When you buy a new (or new to you!) car in Georgia, the seller will typically provide you with a temporary tag for you to put on the new car while you register the vehicle and wait for a permanent license plate.
If you are stopped in Georgia with a temporary license plate and issued a citation related to the license plate/registration, you may have been stopped without cause.
Under Georgia law, the purchaser of a new or used vehicle may operate it with a temporary plate during the period within which the purchaser is required to register under law. The temporary plate must bear the dealer’s name, location, and an expiration date 45 days from the date of purchase. If a police officer stops you for having a temporary tag, under Georgia case law, this is an improper stop. The Georgia Court of Appeals held in a case called Hinton v. State that stopping a car with a drive-out tag solely to ascertain whether the driver is complying with the vehicle registration laws is not authorized. Instead, the police officer must have a reasonable suspicion that the driver is driving with an invalid drive-out tag. That is, the officer must reasonably believe that the tag was altered, fake, or does not comply with the requirements above.
If you are stopped after buying a new car and the officer tells you he wanted to check your tags, his reason for stopping you is invalid, and if he gives you a citation for anything (even if it has nothing to do with your tags!) you may have a valid defense to the case or to have any evidence collected thrown out.