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.

Are members of the armed services exempt from sales or use tax?

No.  If the vehicle is purchased in Ohio by a member of the armed services who is a resident of Ohio, Ohio sales or use tax is due.

If the vehicle is purchased in Ohio by a member of the armed services who declares that he/she is a resident of another state or country, but will be registering the vehicle for use in Ohio while stationed here, Ohio sales or use tax is due.

If the vehicle is purchased in Ohio by a member of the armed services who declares that he/she is not a resident of Ohio and that the vehicle will be immediately removed from Ohio for titling and registration in the other state, Ohio sales or use tax is not due, unless the vehicle will be titled in one of the eight states where Ohio collects the sales tax. A nonresident affidavit must be provided by the purchaser. Use the ATPS exemption code “NR: Nonresident affidavit – immediate removal.”   

If the vehicle is purchased outside of Ohio by a member of the armed services who is a resident of Ohio and the vehicle is to be driven in Ohio, Ohio sales or use tax is due.  

If the vehicle is purchased outside of Ohio by a member of the armed services who is a resident of Ohio and the vehicle is to be driven outside Ohio, the Ohio Supreme Court has ruled that no Ohio sales or use tax is due. The Supreme Court did not indicate the amount of time that a vehicle had to be driven outside of Ohio to qualify, so the department has adopted the “six-month” rule in that the period of time must be more than six months (as evidenced by a copy of the individual’s military orders indicating out-of-state service for a period of at least six months after the purchase date). The vehicle must be titled in the name of the military person. Use the ATPS exemption code “CM: Conversion – military.”

If the vehicle is purchased outside of Ohio by a member of the armed services who is a resident of Ohio and the vehicle is or is to be driven outside of Ohio for less than six months (member of armed services being transferred to Ohio or is returning to Ohio upon separation from armed services), sales and use tax is due.

Are members of the armed services exempt from sales or use tax?

No.  If the vehicle is purchased in Ohio by a member of the armed services who is a resident of Ohio, Ohio sales or use tax is due.

If the vehicle is purchased in Ohio by a member of the armed services who declares that he/she is a resident of another state or country, but will be registering the vehicle for use in Ohio while stationed here, Ohio sales or use tax is due.

If the vehicle is purchased in Ohio by a member of the armed services who declares that he/she is not a resident of Ohio and that the vehicle will be immediately removed from Ohio for titling and registration in the other state, Ohio sales or use tax is not due, unless the vehicle will be titled in one of the eight states where Ohio collects the sales tax. A nonresident affidavit must be provided by the purchaser. Use the ATPS exemption code “NR: Nonresident affidavit – immediate removal.”   

If the vehicle is purchased outside of Ohio by a member of the armed services who is a resident of Ohio and the vehicle is to be driven in Ohio, Ohio sales or use tax is due.  

If the vehicle is purchased outside of Ohio by a member of the armed services who is a resident of Ohio and the vehicle is to be driven outside Ohio, the Ohio Supreme Court has ruled that no Ohio sales or use tax is due. The Supreme Court did not indicate the amount of time that a vehicle had to be driven outside of Ohio to qualify, so the department has adopted the “six-month” rule in that the period of time must be more than six months (as evidenced by a copy of the individual’s military orders indicating out-of-state service for a period of at least six months after the purchase date). The vehicle must be titled in the name of the military person. Use the ATPS exemption code “CM: Conversion – military.”

If the vehicle is purchased outside of Ohio by a member of the armed services who is a resident of Ohio and the vehicle is or is to be driven outside of Ohio for less than six months (member of armed services being transferred to Ohio or is returning to Ohio upon separation from armed services), sales and use tax is due.