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Vehicle Registration vs Driver’s License

August 28, 2014
Woman holding her secure ID

Registering your vehicle and getting your driver's license both involve vehicles, correct? So both actions are done in one place, right? Not quite…

Currently, registering your vehicle, paying your ad valorem tax and submitting tag fees are all conducted under the Georgia Department of Revenue (DOR), while getting and renewing your driver’s license falls under the Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS).

If you think about it, it makes sense. DOR handles taxes, so any taxes regarding cars or motorcycles should be handled by DOR (specifically at your county’s Tax Commissioner’s Office). However, DDS handles drivers as indicated in the name. Thus, DDS should handle driver’s licenses.

But it’s true, both do involve vehicles, meaning they do work concurrently together. This similarity can be quite confusing, but a great rule of thumb I have is:

Always have an updated ID.

To register your vehicle, receive a license plate or get a certificate of title, you need to have your current license. So if you just moved to Georgia, update your license first (for this you'll need several important personal documents). Having a current Georgia Secure ID makes everything easier--from power bills to getting a library card. After you have your ID, then register your car and pay the ad valorem tax, etc.

We have two Popular Topics that address each of these processes in great detail:

If you are just moving to Georgia and need to switch everything over, don’t worry. We have Popular Topics for that too!

For more information and clarification, feel free to check in with the DOR's Motor Vehicle Division and the Georgia DDS.

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Last updated July 7, 2017.

About the Author

Bethany McDaniel is the Interactive Web Content Manager for GeorgiaGov. She graduated from Berry College in Rome, GA with degrees in Visual Communication and History.

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