Penalties and Fines - Lapse of Insurance Coverage

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Registration Suspension and Reinstatement Process

Georgia law requires a vehicle to be continuously insured. Read more about the vehicle owner's responsibilities regarding insurance coverage.

The Georgia Department of Revenue can suspend and revoke the registration of any vehicle in Georgia that is not continuously insured with mandatory motor vehicle liability insurance.

The insurer must electronically transmit insurance coverage information within thirty (30) days of the date the coverage begins to the Georgia Department of Revenue's insurance database. Read more about the insurer's responsibilities.

Notice of Insurance Termination

When an insurer electronically transmits a Notice of Insurance Termination to the state's insurance database, the transmitted vehicle identification number (VIN) is cross-referenced with the vehicle identification number in the state's tag and title database. If the transmitted VIN matches a VIN on the tag and title database, the state will give the insurer thirty (30) days to electronically transmit new liability insurance information to the insurance database.

New Insurance Information Received - No Lapse In Coverage

If new information is received within the thirty (30) day period and there is no lapse in coverage, a valid insurance coverage indicator will remain on the vehicle's record. (A lapse is ten (10) or more days in which the records of the state's database doesn't reflect a motor vehicle was covered with liability insurance coverage.)

New Insurance Information Received - Lapse in Coverage

A "lapse of insurance" means the records in the state's database does not reflect the motor vehicle was covered by (at a minimum) liability insurance for ten (10) or more days.

A lapse of insurance letter will be mailed to the vehicle owner stating a $25 lapse of insurance fee is due within thirty (30) days from the date of the letter. If the lapse of insurance fee is not paid within thirty (30) days of the letter's date, the vehicle's registration will be suspended. To reinstate the vehicle's registration, the $25 insurance lapse and a $60 reinstatement fee must be paid. The vehicle's registration may be canceled to avoid the suspension, lapse and reinstatement fees under the following circumstances:

  • If the vehicle was sold, repossessed, stolen, transferred to an insurance company as the result of a "total loss claim"; or,
  • If you did not operate the vehicle during the time it was uninsured, you may complete and sign an Affidavit for Mandatory Insurance Relief of Lapse/Pending Suspension & Suspension Fees, Form MV-18J. This affidavit should be submitted to the county motor vehicle office. The signature on the affidavit must be notarized. The notary public must also affix his or her notary seal or stamp and record the date his or her notary commission expires.

Insurance lapse and reinstatement fees should be paid to the county motor vehicle office where the primary owner resides.

New Insurance Information Not Received

If new insurance information is not received within thirty (30) days of the date on the "Notice of Pending Suspension" letter, the insurance status on the vehicle's record will be changed to "No Insurance" and the registration status to "Suspended". A "Suspension of Vehicle Registration Notice" will be printed and mailed to the vehicle owner stating the vehicle's registration has been suspended. This letter includes what is required to reinstate or cancel their vehicle's registration.

  • A license plate will not be issued, transferred, replaced or renewed until the vehicle's liability insurance coverage is reinstated.
  • The vehicle should not be driven without Georgia liability insurance coverage or with a suspended, revoked or canceled registration.

 Important: Driving a vehicle with a canceled, suspended or revoked registration is a misdemeanor!

If the vehicle is driven without Georgia liability insurance coverage or with a suspended, revoked or canceled registration, the vehicle's registered owner is subject to additional fines and the vehicle is subject to impoundment when discovered by law enforcement or if the vehicle is involved in an accident.

Reinstatement Process - First Occurrence

If the vehicle's registration is suspended for no insurance and it is the first occurrence, the owner must complete the following to have the registration reinstated:

  • Obtain and maintain continuous Georgia liability insurance coverage on the vehicle;
  • Pay an insurance lapse fee of $25;
  • Pay a $60 reinstatement fee; and,
  • Pay any other registration fees and ad valorem taxes, if in the owner's registration period.

Insurance lapse and reinstatement fees should be paid to the county motor vehicle office in the county where the primary owner resides.

