The Georgia Department of Revenue, Motor Vehicle Division has issued an updated Motor Vehicle Manual. This manual is detailed and addresses the State's requirements for titling and registering vehicles in the State of Georgia.
To view this manual online click "Motor Vehicle Online Manual".
General Information on Georgia Titles and Registration
A title is a legal document issued by the Department that reflects the name and address of all owners and any recorded lienholders or security interest holders. This document also reflects legends and brands, indicating:
• the status of the title (i.e., replacement);
• the condition of the vehicle (i.e., salvage, rebuilt, water damage, stolen unrecovered, etc.); and
• when required, the odometer reading.
When a title is issued, it is mailed or an electronic notification is sent to the first lienholder or security interest holder. If there are no lienholders or security interest holders, the title is mailed to the vehicle owner.
Spaces are provided on the face of the title for the release of any recorded liens or security interests. However, a new title must be applied for and issued to remove the lien or security interest from the state’s record.
Sample: Georgia Certificate of Title (Front - Shown smaller than actual size)
Spaces are provided on the reverse side of the title for transfer of ownership. These spaces are referred to as assignments and must be completed by the current owner (seller) before delivery to the new owner (buyer). The title should be given to the buyer at the time the vehicle is delivered. The buyer should promptly apply for a title and registration/license plate in their name, by completing Form MV-1 Title and Tag Application, and submitting it with all required documents, fees, and taxes to the County Tag Office where the buyer resides or, if the buyer is a business, where the business is located.
Sample: Georgia Certificate of Title (Back – Shown smaller than actual size)
When moving to Georgia, vehicle owners have 30 days from the date of the move to apply for or transfer title and registration.
Name and address changes must be made on Georgia Driver’s License or ID card with the Georgia Department of Driver Services before changing on the vehicle registration at the County Tag Office where the owner resides.
Title Not Required or Optional
Titles Not Required
A vehicle title is not required or issued by the Department of Revenue for the following vehicles:
• 1962 or older year model vehicles;
• Agricultural, horticultural, or livestock raising equipment or vehicles that are not required to be registered;
• Airplanes or aircraft;
• All terrain and off-road vehicles;
• Boat trailers;
• Boats or watercraft (Contact Department of Natural Resources for more information);
• Buses owned and operated by an urban transit system;
• Cable cars and trolleys;
• Cranes (special equipment, not a truck with a crane attachment);
• Driver education vehicles used in public or private schools;
• Fifth wheels;
• Golf carts;
• Homemade and manufactured car-tow dollies (weighing 2,000 pounds or less);
• Homemade trailers;
• Trailers weighing 2,000 pounds or less;
• Invalid tricycles;
• Motorcycles/Scooters less than 50 cc;
• Nonresidents’ vehicles (owned by people that do not have a Georgia address);
• Pole trailers;
• Self-propelled wheelchairs; or
• Vehicles not manufactured for highway use.
Note: A title may be issued to an out-of-state resident in cases of inheritance or repossession when the vehicle is currently titled in Georgia. Also, if you moved out of state and your Georgia title is lost, stolen or mutilated, a replacement title can be issued and mailed to you at your out-of-state address.
Note: A title will not be issued for a 1963-1985-year model vehicle if the vehicle has been registered in someone else’s names other than the owners shown on the face of the title.
You can title a 1963-1985 year model vehicle if:
• You have a title issued in your name;
• The owner on the front of the title has assigned the title to you; or
• The owner on the front of the title has assigned the title to a dealer and the dealer has assigned the title to you.
A Georgia title is required for the following:
• 1986 and newer year model motor vehicles, motorcycles, campers, travel trailers, and car/tow dollies weighing 2,001 pounds or more,
• 1963 or newer year model mobile homes.
Transfer a Georgia Title
To apply for a title for a vehicle currently titled in Georgia, the following documents and fees must be submitted to the County Tag Office where the owner resides:
Application - Completed Form MV-1 Tag and Title Application.
Title Document - Current, original Georgia title properly assigned to the new vehicle owners using their full legal names showing their current Georgia address. All vehicle owners, other than licensed dealers, must obtain titles in their names before transferring vehicle ownership to another person, dealer or business.
Failure to apply for a title within 30 days of the purchase date or the date the ownership was transferred will result in a $10.00 title penalty. If the title application is rejected, compliance with the rejection notice must be made within 60 days of the date shown on the rejection notice to avoid being charged an additional $10.00 title penalty. All fees and penalties must be remitted at the time of application.
