier to pay the assessment. Upon such failure to pay the assessment, the Department of Revenue shall send a letter to the owner of such motor vehicle notifying the owner of the suspension of the motor vehicle registration issued to the motor vehicle involved in violation which was the basis for the penalty. Upon complying with this subsection by paying the overdue assessment, submitting proof of compliance, and paying a $10.00 restoration fee to the Department of Revenue, the state revenue commissioner shall reinstate any motor vehicle registration suspended under this subsection. In cases where the motor vehicle registration has been suspended under this subsection for a second or subsequent time during any two-year period, the Department of Revenue shall suspend the motor vehicle registration for a period of 60 days and thereafter until the owner submits proof of compliance with this subsection and pays a $150.00 restoration fee to the Department of Revenue.
(2) Unless otherwise provided for in this Code section, notice of the effective date of the suspension of a motor vehicle registration occurs when the owner has actual knowledge or legal notice thereof, whichever first occurs. For the purposes of making any determination relating to the restoration of a suspended motor vehicle registration, no period of suspension shall be deemed to have begun until ten days after the mailing of the notice required in paragraph (1) of this subsection.
(3) For the purposes of this subsection, except where otherwise provided, the mailing of a notice to a motor carrier or limousine carrier at the name and address shown in records of the Department of Revenue maintained under Chapter 3 of this title shall, with respect to the holders of liens and security interests, be presumptive evidence that such motor carrier or limousine carrier received the required notice.
(4) For the purposes of this subsection, except where otherwise provided, the mailing of a notice to owners and operators of vehicles involved in a penalty assessed pursuant to 40-1-56 shall be presumptive evidence that such motor carrier or limousine carrier received the required notice.
(5) The state revenue commissioner may suspend the motor vehicle registration of any offending vehicle for which payment of an assessment is made by a check that is returned for any reason.