A certificate of title issued by the state of Georgia is a document that proves legal ownership of a vehicle. A title must be obtained when an individual purchases a new vehicle. A title transfer must also be completed when a used vehicle is sold or gifted, or when a vehicle changes hands as a result of the death of the vehicle's owner. In Georgia, a title must be transferred in 30 days from the date of sale.
OBTAINING A TITLE FOR A NEW VEHICLE:
For new vehicles, the licensed dealer that sold the vehicle typically will accept and submit the required titling information and fees on behalf of the buyer. However, buyers wishing to handle the titling independently can do so. Those interested in applying for a new title without the dealer's assistance should refer to the Title for a New Vehicle and the Title and Registration Frequently Asked Questions documents on the Georgia Department of Revenue's Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) website.
TRANSFERRING A TITLE ON A USED VEHICLE:
Sale/Purchase or Gift of a Used Vehicle
When you purchase a used vehicle, or obtain one as a gift, the title must be legally transferred into your name. This is done by obtaining the following documents, and submitting them along with the appropriate fees to the MVD or a tag office:
- The current title, with the assignment completed by the seller or donor (signing the title over to you). The title must include the federal odometer disclosure, if the vehicle is less than ten years old.
- A completed Title Application form.
- Georgia drivers' license or identification card of the purchaser as well as the seller.
- If the title does not indicate the date of sale and selling price, a completed Bill of Sale, signed by both current and new owner and notarized, is required.
- Proof of emission inspection, if applicable for your county. To find out if your county requires emission testing, visit the Georgia Clean Air Force website.
- If applicable, the original or copy of the vehicle's financing statement or security agreement.
- Proof of liability insurance coverage.
Along with the appropriate transfer of title documents above, you will need to submit the following fees:
- $18 title fee.
- $10 handling fee if you process your application for title at the MVD Customer Service Operations.
- Sales tax depends on the domicile of the vehicle and the selling price.
Contact your County Tax Commissioner's Tag Office or the MVD for calculating the exact amount due.
Acceptable methods of payment are check or money order payable to the agency processing your application, Office of the Tax Commissioner or Department of Revenue, or cash (do not send cash through the mail).
Transfer of Title Following Death of Vehicle Owner
In the event of the death of the vehicle owner, the title is often transferred to the heirs or someone else identified in the owner's will. The procedures and fees for this type of transfer are similar to those outlined above. In addition, it is important to determine how the estate of the deceased has been settled by the heir(s).
The heirs may need to submit Affidavit of Inheritance, court orders, and provide copies of both the death certificate and the will (or a notarized statement of its contents), if there is one.
For more information on title transfers following the death of a vehicle owner, contact your County Tax Commissioner's Tag Office or to the MVD.
Appropriate title transfer documents and fees should be submitted in person to your County Tax Commissioner's Tag Office, or at the MVD's In-Person Customer Service Operations at:
DOR/ Motor Vehicle Division 1200 Tradeport Boulevard Hapeville, GA 30354
Alternatively they can be mailed to:
Georgia Department of Revenue Motor Vehicle Division P O Box 740381 Atlanta, GA 30374-0381
- Contact the MVD or your County Tax Commissioner's Tag Office if you wish to add, remove or change a name on a vehicle title for reason other than those discussed above.
- If there is an existing lien on the vehicle, there will be additional requirements for transferring the title.
- A valid title provides proof of ownership of the vehicle. However, remember that a title transfer does not entitle the new owner(s) to legally operate the vehicle. For this, refer to the appropriate license and registration information.