Vehicle Registration Renewal

If you need vehicle registration renewal in Alabama, there are several steps to follow. The process can be simplified, though, so long as you know which documents you’ll need ahead of time. It’s also helpful if you can figure out how much the renewal will cost so you’re ready with the payment. Luckily, there’s a lot of online assistance to help you through this process, but we’ll also go over more traditional options.

The Renewal Process

The Motor Vehicle Division, which is part of the Alabama Department of Revenue, oversees car registration renewal. The specific process for renewing your registration will be different depending on your county. For example, certain counties allow online renewals, while others require you to visit an office in person.

When to Renew Your Registration

Motorists have to complete a vehicle registration annually between January and November. The exact month you need to renew your registration is based on the first letter of your last name, and you can contact the DMV if you’re unsure of which month your registration expires. If your vehicle’s registration has two people’s names on it, like you and your spouse, the registration month goes by the first letter of the last name of the first person listed.

You’ll need to renew the registration prior to the last day of your renewal month. You may not get an annual renewal notice based on your county, so it’s important that you remember when you need to renew your registration by so that the date doesn’t pass. If you don’t receive a renewal notice, that doesn’t mean you don’t have to renew your registration by your designated date. If you don’t renew your registration, you may incur interest, late fees or other penalties.

Renewing Your Registration Online

There are between 40 and 50 counties in Alabama that allow you to renew your registration online. If you live in one of these counties, you’ll need to have a valid Alabama driver’s license or a state ID card, plus proof of auto insurance.

Even though the exact process of renewing online will vary by county, you’ll likely need the following information:

  • Email address
  • Payment information
  • Phone number
  • Record number
  • Vehicle tag number and pin

Once you’ve completed the online registration renewal, you’ll get confirmation via email, which will include your confirmation number and receipt of payment. You’ll want to print out this information and keep the receipt until you receive your official registration sticker in the mail.

Go to a DMV Office

If you prefer to handle a renewal transaction in person, head to a DMV office in Alabama. Just make sure that the local branch you’re going to offers the specific services you need at the time you’ll be visiting. You may also have to wait for a long time to be seen, so consider handling whatever possible online before going to a DMV office.

Note that certain counties don’t allow for online renewal, which means you’ll have to either renew in person or by mail. Make sure that you have your driver’s license and your car insurance card along with you.

Renew by Mail

If you don’t want to use online assistance, you are able to handle DMV transactions via regular mail. However, note that payment options may be restricted by mail. Also, you’ll have to wait for longer turnaround times. Ultimately, while using mail to handle DMV transactions is possible, it’s much more convenient and fast to do everything online.