A $10.00 title penalty is assessed when the purchase date has been changed or altered on the back of the title to the point that you cannot verify the original purchase date. To verify the purchase date, the owner may provide a copy of the canceled check (front and back) from the buyer to the seller or a Bill of Sale from a dealership. If the purchase date has been lined through and is verifiable and is within 30 days of the purchase or transfer of the vehicle the penalty will not apply.
If a vehicle requires a title, the owner will not be able to register or purchase/transfer a license plate to the vehicle during the 30-day period required unless one of the following applies:
- The owner already has a Georgia title issued in their name, for that particular vehicle
- The owner makes application for a title in their name at the time of application for the license plate.
Completing the Title Assignment
When the owner is transferring the ownership of their vehicle, all owners on the face of the title must complete the first assignment on the back of the title to the buyer. This requires the entry of the buyer’s full legal name, current address, date of purchase/transfer, and the odometer reading, when required.
Title Assignment – The seller must print their name and sign in the assignment. If the vehicle is jointly owned, each owner must print their own personal name and sign. The printed names and signatures should be the same as the names as they appear on the face of the title. If the vehicle is currently titled in a company name, the printed name of the company is required in addition to the printed name and signature of the company’s authorized agent.
Odometer - For vehicles requiring an odometer reading declaration, the buyer must acknowledge the odometer declaration made by the seller by printing and signing their name in the assignment. If the vehicle is jointly purchased, each buyer must print and sign their name to acknowledge the odometer declaration. If the vehicle is purchased by a company and the vehicle is subject to the odometer declaration requirements, the printed name of the company is required in addition to the printed name and signature of the company’s authorized agent. The Department accepts documents that have been stamped with a signature stamp by an agent/representative authorized by the dealership.
A licensed dealer is the only entity allowed to transfer ownership utilizing the assignments/Secure Dealer Reassignment Supplement Form without first having to obtain a title in the licensed dealer’s name. It is acceptable for a dealership to use a Secure Dealer Reassignment Supplement Form when there are still title assignments available. Subsequent dealers may then go back to the title and use the available assignments.
In order to perfect a lien or security interest in a vehicle, the lienholder or security interest holder’s name and address must be recorded on the application in the space provided.
Security Interest/Lien Releases and Recordings - All liens or security interests printed on the face of a title must be released before vehicle ownership is transferred. All liens or security interests recorded on the back of a title in a title assignment or on a Secure Dealer Reassignment Supplement Form must be released even if recorded in error. If a lien or security interest has not been satisfied, the lien or security interest holder’s name and address must be printed on the title application in the spaces provided.
Fees - Contact your County Tag Office for acceptable methods of payment. The fees are as follows:
- $18.00 title application fee when the vehicle requires a title and application is made within 30 days of the date of purchase or ownership transfer;
- $20.00 license plate/registration decal fee; or $5.00 license plate transfer fee;
- If a title is not applied for within 30 days of purchase date, a title penalty fee of $10.00;
- Any penalty fees due for late registration renewal or late application for title.
Taxes – Subject to Title Ad Valorem Tax (TAVT), Annual Motor Vehicle Ad Valorem Tax, or Georgia Sales and Use Tax.
Title Applications for Vehicles Registered under the International Registration Plan (IRP)
Titles can be obtained from the County Tag Office where the owner resides or the business is located for vehicles registered under IRP using Form T-146 Georgia IRP Exemption to State and Local Ad Valorem/Title Ad Valorem Tax Fee Application.
The application for Georgia license plate and title should be made together, when a vehicle requires a Georgia title and the owner does not already have a Georgia title issued in their name for the vehicle. An application for the license plate and title should be made to the County Tag Office where the primary vehicle owner or the primary lessee resides within seven days of the date of purchase. The primary vehicle owner or the primary lessee is the vehicle owner or lessee whose name is shown first on the vehicle title or registration certificate. Owners operating vehicles used primarily in connection with an incorporated business located in a different county must make application to the County Tag Office where the business is located.
You have seven business days from the date of purchase or transfer to register and obtain a license plate or to transfer your existing Georgia license plate from a vehicle you no longer own. To be able to transfer a license plate, both vehicles (the previously owned vehicle and the newly acquired vehicle) must require the same category license plate. See O.C.G.A. § 40-2-29.
International Registration Plan (IRP) registration/license plates and International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) permits for commercial vehicles that travel in Georgia as well as other states/jurisdictions must be done/applied for online on the Georgia Trucking Portal website. Complete IRP instructions and videos, as well as IFTA instructions and videos are available on the website.
