Rockdale’s Constitutional Corner By Tisa Smart Washington Tax Commissioner

September 22, 20174min2430
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What steps should you take to register your vehicle or renew your tag?

In Rockdale County, registering your vehicle and renewing your registration can be quick and easy with a little bit of preparation. While the process may vary from initial registration to renewal, a few things are needed for both: a valid Georgia Driver’s License, valid Georgia insurance and a passing emissions test (depending on the year of the vehicle).

If you recently purchased a vehicle from a dealership, in most cases, the dealer will handle the processing of the title work. Once the title has been processed, which usually takes about 30 days, the vehicle is ready to be registered. If the dealer orders a tag at the time of purchase, the license plate will be mailed to you. Owners who buy new vehicles from a dealership can request a 2-year registration at the time of purchase. If the dealer does not order the tag, the owner can visit our office to pay for the registration. If you purchased a vehicle from an individual, or received one from a family member, the title transfer and registration can be completed at the same time. The taxes must be current to receive a permanent tag. The cost of a plate is $20 and up, with the exception of military plates, which may be free in some cases.

When it comes to renewing your registration, you are required to renew on your birthday, even if you do not receive a renewal notice. If there are multiple owners on the title, the renewal is based on the birthday of the first owner. Owners on the birthday tax system are required to pay the current year taxes and registration fee at the time of renewal. Those who paid the tax at the time of purchase or title transfer are required to pay the registration fee at the time of renewal. The fee

The fee to renew a standard tag is $20 and a specialty tag is $55. There is no fee to renew a free military tag. Contrary to popular belief, registrations expire at 11:59 p.m. on

your birthday, not at the end of the month. If the registration is not renewed by the deadline, a $5 penalty on the tag (and 10 percent penalty on the tax if you are still on the birthday tax system) will apply. Registrations can be renewed up to 60 days in advance, and if your birthday falls on the weekend or a holiday, you have until the next business day to renew without penalty.

If your car does not pass emissions in time to complete your renewal, a 30-day extension can be issued for a failed emissions test. Simply come into our office for the extension.

If you have any questions about registering your car for the first time or renewing your registration, please stop by our office and we’d be happy to help you.

Throughout each month, the clerk of courts, tax commissioner, sheriff and probate judge—Rockdale’s elected constitutional officers—discuss topics relevant to their respective roles.



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