2020 Georgia Code
Title 40 - Motor Vehicles and Traffic
Chapter 2 - Registration and Licensing of Motor Vehicles
Article 4 - Vehicles of Nonresidents
§ 40-2-90. Operation of Vehicles Registered in Other States

Universal Citation: GA Code § 40-2-90 (2020)
  1. For purposes of this Code section:
    1. "Nonresident" means any person who does not reside in the State of Georgia but who accepts employment or engages in any trade, profession, or occupation in the state or enters his children in the public schools of this state.
    2. "Visitor" means any person who does not reside in the State of Georgia and who is not a nonresident as defined in this subsection.
    1. Motor vehicles owned by nonresidents may be used and operated on the public streets and highways for a period of 30 days without registering said motor vehicles in the State of Georgia.
    2. Motor vehicles owned by visitors may be used and operated on the public streets and highways, for pleasure purposes only, for a period of 90 days without registering said motor vehicles in the State of Georgia.
    3. To be eligible for the exemptions provided for in paragraph (1) or (2) of this subsection, a nonresident or visitor shall have fully complied with the laws relating to the registration of motor vehicles of the state or territory wherein he resides, and the registration number and initial letter of such state or territory shall be displayed and plainly visible on such motor vehicles.
    4. No resident of Georgia shall be entitled to the exemptions provided for in paragraph (1) or (2) of this subsection.
  2. Notwithstanding subsection (a) of this Code section, a nonresident student who is a resident of a state which is a member of the Multistate Reciprocity Agreement shall be exempt from the requirement of registering his motor vehicle in this state in accordance with the provisions of said Multistate Reciprocity Agreement.

(Ga. L. 1927, p. 226, § 10; Code 1933, § 68-221; Ga. L. 1973, p. 342, § 1; Ga. L. 1978, p. 927, § 1; Ga. L. 1982, p. 720, § 1; Ga. L. 1983, p. 638, § 1; Ga. L. 1985, p. 149, § 40; Ga. L. 1990, p. 2048, § 2.)

Cross references.

- Rights of citizens of other states while in Georgia generally, § 1-2-9.


Regularly driving out-of-state vehicles evidence of nonresidency.

- Since residents of Georgia are prohibited from operating out-of-state licensed motor vehicles in Georgia, a person who regularly drives an out-of-state licensed motor vehicle in Georgia has already determined and was evidencing the person's determination that the person was not a resident of Georgia for purposes of voting. McCoy v. McLeroy, 348 F. Supp. 1034 (M.D. Ga. 1972).

Stopping visiting motorists for traffic violations.

- Paragraph (b)(2) of O.C.G.A. § 40-2-90 gives visitors to the state the right to use and operate motor vehicles on the public streets and highways for pleasure purposes only for 90 days without registering the vehicle, but this does not restrict a law enforcement officer from performing the officer's duty when stopping a visiting motorist for a traffic violation. Coop v. State, 186 Ga. App. 578, 367 S.E.2d 836, cert. denied, 186 Ga. App. 917, 367 S.E.2d 836 (1988).

State need not prove current owner of vehicle.

- State presented sufficient evidence that the defendant operated a motor vehicle with an expired Mississippi tag on a public street of Georgia in violation of O.C.G.A. § 40-2-8(a). Although the evidence did not show to whom the vehicle had been registered in Mississippi or whether the defendant had recently purchased the vehicle, the evidence did authorize a finding that, regardless of who the current owner of the vehicle might actually be, the vehicle was not an automobile which was otherwise exempt from the requirement of registration in this state. Keyser v. State, 187 Ga. App. 95, 369 S.E.2d 309 (1988).

Cited in De Bord v. Procter & Gamble Distrib. Co., 58 F. Supp. 157 (N.D. Ga. 1943).


"License" construed.

- License as referred to in former Code 1933, § 68-221 (see O.C.G.A. § 40-2-90), was the operator's permit or license which was issued by the Georgia State Patrol (now Department of Public Safety). 1969 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 69-156.

Nonresident returning to residence each night.

- Person entering the State of Georgia daily, but returning to the state of the person's residence each night, is not required to purchase a Georgia motor vehicle license. 1958-59 Op. Att'y Gen. p. 211.

Subjecting nonresidents to fees.

- Motor vehicles owned by nonresidents are not subject to motor vehicle license fees for a period of 30 days after coming within the state, provided the vehicle is properly registered in the state of their residence; this 30-day period would apply to all motor vehicles owned by nonresidents, regardless of whether or not the nonresident was a contractor engaged in road building within this state. 1950-51 Op. Att'y Gen. p. 195.

Nonresident's vehicle used in same manner as other vehicles.

- When the owner of a motor vehicle driven in this state is not a resident of this state, and the motor vehicle is in this state for use here, and is, in fact, used in much the same manner as other motor vehicles are used in Georgia, that motor vehicle is taxable in Georgia. 1968 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 68-39.

Foreign country plates prohibited.

- Automobile cannot be operated upon state public highways under license plate issued by foreign country. 1960-61 Op. Att'y Gen. p. 295.

Operation by resident of vehicle owned by nonresident and registered in another state was a violation of former Code 1933, § 68-221 (see now O.C.G.A. § 40-2-90). 1968 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 68-258.

Nonresident basing automobile in Georgia.

- An out-of-state resident basing one's automobile in Georgia pursuant to a consultant contract with a Georgia business must purchase a Georgia license for that person's vehicle in the county in which the vehicle is based. 1962 Op. Att'y Gen. p. 322.

Civilian employees of government assigned to duty in Georgia are not exempt from section's provisions. 1958-59 Op. Att'y Gen. p. 208.

Duties of nonresident students.

- Nonresident student is required to register vehicle owned or operated by the student and obtain license within 30 days from the time the student enters the state. 1970 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 70-40 (decided prior to 1982 amendment).

Student returning home on daily basis.

- If a student nonresident who drives the student's parents' automobile while attending a private school in Georgia returns home on a daily basis, no purchase of a Georgia license is required. 1975 Op. Att'y Gen. No. U75-12.

Nonresident service personnel stationed in Georgia.

- Federal provision removes nonresident service personnel stationed in Georgia from the operation of former Code 1933, § 68-221 (see now O.C.G.A. § 40-2-90) and exempts service personnel from the obligation of securing license plates in Georgia so long as the service personnel obtain license plates from the state of their domicile. 1957 Op. Att'y Gen. p. 186.


Am. Jur. 2d.

- 7A Am. Jur. 2d, Automobiles and Highway Traffic, §§ 61 et seq., 90.


- 60 C.J.S., Motor Vehicles, §§ 180, 184, 191.

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