Suspended Registration - Second Occurrence During Any 5-Year Period

Georgia law requires the suspension of the vehicle's registration for 90 days when it has a second insurance suspension occurrence during any five (5) year period. The vehicle's owner must complete the following to have the registration reinstated:

  • Obtain and maintain continuous Georgia liability insurance coverage on the vehicle;
  • Pay an insurance lapse fee of $25;
  • Pay a $60 reinstatement fee;
  • Pay any other registration fees and ad valorem taxes, if in the owner's registration period; and,
  • Do not operate the vehicle for ninety (90) days after the registration was suspended.

Suspended Registration - Third Occurrence During Any 5-Year Period

Georgia law requires the suspension of the vehicle's registration for 6 months when it has a third insurance suspension occurrence during any five (5) year period. The vehicle's owner must complete the following to have the registration reinstated:

  • Obtain and maintain continuous Georgia liability insurance coverage on the vehicle;
  • Pay an insurance lapse fee of $25;
  • Pay a $160 reinstatement fee;
  • Pay any other registration fees and ad valorem taxes, if in the owner's registration period; and,
  • Do not operate the vehicle for six (6) months after the registration was suspended.

Important: Additional penalties will apply if the vehicle's registered owner is convicted of driving a vehicle with a suspended or canceled registration.

Registered Owner Voluntarily Cancels Vehicle's Registration

The vehicle's registered owner may cancel the vehicle's registration at the county motor vehicle office in the county where he/she resides when the vehicle is not being operated. To avoid insurance lapse and reinstatement fees, the vehicle owner must cancel the vehicle's registration before canceling the mandatory liability insurance coverage.

Military Personnel - Voluntary Cancelation of Registration

A service member, deployed on official military duty, may cancel their vehicle's registration when the vehicle is not going to be operated on the public roads and highways of Georgia during their absence. The service member should complete and submit a Service Member's Affidavit for Mandatory Insurance Relief, Form MV-18G, to the county motor vehicle office in the county where they reside.

The service member's commanding officer is required to complete and sign the "Certification of Service Member's Commanding Officer" section on the affidavit.

Request for Refund of Lapse/Reinstatement Fees

If an insurance lapse fee and/or reinstatement fee, as applicable, was paid in error, a refund request may be submitted to the office where the fees were paid for the following circumstances:

  • The insurer did not transmit a valid insurance record to the insurance database that resulted in insurance lapse and reinstatement fees, when applicable, being calculated and paid. The insurer has now transmitted a valid insurance record showing where the vehicle had continuous insurance coverage.
  • The vehicle's registered owner voluntarily canceled the vehicle's registration.
  • The registered owner was deployed on official military duty while the vehicle was uninsured and the vehicle was not driven on the public roads and highways or Georgia while uninsured. In this situation, the service member must complete and submit an Affidavit MV-18G. The service member's commanding officer must complete and sign the "Certification of Service Member's Commanding Officer" section on the affidavit.
  • The vehicle was uninsured and not driven on the public roads and highways of Georgia while insured due to one of the reasons below and also shown on the MV-18J Affidavit:
    • The vehicle was sold or ownership transferred;
    • The vehicle owner moved to another state; or
    • The vehicle's ownership was transferred out-of-state;
    • The vehicle lease was terminated;
    • The vehicle was wrecked, salvaged or junked;
    • The vehicle was repossessed or stolen; or, the vehicle was not driven because the vehicle was inoperable, stored or used seasonally for agricultural or other purposes.

In the above situations, an MV-18J Affidavit must be completed and submitted. The appropriate box on the affidavit must be checked indicating the reason why the vehicle was uninsured plus any other requested information, i.e. dates, etc.

Requests for refunds of insurance lapse and reinstatement fees should be submitted to the office where the fees were paid. If fees were paid to the Georgia Department of Revenue a written request for refund should be submitted to the following address:

ATTN: Insurance Compliance
Department of Revenue/Motor Vehicle Division
PO Box 740381
Atlanta, Georgia 30374-0381

Refunds of insurance lapse and reinstatement fees will not be processed on a "while-you-wait" basis.

 

 

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