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Car tag application period to shorten from 30 days to 7 days
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If you’re planning to buy a car from a private owner or anyone other than a registered dealer, you should take note of the new laws on tag requirements for 2011.

 Starting on Jan. 1, car owners must now apply for a tag and registration in their county tag office within seven days of the date of purchase. Previously, owners had up to 30 days to apply for the tag and registration.

 When the owner applies, the county tag office will be issue a temporary license plate which is valid for 30 days. Registered dealers can also issue a temporary tag that is valid for 30 days.

 Only temporary tags from registered dealers or the county tag office will be considered valid.

 “The Department encourages all Georgia citizens to take note of these important Registration and Title deadline requirements,” said Department of Revenue Commissioner Bart Graham, in a released statement.

Rockdale County Tax Commissioner Dan Ray said the intent behind the new legislation was to address the number of people making their own tags.

 “There’s really no such thing as ‘tag applied for’ in Georgia. For law enforcement, it left them in an indecisive situation,” said Ray.

 In most casual sales, or owner to owner sales, the title will already be in hand and a plate will be on the car. The original intent behind allowing 30 days to apply for a tag was for such situations where the first owner might have a car loan to a bank or financing institution where it might take a few days for the title to be transferred to the new owner.

 Fees on tags and registration have not changed, but there is an additional $35 annual fee on specialized plates (such as those noting educators, hobby antiques, or donating to causes such as spaying and neutering, wildflowers, wildlife, etc), in addition to the registration and one time $20 fee, that went into effect earlier this year. Ray said his office has noted a number of people turning in those plates in exchange for standard peach plates.

For more information, go to or call the Rockdale County Tax Commissioner's office at 770-278-7600.