2016 Georgia Code
Title 40 - Motor Vehicles and Traffic
Chapter 2 - Registration and Licensing of Motor Vehicles
Article 1 - General Provisions
§ 40-2-8. Operation of unregistered vehicle or vehicle without current license plate, revalidation decal, or county decal; storage of unlicensed vehicle; jurisdiction; display of temporary plate; revision and extension of temporary plate; disposition of fines
(a) Any person owning or operating any vehicle described in Code Section 40-2-20 on any public highway or street without complying with that Code section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, provided that a person shall register his or her motor vehicle within 30 days after becoming a resident of this state. Any person renting, leasing, or loaning any vehicle described in Code Section 40-2-20 which is being used on any public highway or street without complying with that Code section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine of $100.00 for each violation; and each day that such vehicle is operated in violation of Code Section 40-2-20 shall be deemed to be a separate and distinct offense.
(b) (1) Any vehicle operated in the State of Georgia which is required to be registered and which does not have attached to the rear thereof a numbered license plate and current revalidation decal affixed to a corner or corners of the license plate as designated by the commissioner, if required, shall be stored at the owner's risk and expense by any law enforcement officer of the State of Georgia, unless such operation is otherwise permitted by this chapter.
(2) (A) It shall be a misdemeanor to operate any vehicle required to be registered in the State of Georgia without a valid numbered license plate properly validated, unless such operation is otherwise permitted under this chapter; and provided, further, that the purchaser of a new vehicle or a used vehicle from a dealer of new or used motor vehicles who displays a temporary plate issued as provided by subparagraph (B) of this paragraph may operate such vehicle on the public highways and streets of this state without a current valid license plate during the period within which the purchaser is required by Code Section 40-2-20. An owner acquiring a motor vehicle from an entity that is not a new or used vehicle dealer shall register such vehicle as provided for in Code Section 40-2-29 unless such vehicle is to be registered under the International Registration Plan pursuant to Article 3A of this chapter.
(B) (i) Any dealer of new or used motor vehicles shall issue to the purchaser of a vehicle at the time of sale thereof, unless such vehicle is to be registered under the International Registration Plan, a temporary plate as provided for by department rules or regulations which may bear the dealer's name and location and shall bear the expiration date of the period within which the purchaser is required by Code Section 40-2-20 to register such vehicle. The expiration date of such a temporary plate may be revised and extended by the county tag agent upon application by the dealer, the purchaser, or the transferee if an extension of the purchaser's initial registration period has been granted as provided by Code Section 40-2-20. Such temporary plate shall not resemble a license plate issued by this state and shall be issued without charge or fee. The requirements of this subparagraph do not apply to a dealer whose primary business is the sale of salvage motor vehicles and other vehicles on which total loss claims have been paid by insurers.
(ii) All temporary plates issued by dealers to purchasers of vehicles shall be of a standard design prescribed by regulation promulgated by the department. The department may provide by rule or regulation for the sale and distribution of such temporary plates by third parties in accordance with paragraph (3) of this subsection.
(3) All sellers and distributors of temporary license plates shall maintain an inventory record of temporary license plates by number and name of the dealer.
(4) The purchaser and operator of a vehicle shall not be subject to the penalties set forth in this Code section during the period allowed for the registration. If the owner of such vehicle presents evidence that such owner has properly applied for the registration of such vehicle, but that the license plate or revalidation decal has not been delivered to such owner, then the owner shall not be subject to the penalties enumerated in this subsection.
(c) It shall be unlawful and punishable as for a misdemeanor to operate any vehicle required to be registered in the State of Georgia without a valid county decal designating the county where the vehicle was last registered, unless such operation is otherwise permitted under this chapter. Any person convicted of such offense shall be punished by a fine of $25.00 for a first offense and $100.00 for a second or subsequent such offense. However, a county name decal shall not be required if there is no space provided for a county name decal on the current license plate.
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