Vehicle Registration Requirements

Newly Purchased Car Registration and Tags (new and used cars)

All new purchases of vehicles, whether from a dealership or an individual, are subject to a one-time 7% State of Georgia Title Ad Valorem Tax (TAVT). This law became effective March 1, 2013. All vehicles purchased after March 1, 2013 are no longer subject to the annual ad valorem tax (birthday tax).

  • If the vehicle purchase is made at a car dealership, the dealer must accept the application for title and TAVT payment on the purchaser’s behalf, and deliver the title application and TAVT payment to the Tag Office.
  • If the vehicle purchase is made from an individual/source other than a dealership, the application for title and TAVT payment must be paid in the Tag Office by the new owner at the time application for title and registration are made.
  • CLICK HERE for Frequently Asked Questions concerning the TAVT, fair market values of new and used vehicles, and other information.

The Douglas County Tag Office accepts the following forms of payment with photo ID:

  • Cash;
  • Checks payable to the Douglas County Tax Commissioner;
  • Debit Cards (subject to a 2.3% convenience fee);
  • VISA, MasterCard, Discover and American Express Credit Cards (subject to a 2.3% convenience fee).

Registration Requirements

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

All registrations require valid insurance submitted electronically by the insurance company. Motor vehicle owners and lessees are required by Georgia law to maintain continuous Georgia Liability Insurance coverage. CLICK HERE for the Rules and Regulations governing Acceptable Proof of Insurance in the State of Georgia.

All vehicles 3 – 24 years old and less than 8,500 lbs. gross vehicle weight require an emission inspection each year, and the vehicle must pass the emissions test to qualify for the registration/tag renewal. Emissions testing is required in metro Atlanta counties only due to air quality concerns. Emissions testing is conducted by private contractors who charge $10 – $25 per test; there are multiple locations in Douglas County that perform this test. Test results are electronically reported to the Tag Office. CLICK HERE for Emissions Testing Locations and other related information.

  • There are different Rules and Regulations for Alternative Fuel Vehicles and vehicles over 15,500 lbs. due to the Transportation Funding Act of 2015. CLICK HERE for information concerning this subject.
  • Vehicle registration is comprised of three components: a metal license plate; a registration card; and an adhesive decal.
    • License Plates
      There are many different license plates that can be purchased. 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: standard and alternate standard. All standard plates cost $20.00 the first time and $20.00 when the decal is renewed. If the vehicle is under the TAVT system (purchased after March 1, 2103), the renewal fee is $20.00 per year. Non-standard plates carry an additional fee when first purchased and when they are annually renewed. CLICK HERE to find out the cost and requirements for non-standard license plates.The license plate belongs to the vehicle owner, not the car. If the vehicle is traded in or sold, the tag owner can keep the license plate and decal so that it can be transferred to another vehicle. If the license plate has a current decal, the cost is $5.00 to transfer. For plates with expired decals, the cost is the same as when renewing registration (minus any taxes).
    • Registration Cards
      Upon the first purchase of a plate, the owner will receive a registration card that contains information regarding the vehicle and personal information. The card will contain:

      • the expiration date of the current registration
      • vehicle information, including the VIN, tag number, year, make, and model
      • customer record information, including name, mailing address, tax district, driver’s license number and County office information
      • receipt displaying all payments last associated with the vehicle.

      Registration cards come with two copies – one for the vehicle and one for the house/business.

Decals
Attached to the registration card is an adhesive decal. On it is the month and year of registration expiration, the license plate number, and a color corresponding to the current year (different color each year).

This decal is placed in the bottom right corner of the license plate as proof of current registration. Upon each annual registration, the vehicle owner will receive a new registration card with a new decal. The new decal is to be placed over the old one, or the old one may be removed and the new one placed in its previous location.

Please CLICK HERE for more information on Motor Vehicle Titles and Registration from the Georgia Department of Revenue which governs this program.