How to Renew Your Drivers License in Alabama
A drivers license renewal in Alabama is required every four years, so that the state can keep track of the motorists who are operating vehicles on public roads. As a general rule, renewing your driver’s license in AL is different from a DMV replacement procedure. In order to renew a driving credential, you must hold a license that is close to its expiration date, and meet additional requirements established in the state for these types of requests. To learn more about how and where to renew your drivers license, read the sections below.
Eligibility for Drivers License Renewal in Alabama
Note: The expiration date of your license can be found on the front of your driver’s license, under the class of the vehicle you are operating.
In order to request a DMV license renewal in Alabama, you need to currently hold a valid credential to drive. Thus, you must be 16 years of age or older, cannot be a habitual DUI offender and must not have dropped out of school if you are younger than 19 years of age. Additional eligibility requirements related to the license renewal process are listed in the following two sections.
Instances When You Cannot Renew Your Drivers License in Alabama
If you cannot locate your driving credential within 180 days prior to its expiration date, you will be able to simply renew the driver’s license. On the other hand, if you are not within this renewal period for your license, you will need to request a license replacement instead.
Furthermore, you cannot request a DMV license renewal if your current credential has been suspended. Instead, once your suspension period ends, you will need to get it reinstated. Then, once you have a valid license to drive again, you will be able to renew it the next time it expires.
How early can you renew your drivers license in Alabama?
As a general rule, driving licenses in Alabama are valid for four years, after which you must request a DMV license renewal. Overall, you are allowed to renew an AL driver’s license as early as 180 days prior to its expiration. Conversely, you will be able to use your credential for 60 days after it has expired. An expired driver’s license can be renewed no longer than three years after the date it was issued. If you fail to request a renewal within that timeframe, you will need to reapply for a brand-new driver’s license.
Alabama DMV License Renewal Options
There are three different methods for renewing your driver’s license in AL. While requesting a DMV license renewal online is often the most convenient option, you may choose to renew by mail if you are currently out of the state. Furthermore, certain motorists will be required to renew their credentials in person.
If you are wondering, “Where can I renew my drivers license in Alabama?” be mindful that you have a few different options. For instance, you can renew your license at a county probate office, a license commissioner office, a Department of Public Safety (DPS) office or an Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) office.
How to Renew Your Drivers License Online
If eligible for this method, you may renew your license online by visiting the official Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) online portal. Once there, you will need to provide personal details such as your full legal name, driver’s license number and Social Security Number (SSN). Generally, credit cards are the only form of payment accepted when renewing your driver’s license online. On the other hand, if you renewed your license online last time, you will not qualify to use this method consecutively. Thus, you will need to file this request in person or by mail instead.
How to Renew Your Driving License by Mail
If you applied for an Alabama license in the past four years and are out of state when it expires, you will qualify to request a DMV license renewal by mail. Overall, this method is commonly offered to active duty military service members. However, other motorists who meet the eligibility requirements previously mentioned may also utilize this method as long as they can provide evidence that they are out of state.
In order to renew your driving credential via mail, you will need to fill out the proper drivers license renewal form, which is referred to as the “Application for a Renewal or Duplicate License for Alabama Drivers Temporarily Out of State” form. This document will require you to identify yourself through a set of information, such as your name, SSN and address. You will then need to submit the form, along with a money order, to the following drivers license office address:
Driver License Division Montgomery, AL P.O. Box 1471-36102
How to Renew Your Drivers License in Person
Every licensed motorist in the state is eligible to renew an AL driver’s license in person. While it is recommended for applicants to schedule DMV appointments in advance for this procedures, it is important to note that certain locations may not offer these services through appointments. In any case, this is what you need to renew a drivers license in Alabama:
- Your current driver’s license
- An acceptable payment method for the applicable fees
Military & Out of State Renewal in Alabama
As a general rule, military service members are able to request an Alabama DMV license renewal by mail while stationed out of state or in a foreign country. In addition, general drivers license renewal requirements are less strict if you are a member of the military who is stationed in AL. For example, the military service member and his or her family members will not have to apply for an Alabama license for the duration of his or her stay. As long as the motorist holds a valid driver’s license that was issued in a different state, he or she will be allowed to operate a vehicle in AL.
Alabama REAL ID Drivers License Renewal
When renewing your driving license in Alabama, you may be offered to upgrade your credential to a STAR ID, which is compliant with the REAL ID federal regulations. Overall, these cards are distinguished by a star placed on the corner of the ID. By 2020, all U.S. residents will be required to present a REAL ID credential in order to board domestic flights. In order to get a STAR ID card when requesting a DMV license renewal, you will need the following documents:
- A Social Security card
- Proof of citizenship, such as your certificate of birth or passport
- Two official documents that prove your current address
In the event that you wish to renew your driver’s license and are not a U.S. citizen, you may substitute the proof of citizenship paperwork with documents that verify your legal status and/or residency in the country. In any case, be mindful that your full name must be the same across all forms of documentation. If they are not, you will need to bring a document that explains the name change, such as a marriage certificate or divorce decree.
Alabama Drivers License Renewal Fees
Many motorists wonder, “How much is it to renew a drivers license in Alabama?” In general, the driving license renewal fee in AL is $36.25. If you fail to renew the credential on time, then you may also be required to pay a test fee of $5.