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  • Title Transfers in Georgia

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    What is a Title Transfer?

    The vehicle’s title is the legal document that shows vehicle ownership.

    Reasons for title transfers include:

    • Buying or selling a vehicle
    • Paying off a vehicle loan
    • Transferring vehicle ownership among family members
    • Gifting or donating a vehicle
    • Inheriting a vehicle
    • Making name changes on the current title

    Selling a Vehicle

    You may think a buyer is the only one who needs to do his research; however, you can do some research of your own when you order a Vehicle History Report (VHR). Sure, you probably already know the history of your vehicle, but the buyer doesn’t. Providing him with a VHR helps him better understand the vehicle he’s considering and your good intentions.

    Once you’re ready to complete the sale, you may need to take these steps to properly transfer the title:

    1. Properly complete, sign, and date the current title. This includes entering the current odometer reading.
    2. Make sure the buyer properly signs and dates the title.
    3. Complete and have notarized a Bill of Sale with the buyer. You may want to keep a copy for yourself.
    4. Give all the paperwork to the buyer so he can visit his County Tax Commissioner’s tag office to complete the transfer.

    Buying a Vehicle

    New Cars

    When you purchase a new vehicle, your dealer will handle the title transfer.

    Used Cars

    Once you’ve found your bargains and are ready to finalize the sale, you may need to follow these steps to transfer the title:

    1. Make sure the seller properly completes, signs, and dates the title.
    2. Sign and date the title yourself.
    3. Complete and have notarized a Bill of Sale with the seller. You may want to suggest the seller keep a copy for himself, too.
    4. Complete a Title/Tag Application (Form MV-1).
    5. Collect all the paperwork, including the title, from the seller and bring it and the following to your County Tax Commissioner’s tag office:
      • Your valid driver’s license or state-issued ID card.
      • Proof of insurance.
      • The fee of $18 (unless you’re past the 30-day time limit, in which case you’ll need to pay an additional fee of $10).

    NOTE: It's safest to make sure the title is in your hand when you part ways with the seller, rather than agreeing to allow him to mail it at a later date.

    You can also take care of the vehicle’s registration while you’re at your County Tax Commissioner’s tag office. Find details and fees in our Car Registration section.

    Title Ad Valorem Tax (TAVT)

    As of March 1, 2013, any vehicle purchased and titled in Georgia will be required to a pay a Title Ad Valorem Tax (TAVT). This one time tax, based on the vehicle's fair market value, replaces the sales and use tax, as well as the annual ad valorem tax (also known as the birthday tax).

    Removing a Lien

    When you pay off your car loan, you can remove your lienholder’s name from the title. You may need to:

    1. Have your lienholder complete a Lien or Security Interest Release (Form T-4) or obtain a statement from your lienholder on company letterhead that includes:
      • Your name and address, and the names and addresses of all secured parties.
      • The vehicle’s make, model, and year, as well as the vehicle identification number.
      • A statement that you’ve satisfied the lien.
    2. Bring the title, the lienholder’s letter if applicable, and the fee of $18 to your County Tax Commissioner’s tag office to apply for a new title.

    NOTE: The lien will remain on record until you apply for a new title.

    Transferring to Family

    Title transfers vary slightly when they occur among immediate family members. Immediate family members include:

    • Grandparents
    • Parents
    • Siblings
    • Spouses
    • Children

    Because families transfer vehicles among one another at various times during the year, it may or may not be time to pay taxes and other fees on the vehicle. Therefore, it’s best to contact your County Tax Commissioner’s tag office for instructions specific to your situation. You may need to:

    1. Complete, sign, and date the title. The current owner is the “seller” and the new owner is the “buyer.”
    2. Make sure the title reflects the correct odometer reading if necessary.
    3. Have an Affidavit to Certify Immediate Family Relationship (Form MV-16) completed and notarized.
    4. Complete a Title/Tag Application(Form MV-1).
    5. Present proof of a certificate of vehicle emission inspection if the county requires it.
    6. Visit the County Tax Commissioner’s tag office with the above paperwork and fee of $18 to complete the transfer.

    Gifting a Vehicle

    As is the case with transferring a vehicle from one family member to another, gifting a vehicle may require the new owner to pay taxes, and those taxes may be based on various factors. Your County Tax Commissioner’s tag office can provide specific details.

    Steps may vary, but recipients of gifted vehicles should be prepared to:

    1. Sign and date the title as the “buyer” once the current owner completes, signs, and dates the title as the “seller.”
    2. Check to make sure the odometer reading matches the number on the title.
    3. Obtain proof of a certificate of vehicle emission inspection if the county requires it.
    4. Pay a visit to the County Tax Commissioner’s tag office with the above paperwork and fee of $18 in hand.

    Donating a Vehicle

    Our section on car donation provides information about choosing qualified charities and tax benefits.

    Inheriting a Vehicle

    You may need to:

    1. Collect the original title with the deceased’s name.
    2. Complete a Lien or Security Interest Release (Form T-4), if necessary.
    3. Obtain an Affidavit of Inheritance of a Motor Vehicle (Form T-20) or a certified copy of Letters of Testamentary/Administration from a probated will.
    4. Complete a Title/Tag Application(Form MV-1).
    5. Determine whether your county is one that requires emissions certificates.
    6. Gather each of the applicable documents listed above, as well as your driver’s license or state-issued ID card, proof of insurance (see below), and fee of $18 and head to your County Tax Commissioner’s tag office.

    The County Tax Commissioner’s tag office can also help you register the vehicle in your name, and this may be something you’ll want to take care of while you’re there.

    Making Name Corrections

    Changing a Name

    You may need to:

    1. Change your name on your driver’s license or state-issued ID card to reflect your new or corrected name.
    2. Obtain a certified copy of the legal document (such as a birth certificate, marriage certificate, or divorce decree) that reflects your name.
    3. Complete a Title/Tag Application(Form MV-1).
    4. Visit your County Tax Commissioner’s tag office with the above documents (including the corrected license or ID) and:
      • Proof of insurance.
      • Current title and registration.
      • Fee of $18.

    Consider obtaining a vital record to prepare yourself for situations that call for proof of your legal name, and visit Changing Your Name for more information about keeping your name current for driver and vehicle services.

    Deleting a Name

    You may need to:

    1. Make sure you have the original title and the fee of $18.
    2. Head to your County Tax Commissioner’s tag office with the person you’re removing from the title to complete the transaction. Depending on the situation, you may need to complete additional paperwork.

    Adding a Name

    You may need to:

    1. Locate the current title.
    2. Make sure you and the new additional owner have:
      • Your licenses or ID cards.
      • Proofs of insurance.
      • The fee of $18.
    3. Visit your County Tax Commissioner’s tag agency with the new additional owner to complete the transaction. Depending on your situation, you may or may not need to update the vehicle’s registration.

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