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If you have purchased a vehicle with an out-of-state title or are moving to a different state with your vehicle, you need to transfer the certificate of title in person or by mail. General requirements for this procedure include filling out your new state’s title application form, submitting proof of your vehicle ownership (such as a completed bill of sale) and paying the applicable fees, such as titling fees, registration costs and state taxes. In addition, many state DMVs require out-of-state cars to undergo vehicle identification number (VIN) inspections. Our digital how-to guide contains everything you need to know to transfer your title quickly and easily. You will get step-by-step instructions on the process, as well as information about how to complete other titling procedures, such as replacing your title.

2. By Mail

Some DMVs allow eligible residents to transfer an out-of-state title by mail. However, be mindful that this procedure is not typically offered to all vehicle owners in each state. Mail-in applications are typically reserved for drivers who are out-of-state or members of the military. If this method is available to you, you will be required to mail in a completed application form along with documents that prove you own your vehicle and that it has passed a VIN inspection. Moreover, you will need to include an acceptable payment method for the transfer fees, such as a check or money order. Note that mail-in requests can be delayed if an application features incorrect or incomplete information. Also, processing times may increase based on the amount of applications the DMV receives.

3. In Person

Depending on your state, you may only be able to complete an out-of-state title transfer by visiting a DMV office in person. In general, this is required so that your car can undergo a vehicle identification number inspection. During your visit to the DMV, you must complete the proper application form and submit documents proving your vehicle ownership. Additionally, you will be asked to pay for the applicable fees to transfer your out-of-state title. Because you will be dealing with credentials issued by different state DMVs, it is important to be prepared for the transaction in order to prevent long wait times or potential mistakes. If you do not bring in the correct paperwork, you may have to visit the DMV office at a later date to reapply.


Completing an out of state car title transfer in Alabama is an important step after purchasing a vehicle with an out of state title certificate or after relocating from another state. Vehicle owners wondering how to perform an out of state car title transfer are required to visit the vehicle licensing office in their county of residence, as the office serves as an agent of the state Department of Revenue (DOR). To learn more about the transaction to transfer an out of state car title in AL and to review the situations in which a title transfer must be completed by law, continue reading the sections below.

What is a cross-state car title transfer in Alabama?

Before applying for a cross state car title transfer in Alabama, vehicle owners are encouraged to learn more about the procedure. If you are wondering what a cross state title transfer is, it is a mandatory procedure that results in the issuance of a new title certificate by a motor vehicle department different than the department that produced the original title.

Keep in mind that if you are required to complete the AL cross state vehicle title transfer after moving from outside Alabama, the transfer of ownership process will not take place. However, if you have to perform a title transfer after purchasing the vehicle from an out-of-state seller, the process will result in the transfer of possession from the owner on record to you.

When is an out-of-state car title transfer necessary in Alabama?

If you are wondering when an out of state car title transfer is necessary in Alabama, it is important to know that you will be required to apply for a DOR certificate of title in situations when you are attempting to register a vehicle with an out of state title. Therefore, in addition to completing an out of state vehicle title transfer when applying for a DOR title as a new state resident, you will also need to transfer the car title of a vehicle with out-of-state documentation.

Also, remember to keep in mind that you will be required to apply for a new title regardless of whether you have purchased the vehicle from a private seller or a dealership. Gifted vehicles are also subjected to the state titling requirements.

Information and Documents Needed for an Out-of-State Title Transfer in Alabama

The process of transferring an out of state car title in Alabama can be completed only by vehicle owners who meet the corresponding title transfer requirements, such as submitting the necessary paperwork and paying the applicable fees. However, the documents needed for an out of state title transfer procedure may vary depending on the applicant’s circumstances.

For example, the AL documents needed for an out of state title transfer after purchasing a vehicle from outside of the state must include a properly reassigned title bearing the seller’s signature and a bill of sale.

Steps for Completing an Out-of-State Title Transfer in Alabama as a New Resident

Completing an out of state title transfer as a new state resident in Alabama is a mandatory step that must be finalized within 30 days of entering the state. Note that the option to complete an out of state title transfer online is currently unavailable, since new residents are required to be present to sign the corresponding application forms.

Therefore, the car title transfer process for a new resident can only be completed in person through the corresponding vehicle registration office in the applicant’s county of residence. The standard steps to complete an out of state title transfer as a new resident include:

  • Filling out an application form.
  • Submitting the necessary proof of ownership.
  • Paying the applicable fee.
  • Submitting the vehicle to a VIN inspection.

After completing the out of state title transfer in person, the corresponding county DOR office will issue the applicant’s vehicle documents.

Note: When transferring an out-of-state title, car owners may also be required to register their vehicles at the same time.

Out-of-State Title Transfers in Alabama After Buying or Selling a Vehicle

The process of transferring an out of state title after getting a new car in Alabama follows similar steps as those that apply for a standard in-state title. Therefore, if you are completing the out of state title transfer after buying a vehicle, you will need to submit the items listed above along with a properly reassigned car title and bill of sale. Your county DOR agent will process your request for an out of state title transfer as soon as the submitted paperwork is verified.

Note: if you are transferring an inherited vehicle with an out-of-state title, you will most likely need the decedent’s death certificate and a filled out next-of-kin form to prove you are the legal owner of the car.

Cross-State Car Title Transfer Fees in Alabama

Vehicle owners wondering about the cost of transferring an out of state car title in Alabama must note that they will be required to pay the standard titling $15 fee imposed by the state Department of Revenue (DOR). However, the price of a cross-state car title transfer may also include several smaller fees, depending on the applicant’s circumstances.

Certain counties may also impose local fees that do not apply everywhere in Alabama. Be sure to look over all fee options in your area and be prepared to take enough money to cover all applicable titling fees.

Last updated on Friday, December 21 2018.

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