Have you recently moved to Georgia? Welcome! Once you have your housing situated, the next step is either purchasing a vehicle or registering your current one with the state. Georgia law requires that within 30 days of becoming a legal resident, you must register your vehicle with the Georgia Motor Vehicle Division.
Why You Need a Car in Georgia
Although walkability in Atlanta is on the rise, a vehicle is a necessity within most areas of the Peach State, so you can explore everything Atlanta has to offer. Even if you decide to live inside the perimeter of Atlanta's suburban communities, public transportation is limited at best, so if you have the means to afford a car, it is in your best interest to own one.
Vehicle Registration Pre-Requirements
Before you can complete your vehicle registration, you must do the following:
- Purchase automobile insurance that meets Georgia’s standards
- Apply for a Georgia driver’s license
- Depending on your county of residence, you may also be required to have an emissions inspection on your vehicle. The Georgia Clean Air Force has information on the process, and you can see a complete list of counties that require emissions inspections.
How to Apply for Your Vehicle's Title and License Plate (Tag)
When you are ready to register your vehicle, you will also be required to title your vehicle and apply for a license plate at the same time. For this, you will need:
- A completed Motor Vehicle Title/Tag Application
- You must bring proof of ownership, such as your out-of-state title or lienholder information that is assigned to your legal name.
- If your former state does not provide vehicle titles, you must bring your current registration certificate for your vehicle, along with a Certificate of Inspection completed by a county tag agent or law enforcement officer.
What You Need to Complete Vehicle Registration
Once you have completed the title and tag application for your vehicle, you will need to have the following to complete your vehicle's registration:
- Proof of car insurance.
- Your Georgia state-issued driver's license
- Proof of Georgia residency, such as:
- A lease, deed or closing statement on your apartment or house.
- Utility bill showing your Georgia address.
- Proof of vehicle ownership
- Proof of vehicle inspection
- Cash, or another form of payment for registration fees. Checks, credit cards, and money orders are sometimes accepted by the Tax Commissioners' office but that is determined by your county's local office, so make sure to check the forms of payment accepted in advance.
How to Complete Vehicle Registration
With your completed Motor Vehicle Title/Tag Application and Certificate of Inspection, plus all of the documents listed above in hand, you must now visit your local Tax Commissioner’s Office and complete your new vehicle registration.
If you have questions, contact your local Tax Commissioner’s Office or call the Georgia Motor Vehicle Division call center at 855-406-5221.
You should be aware that you cannot register your vehicle at the Georgia Motor Vehicles Department (MVD) office. This process must be completed at your county’s Tax Commissioner’s office.