Georgia Temporary Operating Permits (TOPs)

Find out how to obtain a Georgia Dealers License or how to maintain compliance with your Georgia dealership by clicking here.


Dealers are required to issue Temporary Operating Permits (TOPs) for use on newly purchased vehicles during the 45 days customer has to register. A dealer must register the title within 30 days of the sale. So remember, you as a dealer must register the vehicle through ETR within 30 days of the date of the sale, however, the Temporary Operating Permit you issue on the vehicle sold to your customer is good for 45 days

Find out how to start a business selling cars in Georgia on the Georgia Dealer Blog

Here are the Temporary Operating Permit Guidelines
• Placed on Vehicles Sold
• May Not Charge For TOP
• May Only Issue One
• May Not Issue A Duplicate
• May Only Be Placed on Vehicle Sold By Dealer

Dealers cannot issue an extension or additional TOP nor can the customer operate the vehicle legally with an expired TOP.
If the dealer fails to obtain a title for transfer into the buyer’s name (within five days of expiration of the TOP), the customer may apply for one 30-day TOP at their County Tag Office. The buyer is required to:

• Turn in the dealer issued TOP for destruction
• Provide proof of ownership (dealer’s invoice)
• Show valid Georgia driver’s license
• Complete Form T-226 Application to Extend the Registration Period of a Motor Vehicle Purchased from a Georgia Motor Vehicle Dealer

You can find a Georgia dealer license application here.

As you can see it sales Georgia Temporary License, and then the VIN, then large number you see here is the Temporary Operating Permit number, it also has a bar code for law enforcement bar code reader, then the expiration date of the top, which would be 45 days from the day YOU sold the vehicle to the customer, then you see a Georgia state seal, then the year make model and color of the vehicle, below that you will see YOUR dealership name and address and then you will see an area for your temporary operating permit STICKER that I will talk about in a moment. So you are going to print at temporary operating permit with your own paper, and then apply a temporary operating permit sticker at the BOTTOM of the temporary operating permit

Learn about Georgia Workers Compensation on our Workers Compensation Blog

Temporary Operating Permit Paper
The State of Georgia has some guidelines regarding
Dealer issued temporary operating permit card stock must:

Be the same size as the state-issued license plate
Be made of heavy stock paper to resist deterioration or fading due to exposure to weather conditions
Provide a rectangular box centered at the bottom of the card stock for adhering the official TOP sticker
White or light-colored background
Contain a delaminating feature that will, if removed, destroy the official TOP sticker
Repeal commercially available inks and marking pens
Reflect your dealership’s name and address in spaces around the TOP sticker

Temporary Operating Permit Prohibitions or scenarios when a Georgia dealer may NOT use a Temporary Operating Permit:

Issuing Multiple TOP’s Per Vehicle, Per Buyer
Extending or Renewing The TOP Beyond The Initial Expiration Date
On a Vehicle to be Registered Under the International Registration Plan (IRP)
On a Demonstrator, or for an Employee’s Use, or For Transporting Vehicles from One Location to Another
Including Words “Tag Applied For” or Similar Statements on the TOP
Issuing TOP’s When the Dealer’s Primary Business is the Sale Of Salvage
Issuing TOP’s When the Dealer’s Primary Business is the Sale of Parts or Junk Vehicles
Placing TOP’s on a Vehicle Other than the One Sold
Issuing TOP’s to a Non-Self-Propelled Vehicle Such as Trailers, Etc.
Charging the Customer a Fee for TOP’s

Storage and Shipping Requirements for Temporary Operating Permits
TOPs Must Be Stored In Secure Area
Area Must Not Visible or Accessible to Public
Delivery or Shipment of TOPs Shall Be Secure
Any TOP Delivery Must Be Traceable From The Point Of Origin To The Point of Delivery

Would you like to learn how to compete a title as a Georgia Used Motor Vehicle Dealer? Read our article on how Georgia dealers complete titles. You may also read our article on the Georgia Electronic Title Registration here.

Now I have explained temporary operating permit guidelines, next I want to show you how to PRINT a Temporary operating permit, which can EASILY be done in the same software you are using for your Electronic Title Registration, remember just a few moments ago I showed you how to register the vehicle you sold well you can use that same software to print up your customer’ s temporary operating permit.
When logged onto your ETR software just click New TOP Only deal

Enter dealership name, you can enter a deal number if youwant, enter the sale date if it is not already showingVIN, Title Status, & Customer Info

Enter county where customer lives, TOP number, &

Then click Print Temp Tag and your Temporary Operating Permit will be printed automatically and is ready for you to apply the Temporary Operating Permit sticker and attach the Temporary Operating Permit to the vehicle you just sold to your customer.

Once again here are your ETR vendors for software you can use for the Electronic Title Registration and to create your mandatory temporary operating permit, now just a moment ago I talked about placing a Temporary operating permit sticker on the temporary operating permit

Dealers must attach a Temporary Operating Permit Sticker on each Temporary Operating Permit. Temporary Operating Permit Stickers can be ordered from the following associations:

Georgia Automobile Dealers Association

Georgia Independent Dealers Association
So I recommend contacting them as soon as you receive your dealer license, or if you are a currently licensed dealer, you can order additional stock from either of these associations

Delus Johnson-Lead Instructor
Automobile Dealer Training Association

Georgia Dealer License Instructor