Title Application

Application is made to ADOR, effective January 1, 2017, for all motor vehicles less than 35 years old.

All applications contain certification from designated agent verifying (1) physical inspection of vehicle; (2) accuracy of vehicle identification number and descriptive data; and (3) identification of person signing application.

Application for certificate of title must contain (1) owner’s name, current residence, and mailing address; (2) description of vehicle; (3) date of purchase; (4) name and address of person vehicle acquired from; and (5) lienholder information, if relevant. First certificates other than for new vehicles must contain either copy of notarized bill of sale or certified copies of license tags and tax receipts from previous 2 years, in lieu of manufacturer statement of origin.

If vehicle purchased from dealer, must contain (1) name and address of lienholder; (2) date of security agreement; and (3) signature of dealer and owner.

If application for new vehicle, must contain manufacturer’s statement of origin.

If application refers to vehicle registered in another state or country, application must contain certificate of title issued by state or country, and information reasonably required to establish ownership.

Title Transfer of Ownership

If owner transfers interest in vehicle, except by creation of security interest, may execute assignment and warranty of title at time of vehicle delivery.

If dealer buys car to resell and obtains certificate of title within 15 days of vehicle delivery, must execute assignment and warranty of title upon vehicle transfer to another person, unless transfer by security interest.

If owner interest is terminated or vehicle sold under security agreement by lienholder, application must contain last certificate of title, assignment of title, and affidavit certifying that vehicle is repossessed and that interest lawfully terminated or sold pursuant to security agreement.

Titles for Mobile Homes

Application is made to ADOR, effective January 1, 2017, for mobile homes and travel trailers less than 20 years old.

If mobile home is affixed to real property, and ownership of mobile home and real property is identical, owner may obtain cancellation of title to mobile home provided mobile home title; (2) certified copy of deed or conveyance instruments of real property; (3) affidavit certifying ownership interests; and (4) lien release forms are sent to ADOR.

Mobile homes and travel trailers more than 20 years old are not required to be titled.

Registration Application

Upon acquiring motor vehicle, registration with probate judge or county official must occur within 20 calendar days from purchase date.  Proof of insurance is required upon registration, as is current identification documents, which may vary from county to county.

Registration for Non-Residents

Non-residents must register vehicle in Alabama within 30 days from date of entry, or expiration of previous tag, whichever comes first. Must have title application; certificate of title; or certification from the previous state that titles were not issued in that year. Then previous state registration must be produced. Vehicles must be inspected by the state unless owner is a college student or in the military. Vehicle must be in state.

Emissions Inspection

No statewide emissions inspections required.

Safety Inspection

Safety inspections are required prior to sale or transfer of ownership. Cities may provide for inspection of motor vehicles operated on its streets, alleys, or highways.

Title and Registration Fees


Title Fee: $18.00

Registration Fee: $23.00 + issuance fee (may differ by county)


Title Fee: $18.00

Registration Fee: $15.00


Plate Fee: $26.19

Registration Fee: n/a

Driver’s License Fee: $31.25

Title Fee: $15.00

Special Plates: $50.00

Plate Disbursement

License plates for automobiles and pickup trucks with 2 axles and a gross weight not greater than 12,000 lbs. are valid for 5 years.

During the 5-year license period, tabs, stamps, or devices as determined by ADOR must be affixed to the vehicle to indicate expiration.

Person changing county residence must purchase new license plate upon expiration of previous license plate or at return of old license plate.

All plates shall be treated with reflective material.

The color scheme for license plates is red and blue.

One license plate is issued and must be placed at rear of vehicle.

Distinctive license plate and placard provided for handicapped individual if medical proof submitted.

Transfer of Plates

When motor vehicle is sold or otherwise disposed of, license plate must be removed and may be transferred to a newly acquired vehicle of same class if transfer fees and other regular fees and taxes due on vehicle are paid.

Driver's License Examination

All persons applying for original driver’s license must take a written, vision (20/40 acuity required in each eye), and driving examination.

Graduated Driver’s Licensing

Alabama has a system of graduated licensing for novice drivers.

At age 15, individuals are eligible for a learner’s/instruction permit.

  • Learner’s/instruction permit holders may drive with parent, legal guardian, or licensed passenger 21 or older in the front passenger seat.
  • At age 16, after an individual has held a permit for 6 months and completed a minimum of 50 hours behind-the-wheel practice, they are eligible for the road test. An individual can be waived from taking the road test if they have received a certificate from their Driver Education instructor.

At age 16, individuals are eligible for an intermediate license.

  • Intermediate license holders may not drive with more than 1 passenger (except family members or licensed drivers age 21 or older) and are restricted from driving between midnight and 6 a.m. (secondarily enforced).

At age 17, with 6 months of driving experience and with no violations, drivers are eligible for an unrestricted license.

Driver’s License Issuance/Application

Driver’s license is required before driving motor vehicle in state.

