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Vehicle Registration

How Do I?

When should I renew my car tag?

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.

To view the renewal schedule or to find more information about vehicle registration, click here.

Is liability insurance required?

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 19THAvenue, Tuscaloosa, AL 35401. The telephone number for the local ADOR Taxpayer Service Center is (205)759-2571.

To view the renewal schedule or to find more information about vehicle registration, click here.

What do I need to register my new vehicle?

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.

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

  1. Alabama Title or 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

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.

To find more information about vehicle registration, click here.