VEHICLE REGISTRATION
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All vehicles that move upon the public roads must be registered and tagged within 30 days after you move to Georgia or within 30 days after you purchase the vehicle.

For all vehicles except certain heavy trailers, registration is done annually.

A metal license plate is issued for each vehicle when it is first registered. A wide variety of plate designs is available.

An adhesive decal is issued to renew the registration each year. A single decal displays the month and year of expiration as well as the tag number and issuing county. Place the single decal in the lower right hand corner of the tag, on top of any year of expiration decal that is being replaced. 

 



KEEP YOUR TAG!

In Georgia, your tag belongs to you, not the car. If you trade the car in or sell it, take possession of your tag so that you will be able to transfer the tag to a subsequently acquired vehicle (of the same tax class.) The tag transfer fee is $5 if the expiration decal year does not change.




Registering a leased vehicle

The title to a leased vehicle is in the name of the leasing company. If you lease a vehicle, your name will be on the registration. You will need to bring your lease agreement with you when you register a leased vehicle.

Important note: the deadline for renewing the registration on a leased vehicle is based on the birthday of the lessee, if the lessee is a person (rather than a business).

When the lessee is a business (rather than a person), as discussed under "Deadlines," the first letter of the lessee business name, as shown on the registration, establishes the deadline for renewal.


Detailed registration requirements

The following links will provide detailed information about requirements for registering your vehicle under different situations. You can print the section that interests you. Please click on the sentence that is applicable to your situation.

My vehicle is registered in another state

My vehicle is registered in another county in Georgia

I purchased a vehicle and want to transfer ownership



VEHICLE REGISTERED IN ANOTHER STATE

If you are a new resident, welcome to Cobb County. State law requires that newcomers obtain a Georgia driver’s license and register their vehicles within 30 days after moving to the state.

Georgia liability insurance is also required.

All vehicles entering Georgia, model years 1986 and newer, are required to transfer title to Georgia in order to register and purchase a Georgia license plate.

Newcomers must have a Georgia driver’s license (or Georgia ID) to title and register a vehicle. You must apply for a Georgia title before you can register and tag the vehicle.

All persons applying for the title must be present to sign the application or provide notarized power of attorney.

If your vehicle is model year 1985 or older, a bill of sale made out to you with a complete description of the vehicle, will be accepted in lieu of a title.  If using a bill of sale please include the vehicle identification number, date of sale, year, make, model and seller's signature. 

You must register your vehicle in person the first time. Bring your bill of sale or title. If your title is held by your lender, bring the last registration for your vehicle as well as the complete mailing address including zip code for your lienholder. Leased vehicles must have street address for the leasing company (in addition to any P.O. Box) and a copy of the lease agreement along with a notarized power of attorney from the leasing company.

The following things will also be needed when you come to the tag office:

  1. Georgia emissions test certificate if required. (See details at this site.)
  2. Odometer reading.
  3. Proof of insurance in Georgia. (See details at this site.)
  4. You will need proof of Cobb County address. 

Please bring a Georgia Driver's license with your Cobb County address, a piece of mail with a current Cobb address or a copy of your residency lease or purchase agreement.

If you are moving to Georgia from one of the following states you must have in your possession the original title even if you have a lienholder.

Those states are:

  • Kentucky
  • Maryland
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • New York
  • Oklahoma
  • South Dakota
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming.

Certificates of title from these states with a lien shown on the front of the title that is no longer in effect need a lien release with a full description of the vehicle as well as the vehicle identification number. Documents must be originals; no fax or photocopies accepted.


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VEHICLE REGISTERED IN ANOTHER GEORGIA COUNTY

If you are a new resident, welcome to Cobb County.

You will need the following items to register your vehicle in Cobb County:

  1. With few exceptions, you will need a valid Georgia Driver's License.
  2. Current Owner's Certificate of Registration (also referred to as a Tag Receipt.)
  3. Proof of current Cobb County address such as a Georgia's drivers license with your Cobb County address, a piece of mail with a current Cobb address, or a copy of your residency lease or purchase agreement.
  4. If you are moving from a non-emission county, you must present a valid emission inspection certificate, with test date less than one year old, for all non-exempt vehicles. More details on Georgia's emission program can be found at this site.
  5. Proof of insurance in Georgia. (See details at this site.)


Please note that you cannot sign registration and title forms for anyone else except with an original notarized power of attorney. A power of attorney form is available at the tag office or at www.cobbtax.org.


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TRANSFER OWNERSHIP OF A VEHICLE YOU PURCHASED

If you purchased your vehicle from a dealer, you need to speak to the dealership to determine what part, if any, of the titling and registration is being done for you. Typically, dealers submit the title application and leave vehicle registration up to the buyer.

Title applications can be done prior to or at the same time as registration.

To transfer ownership, you will need the following things:

  1. With few exceptions, you will need a valid Georgia Driver's License.
  2. Proof of ownership. For model years 1986 and newer the title provides proof of ownership. If the dealership applied for the title for you, they will give you a validated receipt showing the title fee has been paid.

    If a title has not been applied for, bring the Manufacturer's Statement of Origin (MSO) or properly assigned certificate of title.

    If you purchased from an individual, you will need the Certificate of Title properly assigned showing a complete and correct chain of ownership. Note that if you purchase from an individual who still has a loan for the vehicle he must pay the loan off in order to provide you with a clear title before you can apply for a title in your name.

    Photocopies or faxes are not acceptable and any lien or security interest shown on the MSO, title, or other supporting document must be shown on the title application or properly released.

    For model years 1985 and older or vehicles such as homemade, boat or utility trailers weighing less than 2,000 pounds, for which a title is not required, a Bill of Sale is used to transfer ownership and is proof of ownership.

    Please note: Travel trailer or campers model year 1986 or newer are titled.
  3. A valid emission inspection certificate, with test date less than one year old, is required for all non-exempt vehicles when changing ownership, regardless of whether the model year is odd or even. See more information at this site. Fourth, if the vehicle is previously owned, bring a copy of the registration, also called the tag receipt. Fifth, Proof of insurance in Georgia. (See details at this site.) 


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