Title 40, Chapter 2, Section 8
(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
(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 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 to register such vehicle; but the purchaser of any vehicle from a dealer of new or used motor vehicles shall display a temporary plate issued as provided by subparagraph (B) of this paragraph on the rear of such vehicle in the space provided for a license plate when such vehicle is operated on the public highways and streets of this state during such period prior to registration; unless such purchaser has made application to transfer to such vehicle in accordance with this chapter a valid license plate issued to him or her, in which event the license plate to be transferred shall be displayed on the vehicle during the period prior to registration; or unless such vehicle is to be registered under the International Registration Plan.
(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 at such time the purchaser makes application to transfer to such vehicle in accordance with this chapter a valid license plate issued to him or her or unless such vehicle is to be registered under the International Registration Plan, a temporary plate which may bear the dealer's name and location and shall bear, in characters not less than one-quarter of an inch wide and one and one-half inches high, the expiration date of the period within which the purchaser is required by Code Section 40-2-20 to register such vehicle. Such temporary plates shall be made of heavy stock paper, inscribed with indelible ink, and designed to resist deterioration or fading due to exposure to the elements during the period for which display is required. The expiration date may be handprinted on the plate at the time of issuance by use of an indelible ink marker, with contrasting ink, provided that the month of expiration shall be indicated by complete word or by three-letter abbreviation thereof. The expiration date of such a temporary plate may be revised and extended by the county tag agent only 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 therefor. Such temporary plate shall be surrendered to the tag agent at the time the vehicle is registered, and the tag agent shall destroy such temporary plate. 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 on or after January 1, 2001, shall be of a standard
design prescribed by regulation promulgated by the Department
of Revenue in accordance with the requirements of this
subparagraph. Temporary plates issued by dealers to
purchasers prior to such date may be of any design if such
plates meet the requirements of this subparagraph.
(3) 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 above penalties.
(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.