Penalties and Fines - Lapse of Insurance Coverage
Registration Suspension and Reinstatement Process

Georgia law requires a vehicle to be continuously insured.   Click here to read more about the vehicle owner's responsibilities in regard to insurance coverage.

This department is required by law to suspend and/or revoke the registration of any vehicle in this state that is not continuously insured with mandatory motor vehicle liability insurance.  

The insurer must electronically transmit insurance coverage information, within thirty-days (30) of the date the coverage is to begin, to this department’s insurance database. Insurers must also electronically transmit insurance information pertaining to terminations of vehicle liability insurance coverage to the insurance database. Click here to read more about the insurer's responsibilities.

Notice of Insurance Termination

When a Notice of Insurance Termination is electronically transmitted to this department’s insurance database, the transmitted vehicle identification number (VIN) is cross-referenced with the vehicle identification number on this department's tag and title database. If the transmitted VIN matches a VIN on the tag or title database, the following action will be taken:

Thirty-days (30) will be given for new liability insurance information to be electronically transmitted by the insurer to the insurance database.

New Insurance Information Received – No Lapse In Coverage

If new insurance information is received within the thirty-day (30) period of time allowed and there is no lapse in coverage, a valid insurance coverage indicator will remain on the vehicle’s record. A “ lapse” means ten (10) or more days upon which the records of the department do not reflect that a motor vehicle was covered by a policy of minimum motor vehicle insurance coverage.”

New Insurance Information Received - Lapse in Coverage

If new insurance information is received within the thirty-day (30) period of time allowed and there is no lapse in coverage, a valid insurance coverage indicator will remain on the vehicle’s record. Effective July 1, 2005, a “lapse” means ten (10) or more days upon which the records of the department do not reflect that a motor vehicle was covered by a policy of minimum motor vehicle insurance coverage. Prior to July 1, 2005, a “lapse” in insurance coverage means one or more days upon which the records of the department do not reflect that a motor vehicle was covered by a policy of minimum motor vehicle insurance coverage.

If the lapse fee is not paid within thirty-days (30) of the letter’s date, the vehicle's registration will be suspended. To cancel the suspension, the vehicle owner must pay the $25.00 lapse fee and a $60 reinstatement fee. The vehicle owner is eligible to cancel their vehicle registration to avoid the suspension, lapse and reinstatement fees under the following circumstances:  

  • If the vehicle was sold, repossessed, stolen, transferred to the owner’s insurance company as the result of a “total loss claim”; or,
  • The vehicle was not driven during the time it was uninsured, the vehicle’s owner may complete and sign an Affidavit for Mandatory Insurance Relief of Lapse/Pending Suspension & Suspension Fees, Form MV-18J.  This completed and signed affidavit should be submitted to the vehicle owner’s County Tax Commissioner’s office. Click on the form name or number to electronically complete and print it for signing and submission. The signature on the Affidavit, Form MV-18J, must be notarized.  The notary public must also affix his or her notary seal or stamp and record the date his or her notary commission expires.

Lapse and reinstatement fees should be paid to the Tax Commissioner’s office in the county in Georgia where the registered owner resides.

No New Insurance Information Received

If no new insurance information is received within the thirty-day (30) time period allowed, a thirty-day (30) "Notice of Pending Suspension" will be printed and mailed to the vehicle’s registered owner advising the owner that their vehicle’s registration is subject to suspension. This letter will include what is required to avoid suspension and fines.

Important: Driving a vehicle with a cancelled, suspended or revoked registration is a misdemeanor and may result in the impoundment of the vehicle by law enforcement when discovered.

No New Insurance Information Received Within Thirty-Days of the “Notice of Pending Suspension”

If no new insurance information is received within thirty-days (30) of the date on the “Notice of Pending Suspension”, the insurance status on the vehicle’s record will be changed to "No Insurance" and the registration status to "Suspended".  A “Suspension of Vehicle Registration Notice” will be printed and mailed to the vehicle owner advising the owner that their vehicle’s registration has been suspended.   This letter will include what is required to reinstate or cancel their vehicle’s registration.

Important :

• A license plate (tag) will not be issued, transferred, replaced or renewed until the vehicle’s liability insurance coverage is reinstated!

• The vehicle should not be driven without Georgia liability insurance coverage or with a suspended revoked or cancelled registration!

Important: Driving a vehicle with a cancelled, suspended or revoked registration is a misdemeanor!

• If the vehicle is driven without Georgia liability insurance coverage or with a suspended, revoked or cancelled registration, the vehicle’s registered owner is subject to additional fines and the vehicle is subject to impoundment when discovered by law enforcement or if the vehicle is involved in an accident.

Reinstatement Process – First Occurrence

If there is a registration suspension and it is the first (1) occurrence, the vehicle’s registered owner must do the following to have their vehicle's registration reinstated:

Obtain and keep continuous Georgia liability insurance coverage on their vehicle, pay a lapse fee of $25.00; pay a $60.00 reinstatement fee; and pay any other registration fees and vehicle ad valorem taxes due, if it is during the owner’s registration period.  If a pre-printed bill showing the amount of the registration fee and ad valorem taxes due is not received, the registered owner should contact their County Tax Commissioner’s office for this information. Click here to determine your registration period in your county of residence.

