Buying a new vehicle is often a necessary and exciting process, but there are some registration requirements in Georgia about which you’ll want to be informed once you make the purchase. It’s generally a straightforward process, but there are some key differences depending on whether the vehicle was purchased in or out of state, was purchased from a dealership or an individual, etc. This article will explain the registration process in Georgia, and point out the differences in the process depending on the circumstances.
Requirements for all new registrations
Georgia’s MVD (Motor Vehicle Division) is responsible for all registrations of vehicles in the state. In order to apply for new registration, you’ll need to visit a local GA MVD office with the following items:
- Completed Form MV-1 (Title application)
- Proof of identity
- Proof of insurance
- Proof of ownership (vehicle title
- Inspection certificate
In addition, fees for titling and license plates as well as applicable taxes will be required to be paid in full before registration. These fees all vary based on the type, weight, and value of the vehicle being registered. It is generally a good idea to contact your local Georgia MVD office to receive an estimate of the total cost of registration.
It should also be noted that Georgia law requires that, if a vehicle is not titled and was purchased in the state, it must be titled at the same time it is registered. A GA driver’s license and state-approved automotive insurance are also required, as well as a smog & emissions inspection if you reside in and are registering a vehicle in one of the following counties: Cobb, Cherokee, Clayton, DeKalb, Coweta, Henry, Fayette, Douglas, Paulding, Gwinnett, Forsyth, Rockdale, or Fulton.
Off-road vehicles, all-terrain vehicles, mopeds, and motorized carts are all exempt from state registration.
Registering a vehicle purchased from a dealership
Vehicle registrations are valid for one year, at which point they must be renewed. Simply visit your county tag office and present a GA driver’s license (a state ID card is also accepted if you’re waiting on your GA driver’s license), proof of GA-approved auto insurance, proof of vehicle ownership, such as the previous owner’s title or registration certificate signed in your name or an origin certificate signed in your name, proof that you live in GA (check stubs, utility payments, and bank statements are acceptable), proof that the vehicle has had the necessary smog & emissions inspections if applicable, and all fees.
Registering a leased vehicle
Generally, vehicle registration is kept with the lessor and you will not be allowed to register the vehicle yourself. However, if the lessor allows you to register the vehicle in your own name, you may do so as long as you are able to provide the above documentation, along with a new tag and title application and a power of attorney including legal authorization to you from your lessor to register the leased vehicle.
All new GA vehicle registrations are valid for one year, so it’s important to remember to update the registration on each vehicle annually.