According to the laws of Georgia driving without valid registration is a serious offense. Driving a vehicle with a cancelled, suspended or revoked registration is in face a misdemeanor in GA.
Typically you would be ticketed for violation and then appear in court to face the penalties, that could include jail time, for being caught driving while your registration is under suspension and your vehicle may also be impounded.
The Georgia Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) notes that if a 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.
Georgia Code Title 40, Section 40-6-15, notes that any person who knowingly drives a motor vehicle on any public road or highway of this state at a time when the vehicle registration of such vehicle is suspended, canceled, or revoked shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
Subsection (b) goes on to say that a first conviction or a plea of nolo contendere for this offense has penalties of imprisonment for not more than 12 months and there may be imposed in addition a fine of not less than $500 nor more than $1,000, at the discretion of the court.
For a second or subsequent conviction within five years you can be found guilty of a high and aggravated misdemeanor which can be punished by imprisonment for not less than ten days nor more than 12 months and in addition a fine of not less than $1,000 nor more than $2,500.
Also GA Department of Driver Services (DDS) upon receiving a record of the conviction of any person for a charge of driving a vehicle while the registration of such vehicle was suspended or revoked, shall extend the period of suspension or revocation for six months. The DDS may reinstate the suspended or revoked vehicle registration following the expiration of the original suspension or revocation period, the additional six-month suspension imposed pursuant to this subsection, and upon payment of a restoration fee (around $200).
If you were cited for driving a vehicle with suspended registration you can contact the court listed on your ticket for more information about the penalties you will likely be handed in court. As you can see here the penalties normally include both imprisonment (jail time) and a fine so they are quite harsh. If your car's registration is suspended it would be wise to find some other means of transportation such as using someone else's car or public transportation until you can get back valid registration and plates for your vehicle.
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