Getting your first car is probably one of the most exciting experiences of your life. But just because you’ve taken possession of the vehicle, you aren't exactly ready to hit the road. The State of Georgia will require you to register your vehicle if you want to use it on public roads. Registration involves quite a few different steps, fees and forms of documentation. What are these?
Before hitting the road, complete the registration process completely. It's your duty as a responsible driver to follow the law.
Why states require registration
With registration on the vehicle, your state will create a unique identifier for your car. It is there for various safety and legal reasons. It can protect you in case you ever experience theft or other vehicle losses. Still, it will also make you responsible for certain vehicle and consumption taxes. Furthermore, having registration helps the authorities track those involved in crimes.
Both the positive and potentially-negative aspects of your registration provide better public safety. Always play your part in keeping the local roads safe.
Getting registration as a new vehicle owner
If you own a vehicle, then registering it falls to you. You are the responsible party if your name is on the lease or title for the car. Registration is a multi-step process. In Georgia, you’ll have to provide the following information:
- A completed application for a title and plates.
- A valid, active driver’s license or ID card. For information on getting a license, visit the Georgia Department of Driver Services.
- Proof of vehicle ownership. Several options exist. If you have a loan or lease on your car, or if the car does not have a title, you may face different requirements.
- Proof of an emissions inspection. Not all counties require this inspection. Visit the Georgia Clean Air Force for more information.
- Proof of Insurance. You can present this information in a couple of different ways.
- Your insurance company can file the information directly in the Department’s database.
- Present your insurance binder showing insurance liability coverage.
- Fees. Contact your County Tag Office for acceptable methods of payment.
- Taxes. Most drivers must pay the state’s Title Ad Valorem Tax (TAVT), Annual Motor Vehicle Ad Valorem Tax, or the Georgia Sales and Use Tax.
For more information on registration, visit the Georgia Department of Revenue website. Your county’s revenue office will issue the tag upon receipt of the proper information. Visit that office for more information on getting your registration.
Insurance's Place in Registration
As stated, Georgia drivers must present proof of auto insurance to register vehicles. Therefore, before you visit the tag office, you’ll need to enroll in an active policy.
Car insurance is valuable financial protection. It helps protect you and others in case of accidents while driving. It makes sense why the state wants you to have this coverage in your wallet before you can drive legally.
Georgia places certain regulations on its drivers beyond the requirement to have coverage. You must carry certain amounts of liability insurance to comply with the law. With liability coverage, you’ll be able to pay for the damage of others if you cause an accident that harms them or their property. In Georgia, your policy must start with:
- Bodily injury liability coverage: Pays for the other party’s medical bills and other needs
- $50,000/accident if multiple parties injured
- Property damage liability coverage: Pays for damage to property like another driver’s vehicle
Though critical, the state's requirements might not prove suitable to every driver. Most people find it wise to carry more liability protection. Indeed, many policies can offer upwards of $500,000 in coverage for those who want to carry higher limits.
Also, most drivers also carry personal insurance for themselves and their vehicles. Extended policy items from which you might benefit include:
- Collision protection can pay for your car’s damage or a new vehicle after a wreck
- Comprehensive insurance pays for vehicle damage and losses after non-accident hazards. Covered incidents might include fires, theft and weather damages.
- Uninsured/underinsured protection pays for your own damage if another driver doesn’t have liability protection to cover your losses.
- Medical payments coverage can provide for your medical bills
- Gap coverage can pay the difference between your vehicle value and the cost of your loan if you are still paying for the car.
- Rental car coverage, roadside assistance and towing coverage might come with certain policies.
Your insurance agent can help you determine your need for these coverage elements. They can also help you decide how much protection is of the most benefit for you.
So, before registering your car in Georgia, make sure you have active car insurance. Then, after you have registration, keep both it and your car insurance active at all times. Together, these elements can create a better safety net for your vehicle. Contact Budget Insurance Agency to learn more about your auto insurance coverage options.