2020 Georgia Code
Title 40 - Motor Vehicles and Traffic
Chapter 2 - Registration and Licensing of Motor Vehicles
Article 1 - General Provisions
§ 40-2-6. Alteration of License Plates; Operation of Vehicle With Altered or Improperly Transferred Plate

Universal Citation: GA Code § 40-2-6 (2020)

Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, any person who shall willfully mutilate, obliterate, deface, alter, change, or conceal any numeral, letter, character, county designation, or other marking of any license plate issued under the motor vehicle registration laws of this state; who shall knowingly operate a vehicle bearing a license plate on which any numeral, letter, character, county designation, or other marking has been willfully mutilated, obliterated, defaced, altered, changed, or concealed; or who shall knowingly operate a vehicle bearing a license plate issued for another vehicle and not properly transferred as provided by law shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

(Code 1933, § 68-9929, enacted by Ga. L. 1957, p. 626, § 1; Ga. L. 1985, p. 149, § 40; Ga. L. 1990, p. 2048, § 2; Ga. L. 1991, p. 1145, § 1; Ga. L. 1997, p. 419, § 2.)

Law reviews.

- For article commenting on the 1997 amendment of this Code section, see 14 Ga. St. U.L. Rev. 215 (1997).


Traffic stop based on suspicion of license plate violation.

- Trial court did not err in denying motions to supress filed by the two defendants because the officer: (1) had a reasonable and sufficient basis for initiating a traffic stop of the car the defendants were traveling in based on a belief that the license plate on the subject vehicle might have belonged on another car, and hence, was illegally transferred; and (2) did not improperly prolong the stop once the defendants told conflicting stories of the defendants' travels and one declined to grant the officer consent to search. Andrews v. State, 289 Ga. App. 679, 658 S.E.2d 126 (2008), cert. denied, No. S08C0963, 2008 Ga. LEXIS 507 (Ga. 2008).

Cited in Undercofler v. White, 113 Ga. App. 853, 149 S.E.2d 845 (1966); Self v. State, 245 Ga. App. 270, 537 S.E.2d 723 (2000); Dodds v. State, 288 Ga. App. 231, 653 S.E.2d 828 (2007); Thompson v. State, 289 Ga. App. 661, 658 S.E.2d 122 (2007); Hernandez-Lopez v. State, 319 Ga. App. 662, 738 S.E.2d 116 (2013); Jenkins v. State, 345 Ga. App. 684, 813 S.E.2d 438 (2018), cert. denied, 2018 Ga. LEXIS 807 (Ga. 2018).


Am. Jur. 2d.

- 7A Am. Jur. 2d, Automobiles and Highway Traffic, § 257. 21 Am. Jur. 2d, Criminal Law, §§ 1, 5, 19, 26 et seq.


- 61A C.J.S., Motor Vehicles, § 1636 et seq.


- Civil rights and liabilities as affected by failure to comply with regulations as to registration of automobile or motorcycle, or licensing of operator, 54 A.L.R. 374.

Validity and construction of statute making it a criminal offense to "tamper" with motor vehicle or contents, or to obscure registration plates, 57 A.L.R.3d 606.

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