Georgia Car Title: What You Need to Know

Your Georgia car title establishes legal ownership of a vehicle. If you buy your car from a dealership, your dealer will provide you with the paperwork.
Written by Stephanie Southmayd
Edited by Amy Bobinger
If you buy a new car in the state of Georgia, the dealership will usually fill out the paperwork for you and send you your title in the mail. But if you’re buying your vehicle in a private sale, you may have to complete an MV-1 Title Application form at the County Tag office within 30 days of purchase.
  • A Georgia car title is an official government-issued certificate establishing your legal ownership of a vehicle.
  • If you buy your car from a dealership, your dealer will likely provide you with all the necessary paperwork.
  • If you purchase your car through a private sale or receive it as a gift, you may have to complete a title transfer at your local County Tag office.
  • A title transfer must be completed at most 30 days following your purchase of the vehicle. 
Your car title is a government-issued legal certificate proving you own your vehicle—and it’s almost as important as your new set of keys in getting your car safely on the road. 
A car title not only establishes proof of ownership, it’s essential to getting your vehicle’s registration papers. Show your title and proof of
Georgia auto insurance
at your local
County Tag office
and you’ll receive a registration certificate—another official document noting your car can legally be driven on public roads.
A Georgia car title typically includes the following components:
  • Car make, model, and year
  • Odometer reading
  • Owner’s full name and address
  • Date the title was issued
  • Signatures of the owner, seller, and government official overseeing the application

Where to get your Georgia car title

From the dealership: If you’re purchasing your vehicle from a dealership, your dealer will provide you with your title during the buying process or mail it to you shortly afterward. Some dealerships may also submit your registration on your behalf.
From the County Tag office: Complete a
Title Application
document, and mail it or bring it to your local County Tag office. It typically takes 7 to 10 business days to receive your new title, and you will need to pay an $8 fee.
From the Georgia Department of Revenue’s Motor Vehicle Division office: To get a same-day vehicle title, you can go to the Department of Revenue’s Motor Vehicle office at 4125 Welcome All Road in Atlanta, Georgia (30349). You must pay an additional $10 expedited processing charge in addition to the usual $8 fee.

What happens to your title if your car is financed in Georgia

Georgia is a non-lien-holding state—meaning that if you financed the purchase of your car, your lienholder will be listed as the owner on the vehicle’s title and will hold the physical copy of the title until you pay off your loan.
When the loan is cleared, you should receive a notification from the lienholder with an official release letter. At that point, you must bring the car title to your local County Tag office and complete a title transfer.

Georgia car title transfers

You must complete a
vehicle title transfer
in the following situations: 
  • When you buy your car through a private sale 
  • When you receive your vehicle through a donation, gift, or inheritance 
  • Once you’ve paid off your car’s financing
  • If you’ve recently changed your residence 
During a title transfer process, the vehicle’s previous owner transfers ownership—their motor vehicle title—to you. But it’s usually up to the new owner to complete the paperwork. Fill out an MV-1
Title Application form
, then mail it or bring it to your local County Tag office. Other forms and documents may be required depending on the title you’re getting.
You have 30 days from receiving your new vehicle (or changing your residence) to apply for your new car title at the County Tag Office. 

How to complete a title transfer application if you’re moving from another state or country

  • Complete and sign a Title Application form
  • Go to your local County Tag Office, bringing your valid original out-of-state title with you
  • Show your out of state/country valid registration certificate, if applicable
  • Complete and sign a
    T-22B Certification of Inspection
  • Show proof of Georgia liability insurance
  • If applicable, bring your
    Emission Inspection Certificate
  • If applicable, carry English translations of any documents not written in English
  • Georgia driver’s license or ID
  • Registration fees
Some additional exceptions and rules apply. Read up on the
Georgia Department of Revenue’s requirements
before you go to the County Tag Office to avoid any misunderstandings. 

Correctly preparing your car title in Georgia

Make sure you fill out your Georgia car title correctly. If you fail to complete any of the following steps, your title may be voided—and you’ll have to prepare a duplicate replacement title for an additional fee of $8.
  • Use a blue or black pen
  • Never use a correction fluid (such as Wite-Out) or a highlighter on the title
  • Be careful not to scribble, strike through text, or tear the paper
  • All owners listed on the title must sign the title

Costs of a Georgia car title and registration

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, you’ll have to pay a one-time title ad valorem tax (TVT), which is based on the vehicle’s value.
You’ll also need to pay the following:
License plate fee
Title fee
Title ad valorem tax
Depends on value
Any penalties due
Only required if the vehicle has penalties.
Other fees may apply based on the type of vehicle, county of residence, or driving record. 

Types of Georgia car titles

Here are some common Georgia car title types:
  • Salvage
    : A vehicle that has been damaged to the point that two or more component parts would need to be replaced for it to return to operable condition.
  • Rebuilt/Restored
    : A car that was once deemed totaled by an insurance company but has been rebuilt to be driven safely. You must be a licensed rebuilder to receive this title, and will have to pay a $118 titling fee.
  • Vehicle Inherited or Purchased From An Estate
    : In addition to your Form MV-1 Title/Tag Application, you must bring the original valid title in the deceased’s name and a
    Form T-4 Lien
    , among other documents.


According to the Georgia Department of Revenue, it’s optional to title cars that were made between 1963 and 1985. Bring the vehicle’s bill of sale to your County Tag Office. Cars made before 1962 do not require titling.  
It can take between two and six weeks to get your new certificate of title after paying off the financing on your car, depending on how long it takes for the lienholder to send your lien release letter and the Department of Revenue to prepare your new title.
If you lose or damage your car title, you’ll need to complete a new MV-1 Title Application and submit it to the County Tag Office. Be prepared to pay an $8 duplicate title fee.
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