All vehicles operated on public roads must be registered and tagged within 30 days after you move to Georgia or within 30 days after you purchase the vehicle. For all vehicles except certain heavy trailers, registration is done annually.
A metal license plate is issued for each vehicle when it is first registered, and all plates are generally replaced every five years. In renewal years, as opposed to tag replacement years, an adhesive decal is issued to renew the registration. The month of expiration is in the lower left corner. The year of expiration decal is placed in the lower right hand corner of the tag, on top of any decal that is being replaced. A single decal that displays the month and year is now being issued. Place the single decal in the lower right hand corner of the tag, on top of any year of expiration decal that is being replaced.
Keep Your Tag
In Georgia, your tag belongs to you, not the car. If you trade the car in or sell it, remove your tag so you will be able to transfer the tag to a subsequently-acquired vehicle (of the same tax class.) The tag transfer fee is $5 if the expiration decal year does not change.
Registering a Leased Vehicle
The title to a leased vehicle is issued in the name of the bank or leasing company. If you lease a vehicle, your name will be on the registration. You will need to bring your lease agreement with you when you register a leased vehicle.
Deadline for renewing the registration on a leased vehicle is based on the birthday of the lessee, if the lessee is a person (rather than a business). When the lessee is a business (rather than a person), the business often wants to show the name of the designated driver on the registration. This makes the registration a little confusing because it will show the lessee company followed by the driver's name. The lease agreement specifies who is liable for the lease. It will be the lessee business, not the designated driver, in almost all cases. The first letter of the lessee business name, as shown on the registration, establishes the deadline for renewal.
Detailed Registration Requirements
The following links will provide detailed information about requirements for registering your vehicle under different situations.
Vehicle Registered in Another State
State law requires that newcomers register their vehicles and obtain a Georgia driver's license within 30 days after moving to the state. Georgia liability insurance is also required.
All vehicles entering Georgia, model years 1986 and newer, are required to transfer title to Georgia in order to register and purchase a Georgia license plate. You must apply for a Georgia title before you can register and tag the vehicle. All persons applying for the title must be present to sign the application or provide notarized power of attorney.
If your vehicle is model year 1985 or older, a bill of sale made out to you with a complete description of the vehicle, will be accepted in lieu of a title. If using a bill of sale please include the vehicle identification number, date of sale, year, make, model and seller's signature.
You must register your vehicle in person the first time. Bring your bill of sale or title. If your title is held by your lender, bring the last registration for your vehicle as well as the complete mailing address including zip code for your lender. Leased vehicles must have street address for the leasing company (in addition to any P.O. Box) and a copy of the lease agreement along with a notarized power of attorney from the leasing company. The following things will also be needed when you come to the tag office:
Vehicle Registered in Another Georgia County
You will need the following items to register your vehicle in Habersham County:
You cannot sign registration and title forms for anyone else except with an original notarized power of attorney. A power of attorney form is available at the tag office.
Transfer of Ownership of A Vehicle
If you purchased your vehicle from a dealer, you need to speak to the dealership to determine what part, if any, of the titling and registration is being done for you. Typically, dealers submit the title application and leave vehicle registration up to the buyer. Title applications can be done prior to or at the same time as registration.
To transfer ownership, you will need the following things: