What Do I Need for a Georgia Title Transfer?

In the state of Georgia, you are required to submit different documentation to successfully transfer a vehicle title. The documents and items you need to include are:

  • A Motor Vehicle Title/Tag Application (Form MV-1). This form must be signed over by the seller.
  • Some vehicles are required to pass an emissions inspection
  • Pay the Georgia vehicle title transfer fee of $18 plus the registration fee and taxes

Smog Certification/Vehicle Inspection

The state of Georgia requires emissions testing for most vehicles. This annual inspection must be passed before you can receive your vehicle registration. Emissions testing requirements are determined by different vehicle factors, including the year the vehicle was made by the manufacturer, the type of vehicle, and the location where the vehicle is registered. The state of Georgia enforces mandatory emissions testing for all 13 metro Atlanta counties, including:

  • Cobb
  • DeKalb
  • Forsyth
  • Fulton
  • Gwinnett

In these Georgia counties, an emissions inspection is required for vehicles and light trucks that were manufactured between 1993 and 2014, and weigh no more than 8,500 pounds.

Smog tests in Georgia are not required for motorcycles, motor homes, or recreational vehicles. These tests are also not required for diesel vehicles that need to be registered. A smog check history may be required for you to receive a replacement vehicle registration. Smog tests are mandatory for all other non-diesel vehicles that need to be registered as part of the annual vehicle check.

Smog tests are not required for vehicles that are over 25 model years old or those that were manufactured in 2015 or later. Senior citizens aged 65 years and older, whose vehicle meets the requirements, are exempt from smog checks. Vehicles that have a gross weight rating that exceeds 8,500 pounds, operate on diesel or other alternative fuel, or mopeds or other non-motorized vehicles, are exempt from smog checks in Georgia.

How to Transfer Your Title in Georgia?

You are required to complete a vehicle title transfer with the Georgia Department of Revenue (DOR) when you buy or sell a vehicle.

Buying a Vehicle From a Dealer

When you purchase a vehicle from a dealership, they will handle the vehicle title transfer process for you. You will be issued a temporary permit that is valid for 30 days. Once you receive the vehicle title or proof of ownership, you are required to register the vehicle at your local county tax office.

Buying a Vehicle From a Private Seller

When you receive the vehicle title from the vehicle seller, you and the joint buyers (if any), are required to sign the appropriate section on the vehicle title to acknowledge the odometer reading unless:

  • The vehicle is exempt from odometer disclosure
  • The seller has not filled in the required information on the vehicle title

NOTE: If the vehicle title is blank, DO NOT sign it. It is against the law for a vehicle seller to give you a blank title and for you to accept it. Make sure any and all liens are listed on the vehicle title and accompanied by a lien release. Without the lien release, you are responsible for paying the liens once you own the vehicle.

You can complete a vehicle title transfer in Georgia in person by visiting a GA DOR title office within 30 days of the sale date of the vehicle. You need the following documentation and items to transfer a Georgia vehicle title:

  • Valid Georgia driver’s license or ID card
  • The Motor Vehicle Title/Tag Application (Form MV-1)
  • The properly assigned vehicle title
  • An emission inspection certificate (if required by your county of residence)
  • Proof of a valid GA auto insurance policy
  • Payment for the application fees:
    • Title transfer fee: $18
    • Registration fee: $20

Keep in mind, you may also need additional documentation to register your vehicle in Georgia.

Title Transfer Requirements When Selling a Car in Georgia

If you are selling your vehicle, make sure you correctly fill out the vehicle title to reassign the title to the buyer. The following information needs to be completed on the vehicle title:

  • Your name and address as it appears on your driver’s license
  • The sale dated or the date you’re transferring the vehicle’s title
  • The odometer reading, unless:
    • The vehicle is at least 20 model years old
    • Over 16,000 pounds gross weight
    • A trailer or other vehicle that IS NOT self-propelled
    • Transferred from one dealer to another
    • The vehicle is transferred from a manufacturer to a government agency
  • Your printed name and signature

NOTE: If the vehicle’s odometer doesn’t show the vehicle’s correct mileage, make sure you check the appropriate box on the vehicle title. You can also create a bill of sale as proof of the vehicle sale date and price for both you and the buyer.

How to Transfer a Car Title When the Owner is Deceased

When the owner of a vehicle passes away, you need to transfer the vehicle’s title if you’re a beneficiary who plans on keeping the vehicle, gifting it to someone, or selling it. As a beneficiary, joint-owner, or surviving spouse, you have the legal obligation and authority to transfer the vehicle title of the deceased individual’s vehicle.

The vehicle title transferring process depends on whether the vehicle’s title was in the individual’s name as a descendant or joint ownership. If the vehicle title was solely in the descendant’s name, you need to determine if the estate is being probated.

The probate process occurs when there is no beneficiary or living spouse listed on the will. The Probate Court determines how to proceed with the deceased individual’s belongings. During the probate process, the deceased individual’s property is distributed according to their will.

If the vehicle is part of a probated estate, you are required to follow these steps to successfully transfer the vehicle title of a deceased individual:

Contact Probate Court and Attorney

A vehicle’s title can’t be transferred until the probate process is complete. The administrator or executor of the deceased needs to contact Probate Court or an attorney as soon as possible and await further instructions.

Gather the Necessary Documentation

You are required to have the following documents in order to transfer the vehicle title of a deceased individual in Georgia:

  • Certificate of title
  • Order from Probate Court to transfer the vehicle
  • Death certificate
  • Odometer disclosure statement
  • Transfer fee

Visit the Title Office

As the beneficiary or administrator of the deceased individual’s estate, you can visit the title office with the above-mentioned documents to start the vehicle title transfer process.

How to Transfer a Vehicle Title Without Probate

In Georgia, if there is no probate process to worry about, the deceased individual’s property can’t exceed a certain amount and a specific amount of time needs to pass since the individual passed away before the Georgia vehicle title process can be initiated.

You may only be required to provide a death certificate and the vehicle’s title at the title office to have the vehicle’s title retitled. No attorneys or court orders are required in this situation.

Transferring a Title After a Lease Buyout

In Georgia, you are required to transfer a vehicle’s title after a lease buyout. Make sure you have these items to successfully transfer a Georgia vehicle title after a lease buyout:

  • A bill of sale from the leasing company indicating the sales tax on the buyout option that was collected
  • An odometer statement properly completed by the leasing company
  • Complete the Application for Registration and Title (Form MV-1)
  • Proof of a valid GA auto insurance policy
  • Valid identification

If you have a letter of authorization from the leasing company, the registration equity and license plate can be transferred to you from the leasing company.

NOTE: You can’t register your vehicle if you have delinquent property tax, have unpaid parking tickets, or if your registration privileges are suspended.

How to Transfer Ownership of a Vehicle Without a Title in Georgia?

You are required to request a duplicate title (Form MV-1) if you have lost or damaged your vehicle title or if your vehicle’s title was stolen. To request a duplicate Georgia vehicle title, follow these steps:

  • Complete a Title/Tag Application (Form MV-1) (DO NOT list lien release or security interest information on this application.)
  • Submit a lien release form (Form T-4) for each lien holder, IF your lien has been satisfied. (If you didn’t apply for a clear vehicle title once your lien was satisfied, the Georgia DOR will still have the lien recorded on your vehicle title.)
  • Provide proof of identification (valid GA driver’s license or photo ID card)
  • Surrender your mutilated vehicle title (if applicable)
  • Payment for the GA replacement title fee of $8

Make sure you have the necessary documentation and payment for all applicable fees to avoid delays and possible penalties.

Can I Gift a Car to a Family Member?

Yes, you can gift a car to a family member without selling it. To gift a vehicle, you need to transfer the vehicle’s title to your relative (the new owner). You also need to complete a Declaration of Immediate Family Form (Form MV-16).

Transferring a Vehicle Title When You Have an Out-of-State Title

When you change residences from one state to another, you are required to take different steps in Georgia to transfer your out-of-state vehicle title. In order to successfully finalize the transfer of certificate of a vehicle title when moving to Georgia from a different state, follow these steps:

  • Submit your vehicle for emissions testing (if required)
  • Visit your local GA DOR
  • Submit the required out-of-state documents, such as the vehicle title and vehicle registration
  • Provide proof of a valid GA auto insurance policy, VIN verification, and vehicle odometer reading
  • Pay the necessary vehicle title transfer fees and other related costs

Transferring an Out-of-State Vehicle Title with a Lien or Lease Agreement

Vehicle owners in Georgia who are transferring car titles with a lien can successfully complete the process by completing and mailing a title release form to their lien holders. Once the lien holders receive the form, they will send the title to the GA DOR. Once the GA DOR receives the vehicle title, you can return to your local GA DOR to complete the remaining steps. If you pay off the loan before initiating the vehicle title transfer, you can avoid transferring your lien holder’s name on the new vehicle title.

