New Registration

To be legal on AL roadways, you need to have more than just a driver’s license. That is why you must first receive a vehicle registration before getting behind the wheel of your automobile. Registering a new vehicle in Alabama is slightly different depending on the type of car you have or how you obtained it, so to avoid confusion, this article will detail how to apply for a new registration.

Important Requirements

Before you can apply for new vehicle registration, you must have previously obtained an AL title. You must also have auto insurance that is up to AL standards. When registering, you will need proof of this insurance. It is also important to note that Alabama has not made emissions inspections compulsory prior to registering your vehicles. However, out-of-state vehicles must get a VIN inspection to ensure the numbers match the title from out-of-state.

How to Register New Vehicles in AL

AL residents who purchase a brand new vehicle, whether from a private party or a dealership, have 20 days to register it.

A car dealership will often submit the title application upon payment for your new vehicle. You will need this title when you apply for a new registration. Next, go to the county licensing office to turn in the following:

  • A copy of a title application, manufacturer’s certificate of origin, or a vehicle title
  • Bill of sale – received from the dealership; will have itemized sales tax info
  • Dealer’s affidavit – if you bought the car in another state
  • License plates – if applicable (and if you want them transferred)
  • Valid driver’s license
  • Proof of residence
  • Proof of auto insurance
  • Payment for applicable fees (see the fee section below)

Registering Used Cars

If you have purchased the vehicle from someone else instead of going to a dealership, the title will be transferred to you while you register the vehicle. Keep in mind that you will expected to pay titling fees and taxes alongside the usual vehicle registration fees.

To register a used car, go to the county licensing office nearest you to submit:

  • A completed title form from the previous owner
  • Any license plates you want transferred, if applicable
  • Driver’s license
  • Proof of auto insurance
  • Proof of residence
  • Odometer Disclosure Statement – if the vehicle is less than 10 years old and weighs less than 16,000 pounds.

New Residents

Upon becoming an AL resident, you have 30 days to register a vehicle from out-of-state and switch the license plates over. In order to do these without any problems, you should first get an AL title and auto insurance.

If the vehicle hasn’t been leased, you simply submit the current title of you vehicle, if you have one, to the county licensing office along with the following:

  • Out-of-state, up-to-date vehicle registrations
  • VIN number
  • Payment for fees

Leased vehicles require an additional step. Contact your local county licensing office so they can help you through the process.

Applicable Registration Fees

There is no standard amount. Car, truck, van, motorcycles, motorhomes and RVs can be registered, and the price is calculated using:

  • Vehicle body style
  • Vehicle weight
  • Renewal month – this is based on your last name. Initial registration fee is pro-rated based on the number of months left to renew your registration.
  • County-based taxes and surcharges.

To receive an estimate for the fees, visit the Alabama DOR website for more information.

Now that you know what is required to get your vehicle registration in AL, you should have no problems completing the steps.