Liability Insurance Coverage - Owner's Responsibilities

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Motor vehicle owners and lessees in this state are required to maintain continuous mandatory liability insurance coverage on their vehicles to:

  • Legally drive the vehicle;
  • Register and obtain Georgia license plates; and
  • Renew, replace, or transfer their existing Georgia license plates.

Non-motorized vehicles, i.e. trailers, campers, etc. and vehicles exempt from registration in this state, i.e. snowmobiles, bicycles, mopeds, all-terrain vehicles, golf carts, etc., do not require insurance coverage.

 

Insurers Must be Licensed

Insurers must be licensed with the Georgia Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner's Office (ICO).

Insurers are required by law to electronically transmit insurance information to the Georgia Department of Revenue's insurance database, (Georgia Electronic Insurance Compliance System (GEICS), within thirty (30) days of the date the insurance coverage is to begin.

Insurer's must also electronically report insurance information to terminations and additions or deletions of vehicles from existing policies. Vehicles registered in in Georgia under the International Registration Plan (IRP), self-insured vehicles and fleet vehicles must have Georgia liability insurance coverage but are exempt from the electronic reporting requirements.

 

GEICS Insurance Database - How It Works

The vehicle identification numbers (VIN) that are electronically transmitted by the insurers to the Georgia Department of Revenue's GEICS insurance database are cross-referenced with the vehicle identification numbers (VIN) on the Georgia Department of Revenue's tag and title database.

If a transmitted VIN matches a VIN on the tag and title database, a valid insurance coverage indicator is placed on the vehicle's record. Law enforcement and the personnel in the county's motor vehicle office have access to the tag and title database and can easily check the insurance status of any vehicle registered in Georgia.

You may check on the insurance status of your vehicle from the Georgia Department of Revenue's website with your vehicle's identification number (VIN) and the title or control number. These numbers can be found on your vehicle's current Georgia registration certificate (tag receipt). A fifteen-digit control number beginning with "17" or "99" is shown in the field for the title number when a Georgia title has not been issued for the vehicle in the registered owner's name. Click here to check your vehicle insurance status.

When a valid insurance coverage indicator is not on your vehicle's record on the Georgia Department of Revenue's tag and title database and you do not have acceptable proof of coverage as shown under the heading "Acceptable Proof of Georgia Motor Vehicle Liability Insurance", you will be unable to:

  • Register your vehicle and obtain a Georgia license plate;
  • Renew, transfer or replace your existing Georgia license plate; and
  • You will be subject to fines and/or vehicle impoundment if detected by law enforcement or if the vehicle is involved in an accident.

Only insurers can add, delete or modify insurance information on the Georgia Department insurance database.

 

Insurance Policy Information Cards

Your insurer is required by law to issue you, their insured, an insurance policy information card for each vehicle they insure. Your insurance policy information card must be carried in your vehicle at all times when the vehicle is driven, even now when insurance cards are no longer acceptable proof of insurance for all vehicles except:

  • Vehicles registered in Georgia under the international Registration Plan (IRP);
  • Self-insured vehicles; and,
  • Vehicles insured under a fleet insurance policy.

For acceptable proof of insurance for these vehicles as well as recently purchased or acquired vehicles, please see the information under the heading "Acceptable Proof of Georgia Motor Vehicle Liability Insurance" section.

 

Why are Insurance Information Cards Needed?

In addition to being a requirement of law, an insurance policy information card may be needed in the following situations:

  • When traveling in other states where they may not recognize the information on the Georgia state database.
  • If you are involved in an accident, your valid insurance card can be used to easily exchange insurance information, i.e. your insurance company's name, policy number, agent's name and telephone number, etc.
  • A valid self-insured insurance information card and a certificate of self-insurance issued by the Georgia Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner's Office (ICO) are acceptable proof of liability insurance coverage for a self-insured vehicle when both are issued in the registered owner's name.
  • A valid fleet insurance policy information card issued by an insurer, licensed in Georgia, is acceptable proof of insurance coverage for a commercial vehicle insured under a fleet insurance policy. Neither the vehicle identification number (VIN) nor the registrant's name are required on this card. The name of the card's title, "Georgia Fleet Policy Information Card", must be shown on the front of this card. This card must contain the insurer's name, policy number, original issue date, expiration date, and the name of the insured. At the bottom of each card the word "FLEET" should be shown. The back of each card must have the statement: "Keep this card in your motor vehicle while in operation".

If you allow someone else to drive your vehicle, you must provide the driver with acceptable proof of insurance coverage as shown under the heading "Acceptable Proof of Georgia Motor Vehicle Liability Insurance" and your valid insurance policy information card.

