Alabama Vehicle Registrations

Alabama Vehicle Registrations

In Alabama, vehicle registrations are overseen by the Department of Revenue (DoR) via the Motor Vehicle Department (MVD) office in each county.  Choose an option below or scroll down to find information you need related to your Alabama vehicle registration.

First Time Registration || Moving to Alabama

First Time Registration

First time registrations are typically processed when:

  • You bought, were gifted, inherited, or otherwise acquired a vehicle that you need to register in Alabama
  • You already own a vehicle and you moved to Alabama
  • You already own a vehicle that you never registered or for which the registration was canceled

To get a vehicle registered, a licensing official will inspect the vehicle. The official will note the vehicle identification number and the certificate of title that proves you have the right to register it. You may also be asked for other documents such as a bill of sale or court documents.

You must also have auto insurance liability coverage to receive registration. Insurance is verified electronically, but it’s always good to also have a printed insurance card handy or saved to your device and easily accessible.

Unlike many other states, Alabama doesn’t require emissions or safety testing for registration.

Owners of trucks weighing over 55,000 lbs. must prove they’ve paid the federal heavy vehicle use tax and received Form 2290 as a receipt.

Moving to Alabama

If you’ve just moved to the state, you have 30 days to register your car. Failing to do so with in the required time frame will result the penalty plus interest, tacked on to the standard registration fees. The same fee applies if you miss deadlines to renew your registration or transfer your tags to a new vehicle.

If you lease or finance your vehicle and that company is in possession of the title, you will need to contact the Alabama MVD to obtain the necessary documents and instructions for processing your vehicle registration. If you own the vehicle outright and/or are otherwise in possession of the title, you can visit a county licensing office to complete the registration process.

Moving Out of Alabama

If you’re moving to another state, you’ll need to surrender your AL plate at DMV office. You should maintain liability coverage from your insurance company until you’ve updated your policy for coverage in your new state of residence.

With few exceptions, the DMV in your new state of residence will request the title and other documents. Make sure you have your AL title. If you don’t, request your title online or visit an MVD office before you leave the state.

Transferring Your License Plate

The MVD allows Alabama plates to be transferred from one vehicle to another. If you sell or junk your vehicle, you can transfer your old plate to a new vehicle.

Transferring plates may incur two fees: a $1.25 state fee and a county fee based on your residence.

If you choose not to transfer your old tags, you’ll have to remove them from the old car and surrender them. You can apply for a new registration at any time in the future, as needed.

Renewing a Registration

Fortunately, renewals don’t require an inspection. Unfortunately, Alabama residents need to keep track of their registration renewal date because not all counties mail renewal notices. For example, Autauga and Blount say they mail notices regularly, but Baldwin only states it sometimes sends them. And other counties like Cherokee and Chilton make no promises at all. 

The Alabama MVD schedules renewals alphabetically according to the initial of your last name, with expirations occurring on the last day of the month. Renewals take place every month except December. For leased, commercial, and fleet motor vehicles, renewal is in November.  Learn more about registration renewals here.

JanuaryA and D
MarchC and E
AprilF, G, and N
MayH and O
JuneM and I
July P and L
AugustJ, K, and R
SeptemberQ, S, and T
OctoberU, V, W, X, Y and Z
National Guard
NovemberLeased, Commercial, and Fleets