The cost of registering a vehicle from state to state can be quite different. Let's take a look at how to register a vehicle in Alabama, the cost of registration, and the requirements for registering a car in the state of Alabama.

How do you register a car in Alabama?

To register a vehicle in Alabama, you will need to visit (in-person or online if you live in certain counties) your local licensing officials office. If you are moving to Alabama, you must register any vehicle within 30 days of your arrival and have a valid out-of-state registration.

Alabama vehicle registration fees

The cost to register a standard vehicle in the state of Alabama is $15-$23, plus an extra $50 annual fee. 

The cost to register large trucks, tractors, and motor homes will vary based on the vehicle’s weight. See the complete Alabama registration fee schedule here.

Requirements for registering your car in Alabama

If the vehicle is paid off and you already have the title, you will need to bring that with you when you register your car. In addition you will need to bring a current tag registration with you to the local county licensing office.

If you own your vehicle, you will need to show:

  • Original title

  • Current tag registration

If the vehicle is financed or leased, you'll need the title documents sent to your local county license issuing office, plus the following:

  • Contact information for the current lien holder or leasing company

  • A copy of the lease agreement in the event of a leased vehicle

  • If the lien holder isn't in a title holding state, then you must bring the original title

  • If the lien holder is in a title holding state, then bring a copy of the title

  • Valid registration receipt

If you purchased the vehicle before moving to Alabama, the requirements vary slightly.

For individual sale

  • Original title

  • The bill of sale

  • Valid registration receipt of the previous owner

For dealership sale

  • Original title, if the vehicle is paid off

  • The manufacturer's certificate of origin

  • Bill of sale. If the vehicle was bought but never registered in another state, the bill of sale is needed to verify sales tax liability.

For residents coming from out of state, all of the following are requirements to register your vehicle in the state of Alabama:

  • Vehicle must be brought for inspection if the vehicle doesn't have an Alabama title

  • Owner, or owners, named on title must be present, or they must give power of attorney to the appointee. For use of power of attorney, a copy of the owner or owners' drivers license is required. If there are two owners joined by "and," both must be present or give over power of attorney. If two owners are joined by "or," either can be present or give power of attorney to appointee

  • Valid insurance card with NAIC and policy numbers, VIN, and year, make, and model

  • Valid driver's license, whether out of state or not, the name needs to match all parties named on title and registration documents

The state of Alabama does not require emissions testing.

Do you need car insurance to register a car in Alabama?

The state of Alabama does require you to have insurance on the vehicle you are trying to register. So if your vehicle isn't currently insured, be sure to check out different car insurance companies and compare quotes to find the right provider for the right price.

>>COMPARE: Get car insurance quotes in Alabama

Renewing your Alabama vehicle registration

To renew your vehicle registration in the state of Alabama, you have to determine which month your vehicle registration will expire. In order to do this, you go by the first letter of your last name.

  • January, Letters A and D

  • February, Letter B

  • March, Letters C and E

  • April, Letters F, G, and N

  • May, Letters H and O

  • June, Letters M and I

  • July, Letters P and L

  • August, Letters J, K, and R

  • September, Letters Q, S, and T

  • October, Letters U through Z

  • November, All commercial, fleet, and leased vehicles

Your county will normally send out a notice about a month prior to your vehicle registration's expiration to remind you. To renew it, all you have to do is show up to your local title office with your current registration or registration notice, your driver's license, and the renewal fee for your county.

What to do if you lose your registration

If your registration is lost or damaged, you'll need to fill out a request form and visit your local Motor Vehicle Division office. You'll need to bring the following with you:

  • Alabama driver's license

  • VIN

  • Current plate number

  • Form MV 40-12-265-1

  • Payment

Getting a specialty license plate

You can find out how to apply for specialty license plates at your local license plate issuing office, including the steps you need to take, eligibility requirements, required documentation, whether the plate can be personalized or not, and all applicable fees.

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