Somewhat confusingly for both long-time residents and newcomers, various car-related matters are handled by different government departments and agencies in Georgia. While the state has a Department of Driver Services, similar to the Department of Motor Vehicles found in most states, there is a separate Motor Vehicle Services run by the Department of Revenue. It is also known as the Georgia DOR. If you own a vehicle in Georgia or you are bringing one into the state when you move then you will have to deal with both departments for different issues. Below we will look at various motor vehicle-related issues and how to take care of them in Georgia.
For driving records, your point of contact will be the Department of Driver Services (DDS). A Georgia DOR driving record is referred as an MVR, and you can order one online through the DDS website. The online version may be certifiable or non-certifiable, although since both versions cost the same amount you are likely better off getting a certified copy, especially if you need the MVR for employment or insurance purposes. You can also apply for an MVR in person at a Customer Service Center or by mail by filling out a Form DDS-18 and sending it to the DDS. You can also find driving records online using third-party services, such as SearchQuarry.com.
Driving tests in Georgia are also conducted through the DDS. Unfortunately, you cannot schedule a driving test online. Rather, you will have to call the Contact Center Reservation Lines during business hours. The DDS has road tests for teen drivers, motorcyclists, and commercial road licenses. Please note that if you are booking a commercial road test, you will need to pay a $50 fee.
If you need a new driver’s license, whether because it is your first license or you recently moved to the state, you will need to contact the DDS. You can replace or renew your regular driver’s license using the DDS’s online services. Note, however, that commercial driver’s licenses cannot be renewed or replaced online. For CDL license renewal and replacement, you will need to contact DDS directly. Also, if you are applying for a Class D license (i.e., a provisional license) you can complete the initial application online, but you will still need to visit the Customer Service Center to complete the eye test and road test.
Most forms related to motor vehicles can be found on the DDS website. However, there are also some forms that you can find through the Georgia DOR website, especially if your issue concerns vehicle tags, title, or insurance.
In most cases, you will have to pay your Georgia traffic citations to the relevant Georgia county court. You can find the county court where you should send your payment to on the ticket itself. However, in some cases, you may have to pay fines to the DDS. This is the case if you are classified as a “Super Speeder,” which happens if you are convicted of driving 75 mph or higher on a two-lane road or 85 mph or higher on a highway. As a “Super Speeder” you will have to pay a $200 fee to the DDS and failure to do so will result in the suspension of your license. Also, while not a traffic citation per se, reinstatement fees for a suspended license are also payable to the DDS.
To register a vehicle you will need to head to your County Tag Office, which you can find here through the Georgia Department of Revenue. Be sure to bring with you the original valid registration certificate, the bill of sale, proof of insurance, Form T-22B Certifications of Inspection, proof of residency, and, if necessary, your emissions inspections. Note that while you will need to visit your County Tag Office in person if you are registering a vehicle; if you are simply renewing your tags then there is a good chance that you can do so online. Most counties now allow you to renew your tags online after which they are mailed to you within 5 business days.
If you are new to Georgia, you will need to apply for title within 30 days of your arrival. You will also need to apply for a title when purchasing a new vehicle, although some older (pre-1985) and specialty vehicles do not require a title. To get a title, head to your County Tag Office. You will need to bring with you your Georgia Driver’s License (or other ID), the vehicle’s original valid title, proof of insurance, and a Form MV-1 Title/Tag Application. If the title is not available, then you must bring with you a Manufacturer’s Certificate of Origin (MSO) with your full legal name on it. Also, if you are transferring the vehicle from a state or country that does not issue titles, then you must also provide a Form T-22B Certification of Inspection.
Whether it is through the DDS, the Department of Revenue, or your county court, there are plenty of ways to deal with whatever motor vehicle-related issue you may have in Georgia.