How to Obtain a Temporary Tag In Georgia

In Georgia, the process of purchasing a new or used vehicle often involves a period where the official license plates are not immediately available. This is where temporary tags, also known as Temporary Operating Permits (TOPs), become essential. These permits allow for legal driving after the sale of a vehicle while the registration process is being completed. Issued by authorized car dealerships, these tags ensure that the new owner can operate their vehicle on public roads without delay, providing a grace period to secure permanent plates.

The issuance of a TOP is a regulated process with specific eligibility requirements to ensure that all vehicles on the road are accounted for and properly processed within the legal framework. The temporary tag is valid for a predefined period, and its usage comes with certain limitations to maintain compliance with state regulations. Drivers must understand the proper application process and adhere to the guidelines to avoid any legal complications.

Key Takeaways

  • Temporary tags in Georgia are mandatory for driving a vehicle while awaiting permanent registration.
  • Drivers must meet certain eligibility requirements and follow the application process for obtaining a temporary tag.
  • There are specific limitations and potential penalties associated with the improper use of temporary tags.

Application Process for Georgia Temporary Tags

The application process for temporary tags in Georgia involves gathering the necessary documentation, submitting an application, and paying the applicable fees.

Required Documents

Applicants must provide specific documents to obtain a temporary operating permit (TOP). These generally include:

  • Proof of Ownership: Typically the vehicle’s title or bill of sale.
  • Identification: A valid Georgia driver’s license.
  • Application Form: Completed form for an extended temporary operating permit.

Documentation requirements may vary depending on individual circumstances.

Application Submission

The application for a temporary tag must be submitted to the County Tag Office. Two primary scenarios necessitate a TOP:

  1. Vehicle Purchase: Purchasers of a new vehicle from a dealer often need a temporary tag Temporary Operating Permits (TOPs).
  2. Plate Unavailability: If a chosen plate is not in inventory, a 30-day TOP can be issued DeKalb Tax Commissioner.

Fees and Payment

Fees for temporary tags are required at the time of application. The fee amount can vary, and applicants should confirm the latest fee information with their local County Tag Office. Acceptable payment methods typically include cash, check, or credit/debit cards.

Eligibility Requirements for Temporary Tags

In Georgia, the acquisition of a temporary tag, also known as a Temporary Operating Permit (TOP), is primarily required for new vehicles purchased from a dealership. Individuals are eligible for a TOP under certain conditions, which are briefly outlined below:

  • New Vehicle Purchase: The buyer of a new vehicle is eligible for a TOP issued by the dealer. This permit allows the owner to operate the vehicle for up to 30 days, within which the vehicle must be registered properly.
  • Proof of Ownership: Applicants must provide documentation affirming their ownership of the vehicle for which the temporary tag is being requested.
  • Valid Identification: A government-issued valid identification document, such as a driver’s license or state ID, is required for processing the temporary tag application.
  • Insurance Coverage: The vehicle must be insured, and the applicant needs to present proof of valid insurance to obtain the temporary tag.

Here is an easy-to-follow checklist for quick reference:

New Vehicle PurchaseIssued by the dealer
Proof of OwnershipTitle or Bill of Sale
Valid IdentificationDriver’s License or State ID
Insurance CoverageProof of valid vehicle insurance

For detailed information regarding the process and additional regulations pertaining to TOPs, including for dealership responsibilities, one can visit Georgia’s Department of Revenue Temporary Operating Permits page. Additional guidance and resources can also be found on the official Georgia’s Temporary License Plates Guide.

What are The Limitations of Temporary Tags

Temporary tags in Georgia are essential for establishing legal driving status while owners complete the registration of their new vehicles. They carry specific restrictions and a defined validity period.

Valid Duration

Temporary Operating Permits (TOPs), commonly referred to as temporary tags, are valid for a period of 30 days from the date of issue. This time frame is strictly enforced, providing a window within which the vehicle owner must register their vehicle with the state.

Renewal Conditions

The renewal of temporary tags is not standard practice, as they are intended for short-term use. If the owner cannot complete the registration process within the initial 30-day period, they may need to contact the Georgia Department of Revenue for guidance on how to proceed.

