Vehicle Taxability & Exemptions

Taxability & Exemptions of Motor Vehicles

All sales of motor vehicle are subject to sales or use tax unless an exemption applies.  The tax rate charged is based on the county of the purchaser’s residence.  While  other items may be exempted as a casual sale, the resale of a used motor vehicle is not eligible for this exemption.  

Did you receive a notice from us? 

The definition of a Casual Sale is found in R.C. 5739.01(L).

The application of Sales and Use tax to a casual sale can be referenced in R.C. 5739.02(B)(8)

What is an exemption?

An exemption is a statutory reason that a retail sale is not subject to  sales or use tax. This page discusses exemptions that may apply to motor vehicle transfers.

 

A few examples of exemptions for motor vehicles:

Direct FarmingFarming –Motor vehicles  used primarily in the production of agricultural products for sale may be exempt under R.C. 5739.02(B)(17)

Transportation for Hire – Motor vehicles used primarily in transporting tangible personal property for others may be exempt under R.C. 5739.02(B)(32)

Nonprofit Organizations & Churches – Purchases of motor vehicles by nonprofit charitable organizations and churches may be exempt if the vehicle is purchased by and titled in the name of the organization.  R.C. 5739.02(B)(12)

Transportation Services and Public Utilities  – Vehicles   primarily used to provide taxable transportation services,  such as taxicabs or charter services.  Note—the purchaser  is required to have a vendor’s license and remit sales tax on its taxable transportation services.  R.C. 5739.02(B)(41)

What other vehicle purchases are exempt from the sales and use tax?

Find the answer on our Exemptions Definitions page.

 

Frequently Asked Questions Tool

The Ohio Department of Taxation has compiled a list of frequently asked questions covering many different categories.

To view the questions, click on the "Select Category" bar and then click on  the category you are interested in.  A list of questions will appear pertaining to that category. Then click on the question you are inquiring about and the answer will appear.

How is tax paid on golf carts?

Generally, golf carts cannot be used on public highways and are not titled as motor vehicles. However, a municipality may pass an ordinance that allows the use of golf carts on public streets. A chief of police or county sheriff may designate certain public highways under their jurisdiction as eligible for golf cart use. If so, the chief of police or county sheriff sends notification to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) and the BMV would provide a letter of authority to the clerk of courts with jurisdiction over the affected area. 

In such cases, the owner of a golf cart that is not currently used on public highways may want to obtain a title. The clerk of courts may issue the title without payment of the sales tax if the owner of the golf cart provides proof of tax paid at the time of the initial purchase.

Golf cart dealers are not required to have a dealer permit from the Ohio Department of Public Safety.  Such dealers must collect the tax and remit it to the state on their Ohio sales tax return, unless the purchaser has a statutory basis for claiming exception or exemption. If a title is requested, the clerk of courts may allow credit for the tax paid to the dealer, and collect the difference due, if any.

How is tax paid on golf carts?

Generally, golf carts cannot be used on public highways and are not titled as motor vehicles. However, a municipality may pass an ordinance that allows the use of golf carts on public streets. A chief of police or county sheriff may designate certain public highways under their jurisdiction as eligible for golf cart use. If so, the chief of police or county sheriff sends notification to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) and the BMV would provide a letter of authority to the clerk of courts with jurisdiction over the affected area. 

In such cases, the owner of a golf cart that is not currently used on public highways may want to obtain a title. The clerk of courts may issue the title without payment of the sales tax if the owner of the golf cart provides proof of tax paid at the time of the initial purchase.

Golf cart dealers are not required to have a dealer permit from the Ohio Department of Public Safety.  Such dealers must collect the tax and remit it to the state on their Ohio sales tax return, unless the purchaser has a statutory basis for claiming exception or exemption. If a title is requested, the clerk of courts may allow credit for the tax paid to the dealer, and collect the difference due, if any.

How is tax paid on golf carts?

Generally, golf carts cannot be used on public highways and are not titled as motor vehicles. However, a municipality may pass an ordinance that allows the use of golf carts on public streets. A chief of police or county sheriff may designate certain public highways under their jurisdiction as eligible for golf cart use. If so, the chief of police or county sheriff sends notification to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) and the BMV would provide a letter of authority to the clerk of courts with jurisdiction over the affected area. 

In such cases, the owner of a golf cart that is not currently used on public highways may want to obtain a title. The clerk of courts may issue the title without payment of the sales tax if the owner of the golf cart provides proof of tax paid at the time of the initial purchase.

Golf cart dealers are not required to have a dealer permit from the Ohio Department of Public Safety.  Such dealers must collect the tax and remit it to the state on their Ohio sales tax return, unless the purchaser has a statutory basis for claiming exception or exemption. If a title is requested, the clerk of courts may allow credit for the tax paid to the dealer, and collect the difference due, if any.