New residents must obtain driver’s license within 30 days of establishing residence.

Foreign nationals seeking driver licenses and other issued state identification must come to a district driver license office for service, with all immigration documents.

License shall contain licensee’s assigned number, class of license, color photograph, name, birth date, address, personal description, and signature.

At issuance, oath administered and color photograph taken by the driver license examiner at designated driver license office.

License shall not be issued to habitual drug or alcohol user.

A person 16 years of age or older, having met all state requirements, is eligible to obtain a driver’s license pursuant to conditions of the graduated driver license law.

Applicants who are at least 70 years old or have an expired license may elect to obtain a license good for either 4 years ($12) or 8 years ($24). CDL learner’s permits are good for 1 year.

Driver’s License Renewal

Renewal license issued after the expiration of original license does not require examination if renewed within 3 years of expiration.

After original license expires, subsequent renewals are required 4 years from the expiration date of the original license, regardless of when the preceding license is issued. Exception: CDL permits are not renewable.

Renewal notice mailed to each licensee 30 days after expiration date of license, if not yet renewed.

Grace period of 60 days granted after the expiration of license for purpose of renewal, and license is valid during this period.

Renewal of license may occur from 60 days (effective August 1, 2016, 180 days) prior to expiration to 3 years after date; afterwards, applicant required to take and pass examination.

Any valid driver license in the possession of a person on active duty with the U.S. Armed Forces, their dependents, or any person temporarily out of Alabama at time of license renewal may be eligible to renew by mail, but must have a photo on file taken within the last 8 years. Military personnel may renew up to 60 days prior to the license expiration date. Upon return to the state, the licensee should apply for a duplicate license with photo at the office of the license commissioner.

A valid home state license of military personnel and their dependents is honored while based in state.

Types of Driver’s Licenses

Class A, B, C, D, M, and V licenses valid for 4 years. CDL permit valid for 1 year.

Class A is valid for driver with combination of vehicles with Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of 26,001 lbs. or more, if vehicle is towing an excess of 10,000 lbs.

Class B is valid for single vehicle with GVWR of 26,001 lbs. or more, and vehicle is not towing an excess of 10,000 lbs. GVWR.

Class C is valid for single vehicle with GVWR of less than 26,001 lbs. or vehicle towing another vehicle that has a GVWR that does not exceed 10,000 lbs., which includes vehicles designed to carry 16 or more passengers with the driver, and vehicles used to transport hazardous materials.

Class M is valid for motorcycle and motor-driven cycles.

Class V is valid for motorized watercraft.

Distracted Driving

Texting while driving is prohibited. Drivers aged 16 and drivers age 17 with intermediate licenses for less than 6 months are prohibited from using a handheld communication device while driving. Handheld cell phone use is prohibited in some municipalities, including Montgomery.


No prohibition on wearing of headsets while driving.

Impaired Driving

Forty-nine states and the District of Columbia prohibit the operation of a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating beverages, with the illegal per se limit set at 0.08 percent blood alcohol content (.08 BAC). Utah’s per se limit is 0.05 BAC. All 50 states and the District of Columbia set the legal drinking age at 21.

Every state’s chemical test law has ‘‘an implied consent’’ provision providing that any person operating a motor vehicle on a public highway, who is suspected of impaired driving consents to a chemical test to determine if he or she is inebriated. Failure to submit or pass such a test may cause the driver’s license to be suspended or revoked regardless of any court action finding the person innocent of the impaired driving charge.

The most comprehensive resource on U.S. impaired driving laws is the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Digest of Impaired Driving and Selected Beverage Control Laws.  NHTSA’s Digest is updated annually.

Alabama requires the use of ignition interlocks for all impaired driving offenders.

Move Over Law

State law requires drivers approaching stationary emergency vehicles that are displaying flashing lights, including wreckers, or utility vehicles displaying flashing lights traveling in the same direction, to vacate the lane closest if safe and possible to do so, or to slow to at least 15mph less than the posted speed limit. Also included in the law are municipal vehicles, utility vehicles, and Department of Transportation vehicles displaying flashing lights.

Seat Belts

Seat belts are required for the driver and front seat passengers age 15 and older.

The seat belt law is standard enforcement.

Riding in the back of an unenclosed pickup truck is permitted.

Child Passenger Safety

Children ages 6 until 15 are required to wear a seat belt in all seats.

Booster seats or child safety seats are required until age 6.

Children must be in forward-facing seats or convertible seats until age 5 or 40 lbs. Infant seats and convertible seats are required to be rear-facing until passenger is at least 1 year old or 20 lbs. in weight.

All child restraint laws are standard enforcement.

Railroad Crossing

Driver shall keep to the right half of highway at railroad crossing unless area is obstructed or impassable.

School buses, vehicles carrying explosives, and buses or trucks carrying passengers must stop at all railroad crossings.

