General Title Information
What Is a Certificate of Title?
A Certificate of Title is the legal document issued by the state Motor Vehicle Division for a motor vehicle that reflects the legal owner(s) of the vehicle and any recorded lien or security interest holders. Please refer to the General Title Information page on the Georgia Department of Revenue website for specific information on titles:
This site also reflects brands indicating the status of the title (e.g., replacement), the condition of the vehicle (e.g., salvage, rebuilt, flood damage, etc.), and the odometer reading (when required). A Georgia Certificate of Title is mailed to the first lien or security interest holder until their interest in the vehicle becomes satisfied. If there is no lien or security interest holder, the title is mailed to the vehicle owner.
Transfer of Ownership
All titles have spaces provided for transfer of ownership. The title should be delivered to the new owner(s) at the time the vehicle is delivered. The new owner(s) should apply for a Certificate of Title in their name(s). Effective January 1, 2011, the laws changed the thirty (30) day period to title and register a vehicle to seven (7) business days unless the vehicle was purchased from a registered dealer. The purchaser(s) of a vehicle from a source other than a registered dealer must title and register their vehicle within seven (7) business days and obtain a license plate.
Spaces are provided on the face of the title for the release of any recorded liens or security interests. However, the released liens or security interests are not removed from the state's records until a new title is issued.
Effective March 1, 2013 a one time Title Ad Valorem Tax (TAVT) will be assessed on each titled vehicle and must be paid in full at the time the title is transferred. The amount due is based on the fair market value of the vehicle as determined by the State of Georgia vehicle assessment manual.
Any additional questions can be answered by calling the Athens-Clarke County Tag office, 706-613-3130.
All motor vehicle owners required by law to have their motor vehicle registered in Georgia, and are not exempt, must apply for a Georgia Certificate of Title within 30 days of purchase or beginning of Georgia residency. This may be done online.
When applying for joint ownership, the word "and," rather than the word "or" separating the titles of those applying should be used.
Several documents must be submitted to the Motor Vehicle Division in order for a name change or title transfer to be considered.
Several documents must be submitted to the Motor Vehicle Division after a name change or marriage for a Georgia Certificate of Title to be re-issued.
Replacement Titles may be needed in the event of theft, loss, or misplacement, and the requirements that must be fulfilled to obtain a new one are listed here.
Owners are required to apply promptly for a Certificate of Title upon transfer of ownership. The standard application fee is $18 plus tax, and failure to do so correctly or in a timely manner may result in a penalty.