Title Ad Valorem Tax (TAVT)
Any motor vehicle title that requires a title is exempt from sales and use taxes and is subject to Title Ad Valorem Tax (TAVT). TAVT is based on the fair market value of the vehicle and can be calculated online using the Title Ad Valorem Tax Calculator. TAVT is paid at the County Tag Office where the buyer resides, at the time of title and registration application.
An owner has 30 days from the date of purchase or transfer to apply for a title. If application is not completed within the 30-day period, the owner will be charged a 10% penalty based on TAVT liability, with an additional 1% penalty every 30 days thereafter.
Dealer sales will be assessed a penalty of 5% of the TAVT liability for any application and/or TAVT that is not submitted to the County Tag Office where the buyer resides or submitted electronically through the Department of Revenue Electronic Title and Registration (ETR) system within 30 days from the date of purchase. An additional 5% penalty is assessed every subsequent month that the application for title and/or TAVT is late.
Annual Ad Valorem Tax
When you are applying for a title and vehicle registration at the same time for a vehicle that is exempt from Title Ad Valorem Tax (TAVT), you must pay any Annual Ad Valorem Tax due at the time of application.
This tax is based on the vehicle's value and the financial needs of various levying authorities in your county and depends on the vehicle owner’s registration period. If you did not receive a pre-printed bill to renew your vehicle’s registration, please contact your County Tag Office to see if this tax is due and, if due, the amount.
Sales and Use Tax
Vehicles that do not meet the statutory definition of motor vehicles are exempt from Title Ad Valorem Tax and are subject to sales and use tax and annual ad valorem taxes. Some examples of these vehicles include:
- Pull behind Campers
- Mobile Homes
- Vehicles that are not titled in Georgia
- Vehicles not required to be titled in Georgia
Georgia sales and use tax must be paid at the time of application when applying for a Georgia title and license plate for a vehicle:
- that requires a title in Georgia,
- was purchased from a dealer or business, and
- is exempt from Title Ad Valorem Tax (i.e., IRP vehicles, vehicles of nonresident service members)
Proof of payment must be submitted with the title and license plate application showing where this tax was paid, or proof that the applicant is exempt from this tax.
See below for additional forms/documents required for applicants exempt from this tax. Acceptable proof of payment is a copy of a sales invoice showing where the Georgia sales and use tax has been paid. The sales invoice must show the following information for calculating taxes: Purchase/selling price, trade-in allowance, and the amount of Georgia sales and use tax paid. A Georgia title and license plate will not be issued until all taxes due are paid.
The amount of Georgia sales and use tax due is based on:
- the vehicle’s purchase price, less the trade-in allowance, or
- the vehicle’s fair market value when a sales invoice is not submitted.
If the buyer is exempt from sales and use tax, the following documents must accompany the title application:
For additional information, please contact the Department of Revenue Regional Office serving your county.
Alternative Fuel and Heavy Weight Vehicle Fees
Alternative Fuel Vehicle Licensing Fee
Under Georgia law, certain Alternative Fuel Vehicles are subject to annual licensing fees. These fees must be adjusted each year according to a statutory formula based on the percentage increase or decrease in average motor fuel efficiency as measured by the United States Department of Energy and the Consumer Price Index. The annual Alternative Fuel Vehicle licensing fees must be paid at the time of initial registrations or renewal of all qualifying vehicles.
These fees apply to the following vehicles:
- Vehicles that operate solely on electricity, regardless of whether the owner uses an alternative fuel vehicle license plate.
- Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and flex fuel vehicles (such as E-85), but only if those vehicles have elected an alternative fuel vehicle license plate.
These fees do not apply to the following vehicles:
- Vehicles that operate primarily on compressed natural gas, liquefied natural gas, or liquefied petroleum gas.
- Hybrid-electric vehicles that are not plug-in hybrid-electric vehicles.
Alternative Fuel Vehicle licensing fees are published annually and posted to the Department of Revenue website each year.
Heavy Weight Vehicle Fees
Under Georgia law, certain heavy vehicles are subject to a heavy vehicle highway user impact fee. This fee is $50.00 for any vehicle (commercial or non-commercial) with a gross vehicle weight rating of 15,500 pounds to 26,000 pounds. For vehicles with a gross vehicle weight of 26,001 pounds or higher, the heavy vehicle highway user impact fee is $100.00. The highway user impact fees will not apply to vehicles used as part of interstate commerce, i.e., those vehicles registered under the International Registration Plan (IRP).
The highway user impact fees are due at the time of initial vehicle registration and annually at the time of registration renewal. The law does not provide for any exemptions or exclusions from this fee, including government and farm vehicles.