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- What is a title transfer?
- Car title transfer in Georgia
- Registering a car in Georgia
- Finding insurance for your vehicle
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To transfer ownership of a vehicle in Georgia, you’ll need to complete a title transfer. You can do this through the online DRIVES portal or at a County Tag Office for a fee of just $18.
There are many reasons you may need to complete a title transfer, such as if you’re buying, selling, inheriting, or donating a vehicle. But the process is a bit more complex than just handing over your keys.
The state requires that you officially transfer the title to the new owner. Typically, you’ll need to complete some paperwork, visit the local DMV, and pay the applicable fee.
It’s important to do it properly to be compliant with state law. Below, the car insurance comparison and broker app Jerry has compiled everything you need to know about title transfer in Georgia.
What is a title transfer?
A car title dictates who owns a vehicle. When you transfer the title of a car, you’re transferring its ownership to someone else.
Transferring a title consists of two steps—one for the seller and one for the buyer:
- The seller must sign the title to release ownership of the vehicle
- The buyer will need to go to the DMV with the signed title to be issued a new title and registration
Every state has a slightly different process for title transfers. Some states require extra paperwork depending on the circumstances (e.g., passing down a car to a family member). You will probably need to provide basic vehicle information.
Who does the title transfer?
It depends on whether you’re buying (or selling) a vehicle privately or from a dealership.
If you did a private purchase, it’s up to the buyer and seller to complete the title transfer process. Determine who will submit the paperwork.
When you buy a car from a dealer, the responsibility lies with the dealer. They will handle all the paperwork and send you the vehicle title from the state by mail.
Reasons for a title transfer
The most common reason for a title transfer is a change of residency or buying or selling a car. However, there are several additional reasons to complete a title change:
- Donating a vehicle
- Gifting a vehicle
- Inheriting a vehicle
- Paying off a vehicle loan
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Car title transfer in Georgia
In Georgia, a vehicle buyer can complete the title transfer process online or in-person at a County Tag office. You must complete this process within 30 days of the change of ownership (or residency) or you will be charged a penalty fee.
If the vehicle is already titled in Georgia, here’s what you will need:
- Valid GA Driver’s License or ID card
- Proof of ownership
- Vehicle’s original valid title, including all buyer/seller information completed
- The title must be assigned to you using your full legal name as it appears on your license
- Vehicles from 1985 or older do not require a title but instead must provide a Bill of Sale
- If title is not available, please provide MSO (Manufacturer’s Certificate of Origin)
- Form MV-1 Title/Tag Application (either printed at home or by the County Tag Office, then signed)
- Proof of insurance (either Insurance Binder showing liability coverage or filed directly by your insurance company in the Department’s database)
- Emission Inspection Certificate, if applicable
- Lienholder’s name and address if your vehicle is financed
- Payment of all fees and/or taxes due
If transferring the title from somewhere outside Georgia, you will also need:
- Registration certification from non-title state/county—this must be assigned to you using your full name
- Form T-22B Certification of Inspection
You may also need to provide vehicular information like your license plate number, VIN, and make and model.
The title transfer fee in Georgia is $18. Once you’ve submitted all required documentation, you should receive a new title within 7 to 10 days.
Pro Tip The DRIVES e-service online portal will walk you through the Georgia title transfer process from start to finish—and there’s no lineup!
Registering a car in Georgia
After a title transfer, you still need to register the vehicle. Registration is proof that you can legally drive on the streets and is done annually in Georgia.
You must have a Georgia title and proof of auto insurance that meets the state minimum coverage requirements to register your vehicle.
The base registration fee is $20 and there is an additional $200 fee for electric vehicles (EVs). If your vehicle was purchased on or after March 1, 2013, it’s exempt from sales and use tax and the annual ad valorem tax. Instead, it will be subject to a one-time title ad valorem tax (TVT) based on the vehicle’s value.
In addition, you’ll need to pay the following:
|License plate fee||$20|
|Title ad valorem tax||Depends on value|
|Any penalties due||Varies||Only required if the vehicle has penalties.|
Other fees may apply based on the type of vehicle, county of residence, or driving record.
Finding insurance for your vehicle
Car insurance is required in Georgia, so make sure you’re covered before you get behind the wheel after a title transfer.
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What if my car has a loan?
Call your lender to ask how to sell a car that has a loan and how the transaction should be handled. A title transfer is a bit more challenging if the vehicle is still financed. Take your time and be sure to complete all the steps carefully.
Where do I sign to transfer the title?
Both the seller and the buyer need to sign the title. There are two separate lines for each signature. If two people are buying (or selling), then both will need to sign on the same line.