Trouble Getting a Title from the Dealer

Under normal circumstances, when a dealer sells a motor vehicle to a Georgia resident, the dealer applies for a new title for the customer within 30 days of the sale. 

Usually, the Motor Vehicle Division issues the title before the 45-day temporary operating permit provided by the dealer expires. 

Sometimes dealers do not apply for the title in a timely manner.

The Department cannot give you legal advice.  Nor can we order the dealer to apply for your title or refund your money.

  • Once your temporary operating permit expires, it is illegal to drive your vehicle until it has been titled and registered in your name.
  • In most cases, the fastest way to obtain either a refund or the certificate of title is to continue to work directly with the dealer to resolve the matter.
  • What can I do if the dealer does not apply for my title before the 45-day temporary operating permit expires?

    If your temporary operating permit is about to expire and the dealer has not applied for your title, you may ask your local County Tag Office to issue a second temporary operating permit, which is good for an additional 30 days.  Motor vehicle dealers do not have the authority to extend the original 45-day temporary operating permit.

  • What can I do if the dealer does not have the title or says they cannot obtain the title?

    Dealers should not sell a vehicle until they have the current certificate of title.  Sometimes a dealer will buy a vehicle from another dealer or from an auction and sell the vehicle again before receiving the certificate of title from the other dealer or auction. Unfortunately, sometimes the party that sold the vehicle to the dealer does not have the title or cannot find it. Without the current certificate of title, the dealer cannot apply for a title for you.  You may want to explore these options: 

    Getting the car on the road:

    • Apply to the County Tag Office for a 30-day temporary operating permit.
    • Apply for a bonded title.

    Getting your money back from the dealer

  • What if the dealer did not apply for my title and the dealer has gone out of business?

    Dealers that go out of business should still apply in a timely manner for the titles on vehicles they have sold. Consider the options listed above for getting your car on the road and recovering from the dealer.

  • I want my title, or I want my money back. Can the Department help me?

    The Department cannot order the dealer to apply for the title for you, and the Department cannot recover funds from the dealer for you.

    The Department can issue a title to you for the vehicle in three cases:

    • The dealer applies for your title and provides all the required documents and information.
    • The original certificate of title has been signed over to you, and you apply for the title at the county tag office with all the required documents and information.
    • You obtain a bonded title.

Related Links

 Resolve Your Dispute - Georgia Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division

Georgia State Board for the Registration of Used Motor Vehicle Dealers