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  • Paperwork When Selling a Car in Alabama

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    Paperwork Required to Sell Your Car in Alabama

    If you don't know the first thing about selling a car in Alabama—or the second, or the third—rest assured that you're not alone. The process can get complicated, so we've summed up a short guide of everything you need to know.

    Selling a Vehicle in Alabama

    When you sell your car in Alabama, you'll need to sign the car title over to the buyer. Conveniently, the form you'll need to do so is located directly on the back of the title itself. Fill it out according to the instructions and submit it to your Alabama Department of Revenue county title and registration office.

    What about all of the work needed to prepare the car for sale and to find a suitable buyer? This part can be just as tricky, if not trickier, than the more formal process of the exchange. Use our Guide to Selling Your Car and you’ll have a detailed plan that covers everything from the pre-sale prep work to the post-sale wrap-up.

    Required Documents in Alabama

    If you're lucky, all you'll need is the car title with the completed assignment on the back to sell your car in Alabama. More complicated circumstances, however, call for additional documentation.

    NOTE: If you’re missing the vehicle’s certificate of title, see “Duplicate Alabama Title Certificate” below.

    • Bill of sale: Some counties require an Alabama bill of sale to verify the purchase and complete the title transfer. Regardless, a bill of sale is always highly recommended for independent vehicle sales, since they protect the purchase by providing both parties with legal documentation of the exchange.
    • Federal odometer statement: Established by the Federal Truth-in-Mileage Act of 1986 and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration regulations, both you and the buyer must include a Conforming Odometer Statement on the back of the title certificate.
      • If the car title lacks a space for a statement, a separate Federal Odometer Statement must be completed and submitted accordingly. Contact the AL DOR for more information.

    Duplicate Alabama Title Certificate

    If you’ve lost your title certificate, or it’s too damaged to use, you can apply for a duplicate. Just visit your local Alabama Department of Revenue office  and submit an Application for Replacement Title (Form MVT-12-1). Payment for the $15 non-refundable application fee is required upon submission.

    You can also submit your application and payment to:

    • County license plate issuing officials.
    • Licensed Alabama car dealers.
    • Qualified financial institutions, including banks and credit unions.

    For more information, visit our Replacing a Lost Title in Alabama page.

    AL Vehicle History Report

    Vehicle history reports aren't just for buyers. They can also be highly useful for sellers. A comprehensive vehicle history report can provide you with potential selling points while you're working on marketing your car.

    Whether your car has the best track record or not, disclosing your own vehicle history report indicates that you're a trustworthy seller, which ultimately works in your favor.

    To find out how vehicle history reports work, and how you can use them optimally, read our handy guide.

    Transferring License Plates after a Sale

    License plates can only remain with their original registrants, which means they must be removed from your car after you sell it. You can opt to transfer your license plates to a new vehicle at your local AL DOR office.