Alabama Car Title Laws

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Alabama requires vehicles made from 1975 to the present to have an Alabama certificate of title. In Alabama law, the definition of a vehicle includes every automobile, motorcycle, truck, trailer and any other machine that is self-propelled. Exclusions to this law include vehicles owned by the United States, vehicles owned by non-residents of Alabama, snowmobiles and vehicles drawn by animals.


The applicant is required to apply through a designated agent, which include county license plate issuing officials, certain Alabama financial institutions and select motor vehicle dealers. It is also acceptable to submit an application for a car title directly to the Alabama Department of Revenue.


Each automobile title application fee is $15. An application fee of $20 is payable for a manufactured home. Any designated agent and county license plate issuing official is entitled to add a fee of $1.50 per application by way of commission.


A number of documents are required for a car title application. These include the manufacturer's certificate of origin, proof that the vehicle is registered in a state that does not title vehicles should such be applicable, and any documentation that shows the transfer of the vehicle to the current applicant. Should the vehicle not meet the required emissions and anti-theft standards, additional documentation will need to be presented.


Applicants are advised that the processing time to obtain their car title will vary. They are further advised to make contact with the designated agent that received the initial application. Applicants can also make email contact with the title section at


An Alabama certificate of title cannot be issued until it has been established that the current owner is listed on an existing certificate of title by another state. Any vehicle that is subject to the Alabama title law is eligible to register without first receiving a certificate of title if the original title was not issued by select other states. These twelve states are Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

Replacement titles

The application for a replacement title can be submitted to the Alabama Department of Revenue. An application fee is $15 is applicable. This fee is nonrefundable. An applicant can also approach a designated agent to process the application for a replacement title.