 

Acceptable Proof of Georgia Motor Vehicle Liability Insurance

 

  • A valid insurance coverage indicator on your vehicle's record in the Georgia Department of Revenue's tag and title database is acceptable proof of insurance coverage. You may check on the insurance status of your vehicle with the vehicle identification number (VIN) and title or control number from the Georgia Department of Revenue's website. Your vehicle's identification number (VIN) and title or control number can be found on your current Georgia registration (tag receipt) or title. When a Georgia title has not been issued for the vehicle in the registered owner's name, a fifteen-digit control number beginning with "17" or "99" will appear on the vehicle's current tag receipt instead of a title number.  Click here to check your vehicle insurance status.
  • A valid binder issued by an insurer, licensed in Georgia, showing the vehicles identification number (VIN) is temporary proof of Georgia liability insurance coverage for thirty (30) days from the binder's issue date. The binder must be carried in the vehicle at all times while the vehicle is being driven until a valid insurance record is received electronically into the Georgia Department of Revenue's insurance database transmitted by the insurer. A binder is issued by an insurance agent when someone purchases "new" insurance. A binder used as proof of insurance is only valid for thirty (30) days. A binder cannot be issued to a vehicle owner who already has an insurance policy in effect.
  • A valid fleet insurance policy information card issued by a Georgia licensed insurer is acceptable proof of insurance coverage for a vehicle insured under a fleet insurance policy. This card must show the name of the insurer, the policy number, the policy's original issue date, the policy's expiration date, the name of the insured, and the words "Fleet" and "Georgia". Neither the vehicle identification number (VIN) nor the registrant's name are required on this card. This card must be carried in the vehicle at all times while the vehicle is being driven.
  • A bill of sale dated within 30 days of the vehicle's purchase date and a valid insurance declaration page (usually the top page of an insurance policy) issued by an insurer, licensed in Georgia. You must carry the bill of sale and the insurance declaration page in your vehicle at all times while you are using the vehicle until the insurer sends the state an electronic insurance record. A bill of sale and an insurance declaration page used as proof of insurance are valid only for 30 days.
  • A self-insured insurance information card and a certificate of self-insurance issued by the Georgia Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner's office (ICO) are acceptable proof of insurance for a self-insured vehicle. Both this card and the certificate of self-insurance must be issued in the registered owner's name and be carried in the vehicle at all times while the vehicle is being driven.
  • A valid insurance policy information card issued by an insurer, licensed in Georgia, in the registered owner's name reflecting the vehicle's identification number (VIN) is acceptable proof of insurance  for a vehicle that is registered in Georgia under the International Registration Plan (IRP). This card must be carried in the vehicle at all times while the vehicle is being driven.
  • If the vehicle is rented, the person renting the vehicle, not leasing, must carry the rental agreement in the vehicle while the rental vehicle is being driven.

If the vehicle owner does not have acceptable proof of insurance coverage as shown under the heading "Acceptable Proof of Georgia Motor Vehicle Liability Insurance" they will be unable to register and purchase a Georgia license plate for their vehicle; unable to renew, replace or transfer their existing Georgia license plate; and will be subject to fines and vehicle impoundment if detected by law enforcement or if the vehicle is involved in an accident.

 

Voluntary Cancelation of Vehicle Registration by Registered Owner

The vehicle's registered owner may voluntarily cancel the vehicle registration in the county motor vehicle office without surrendering the license plate when the vehicle is not going to be driven for any reason. To avoid lapse and restoration fees, the registration must be canceled before canceling the vehicle's insurance coverage.

The vehicle's registration may be reinstated at the county motor vehicle office after paying all accrued vehicle ad valorem taxes, registration fees and with acceptable proof of Georgia liability insurance coverage.

Your vehicle should not be driven without insurance or with a canceled, revoked or suspended registration.

 

Voluntary Cancelation of Vehicle Registration by Military Personnel

Resident or non-resident military personnel on active duty may voluntarily cancel their Georgia vehicle registration at the county motor vehicle office prior to, or during or after deployment when the vehicle is not driven during their absence.

Upon their return, they may reinstate their vehicle registration at the county motor vehicle office after:

  • Paying all applicable vehicle ad valorem taxes and registration fees.
  • Obtaining Georgia mandatory liability insurance coverage on the vehicle and submitting acceptable proof of insurance coverage.
  • Submitting a completed Service Member's Affidavit for Mandatory Insurance Relief Form MV-18G. The signature on the form must be notarized. The notary must sign, affix their seal or stamp and record the date their notary expires in the applicable spaces on the form.

Any assessed lapse and restoration fees may be waived by the service member's county motor vehicle office upon presentation of the member's official military orders showing deployment outside the U.S. on active military duty during the time the vehicle was uninsured.

 

Incorrect Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)

The vehicle identification number (VIN) on your vehicle, your insurance policy information card, and your vehicle's current registration and/or title must match.

If your insurance policy information card does not reflect your vehicle's correct and complete identification number (VIN), contact your insurer immediately since only your insurer can add, delete or modify information on the insurance database.

If your registration (tag receipt) and/or title do not reflect your vehicle's correct and complete VIN, contact your county motor vehicle office immediately for assistance in obtaining a new registration and/or title showing the correct information.

 

Purpose of Insurance Laws

The purpose of the insurance database and recent changes to the insurance laws in Georgia is to encourage vehicle owners to maintain continuous mandatory Georgia liability insurance coverage on their vehicles; to reduce the number of uninsured vehicles being driven in this state; and to provide an online tool for Law Enforcement and County Motor Vehicle Office personnel to use to check the insurance status of any vehicle registered in the State of Georgia.

 

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