- Have the seller complete the title assignment on the title certificate.
- Obtain a bill of sale from the seller.
- Bring the above, plus payment for the title fees, to your county license plate issuing office.
Continue reading to learn more details about titling and title transfers in Alabama.
In Alabama, vehicles at least 35 model years old must be titled with the Alabama Department of Revenue's Motor Vehicle Division (MVD). You can find information below on how to title your car or complete a transfer of ownership in Alabama.
How to do a New-to-State Title Transfers
If you have recently moved to Alabama, you can apply for an Alabama vehicle title by bringing your current out-of-state title to your county license plate issuing office. Be prepared to pay an auto title transfer fee.
If your previous state was not required to issue a title for your car, you can bring in the vehicle registration certificate as proof of ownership.
When applying for an Alabama title, have your vehicle with you, as it may be subject to a vehicle identification number (VIN) inspection.
If you are currently making payments on a car loan, your vehicle will have a lien hold against it. The MVD will not issue titles to vehicles with lien holds, if the title was issued to the lienholder.
However, you can register your carwithout getting an Alabama title by bringing a copy of your title certificate to a license plate issuing office.
If your car has a lien hold against it, and your previous state issued the title to you, Alabama will issue you a title. Bring your title certificate to a license plate issuing office to begin your Alabama vehicle title transfer application.
NOTE: If your car was originally titled in any of the following states and your lienholder has the title, you must provide the MVD with documentation from your previous state proving that the lienholder possesses the title:
- South Dakota
Buying or Selling a Vehicle in AL
An Alabama MVD title transfer must take place when a vehicle changes ownership in Alabama. Read below to learn how to complete an AL car title transfer.
Title Transfers when Buying a Vehicle
The process for transferring a title when you buy a car in Alabama differs depending on whether you're purchasing the vehicle from a dealer or a private seller.
Buying from a Dealer
Licensed dealers in Alabama are authorized to process car title transfers themselves. This means that when you buy a car from a dealer, you will have to do little more than sign some papers to get your Alabama title.
Buying from a Private Seller
Take the following steps to complete an Alabama vehicle title transfer when purchasing a car from a private seller:
- Have the seller assign the title certificate to you by completing all required fields on the certificate.
- Complete any required fields on the title as the purchaser.
- Obtain a bill of sale. You are only required to have a bill of sale if no title is required.
- Each county has its own rules regarding bill of sales, which may include having the document notarized. Contact your county office for more information.
- Submit the above, including payment for the title transfer fees, to an AL license plate issuing office.
Title Transfers when Selling a Car in Alabama
When you sell your car, the buyer is responsible for completing the DMV title transfer. However, it is your responsibility to do the following:
- Fill all required fields on the title certificate to assign it to the buyer.
- Complete a bill of sale.
If you have misplaced your title certificate, you can order a duplicate title.
Gifted Cars in Alabama
The process for gifted car title transfers is similar to when a car is bought and sold between private parties. The person gifting the vehicle acts as the seller, and the recipient is the buyer.
Note that you may be required to have a bill of sale notarized, or provide a gift affidavit. Contact your county MVD office for specific requirements you must meet in your county.
AL Inherited Vehicles
Depending on varying circumstances, completing an Alabama vehicle DMV title transfer for a car you have inherited may involve different steps.
If you have inherited a vehicle that was part of an estate not requiring probate, you can transfer the title to your name by:
Contact the Motor Vehicle Division at (334) 242-9000 for more information about the auto title transfer of an inherited vehicle.
What are the Fees for a Title Transfer?
The following are basic titling fees in Alabama:
- Title application: $15.
- Duplicate title: $15.
- Processing fee: $1.50.
Your county may also charge additional title fees. Contact your county license plate issuing office for more information.
Replacing Your Alabama Title
If you have lost your title certificate, you can apply for a duplicate AL title by completing an Application for Replacement Title (Form MVT-12-1).
Send the completed form along with payment for the $15 replacement title fee (made out to Alabama Department of Revenue) to the address listed on the form. You may also apply for a replacement title at your local license plate issuing office.
Title Transfer Regulations
Rules and regulations concerning application for Alabama certificate of title are specified and regulated by Alabama Department of Revenue. Inquiries or concerns may be addressed to Motor Vehicle Division - Title Section, P O Box 327640, Montgomery, Alabama 36132-7640. The office location is at the Gordon Persons Building in Montgomery (email@example.com).
Altered Documents (Regulation 810-5-75-.39)
The State Motor Vehicle Department will not accept any document that has been altered. This includes any type of fluid or means used to remove, delete, or cover up previously entered information.
Certification of Physical Inspection of Vehicle (Regulation 810-5-5-.13)
A physical inspection and verification of the VIN and descriptive data shown on the title application is required only for first certificates of title, including the following:
o New vehicles - Application for first title.
o Out-of-state vehicles - Brought into Alabama and surrender out-of-state titles.
o Other vehicles - Not currently titled and subject to Alabama title law.
o All non-title vehicles being registered for the first time in a new owner's name and not registered in Alabama within the two previous calendar years.
(The vehicle or trailer may be brought to the Houston County Administrative Building or State Form MVT 5-10 (download form) may be completed and inspected by a governmental law enforcement officer in Alabama.)
Requirements for Name and Signature (Regulation 810-5-75-.40)
An application for a certificate of title shall have the name of the vehicle owner on the title application form (MVT 5-1C). The signature of owner must be the individual owner signature or a Power of Attorney (download form) appointee. If joint ownership is reflected names joined by 'AND' then, 'BOTH' owners must sign the title application. No more than two owners shall be listed on an application for certificate of title.
Seller's Signature Requirements (Regulation 810-5-75-.37)
The proper assignment of title by the registered owner or selling dealer is a necessary part of the transfer of a vehicle. The signature of the seller must meet the Revenue Department's requirements for transfer of title. Seller must sign exactly or more than name shown on face of title e.g. Blackwood James M on face of title should sign legal signature as James M. Blackwood. James Marshall Blackwood is also an acceptable signature. The listing of Davis Wm T on face of title should sign legal signature as William T. Davis.
Surrender of Out-of-State Title (Regulation 810-5-5-.07-.08)
When a vehicle enters this state from a title state and an application is made for an Alabama certificate of title, the original out-of-state title or replacement title shall be surrendered. A leasing company located outside of Alabama, which leases a vehicle that will be domiciled in Alabama, shall furnish the residence address of the lessee and grant power of attorney (download form) to an appointee to sign title application. The lessor shall always be named as owner and title shall be mailed to owner's mailing address as provided. If the out-of-state title is held by a lien holder, then a copy or electronic copy of the original title record may be provided and the new resident may receive vehicle registration only with the out-of-state title remaining with the lien holder.
Transfer of Title to an Alabama Owner (Regulation 810-5-75-.18)
The titled owner(s) assigns the title to the purchaser(s). If the purchaser is a licensed auto dealer, then he may reassign the title to the next dealer, etc. If a title is assigned to an individual or firm who is not a licensed auto dealer that party must first obtain title in their name.