Vehicle owners wondering, “How do I change the name on my car registration in Alabama?” must note that this procedure is completed through the vehicle registration office in their county of residence. While the procedure to change name on car registration documents and vehicle titles are designed by the state Department of Revenue (DOR), they are implemented through various license plate issuing offices, which serve as agents of the state DOR. It is important that a driver’s legal name matches his or her registration information.

However, before completing the AL car registration name change, the motorist must update his or her name with the Social Security Administration (SSA). Once the federal agency has processed the alteration, motorists in AL can complete the driver’s license name change with the state Department of Public Safety (DPS). Failure to inform the DOR about a legal name variation can result in consequences later. To get more information on how to change your name on car registration in AL, continue reading the sections below.

Note: Be aware that changing car registration to another person is not the same as modifying the existing owner’s name. Likewise, adding name to a car registration records, such as adding a second or third co-owner, is a separate process. In both of these cases, applicants are requesting to change car registration ownership information, not to alter the existing owner’s name after a legal name change.

Instances Where You Must Change Your Name on Your Alabama Car Registration

It is important for you to know when to change your name on car registration in Alabama, as there are several occurrences that can require you to complete the process.

In addition, knowing why changing your name on car registration is mandatory according to state law will help you avoid consequences later. You will need to change your name on vehicle records when your name has been legally changed.

For instance, you would update your vehicle’s records following an adoption if you are a teenage motorist who has a new surname. You will also be required to complete the transaction in the rare cases that you are issued a vehicle registration card with a typographical error.

Completing the Alabama car registration name change after marriage or divorce are the most common instances where you are required to request a name change.

A car registration name change after divorce or marriage will require drivers to bring the applicable documents, such as a wedding certificate or dissolution decree.

These documents must also specify the transition from the former name to the new name. Newlyweds changing name on car registration after marriage will need an official copy of their certificate, while ex-spouses will also need to present the court order that reverts their legal designation back to a maiden or previously used name.

Any time you change your name due to court orders, as mentioned above, you will need to update the DOR. The reason for the name modification will also influence which documents you may need to present to update your registration.

Alabama Name Change Time Limits for Updating Your Car Registration

You may be wondering, “Is name change notification mandatory in Alabama after a legal modification of a first, middle or last name?” The potential consequences for not changing your name on time may include certain fines and penalties for driving a motor vehicle with an outdated documentation.

For example, if you fail to abide by the AL time limits to change your name on car registration, you may receive a traffic ticket if and when a police officer learns that you have not updated your documents.

To learn about other penalties for not changing name on car registration, contact the state DOR or your local registration office.

If you are wondering, “How long do I have to change my name before having a penalty in Alabama?” then it is important to note that the time limit may vary from county to county due to the procedural differences of different county registration offices.

A newlywed needs the answer to, “How long do I have to change my name after marriage in my country?” especially if he or she is going on a long honeymoon immediately following the wedding.

Similarly, divorcees may find that the contents of the divorce decree determine when they must alter their name. In some cases of changes in marital status, individuals may choose to keep their current name.

Steps to Take Before Updating Your Registration in Alabama

If you would like to know what to do before updating your registration, then note that you will first have to submit a name change request with the SSA and obtain an updated Social Security card.

In the process of how to update your car registration with your new name, you will need to furnish proof of changing your name with the SSA. An updated Social Security card with your modified name is also evidence of the legal name change.

One of the things to do before updating your registration in AL is completing the driver’s license name change with the state DPS.

Note that the same name change documents, such as a marriage certificate, a divorce decree or a court order, are necessary to update your name with both the SSA and the state DPS.

You may consider a DMV registration renewal at the time of your name modification request if you are close to your renewal period. One of the best vehicle registration renewal tips is to verify that your car’s registration is current and in your legal name.

After completing the Alabama DMV registration update procedure, you should finalize the name change procedure with other agencies as well. For instance, you will need to make sure that your auto insurance company is aware of your new name.

How to Change Your Name on Your Alabama Car Registration

Changing your name on your car registration in person in Alabama is the standard method of informing your local county licensing official of your new name.

If you are wondering how to change your name on your car registration in person in AL, then note that the procedure may vary from county to county since you are not applying directly to the state DOR.

In most cases, you will be required to submit an updated driving license, a copy of the document verifying the legal name change, your current car title and vehicle registration and proof of car insurance.

To finalize the process, you may be asked to fill out certain application forms for a replacement car registration and title that will display your new name.

You must change name on vehicle registration in person, as the state DOR does not yet implement an online or by-mail procedure.

When to Renew Instead of Update Your Registration in Alabama

If you need information on when to renew your car registration in Alabama, then it is important to note that the state DOR schedules separate months for completion of the car registration renewal process based on the vehicle owner’s last name.

Therefore, if you are wondering how long do you have to renew your tag, then note that you will have to pay your annual renewal fees within the 30 days preceding your tag expiration date.

If you change your name shortly before or during this period, then you can also complete the name change procedure when paying your renewal costs.

However, in order to update your name and renew your car registration name change requests must be submitted in person since you must furnish the legal document confirming your new name.

Alabama DMV Name Change Fees

Paying certain DMV name change fees in Alabama when updating your registration is a step that may apply in the event that you obtain replacement documents with your new name or you renew your license plates at the same time.

For instance, car owners may be required to pay a DMV title name change fee and a car registration replacement fee in order to receive updated vehicle documents.

You will also be required to pay the standard DMV registration renewal fees in the event that you renew your car registration after making changes to your name. Note that the applicable vehicle registration name change fees may vary from county to county depending on the practices of separate county registration offices.

Last updated on Tuesday, March 10 2020.