License Plates in Georgia
After buying a vehicle, drivers must purchase car registration plates in Georgia through the state’s Department of Revenue (DOR), which also performs car registrations and processes vehicle taxes. Unless car owners choose to transfer their current GA DMV license plate from one vehicle to another, they must apply for new car tags as soon as they purchase a vehicle.
In addition to issuing new registration plates, the DOR oversees other registration and titling procedures. For instance, in order to transfer, replace or renew a license plate, you must follow certain steps established by the department. To learn more about the various services related to license plates in Georgia, read the sections below.
Types of License Plates in Georgia
When applying for a Georgia DOR license plate, car owners can pick from many different car tag options, such as standard or specialty plates. Overall, new registration plates are offered as standard plates, special interest plates, military plates, university plates or alternative fuel tags. Specifically, if you are interested in obtaining standard car registration plates, you may choose from a variety of basic license plates, such as standard alternative, disability plates, prestige tags or trailer plates. However, keep in mind that fees vary according to each type of license plate.
How to Apply for a License Plate in Georgia
As a general rule, you must apply for new registration plates in Georgia within seven days of acquiring a vehicle. Otherwise, you must undergo this procedure within 30 days of moving to the state. Overall, the GA Department of Revenue provides you with a car registration tag as part of your initial vehicle registration process.
In order to apply for car registration plates after purchasing a vehicle from a dealership or third-party seller, you must visit a local tag office and complete the registration and titling process in person. On the other hand, if you have purchased your vehicle through a dealership, the dealer will likely apply for a certificate of title on your behalf. However, dealers will not be able to register your vehicle or complete an application for new car tags. Conversely, you may submit all of the required documentation to the tag office by mail. To obtain car registration tags for a commercial vehicle, you must register it through the state’s official online portal.
In any case, when applying for DOR car tags, you must provide the department with a valid driver’s license or ID card number, proof of vehicle ownership, the vehicle’s current title or certificate of origin, proof of auto insurance and a completed application form. Moreover, you must pay for all of the applicable license plate and registration fees.
How to Renew License Plate Tags in Georgia
If you are wondering how to renew a license plate, you must be mindful that renewal procedures will vary according to each vehicle owner and county of residence. In most cases, you must complete the plate and car registration renewal procedure once per year within 30 days of your birthday if you own a personal vehicle. On the other hand, GA license plate renewals take place between January and April if you live in counties such as Calhoun, Clay, Turner and Stewart, as well as if you own a business vehicle. Note that the renewal month for DOR registration tags will change depending on the first letter of the company’s name.
Regardless of when you need to apply for a Georgia car tag renewal, you may do so online, by mail or in person through a tag office or self-service kiosk. However, renewing a license plate online is only possible if you reside in a participating county and have access to your registration renewal notice. If you are not allowed to renew these credentials online, you may do so at a tag office, at a self-service kiosk or by sending the appropriate application materials to a DOR mailing address. In any case, you must provide the GA DOR with the following documents:
- Your registration renewal notice
- Your current driver’s license or ID card
- Proof of auto insurance
- Proof of completing an emissions inspection, if applicable
- Payment for all of the license plate renewal and registration fees
Just like online DOR license plate renewals are not available in all counties, several counties also do not provide applicants with access to self-service kiosks. As such, you must renew your Georgia license plate in person or by mail if you cannot renew online or at a kiosk.
How to Replace License Plates in Georgia
If you damage or misplace your car tag credentials, you must replace a license plate in person at a local tag office. Moreover, you must replace these credentials if you believe that your plates were stolen from your vehicle. However, before replacing a license plate that was stolen, you must report the theft to local law enforcement. Thus, the following steps must be followed for motorists to request license plate replacements:
- Complete the appropriate application form
- Complete an affidavit if your new plates were lost in the mail
- Submit a copy of the police report if your license plate or decal was stolen or damaged by an individual
- Provide an acceptable form of payment for the applicable replacement tag fees
Note: If your new registration plates were lost in the mail before even arriving at your residence, you may request a duplicate tag at no additional charge. However, in order to qualify for this free duplicate copy, you must file your request within 90 days of the original application date.
How to Transfer License Plates in Georgia
Instead of purchasing new GA registration plates after acquiring a new or used vehicle, you may transfer your previous car tags to your new vehicle. However, in order to do so, you must transfer your license within 30 days of purchasing the new vehicle. Furthermore, in order to complete the transfer of car registration plates, you must visit a tag office and apply in person. Additionally, you may apply for a title certificate at the same time. Otherwise, you may apply for a title before you transfer your license plate.
Georgia License Plate Fees
When applying for car registration tags in GA, vehicle owners must pay regular vehicle registration fees in addition to license plate fees. However, fees for new car tags vary depending on the type of license plate. For example, regular DOR car tags and disability plates have a standard fee. Meanwhile, prestige plates require a one-time manufacturing fee, an annual registration fee and an annual special tag fee. In addition to the cost of applying for a car tag, drivers must pay other fees when replacing a license plate or decal.
License Plate Lookups in Georgia
Before purchasing a vehicle or applying for new registration plates in Georgia, you can perform an online license plate lookup to provide you with peace of mind during the purchasing process. When you perform a Georgia DOR license plate lookup, you can learn about the vehicle’s previous owner(s), recall information and safety ratings. Additionally, a license plate search can provide you with details about the vehicle’s engine and manufacturer.