School Buses

Upon meeting or overtaking in either direction a school bus receiving or discharging children, or a church bus receiving or discharging passengers, driver must stop and not proceed until bus resumes movement or visual signals are no longer actuated.  Does not apply to traffic on a 4-lane divided highway moving in the opposite direction.

Bumper Height

Modification of original vehicle bumper height is permitted.

Headlight Use

Headlights are required to be on when wipers are in use or visibility is less than 500 feet, as well as 30 minutes after sunset and 30 minutes before sunrise.

Hazard Light Use

The use of hazard lights is permitted while driving unless otherwise posted.

Tire Chains

Tire chain usage is permitted for hazardous weather or other related incidents only, but may not damage the highway surface.

Studded Tires

Studded tires are permitted at all times with rubber studs. Metal studs are permitted only during bad weather.

Glass/Window Tinting

Tinting of front windshield glass to reduce light transmission is not permitted, except for the upper 6 inches of the windshield.

For side windows or rear windshield, glass tinting that reduces light transmission to less than 32% or increases light reflectance to more than 20% is not permitted.  For SUVs, vans and trucks, the limit is 32% for the driver’s window and the front passenger window only.

Video Screens

No television screen shall be located in front of driver’s seat or in a way to obstruct driver’s field of vision.

Radar Detectors

Radar detectors are permitted for passenger vehicles but prohibited for use by commercial vehicles.

Windshield Stickers

No person may operate motor vehicle with sign, poster, or other non-transparent material that obstructs visibility.

Other Equipment Rules


Motorcycle Equipment

Motor-driven cycle includes every motorcycle that, when equipped, weighs less than 200 lbs., motor scooters, and bicycles with a motor attached.

Motor-driven cycle shall have brakes adequate to control movement and stopping of vehicle.

Motorcycle carrying passengers, except in sidecar or enclosed cab, shall have footrests for passenger.

No person shall operate motorcycle with handlebars more than 15 inches in height above seat.

Protective headgear and shoes required for motorcycle operators and passengers.

No parent or legal guardian of juvenile shall knowingly permit or allow juvenile to operate or ride motorcycle without protective headgear or shoes.

Motorcycle Licenses

Effective January 1, 2016, a motorcycle operator obtaining a license after January 1, 2016 must have a class M endorsement on their license.  Motorcycle operators must complete a written motorcycle test designated by ALEA or complete a specified operator course. Operators under age 17 shall be subject to graduated drivers licensing operating restrictions.

Motorcycle Noise Limits

No statewide motorcycle noise limit laws.

Mopeds & Other

Registration and license plate are required.

Minimum age to ride a moped is 14.

The following safety equipment is required: headlamp, tail lamp, stop lamp, side and rear reflectors, brakes, mirrors, horn, muffler, helmet, and shoes.

Trailer Dimensions

Total length: 57 feet; trailer length: 28 feet 6 inches; motor home length: 45 feet; width: 8 feet 6 inches (excluding mirrors and safety equipment, and appurtenances up to 6 inches attached to a motor home, travel trailer, self-propelled camper or house car, truck camper, or RV); height: 13 feet 6 inches.

Trailer Brakes

Independent braking system required over 3,000 lbs, if weight of trailer exceeds 40% of tow vehicle weight.

Trailer Hitch/Signals

Drawbar or connection between vehicles must not exceed 15 feet in length; a red flag, other signal, or cloth not less than 12 inches in length and width must be used.

Trailer Lighting

Trailer, semitrailer, pole trailer, or vehicle drawn by another vehicle must be equipped with at least 1 tail lamp on rear that emits red light from a distance of 500 feet and the lamp height must be no more than 60 inches but not less than 20 inches.

Trailer, semitrailer, or pole trailer with a gross weight of 3,000 lbs. or less must have 2 reflectors on the rear with 1 placed on each side.

If load or trailer obscures stop light view of towing vehicle, stop light must be placed on towed vehicle.

Trailer Mirrors

Rearview mirrors required on both sides.

Trailer Speed Limits

Must be reasonable and proper.

Trailer Towing

Maximum of 1 boat or general utility trailer may be towed behind passenger or pleasure vehicles.

Trailer Other Provisions

Riding in towed trailer not permitted. Riding in a pickup camper permitted.

House trailers more than 40 feet long or 8 feet wide excluded without state permit.

Accident Reporting

Crashes are required to be reported in incidents of death, injury, or when property damage exceeds $500.00 from an uninsured motorist.

The deadline to file a (safety responsibility) report is 30 days.

Liability Laws

State has security-type law applicable in event of accident causing property damage in excess of $250 or personal injury or death. Minimum required coverage is $25,000 for bodily injury or death of 1 person in 1 accident; $50,000 for 2 or more persons in any 1 accident; and $25,000 for injury or destruction of property in 1 accident.

State has non-resident service of process law and guest suit law.