In an effort to get uninsured motor vehicles off the road, the state of Georgia implemented an electronic insurance verification system in February 2003. Under this system, your insurance card is no longer acceptable as proof of your motor vehicle insurance. However, you must still carry the insurance card for verification purposes while you travel outside the state and as a means to provide insurance information to law enforcement officers in the event of an accident.
Replacing the card is an electronic identifier found in your motor vehicle's registration computer file. By law, your insurance company is required to electronically transmit to the state that you have insurance on your automobile. This "valid insurance flag" in the motor vehicle database is the only acceptable proof of insurance for the Tag Office when you purchase your tag or if you are stopped by law enforcement.
The key for this system to operate correctly is your automobile's Vehicle Identification Number or "VIN." The VIN is your automobile's serial number. Your insurance company transmits your insurance verification to the state by referring to your VIN. Therefore, it is imperative that the VIN from your automobile exactly matches the number that the insurance company has listed. Equally important, your tag registration must also show the correct VIN. If all three are not identical, you will not have a valid insurance indicator in the state's motor vehicle system. In other words, the Tag Office will not be able to sell you a renewal decal for your automobile because your record will indicate that you do not have insurance. Similarly, if law enforcement runs your tag number, it too will indicate to the officer that you do not have insurance.
This first step to assure that this does not happen is for you to check the VIN on your policy against the VIN on your automobile. The second step is to verify that the VIN found on your tag registration is also the same VIN actually found on the automobile. Remember, all three VINs should be identical. Keep in mind that the letter "I" is not used, therefore should be interpreted as a number one (1). Also, the letter "G" is sometimes confused with the number six (6). The numbers and letters in the VIN must all match perfectly with your policy and registration.
In your insurance company has the wrong VIN on your policy, contact them with your correct VIN and have them retransmit your electronic verification using the correct VIN. If your VIN in incorrect on your tag registration, bring your automobile to the Tax Commissioner's Office as soon as possible. The Tax Commissioner's Office will fill out a VIN Correction And Verification Affidavit and begin the process to get the VIN corrected in the motor vehicle record. If you have your automobile's title, bring it to the office, along with your automobile.
If you have any questions or need further information regarding this state law, please contact the Tax Commissioner's Office/Tag Office.
When you sell a vehicle and cancel insurance . . .
Unless you transfer the tag from the "sold" vehicle to another vehicle within 30 days or cancel the registration, the Georgia Department of Revenue (DOR) records will indicate the vehicle is without insurance. You will get a notice that your vehicle's registration will be suspended and you must visit the Tax Commissioner's Office with a notarized Form MV18J to update DOR records. DOR forms are available at www.dor.ga.gov
Cancel your registration at the County Tag Office when you cancel your insurance . . .
If you sell or transfer ownership of a vehicle and you will not transfer the registration to another vehicle within 30 days.
If the vehicle will not be operated for 30 or more days.