Alabama law requires that motor vehicle owners must register their vehicle with the Alabama Motor Vehicle Division before taking it on the road. Both new and second-hand vehicles must be registered, regardless of whether they are purchased from a dealer or an individual. In addition, new Alabama residents who have registered their vehicle in another state must register their vehicle in Alabama. The initial vehicle registration must be done in person, and registration renewals must be done annually, either in person, by mail or online, if your county offers this option.
If you are registering a motor vehicle in Alabama for the first time, you must complete the following steps:
- Get your vehicle inspected. Vehicle inspections must be performed at the Motor Vehicle Title and Tag office. Once the vehicle passes inspection, you will be issued an inspection certification.
- Complete a vehicle title/registration form available with designated agents of the Alabama Department of Revenue like officials of the Motor Vehicle Title and Tag Offices.
- Visit your Motor Vehicle Title and Tag Office, and bring the completed title/registration form with you, along with the inspection certification. In addition, you will need to provide proof of insurance, bill of sale and state issued identification (driver license or state ID).
- For vehicles that have been registered in another state, you must also bring the original, out-of-state title. If the title is unavailable, bring the registration document, along with proof of sales tax payment.
When registering your vehicle at the Motor Vehicle Title and Tag office, you will be required to pay certain fees, typically as follows:
- The registration fee, which varies depending on the manufacturer's model year or the vehicle's total weight. Generally, the registration fee will be $23.
- Title application fee. Depending on the county, the title application fee is usually $15.
- Commissions ranging from $1.50 to $3.00 per application payable to the agent.
There may be additional fees when you register, depending on your county. Contact the Motor Vehicle Title and Tag Office for the specific requirements.
RENEWING YOUR VEHICLE REGISTRATION
Owners of motor vehicles in Alabama are required to renew their vehicle registration annually, and can do so in person, online or by mail. See our Registration Renewal section for complete details.
- If you are a non-resident active duty member of the U.S. Armed Forces or a non-resident full-time student attending an Alabama college or university, you are not required to title or register your vehicle.
- The process for registering a motorcycle is generally the same as a car registration; however, there are different procedures for boat registration and custom car registration.
- Auto Insurance is needed to legally operate all vehicles in Alabama.
- See also Renewing Your Vehicle Registration.
- See also Title Transfers and Car Insurance.