Abandonment Process (after court order)

In order for a title to be issued on an abandoned motor vehicle, the abandoned motor vehicle law requires the vehicle to be sold at a public sale. A certificate of title cannot be obtained for an abandoned vehicle on the basis of a surety bond, nor can a title be issued on a vehicle that is not required to be titled in Georgia (1985 or older year models).

Title and license plates should be applied for an abandoned vehicle at the County Tag Office where the owner resides by submitting the following:

  • Completed Form MV-1 Tag and Title Application.
  • Certified Copy of the Court Order authorizing the sale of this vehicle. Certified copies of court documents must be the official order authorizing the sale of the vehicle containing the Clerk of the Court’s signature and their seal or stamp affixed.
  • Completed Form T-7 Bill of Sale signed by the person authorized by the court to sell this vehicle conveying ownership to the applicant using the applicant’s full legal name.
  • Current certificate of title, if available, must be submitted.
  • Completed Form T-22B Certification of Inspection must be completed by a Georgia law enforcement officer after making a visual inspection of the vehicle’s serial plate.
  • If Form T-22B indicates that the serial plate is missing, completed Form T-128 Missing Serial Plate Affidavit.
  • Buyer and Seller the Same - When the person authorized by the court to sell the vehicle and the buyer are the same person, a signed and notarized affidavit must be submitted stating a public sale was held and the applicant was the highest and best bidder.
  • The vehicle must be advertised for sale in a newspaper in accordance with the requirements for public sale.  The advertisement must reflect a full vehicle description (model year, make and vehicle identification number). A copy of the newspaper advertisement is required only when the seller and the buyer are the same.
  • Fees - Contact your County Tag Office for acceptable methods of payment. The fees are as follows: 
    • $18.00 title application fee when the vehicle requires a title and application is made within 30 days of the date of purchase or ownership transfer; 
    • $20.00 license plate/registration decal fee; or $5.00 license plate transfer fee; 
    • If a title is not applied for within 30 days of purchase date, a title penalty fee of $10.00; 
    • Any penalty fees due for late registration renewal or late application for title.
    • Taxes – Subject to Title Ad Valorem Tax (TAVT), Annual Motor Vehicle Ad Valorem Tax, or Georgia Sales and Use Tax. See Information on these taxes.

“Public sale” means a sale:

  • Held at a place reasonably available to persons who want to attend and submit bids,
  • That allows those attending to be given the opportunity to bid on a competitive basis,
  • To the highest bidder if sale is made, and
  • Advertised for 14 consecutive days in the newspaper in which the sheriff’s advertisements are published in the county where the sale is to be held. Advertisement shall state the day and hour of the sale, between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., the place of the sale, and identify the vehicle to be sold including year, make, model, and VIN.
  • If the vehicle is purchased by a dealer, the vehicle must be titled in the dealership name prior to selling the vehicle

Note: If the abandoned vehicle was stolen and insurance paid out a “stolen and unrecovered” claim, you will be required to provide a letter from the insurance company saying that the vehicle is not damaged. If the insurance company will not provide a letter, you will be required to have the vehicle inspected by a state inspector. If the inspector determines there is sufficient damage to the vehicle, they can require the vehicle go through the rebuilt process.

Definitions relevant to:

  • The Abandoned Motor Vehicle Process can be found in OCGA § 40-11-1
  • Duty of Person removing or storing Motor Vehicle OCGA § 40-11-2