New to Georgia? First things first: Welcome (and don’t miss our newcomer’s guide)! Depending on where you’re coming from, you might not be used to needing a car in your everyday life. Although walkability in Atlanta is on the rise, you’ll need to plan for getting around on four wheels rather than two legs, even if you’re living inside the perimeter. Georgia law requires that within 30 days of becoming a legal resident, you must register your vehicle with the Georgia Motor Vehicle Division.
To save you time, we’ve streamlined this process with the necessary steps to quickly get you in your car and on the way to exploring everything Atlanta has to offer.
Complete the registration pre-requirements
Before you can complete your vehicle registration, you must do the following:
- Purchase auto insurance that meets Georgia’s standards.
- Apply for a Georgia driver’s license.
- Have your vehicle inspected for emissions and smog at a local gas station or service center. Note: each county has their own requirements, but this step is necessary if you live in one of the following counties: Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, Coweta, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry, Paulding and Rockdale County.
Apply for the Title on Your Vehicle
When you go to register your vehicle, you’ll also be required to title your vehicle and apply for a license plate at the same time. For this, you’ll need a few things:
- A completed Motor Vehicle Title/Tag Application
- You must bring proof of ownership, such as your out-of-state title or lienholder info that is assigned to your legal name.
- If your old state does not provide vehicle titles, you must bring your current registration certification for your vehicle, along with a Certificate of Inspection completed by a county tag agent or law enforcement officer.
- Be prepared to pay a couple of small fees, totaling around $40.00 for tag a title.
Complete and Compile the Necessary Registration Materials
- Proof of insurance.
- Your Georgia state issued drivers license or identification card.
- Proof of Georgia residency, such as:
- Lease, deed or closing statement on your apartment or house.
- Utility bill showing your Georgia address.
- Shipper’s bill or truck-rental agreement.
- Proof of vehicle ownership (refer back to Step 2).
- Proof of vehicle inspection (refer back to Step 1).
- Payment for all registration costs: You will pay for these taxes and fees by cash, check or money order. Some counties accept credit cards, but call your county’s Tax Commissioner’s Office to make sure. Checks and money orders should be made payable to County Tax Commissioner
Make a Trip to Your County’s Tax Commissioner’s Office
With your completed Motor Vehicle Title/Tag Application and Certificate of Inspection, plus all of the documents from Step 3 in hand, visit your local Tax Commissioner’s Office and complete your new vehicle registration. Your tag registration will be valid for one year.
If you have questions, contact your local Tax Commissioner’s Office or call the Georgia Motor Vehicle Division call center at 855-406-5221.
Their office is located at:
4125 Welcome All Road
Atlanta, GA 30349
Note: Remember that you cannot register your vehicle at the GA MVD office. It must be completed at your county’s Tax Commissioner’s office.