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Car tag deadlines tightened

Photo by Howard Reed

Photo by Howard Reed

CONYERS -- A new law that takes effect Saturday is designed to cut down on individuals driving without vehicle registration.

House Bill 2005 will cut the old 30-day requirement for applying for title and registration to seven business days after the date of purchase of a vehicle. The law affects mainly those who do not purchase a vehicle from a registered car dealership.

Rockdale County Tax Commissioner Dan Ray said the new law is intended to help law enforcement out in dealing with motorists driving without registration.

"This is a major change for 'casual sale' buyers," he said. "Under the old law these buyers, as well as crooks, could drive around for 30 days without a tag."

If you purchase a vehicle from an individual or some place other than a registered dealership, and you have the title, you will be required to file an application for registration at your home county's Tax Commissioner's office.

If a title cannot be obtained within the seven-day period, the Tax Commissioners' Office will issue a 30-day temporary permit.

"The purchaser will present the bill of sale, proof of Georgia insurance, and Georgia license or identification and will receive a 30-day temporary permit to legally drive," said Newton County Tax Commissioner Barbara Dingler in an e-mail response to questions concerning the new law.

There are no penalties for failing to register within the seven-day period. However, the driver will risk having their vehicle impounded if stopped by law enforcement, according to information on the new law provided by Ray.

The process will not change for those who purchase a vehicle from a dealership. Residents will still be able to buy a vehicle with a "drive-out" tag that serves as the new owner's temporary registration that lasts for 30 days. It will be up to the dealers to process the title and tag application with the county's Tax Commissioner's Office.

Additional information on the law change can be found at the county

tax offices or at the Georgia Department of Revenue's website, www.mvd.dor.ga.gov.

The Rockdale County Tax Commissioner's office is located at 981 Milstead Ave. N.E., Conyers, and open 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. The office is open from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Wednesdays.

The Newton County Tax Commissioner's office is located at 1113 Usher St., Suite 101, Covington, and is open 8 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.