Permitted Use

The issuance of temporary tags is primarily for the use on newly purchased vehicles. These tags allow the vehicle to be driven legally on public roads until permanent registration is obtained. However, it’s important to note that temporary tags are not a substitute for permanent registration and should only be used within the allotted time frame.

Penalties for Misuse Temp Tag or Non-Compliance

In Georgia, strict penalties are imposed for the misuse or non-compliance regarding temporary tags. Driving with an expired temporary plate or misusing a temporary plate can result in fines and legal consequences. Individuals are cautioned to replace their temporary plate with a permanent one before it expires.

Penalty Details:

  • Misuse of Temporary Plates:
    • Fines may be levied.
    • Potential impoundment of the vehicle.
  • Expired Temporary Plates:
    • Financial penalties.
    • Possible citation for driving without valid registration.

Vehicle owners in Georgia must comply with the Georgia Department of Revenue’s regulations, including submitting title applications, supporting documents, and applicable fees. Failure to obtain a title transfer within the specified time frame may warrant another temporary operating permit. Adhering to these rules is crucial to avoid penalties and ensure legal vehicle operation.

Temporary Tag Print Out Georgia

In Georgia, a temporary tag, also known as a Temporary Operating Permit (TOP), is required for drivers to use their newly purchased vehicles legally on public roads until obtaining permanent license plates. These TOPs are generally issued by the dealer at the time of the vehicle purchase and are valid for 30 days.

Steps to Obtain a Temporary Tag:

  1. Visit a Local County Tag Office: The buyer should visit their local tag office.
  2. Provide Required Documentation:
    • Proof of ownership
    • Identification
    • Valid insurance
  3. Complete Necessary Paperwork: Fill out the application form for the temporary tag.

Once the process is completed successfully, the driver will be able to print out the temporary tag.

Dealers’ Responsibilities:

  • Issuing the TOP.
  • Applying for the vehicle title on the buyer’s behalf if required.

Buyer’s Responsibilities:

  • Registering the vehicle and obtaining a permanent license plate within the 30-day period.

Georgia Private Car Sale Temporary Tag

In Georgia, obtaining a temporary tag for a privately sold vehicle involves a different process compared to dealership sales. Private sellers are not authorized to issue temporary operating permits (TOPs). To legally drive the vehicle, the buyer must obtain their temporary tag through different means. Below are key points a buyer should consider during a private vehicle sale:

  • Application Process: The buyer can apply for the temporary operating permit at their local county tag office. They should bring the bill of sale and proof of insurance when applying.
  • Validity Period: The temporary tag is valid for 30 days. This period allows time for the necessary title and registration paperwork to be completed with the Georgia DMV.
  • Extensions: If there is a delay in obtaining the title, extensions on the temporary tag are possible, but only through the tax commissioner’s office, as reiterated by a resource on the Georgia Department of Revenue website.
  • Required Documents: Essential documents for the tag include:
    • Bill of sale
    • Proof of insurance
    • Valid identification
  • Driving Without a Tag: It’s crucial to note that driving without a tag is illegal. Buyers must ensure they obtain a temporary tag to avoid penalties.

By following these guidelines, one can ensure a smooth transition of the vehicle into their name without interruption to their ability to drive the newly purchased car.


Acquiring a temporary operating permit (TOP) is a critical step when one purchases a vehicle in Georgia, ensuring lawful driving during the registration process. Dealers are mandated to provide TOPs for newly bought vehicles for the initial 30-day period, which allows customers the necessary time to register their new purchase.

The temporary tag system is designed to prevent misuse and fraud, necessitating strict adherence to Georgia’s Department of Revenue guidelines. As a result, a legislative effort has been underway to reinforce the security. With the intent to curb fraudulent activities, proposals to make obtaining temporary tags more challenging, particularly for out-of-state residents, have been introduced.

For those completing private vehicle sales, it is incumbent upon buyers to visit their local County Tag Office to secure a temporary license plate. Required documentation typically includes proof of ownership, identification, and insurance.

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