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VEHICLE REGISTRATION

Attention:  Title applications will NOT be processed beginning 15 minutes prior to closing time.

RENEWAL SCHEDULE

The first letter of a person's last name determines the renewal month if the vehicle is registered in the individual's name.  The renewal month for vehicles that are registered to two people is based on the first person listed on the registration.  Vehicles that are registered in business names (or have been classed as commercial) renew in October and November each year.  All late registrations and renewals are subject to late penalties.

Renewal Month

Last Name Begins With:

January

A, D

February

B

March

C, E

April

F, G, N

May

H, O

June

M, I

July

P, L

August

J, K, R

September

Q, S, T

October

U, V, W, X, Y,Z

October/November

Commercial Vehicles

RENEWAL INFORMATION

License plates must be renewed annually.  The official notice to renew the license plate for a vehicle is the vehicle's registration.  Some counties, including Tuscaloosa County, mail out courtesy reminders to renew license plates.  However, the failure of a person to receive a reminder notice does not waive any penalty or interest charges levied under Alabama law.

If your address has changed since the last time you renewed your license plate, come in person to renew.  Do not mail in your payment!  Your tax district may have changed, and the cost printed on your renewal notice may be incorrect.

Remember:  Failure to renew your license plate during your scheduled renewal month will result in penalties and interest.

ONLINE INSURANCE VERIFICATION SYSTEM (OIVS)

In accordance with Act 2011-688, effective January 1, 2013, license plate issuing officials must verify the insurance status of vehicles prior to each license plate transaction.

Alabama law provides that no person shall operate, register, or maintain registration of a motor vehicle designed to be used on a public road or highway unless it is covered by a liability insurance policy.

Licensing officials must use the Online Insurance Verification System (OIVS) in order to verify the insurance information for all personal insurance policy holders. Registrants must provide the insurer’s NAIC and policy number for each vehicle registration. If this information cannot be verified through OIVS, the registrant will be required to present a copy of evidence of insurance, most commonly an insurance card.

Prior to renewing or registering vehicles, driver license and non-driver ID cards for all owners on record must be verified. ALVerify can normally be used to verify Alabama driver license and non-driver IDs, but valid, unexpired out-of-state driver licenses or non-driver ID cards should be presented at the time of each license plate transaction.

If a vehicle owner is deceased, that person’s name will need to be removed from the title and registration prior to renewing the tag.

To avoid delays, please bring your valid, unexpired driver license AND insurance card with you to the office or include copies of them with all mail renewals if possible.

Commercial and fleet policy holders must present copies of their current fleet or commercial insurance card or policy at the time of all license plate transactions.

For additional information on the insurance law, please visit www.besuretoinsureal.com.

MANDATORY LIABILITY INSURANCE (MLI) SUSPENSIONS

Periodically, the state sends out requests for insurance information for vehicle owners.  If the state sends a request to a person and does not receive a response, the state suspends that person's license plate pending verification of insurance.  The state will also suspend a person's license plate if the insurance company denies that a vehicle was covered on the verification date.

If your license plate has been suspended for MLI reasons, you will have to reinstate your license plate before being able to renew it.  In order to reinstate your vehicle license plate, bring in your proof of insurance from the date the state asked you to verify along with your current proof of insurance.  To reinstate a license plate after the first offense costs $200, while the second offense costs $400.  Reinstatement payments are accepted in the form of certifies funds, e.g. cash, money order or cashier's check.

The License Office can reinstate most vehicle license plates, but not all.  If you have any questions about MLI issues, please contact the Alabama Department of Revenue - MLI Section.  They have a local office at 518 19TH Avenue, Tuscaloosa, AL 35401.  The telephone number for the local ADOR Taxpayer Service Center is (205)759-2571.

VEHICLE REGISTRATION REQUIREMENTS

Alabama law provides 20 calendar days for the new owner of a vehicle to purchase a license plate.  A new resident in Alabama has 30 calendar days to transfer his or her out-of-state registration to Alabama.

