Penalties and Fines

Motor vehicle owners and lessees are required by law to maintain continuous Georgia Liability Insurance coverage on vehicles with active registrations. Driving a vehicle while the registration is suspended, revoked, or cancelled is a misdemeanor. Additional penalties will apply, if convicted of driving a vehicle with a suspended or cancelled registration.

Registration Suspension and Reinstatement Process

  • Georgia law requires a vehicle to be continuously insured.  Learn more about the vehicle owner's responsibilities regarding insurance coverage. Registration can be suspended and revoked for any vehicle in Georgia that is not continuously insured with mandatory motor vehicle liability insurance.
  • If the vehicle is not being driven, the registered owner can voluntarily cancel the vehicle’s registration.
  • Insurance Company must electronically transmit insurance coverage within 30 days of the date the coverage is to begin, to the Department’s Insurance Database. Read more about the insurer's responsibilities.
  • Notice of Insurance Termination (from the Insurance Company to the Department) – When an Insurance Company electronically transmits a Notice of Insurance Termination to the Department’s Insurance Database, the transmitted Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) is cross-referenced with the VIN in the Tag and Title Database, the Department will give the Insurer 30 days to electronically transmit new liability insurance information to the insurance database.
  • What is a lapse?  As of July 1, 2005, “lapse” is defined as 10 or more days no liability insurance coverage was on record with the Department. Prior to July 1, 2005, a “lapse” was defined as one or more days no insurance liability insurance coverage was on record with the Department. 
  • New Insurance Information Received – No Lapse in Coverage – If new insurance information is received within 30 days and there was no lapse in coverage, the vehicle record is updated.
  • New Insurance Information Received – Lapse in Coverage – If the lapse fee is not paid within 30 days of the letter’s date, the vehicle’s registration will be suspended.  To cancel the suspension, you must pay the $25 lapse fee and a $60 reinstatement fee.  You can cancel your vehicle registration using an  Affidavit for Mandatory Insurance Relief of Lapse/Pending Suspension & Suspension Fees, Form MV-18J to avoid suspension, lapse, and reinstatement fees under the following conditions:
    • Vehicle was sold, repossessed, stolen, transferred to the Insurance Company as the result of a “Total Loss Claim”; OR
    • If you didn’t drive the vehicle during the time it was uninsured. 
  • The MV-18J Affidavit should be submitted to the vehicle owner’s County Tag Office.  Note:  Lapse and reinstatement fees should be paid to the County Tag Office in the county where you live.
  • If No New Insurance Information Received within 30-day time period allowed, a “Notice of Pending Suspension” will be mailed to the vehicle’s registered owner advising the owner that the vehicle’s registration is subject to suspension if the lapse fine is not paid within 30 days.
  • If No New Insurance Information is received within Thirty-Days of the “Notice of Pending Suspension” the registration is suspended. A “Suspension of Vehicle Registration Notice” is mailed to the vehicle owner. During this period:
    • A tag will not be issued, transferred, replaced, or renewed
    • The vehicle cannot be driven (driving a vehicle with a cancelled, suspended or revoked registration is a misdemeanor and subject to additional penalties and fines)
  • Lapse and reinstatement fees should be paid to the County Tag Office in the county where you live.
  • Suspended Registration – First and Second Occurrence during any 5-year Period – To reinstate the vehicle registration after the suspension, the vehicle owner must:
    • Obtain and keep continuous Georgia liability insurance coverage,
    • Pay a lapse fee of $25,
    • Pay a reinstatement fee of $60, and
    • Pay any other registration fees and vehicle ad valorem taxes due (these fee and tax amounts can be obtained from the County Tag Office)
    • Pay all fees and taxes to the County Tag Office
  • Suspended Registration – For Third and Thereafter Occurrence during any 5-Year Period, To reinstate the vehicle registration after the suspension, the owner must:
    • Obtain and keep continuous Georgia liability insurance coverage,
    • Pay a lapse fee of $25,
    • Pay a reinstatement fee of $160, and
    • Pay any other registration fees and vehicle ad valorem taxes due (these fee and tax amounts can be obtained from the County Tag Office)
    • Pay all fees and taxes to the County Tag Office
  • Request for Refund of Lapse/Reinstatement Fees, when paid in error, can be submitted to the office where the fees were paid, for the following circumstances:
    • Insurance company has transmitted information on a lapse showing that the vehicle had continuous insurance coverage.
    • The vehicle’s registered owner voluntarily cancelled the vehicle’s registration during the period of lapse.
    • The registered owner was deployed on official military duty while the vehicle was uninsured and not being driven.
    • Vehicle was uninsured and not driven on public roads and highways of Georgia while uninsured due to one of the following:
      • The vehicle was sold or the ownership transferred
      • The vehicle owner moved to another state
      • The vehicle’s ownership was transferred out-of-state
      • The vehicle lease was terminated
      • The vehicle was wrecked, salvaged, or junked
      • The vehicle was repossessed or stolen
      • The vehicle was not driven because it was inoperable, stored, or used seasonally for agricultural or other purpose
    • A properly completed and signed Affidavit, Form MV-18J, along with proof of the claim on the form must submitted to the County Tag Office.