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Drivers and Vehicles, Part 1: One-Time Processes [Infographic]

August 16, 2016

This is the first piece in a series of infographics explaining the laws related to drivers and vehicles.

There are certain things that you need to do just once when it comes to driving and owning a car. From getting your instructional permit to picking a license plate to paying the tax and finally selling your car, this infographic can help you get through these necessary one-time steps.

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Driver’s License

New Drivers

If you are a new driver, your first step is an Instructional Permit. You must be at least 15-years-old and pass vision and knowledge exams to get a permit. This allows you to drive with a licensed adult.

When a driver is at least 16-years-old, they can obtain a Provisional (Class D) License. To get a provisional license, you need to complete the following:

  • 1 year and 1 day with a permit
  • 40 hours of supervised driving experience
  • Alcohol and Drug Awareness Program
  • Certified Driver Training Program (If you are 17 or older, you can test without Driver Training.)
  • Road skills test (by appointment only)

A provisional license allows you to drive with certain passenger constraints and during certain times of the day.

Finally, you can get a Full (Class C) License. To obtain a full license, you must be at least 18-years-old and you cannot have incurred any major traffic convictions in the past 12 months.

Drivers under 18-years-old must either be in school or a GED program, or they must have a high school diploma or equivalent.

License Plates

There are a few options for license plates in Georgia. At the very least, you need to have a standard plate. You can choose from 2 standard plate options and pay the annual registration fee.

If you’d like to commemorate a special cause or interest, you can get a special plate. You must be able to meet specific requirements (if applicable) and pay all additional fees. Find plate samples, forms and links with DOR.

You also have the option to customize your plate message with a prestige plate. To order a prestige plate, fill out MV-9B and pay all applicable fees.

Ad Valorem Tax

If you purchased your vehicle before March 1, 2013, you will continue to pay the annual “birthday tax” which changes based on your vehicle’s current value. If you bought your car after March 1, 2013, or if you plan on purchasing a car in the future, you will need to pay a one-time title ad valorem tax (TAVT). The TAVT is based on the vehicle’s value on date of purchase. Find an estimate of your vehicle’s tax with the Department of Revenue’s TAVT calculator.

New residents need to pay 50% of the TAVT within 30 days of establishing Georgia residency, and the rest within 1 year.

Certain veterans may be exempt from paying the TAVT, based on specific requirements. Find these requirements and more information with the Department of Revenue’s TAVT FAQ’s.

Selling Your Car

There are essentially two steps in selling your car.

  1. Complete the bill of sale, a document that includes the following: date of sale; names and addresses of seller and buyer; vehicle’s year, make, model, vehicle identification number and mileage; security interest or lien information. You can write your own bill of sale or use Form T-7.
  2. Transfer the vehicle’s title by completing the assignment located on the back of the title. The buyer will transfer the title and register the vehicle at their County Tax Commissioner’s Office.

Getting started as a new driver or car owner can be confusing. Let us help you keep track of what you need to do to stay legal on the roads.

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Rachel Hart

About the Author

Rachel Hart is the User Experience Designer for Digital Services Georgia. On Georgia.gov, she makes government material approachable with writing, infographics, videos, and other imagery.

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