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A brief note on the word "tag":

If you are new to Georgia, our use of the word "tag" can be a little confusing.  In some states, this word refers to your registration, while in others it refers to your decal.  

In Georgia, "tag" is often used interchangeably to refer to any part of your registration.  For example, the phrase "I need to renew my tag" is really talking about renewing a registration, but the word tag is used because the person is thinking of their license plate with its soon-to-expire decal.  

More often than not, however, your tag is your license plate.


Registration Requirements

Your registration expires each year on a deadline associated with the first owner/lessee of the vehicle.

All registrations require valid insurance submitted electronically by your insurance company at all times.

Additionally, vehicles 3 years old to 24 years old and less than 8500 lbs gross vehicle weight require an emission inspection each year.  Our Emission Testing Requirements page has more information about emissions and renewals, exempt vehicles, and emission waviers.


Your registration is comprised of three components:

  • A metal license plate
  • A registration card
  • An adhesive decal


License Plates

While there are many different plates you can purchase, any plate that is not a standard plate requires either extra documentation and/or comes at a higher cost.

     Standard plates come in two varieties:





      Alternate Standard



All standard plates cost $20.00 the first time and $20.00 when you renew your decal.  If you are under the TAVT system, you will only pay $20.00 per year to renew your decal.

Non-standard plates usually carry an additional fee when you first purchase the plate and when you renew the plate.  To find out the cost and requirements for non-standard plates, visit the Georgia Department of Revenue’s website for a complete list. The list gets updated often, so if something you want is not available, check again later. You may be surprised.

Your plate belongs to you, not the car. If you trade the car in or sell it, you can keep your plate so that you can transfer the tag to another vehicle.  If your plate has a current decal, the cost is only $5.00 to transfer.  For plates with expired decals, the cost is the same as if you were renewing your registration (minus any taxes).  

So, if you have a plate that you really love, you can keep using that plate on future vehicles.


Registration Cards

When you first purchase a plate, you will receive a registration card that contains information regarding your vehicle and personal information.  On the card, you will find:

  • The expiration date of your current registration
  • Your vehicle's information, including the VIN, tag number, year, make, and model
  • Your customer record information, including your name, mailing address, tax district, driver's license number, and county
  • Our office information
  • A receipt displaying all payments last associated with your vehicle

Registration cards come with two copies.  We recommend you keep one copy in your car and the other copy on your person or in a file.



Attached to your regstration card is an adhesive decal.  On it is the month and year your registration expires, your license plate number, and a color corresponding to the current year.  Each year, decals have a different color.

This decal is placed in the bottom right corner of your license plate as proof of current registration.  Each time you renew your registration, you receive a new registration card with a new decal.  Place the new decal over the old one.  If you end up with a large stack of decals on the back of your plate, you may tear off the old decals before putting on the new one.  In fact, we recommend you do this to avoid loss or theft.