Alabama law requires that a vehicle's current (unexpired) registration and insurance be kept in the vehicle at all times.  The person driving the vehicle must also keep his or her valid driver license in the vehicle.

Please be aware that the requirements below are general, and that other documentation is sometimes required in order to process a title and/or registration. Every situation is different, and until all paperwork can be examined, there is no way to know whether or not any additional documentation is necessary.

In order to register a Newly Purchased Vehicle, you will need:

  1. Title or Manufacturer's Statement (Certificate) of Origin or Alabama Title Application
  2. Bill of Sale
  3. Driver License or Non-Driver ID (for all owners)
  4. Insurance (Policy Number & NAIC Number)
  5. Proof of Residency

In order to register a State-to-State Transfer with a Lienholder* (no change of ownership), you will need:

  1. Legible Copy of the Original Certificate of Title
  2. Out-of-State Registration
  3. Power of Attorney (If a Leased Vehicle)
  4. Driver License or Non-Driver ID (For All Owners)
  5. Insurance (Policy Number & NAIC Number)
  6. Proof of Residency
  7. Vehicle must be brought to the License Office for inspection.

* Some states send the valid original title to the owner, not to the lienholder. Persons registering vehicles from the following states must surrender their out-of-state titles in order to apply for Alabama titles:  Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma and Wisconsin.

* Michigan, Montana, South Dakota and Wyoming give the vehicle owner the choice of having the title mailed to the owner or to the lienholder.  Persons registering vehicles from these four states must either surrender the original title or provide proof that the original title was mailed to the lienholder.

VEHICLE REGISTRATION FEES

Registration Fees are generally comprised of 3 parts:  a license plate fee ($23.00), an issue fee ($1.25) and ad valorem taxes (which vary depending upon the market value of the vehicle and the tax district of the owner of the vehicle).  However, additional fees and/or exemptions may apply depending on the type of license plate selected and the eligibility of the registrant.

LICENSE PLATES (TAGS)

The license plate required for a vehicle will vary depending upon the type, use and weight of the specific vehicle.  Most vehicles, however, are eligible for a number of different style license plates.  The State of Alabama has a large number of special license plates in addition to the standard county tag from which to choose.  Most special license plates vary in cost from the standard tag, and some require proof of eligibility in order to purchase.

Please visit the links below for information on specific license plates, and their uses, costs, requirements and restrictions.

PERSONALIZED LICENSE PLATES

Many license plates can be personalized.  You can visit the link below in order to search the personalized database to see if your desired personalized message is available.  Simply select the Tag Type from the drop-down menu, input your tag choices, click Continue and follow the instructions on-screen.

https://www.alabamainteractive.org/ador_pt/welcome.action

Personalized tag reservations made through the site are only valid for a limited period of time.  If you choose to reserve a personalized message through the site, you must still come to the License Office to order the license plate.  If your reservation expires before you have ordered the tag, the tag message will be released, and anyone can get it.

If you are planning to upgrade the current license plate on your vehicle, you must bring the valid license plate from the vehicle.  However, if you are reserving a message for a renewal or for a new purchase, there is usually no need to bring in the previous license plate. 

AD VALOREM TAX

Ad valorem tax is the property tax on the vehicle that is paid each year when purchasing a license plate.  The amount of ad valorem tax due is based on the tax district in which the vehicle is located and the "class" of the vehicle.

  • Class IV motor vehicles are assessed at 15% of the market value - All private passenger motor vehicles to include private passenger vehicles under lease-purchase option, vehicles registered in name of a trust or beneficiary, station wagons, sport utility vehicles, vans and "pickup" trucks with an option to purchase, which weigh twelve thousand (12,000) pounds gross vehicle weight (GVW) or less that are owned and operated by an individual for personal or private use and not for hire, rent, or compensation.
  • Class II motor vehicles are assessed at 20% of the market value - All motor vehicles that do not fall within the definition of either Class IV or Class I motor vehicles. This class includes motorcycles, trailers, recreational vehicles, leased vehicles not for private use and without lease-purchase option contractual agreements, trucks weighing more than twelve thousand (12,000) pounds gross weight, and all vehicles used for commercial purposes.
  • Class I motor vehicles are assessed at 30% of the market value - All motor vehicles owned by public utilities and used in the business of such utilities.

