How to Get a Temporary License Plate in Georgia

Wondering how to get a temporary license plate in Georgia? This guide covers temporary operating permits and how to get them.
Written by Brenna Swanston
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
Updated on Mar 23, 2023
If you purchase a new car in Georgia, the dealer is required to give you a temporary operating permit for you to use while you register the car. However, it's up to you—the buyer—to apply for a new or transferred license plate.
If you want to drive a car in Georgia, that car must have a legal permit to drive—ideally, official registration and license plates. While you're waiting to formalize these things for a new car, though, a temporary operating permit allows you to legally drive that car. These permits are valid for 30 days.
Are you curious about how temporary license plates work in Georgia?
Stick around because we're here to answer any questions you might have. 
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Does Georgia issue temporary plates?

Rather than your typical temporary license plate, Georgia issues temporary tags to drivers who need to use unregistered vehicles on a short-term basis. Temporary tags, also known as temporary operating permits, last for 30 days.
It is the auto dealer's responsibility to issue temporary tags for customers to use on their newly purchased vehicles. The customer is then required to register and obtain permanent license plates for their vehicles before the temporary tags expire.

How to get a temporary license plate in Georgia

In most cases, your dealer should give you a temporary operating permit when you purchase a new vehicle. In cases where the car requires a title, the dealer is also responsible for applying for the title in your—the buyer's—name.
If the dealer fails to obtain a title in your name before your initial temporary tags expire, you may apply for another 30-day temporary operating permit through your county's tag office. If this happens, you must first:
Gather the necessary materials to apply for an extended temporary operating permit, and bring them to your local County Tag Office. Find your local office through the
Georgia Department of Revenue website

Limitations of temporary plates in Georgia

Temporary operation permits in Georgia are valid for 30 days.
You can only get a second set of temporary tags if your dealer failed to obtain a title for transfer into your name before your first temporary tags expired. In that case, you must obtain your second temporary operation permit through the County Tags Office. A dealer cannot issue an extension or another temporary operation permit.
A dealer cannot issue temporary tags at all in the following situations:
  • The vehicle will be registered under the International Registration Plan.
  • You are purchasing a salvage title vehicle.
  • The vehicle is a trailer or another vehicle that is not self-propelled.
  • The dealer did not sell the vehicle.
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Temporary registration permits in Georgia

If you want to temporarily drive an unregistered car in Georgia, all you need is a temporary operating permit. You do not need to apply separately for a temporary registration permit and temporary license plates.

Can I drive a car without plates if I just bought it in Georgia? 

In Georgia, you can drive a new car without registration or license plates. You will need
proof of insurance
and a bill of sale in the car with you. This is only good for seven days, though, whereas a temporary operation permit lasts for 30 days.

How to find affordable car insurance in Georgia

You now know how to obtain a temporary operation permit in Georgia, so let's move on to
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