Georgia law requires that motor vehicle owners must register their vehicle with the Georgia Department of Driver Services before taking it on the road. Both new and second-hand vehicles must be registered, regardless of whether they are purchased from a dealer or an individual. In addition, new Georgia residents who have registered their vehicle in another state must register their vehicle in Georgia. The initial vehicle registration must be done in person, and registration renewals must be done annually, either in person, online or by mail.
If you are a new resident, you must register your vehicle within 30 days from the date you have established residency in Georgia. For Georgia residents, registration must be carried out within 30 days from the date of purchase.
If you are registering a motor vehicle in Georgia for the first time, you must complete the following steps:
- Carry your Georgia ID card or driver's license if registering in person. If registering by mail send a copy of your ID card or license. Some counties require a first time registration to be done in person.
- Submit Proof of ownership either in the form of your vehicle's original title, manufacturer's certificate of origin, or registration certificate from a non-title state or country. You must also submit a signed Certificate of Inspection; form T-22B along with the registration certificate from a non title state or country.
- You must submit a completed and signed copy of an Affidavit of Title Held by Lien or Security Interest Holder or Leasing Company, form T-17 along with your registration certificate in lieu of your title.
- Get your vehicle inspected for emissions. Vehicle inspections must be performed at an inspection station or by an inspector that has been licensed by the Georgia's Clean Air Force. Find out more about vehicle inspections in Georgia, or locate an inspection station near you. Once the vehicle passes inspection, you will be issued an inspection certification.
- Proof of residency in Georgia is required as well. This can be in the form of the lease for a new residence, a moving invoice or a shipper's invoice, a copy of your last paycheck or a letter from your previous employer.
- Complete a MVD tag or Title application form, Form MV-1.
- Visit the Office of the Tax Commissioner, and bring the completed title/registration form with you, along with the inspection certification. In addition, you will need to provide proof of insurance, and the odometer reading, if the vehicle is less than 10 years old. More information on insurance requirements can be found here.
- For vehicles that have been registered in another state, you must also bring the original, out-of-state title. If the title is unavailable, bring the registration document, along with proof of sales tax payment.
When registering your vehicle at the county tax office, you will be required to pay certain fees, typically as follows:
- The registration fee, which varies depending on the manufacturer's model year or the vehicle's total weight.
- Title application fee which is $18.
RENEWING YOUR VEHICLE REGISTRATION
Owners of motor vehicles in Georgia are required to renew their vehicle registration annually, and can do so in person, online or by mail. See our Registration Renewal section for complete details.
- If you are a non-resident active duty member of the U.S. Armed Forces or a non-resident full-time student attending a Georgia college or university, you are not required to title or register your vehicle.
- The process for registering a motorcycle is generally the same as a car registration; however, there are different procedures for boat registration and custom car registration.
- Auto Insurance is needed to legally operate all vehicles in Georgia.
- See also Renewing Your Vehicle Registration.
- See also Title Transfers and Car Insurance.