The ad valorem tax on used vehicles is normally paid at the time of registration forward until that person or business's renewal month.  For registrations of new Class IV vehicles only, if the new vehicle was purchased outside of that person's renewal month, the ad valorem tax is deferred until that person's next renewal month.  However, if the new vehicle was purchased during that person's renewal month, the ad valorem taxes are not deferred, and must be paid at the time of registration.

AD VALOREM TAX CREDIT

Upon the sale, trade, total destruction, permanent removal from Alabama, theft without recovery, or other transfer of a motor vehicle, the owner may apply for a prorated credit for the ad valorem taxes paid for the remainder of the current period for which ad valorem taxes have been paid.  No vehicle taken out of service by the owner is eligible for ad valorem tax credit.

Ad valorem tax credit can only be requested in the county in which the license plate was purchased, and a person has up to 12 months from the date of the disposition of a vehicle to apply for ad valorem tax credit.

The credit may be used to pay ad valorem taxes on a replacement vehicle or other vehicles acquired by the owner.  If the ad valorem tax credit is not used at the time of application, a refund check for credit will be sent to the owner.  Refund checks are normally mailed by the 20th day of the month after application for ad valorem tax credit has been made.  However, the ad valorem tax credit, at the direction of the owner, can be transferred to a spouse or dependent child only, or the person or corporation that shall have rented or leased the motor vehicle from the owner.

REQUIRED DOCUMENTATION FOR AD VALOREM TAX CREDIT

Vouchers shall be supported by the proper documentation. This must have a complete description of the vehicle for which credit is being requested.

  1. Casual Sale or Trade - Bill of Sale or Affidavit of Buyer and Address
  2. Sale or Trade to a Licensed Dealer - Dealer's Bill of Sale
  3. Theft of Vehicle - Theft Report by Law Authority or Insurance Document
  4. Removal of Vehicle from Alabama - Copy of Out-of-State Registration
  5. Totally Wrecked - Affidavit of Settlement with Insurance Company or Affidavit of Buyer and Address

If you have any questions concerning the registration of vehicles and the information contained herein, please contact the Tuscaloosa County License Office at (205)464-8233 or (205)464-8234.

License Commissioner Seal

Disclaimer: The information contained in this website is current as of January 1, 2013. It is not all-inclusive, and is only meant to provide general information regarding licensing and registration requirements in Tuscaloosa County. Please note that changes in the law and directives from the Alabama Department of Revenue can alter, negate or compound the requirements contained herein.

CONTACT INFORMATION

License Commissioner:

Jeff Brown

 

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 20737
Tuscaloosa, AL 35402

Phone:

General Inquiries
(205) 464-8233 or (205) 464-8234
Business License,
Hunting & Fishing License,
Boat & Manufactured Home Inquiries

(205) 464-8235 or (205) 464-8371

Email:

license@tuscco.com

FAX:

(205) 750-0530


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OFFICE LOCATIONS

Main Office:

Tuscaloosa County License Department
2501 7th Street, Suite 100
Tuscaloosa, AL 35401
Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Monday through Friday

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Northport Office:

West End of Northport City Hall
(At the corner of Highway 82 and Highway 43)
3500 McFarland Blvd
Northport, AL 35476
Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 4:25 p.m.
Monday through Friday

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Skyland Office:

Spiller Market Center
(Across from Wal-Mart)
1514 Skyland Boulevard East
Tuscaloosa, AL 35405
Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Monday through Friday

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County Courthouse

714 Greensboro Avenue
Tuscaloosa, AL 35401
(205) 349-3870