How to Transfer a Car Title in Georgia?

When selling or buying a used car in Georgia, transferring the title is one of the most important steps in the whole process.
Proper transfer of a Georgia vehicle title is crucial, particularly in private sales. This guide on title transfers provides comprehensive details on signing over an auto title, covering everything you need to know.

The Process of Transferring a Car Title in Georgia

A car title transfer makes the buyer the new owner of the vehicle. A title transfer is divided into two stages:

1. The buyer and seller meet in person. The buyer pays the seller for the car. Both fill out the physical Certificate of Title and sign it. The buyer is now the legal owner of the purchased car.
2. The buyer registers the newly bought vehicle at your local county tag office, and they will update their records to establish the buyer as the titled owner.

The first step (the seller signing over the title) is the critical transfer of ownership. The second step is a necessary formality so that the state recognizes you as the new owner of the vehicle.

The vehicle seller officially reliquishes ownership of the car by signing the title over to the buyer. The seller will take off the license plates and be done with the car.
The buyer becomes the legal owner as soon as the seller signs the title over. The buyer will need to finalize with the county tag office to register the car in their name. The buyer will also get your new license plates and car insurance.
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How to Fill Out a Georgia Title Correctly

When filling out a Georgia certificate of title, always keep the following in mind.

Only use legal birth names.
Mistakes make the document invalid.
Do not erase anything or use white-out.
Write neatly.
Only use black or blue ink. Any other color will void the title.

Front of the Title

The front of a Georgia title has a section for lien holders. If the vehicle has a lien (loan), the lienholder (bank) will fill out this section. If not, skip to the back of the title.
Front of the Title

Back of the Georgia Title

The back of the title has sections for the buyer (teal) and the seller (red). Here is the process for filling out the back of a Georgia title.
Back of the Title
1. The seller enters their name, address, city, state, and zip code in the red rectangle marked ”1”.
2. In the red section marked “1,” the seller enters the exact odometer reading.
a. Don't include tenths of a mile.
b. Only check boxes 1 or 2 if the odometer reading exceeds its mechanical limits or the odometer reading is not the actual mileage.
3. The seller signs their name in the section marked “3”.
4. In the teal-colored rectangle, the buyer signs their full legal name.
5. The buyer enters the name and address of the lienholder to appear on the new title, in the section marked “5” (if applicable).
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Finalize Ownership Transfer with the Georgia County Tag Office

You’ve done the deal and are the proud owner of a new-to-you vehicle. Your work is not done yet. It’s time to finalize your vehicle's title transfer with the State of Georgia. You will also get a new license plate and register the car at your county’s tag office.

Here’s what you’ll need to provide when you transfer your car’s title at the county tag office:

The Certificate of Title, signed over to you by the previous owner
A completed MV-1 Title/Tag Application
Lien information (if applicable)
Payment for the Georgia vehicle sales tax: 6.6% of the vehicle sale price
Payment for Georgia’s vehicle title transfer fee: $18
Payment for Georgia registration fee: from $20
Proof of emissions testing (if applicable)
Valid ID or driver's license
Proof of insurance

Georgia FAQ

Which counties require emissions inspection in Georgia?

In the state of Georgia, only the 13-county Atlanta Metropolitan Area requires enhanced vehicle emission testing on all gasoline-powered cars.

The thirteen counties requiring emissions testing are:

1. Clayton County
2. Cherokee County
3. Coweta County
4. Cobb County
5. Douglas County
6. DeKalb County
7. Fulton County
8. Fayette County
9. Forsyth County
10. Gwinnett County
11. Henry County
12. Paulding County
13. Rockdale County

Exemptions: the following vehicle types are exempt from emissions testing requirements in the 13-county Atlanta metro area.

- Cars with a gross vehicle weight rating of more than 8,500 pounds
- Cars three model years old or newer
- Antique or collector cars
- Diesel cars

If you live in the 13-county Atlanta metro area and the car you buy does not meet any of these criteria, find an authorized emissions check station and proceed with the test.

For most cars, an emissions test costs $25.

How many days do you have to transfer a title in Georgia?

Do you need a title for a car over 20 years old in Georgia?

How to get a duplicate title in Georgia?

How much is the license plate fee in Georgia?

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