Lapse and reinstatement fees should be paid at the Tax Commissioner’s office in the county in Georgia where the vehicle’s registered owner resides.

Suspended Registration - Second Occurrence During Any Five-Year (5) Period

The law requires the suspension of the vehicle’s registration for ninety-days (90) when it is the second occurrence during any five-year (5) period. The vehicle’s registered owner must do the following to have their vehicle's registration reinstated:

• Obtain and keep continuous Georgia liability insurance coverage on their vehicle.

• Pay a $25.00 lapse fee, a $60.00 reinstatement fee plus any vehicle registration fee and ad valorem taxes that may be due if it is during their registration period. If the registered owner did not receive a pre-printed bill showing the amount of registration fee and ad valorem taxes due, they should contact their County Tax Commissioner’s office for this information. Click here to determine your registration period in your county of residence.

• Not drive the vehicle for ninety-days (90) after the registration was suspended.

Suspended Registration - Third Occurrence During Any Five-Year (5) Period

The law requires the suspension of the vehicle’s registration for six-months (6) when it is the third or subsequent occurrence within any five-year (5) period. The vehicle’s registered owner must do the following to have their vehicle's registration reinstated:

• Obtain and keep continuous Georgia liability insurance coverage on their vehicle.

• Pay a $25.00 lapse fee, a $160.00 reinstatement fee plus any vehicle registration fee and ad valorem taxes that may be due if it is during their registration period.   Click here to determine your registration period in your county of residence. If the registered owner did not receive a pre-printed bill showing the amount of the registration fee and ad valorem taxes due, they should contact their County Tax Commissioner’s office for this information.

• Not drive the vehicle for six-months (6) months after the registration was suspended.

Important : Additional penalties will apply if the vehicle’s registered owner is convicted of driving a vehicle with a suspended or cancelled registration.

  Registered Owner Voluntarily Cancels Vehicle’s Registration

The vehicle’s registered owner may cancel their vehicle's registration at the Tax Commissioner’s office in the county in Georgia where they reside when the vehicle is not driven for reasons noted on the Form MV-18J (Affidavit for Mandatory Insurance Relief of Lapse/Pending Suspension & Suspension Fees).   The County Tax Commissioner's office accepting the cancellation request will enter the required information (date registration cancelled) on the vehicle’s record to stop any lapse and reinstatement fees from being assessed.  

To avoid lapse and reinstatement fees from being assessed, the vehicle’s registered owner must cancel their vehicle’s registration before or at the same time the vehicle’s mandatory liability insurance coverage is canceled.  

Military Personnel – Voluntary Cancellation of Registration

A service member, deployed on official military duty, may cancel their vehicle’s registration when the vehicle is not going to be driven on the public roads and highways of Georgia during their absence. The service member should complete, sign and submit a Service Member’s Affidavit for Mandatory Insurance Relief, Form MV-18G, to the Tax Commissioner’s office in the county in Georgia where they reside.   This form may be submitted before, during or after deployment.

The service member’s commanding officer is required to complete and sign the “Certification of Service Member’s Commanding Officer” section on the Affidavit, Form MV-18G. Click on any form name or number on this page to electronically complete and print it for signing and submission.

Request for Refund of Lapse/Reinstatement Fees

If a lapse fee and a reinstatement fee, when applicable, were paid in error, a refund request may be submitted to the office where the fees were paid under the following circumstances:

•  The insurer did not transmit a valid insurance record to the insurance database that resulted in lapse and reinstatement fees, when applicable, being calculated and paid. The insurer has now transmitted a valid insurance record showing where the vehicle had continuous insurance coverage.

• The vehicle’s registered owner voluntarily cancelled the vehicle’s registration.

• The registered owner was deployed on official military duty while the vehicle was uninsured and the vehicle was not driven on the public roads and highways of Georgia while uninsured. In this situation, the service member must complete, sign and submit an Affidavit, Form MV-18G. The member’s commanding officer must complete and sign the “Certification of Service Member’s Commanding Officer” section on the Affidavit, Form MV-18G.

•The vehicle was uninsured and not driven on the public roads and highways of Georgia while uninsured due to one of the reasons shown below and also shown on the Affidavit, Form MV-18J.

  • The vehicle was sold or the ownership transferred;
  • The vehicle owner moved to another state; or,
  • The vehicle’s ownership was transferred out-of-state;
  • The vehicle lease was terminated;
  • The vehicle was wrecked, salvaged or junked;
  • The vehicle was repossessed or stolen; or, the vehicle was not driven because the vehicle was inoperable, stored or used seasonally for agricultural or other purposes.

In the above situations, an Affidavit, Form MV-18J, must be completed, signed and submitted.   The appropriate box on this form must be checked indicating the reason why the vehicle was uninsured plus any other requested information, i.e. dates, etc.   Click on any form name or number on this page to electronically complete and print it for signing and submission. For the Affidavit to be acceptable it must be signed and all applicable spaces completed.

Requests for refunds of lapse and reinstatement fees should be submitted to the office where the fees were paid, County Tax Commissioner’s office or this department. If the fees were paid to this department, then the written request for a refund should be submitted to the following address:

ATTN: Insurance Compliance
Dept. of Revenue/Motor Vehicle Division
PO Box 740381
ATLANTA GA  30374-0381

Refunds of lapse and reinstatement fees will not be processed on a “while-you-wait” basis.