To successfully complete a vehicle title transfer on a leased vehicle, you are required to obtain power of attorney from your leasing company before you can initiate or complete the remaining steps in the GA vehicle title transfer process.

Transferring a Vehicle From a State That Does Not Issue Vehicle Titles

You will not be able to complete the vehicle certificate of title transfer process when you move to GA from your former state if that state does not issue titles for your type of vehicle. In this situation, you are considered a driver with a non-titled vehicle. You are required to apply for a new vehicle title with the GA DOR.

You need to be ready to present different documentation that proves the transfer of ownership, such as the registration card from the previous owner and a bill of sale. The bill of sale must be notarized and contain the contact information and signature of the buyer and seller. You also need to include information regarding the vehicle, such as the date of sale, its make, year, and VIN.

Requesting a Duplicate Vehicle Title

If you lose or damage your GA vehicle title, or it’s stolen, you need to apply for a duplicate GA vehicle title. Follow these steps to request a duplicate vehicle title in Georgia:

  • Complete the GA Title/Tag Application (Form MV-1) Make sure you don’t include any lien release or security interest information on this application.
  • Submit a Lien Release Form (Form T- 4) for each lien holder, if your lien has been satisfied. If you didn’t apply for a clear title when your lien was satisfied, the Georgia DOR will still have the lien recorded on your vehicle’s title.
  • Provide a current, valid GA driver’s license or ID card
  • Surrender your damaged vehicle title (if applicable)
  • Pay the replacement vehicle title fee of $8

Keep in mind, all owners listed on the original vehicle title will need to accompany you to a local Tax Commissioner’s office to complete the vehicle application. If the owners can’t accompany you to the office, you will need a limited power of attorney.

How Much Does a Title Transfer Cost in Georgia?

The standard vehicle title transfer fee in Georgia is $18. Your vehicle must pass an emissions inspection before receiving the vehicle title.

Where Can I Go to Transfer a Vehicle Title in Georgia?

There are different DOR locations in Georgia where you can go to transfer a vehicle title.

Department of Motor Vehicles
2206 Eastview Pkwy
Conyers, GA 30013
(678) 413-8400

Tuesday – Friday (8 AM to 6 PM)
Saturday, Sunday, and Monday (Closed)

Georgia Department of Driver Services – Canton Office
220 Brown Industrial Pkwy Ste 200
Canton, GA 30114
(678) 413-8400

Tuesday – Friday (8 AM – 6 PM)
Saturday (8 AM – 12 PM)
Sunday & Monday (Closed)

Georgia Department of Driver Services – Atlanta Office
400 Whitehall St SW
Atlanta, GA 30303
(404) 463-0303

Tuesday – Friday (7:30 AM – 6:30 PM)
Saturday (7:30 AM to 12 PM)
Sunday & Monday (Closed)

How to Fill Out the Georgia Title and Title Transfer Forms

Filling out and completing the title and title transfer forms for the state of Georgia is essential for successfully completing the vehicle title process.

First, you need to complete and sign the GA vehicle title application (Form MV-1). You can start the title application before you visit your local GA county tag office. If your vehicle is financed, you are required to provide the lien holder or security interest holder’s name and address in the spaces provided. You will also need to provide an emission inspection certificate, if applicable.

You must obtain the original valid vehicle title, and it must be properly assigned to you. You are also required to obtain a valid GA auto insurance policy. You are required to pay all necessary fees and taxes due, such as the $20 license plate fee, $18 vehicle title fee, Title Ad Valorem Tax, and any other applicable fees due.

The vehicle’s title must be in your name before you can transfer ownership of a vehicle title. You have 30 days from the time of purchase or transfer date to register your vehicle and obtain a license plate or transfer your existing Georgia license plate from a vehicle you no longer own to a different vehicle.

My Car Title Was Signed But Never Transferred. What Do I Do?

A vehicle’s title can be signed but never transferred, which means the seller neglected to transfer ownership of the vehicle or register the vehicle in their name. Vehicles that have titles that aren’t transferred are considered open titles. An open title occurs when the seller doesn’t sign their name, which means the seller doesn’t possess legal liability for the vehicle. If you lose the vehicle’s title, the title is temporarily open. The solution to this problem is to request a duplicate vehicle title. The seller of the vehicle or person whose name is on the vehicle title is responsible for requesting a duplicate vehicle title and signing it over to you so you can put the vehicle in your name. It is against the law to sign a blank title, so make sure you review the vehicle title thoroughly before signing your name.

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