Vehicle Title Transfer In Georgia
Concise, step-by-step explanation of how to transfer a Georgia Motor Vehicle Title according to the rules set forth by the Georgia Motor Vehicle Division (GA MVD).
Acquiring a Georgia title for your vehicle is simple. In just a few concise steps, you can have your Georgia title completed and ready to transfer.
When a title is transferred between individual parties in Georgia, two things must initially be observed:
1. The title to be transferred must be in the name of the seller. It cannot be in the seller’s brother’s name, wife’s name, mother’s name, or anyone else’s name; the front face of the title must be printed with the seller’s name.
2. Any and all liens appearing on the face of the title must be released before the title can be transferred. This means that either a representative of the lien-holder has signed the face of the title on the bottom left hand corner or a separate lien release statement is attached to the title. Either is sufficient.
Once you have ascertained that the correct individual is selling the car and any liens have been released, then look at the back of the title. Is it free of any other names? If you are buying this vehicle from an individual, the only name that might possibly already be on the back of the title is the seller’s, where he/she is instructed to print his/her name exactly as it appears on the front of the title, and sign accordingly. This is important! If, for example, your name is listed as "John James Smith, Jr.," you cannot then print and sign it "J. J. Smith, Jr.," "John James Smith," "John Smith Jr.," or any other twisting of the name. Print and sign it on the "seller" lines, just as the front of the title is printed.
Next, look at the space for the odometer. Check the front of the title to see what the odometer was when the title was last transferred. The value you are about to place in this space should be more than the value on the front of the title. This seems obvious, but that isn’t always the case. If the amount is less than the number on the front of the title, you have a problem. Ask the current owner if the odometer has turned over, or if it had to be replaced for some reason. If it has turned over, you will need to check the box next to the odometer value to indicate this vehicle is "in excess of its mechanical limits." If, however, the odometer has been replaced, or the owner cannot explain why the reading is less than it was previously, you will need to check the "odometer discrepancy"
box, which is also next to the odometer value. Lastly, if the vehicle is 10 years old or more, you can write "exempt" in the space of the odometer reading, meaning simply that this odometer is beyond the age that requires an odometer reading. This is best if the miles are high on the vehicle, but, if your older car has low mileage for its age, you will want to write in the actual miles. Once a car’s mileage is exempt, it cannot revert back to non-exempt status, so be sure this is what you want before you do it.
When you have taken care of the odometer, it’s time to fill in the buyer. Fill out the name of the buyer as he/she would like it to appear on the face of the title. Fill in a street address; this is very important. The buyer will be able to fill in a separate mailing address on the actual application at his county tag office if necessary, but if a street address is not given on the title itself, your paperwork will be rejected by the Georgia MVD.
Fill in the date of the sale where indicated.
If there are to be any lien holders on the vehicle--i.e. the bank will be keeping your title until you finish making your payments--the name and address of the lien holder should go at the very bottom of the title. There is a narrow strip at the bottom that says, "LIEN-HOLDER TO BE RECORDED AND SHOWN ON NEW TITLE"; place the lien holder’s name and address here.
You are now ready to take your title to your local tag office, along with an $18 fee, and have this vehicle transferred to your name. A couple words of caution, however:
1. Once you have written anything on the title, it stays; it cannot be erased or marked out, and you cannot use any sort of white-out. If you do so, you will void the entire title. If you have made mistakes on the title while filling it out, you will have to go to your local tag office and fill out additional paperwork to explain the mistakes. In the meantime, do nothing.
2. Do not be tempted to sell the vehicle without titling it, thinking, "Oh, well, there are all these other spaces down here. I’ll just use those and save $18." Those extra spaces on Georgia titles are for licensed car dealers only. Individuals are not allowed to use these spaces. So do not use them yourself because you will ultimately cause yourself and your buyer more difficulties.
If you have a problem with your title, take it to your local tag office; the people there should be able to help you with whatever problems may arise. As a last resort, you can call the Georgia MVD at (404)362-6500. This is only a last resort because: not only do they tend to not be
overwhelmingly concerned about your difficulties, but also you will spend at least 20 minutes holding before a live person answers, costing you not only time, but money, too, if you live outside the Atlanta area.