I Just Moved to Georgia. How Do I Get My Driver's License and Vehicle Registered?
Starting a new life in Georgia can be exciting. The Peach State is known for its savory peaching, and it’s also home to a thriving film and entertainment industry. Before you can start enjoying everything Georgia has to offer, you need to transfer your out-of-state driver’s license and out-of-state vehicle registration. Here’s what you need to know about both of these legal processes.
When Is a Driver’s License Transfer Required In Georgia?
According to Georgia Code Title 48, you are considered an official resident of Georgia if you reside within the date on a regular or permanent basis. If you are in the state of Georgia for 183 days out of the year, you are considered a new resident of Georgia. It’s best to transfer your out-of-state driver’s license and out-of-state vehicle registration to the state of Georgia as soon as you move to the state. The Georgia Department of Driver Services requires new residents of this state to transfer their driver’s license within 30 days of establishing residency in Georgia.
How to Transfer Your Out-of-State Driver’s License to Georgia
In order to successfully transfer your out-of-state driver’s license to Georgia, there are different steps and tasks you need to complete.
Visit a Georgia DDS Center
Your local GA DDS center will handle your driver’s license transfer process. Before you can get started with this process, you need to complete an application to transfer your out-of-state driver’s license. Make sure the application is filled out entirely to avoid the clerk from rejecting your application.
Required Documents to Transfer Your Out-of-State License to Georgia
As a new resident of Georgia, you must submit certain documents to verify your identity and residency in the state of Georgia. All documents provided must be original documents. No copied documents are allowed. You will need to provide the following documents:
Proof of birthdate
Proof of identity
Proof of social security number
Proof of US citizenship or legal presence
2 documents proving Georgia residency
Payment for all applicable fees
Make sure you have all of these documents to avoid delays and possible penalties.
Pass the Vision Screening
In order to pass the GA vision screening, you are required to score a 20/60 or better. You can take the vision screening at DDS, but you can also have the vision screening performed by a licensed optometrist, ophthalmologist, or physician.
Take the Written and Road Exam
You may be required to pass the written and/or GA road exam. The written exam is a test that determines your knowledge of the laws of the roadways and highways in the state of Georgia. The written exam is a multiple-choice test. As far as the road test is concerned, this test will determine how well you safely operate a motor vehicle and follow the road signs.
Have Your Picture Taken
When you visit a Georgia DDS location, a clerk will take your picture once the required documents are received. There is no specific dress code. However, it’s a good idea to wear presentable clothing because this photo will be on your permanent GA driver’s license for years.
Receive Your Temporary Driver’s License
Once you’ve had your picture taken, and the necessary documents have been accepted, you can complete the transfer of your out-of-state driver’s license. Many GA DDS locations will provide you with a temporary paper license while you wait for your permanent GA driver’s license to arrive in the mail at the address you provided on the application.
Some GA DDS offices can create your permanent GA driver’s license immediately. If you don’t receive your permanent driver’s license immediately, it should arrive in the mail within a few weeks.
What If You’re From A Different Country?
If you don’t intend on becoming a permanent resident of the state of Georgia, you will not be required to transfer your out-of-state driver’s license to the state of Georgia. You can use your foreign driver’s license to legally operate a motor vehicle during the time you’re in GA. However, if you plan on becoming a permanent resident of Georgia, you must apply for a new GA driver’s license.
What Happens If You Don’t Transfer Your Driver’s License Before the Deadline?
The GA DDS requires all new residents of this state to have their affairs in order 30 days after establishing residency in the state. If you miss the 30-day deadline, you may receive a citation and have to pay one or multiple fees.
Now that you know what you need to do to transfer your out-of-state driver’s license to Georgia, we can discuss transferring your vehicle’s registration to the state.
Registering Your Vehicle in Georgia
When you move to the state of Georgia, you are required to apply for a GA vehicle title transfer and an out-of-state vehicle registration in person at your local Georgia Department of Revenue (GA DOR) title office. You can also complete some required information online, so you can save time when you’re completing the GA vehicle registration process in person at your local GA title office.
You are responsible for submitting the following documentation and payment(s):
A Motor Vehicle Title/Tag Application (Form MV-1)
If you have pre-applied online, you may be required to complete another application
A Certification of Inspection by a Duly Constituted Georgia Law Enforcement Officer (Form T-22B) This form is used to verify your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), which is also required if you’re transferring your vehicle registration from a non-title state.
An emissions inspection certificate if you live in a county where it’s required
Proof of ownership, such as:
The out-of-state vehicle title in your name or assigned to you
A Manufacturer’s Certificate of Origin
If your vehicle is leased or financed, you must submit a Statement of Title Held by Lien Holder, Security Interest Holder, or Leasing Company (Form T-17) The DOR will initiate contact with your lien holder or lessor for your vehicle title. The vehicle title will be sent back to the lien holder once your vehicle title and registration have been processed.
A valid registration certificate
Your valid GA driver’s license or ID card
Proof of a valid GA auto insurance policy
Payment for all applicable GA taxes and fees:
Vehicle title transfer fee: $18
GA registration fee: $20
Title ad valorem tax: You will need to use the GA DOR tax calculator here.
Be advised, vehicles that are registered in GA that are model year 1986 or later are required to have a title in GA. If your previous state does not issue DMV title, you need to contact the Ga DOR for other required documents.
Georgia DMV Locations
There are a plethora of DMV locations where you can transfer your out-of-state driver’s license and out-of-state vehicle registration.
Georgia Department of Motor Vehicles - Lawrenceville Branch
310 NE Hurricane Shoals Rd
Lawrenceville, GA 30046
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday (7:30 AM to 6:30 PM)
Saturday (7:30 AM to 12 PM)
Sunday and Monday (Closed)
Georgia Department of Motor Vehicles - Atlanta Branch
141 Pryor St SW Ste 1085
Atlanta, GA 30303
Monday - Friday (8 AM to 4:30 PM)
Saturday and Sunday (Closed)
Georgia Department of Motor Vehicles - Conyers Branch
2206 Eastview Pkwy
Conyers, GA 30013
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday (8 AM to 6 PM)
Saturday (8 AM to 12 PM)
Sunday and Monday (Closed)