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  • Renewing Your License in Alabama

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    Determine the Status of Your License

    Driver's licenses are valid for 4 years; after that, you must renew your license. The Driver License Division of the Alabama Department of Public Safety (DPS) allows you to renew your license 60 days before it expires, and even gives you a "grace period" of 60 days after it expires in which your license will still be valid.

    In addition to renewing your license every 4 years, you must also maintain a car insurance policy or some other acceptable alternative that meets the state's minimum coverage requirements. You can review these requirements and even shop for car insurance online when you visit our Insurance Center.

    Valid License

    If you have a valid Class D driver's license or Class M motorcycle license, you must renew your license every 4 years using one of the methods explained at length below:

    • In person
    • By mail

    Checking your driving record will let you know whether your license is valid.

    NOTE: Visit our CDL section to find the process to renew your commercial license.

    Expired License

    If your license has been expired for up to 3 years, you can renew it without examination using one of the same options:

    • In person
    • By mail

    Please remember you can only drive with your expired license as long as it's within the grace period of 60 days. After that, you can no longer legally drive. You can look at the date on your driver's license or check your driving record to determine if your license is expired and, if so, for how long.

    Suspended License

    Residents with suspended or revoked licenses don't renew―they reinstate. Check your driving record to determine whether or not your license is suspended or revoked. If it is, our section on license suspension clearly explains the process you'll need to follow, including the required reinstatement fees.

    Too, license suspension often brings increases in your car insurance rate. If this happens to you, it's a good idea to shop around for a lower rate.

    Lost License

    Our Replacing a Lost License page outlines what you need to do to get a duplicate driver's license.

    Check Your Renewal Notice

    The DPS typically only mails you a renewal notice if you don't renew your license within the 60 days prior to your expiration date. Your renewal notice includes all the requirements you need to meet in order to renew your license. Generally, this just means your time limit, fee, and where you can renew.

    If you haven't received a renewal notice, or have any questions regarding your renewal notice, the DPS recommends contacting them via their online contact form.

    Renew Online

    Currently, the DPS doesn't offer online license renewals.

    Renew By Mail

    You may renew your license by mail only if you've obtained a license with your photo and signature within the last 4 years, and you're:

    • Military personnel or the dependent of someone in the military.
    • A college student who's away from home.
    • A resident who's temporarily out of the state due to work.

    If this is you, you may apply within 60 days of your expiration date.

    1. Complete the Application for a Renewal License for Alabama Drivers Temporarily Out of State.
    2. Obtain a money order for $23.50 made payable to the Driver License Division.
    3. Gather proof of your reason for being out of state, such as a copy of your military ID and orders or your student ID and enrollment papers, or a certification letter on company letterhead from your employer.
    4. Mail the application, fee, and proof of your reason for being out of state to:

      • Alabama Department of Public Safety
      • Driver License Division
      • P.O. Box 1471
      • Montgomery, AL 36102-1471

    Renew In Person

    If you're ineligible to renew by mail, you must renew in person.

    1. Gather up your current license and the fee of $23.50. (The fee may be more in certain parts of the state, so be sure to check before you go to the driver license office.)
    2. Be prepared to complete any paperwork and take any exams the driver license office employee deems necessary. (This normally only applies to drivers with licenses that have been expired for more than three years.)
    3. Be prepared to have your picture taken and provide your signature.
    4. Call ahead to your nearest driver license office to make an appointment or ask about hours of operation. At this point, you may want to ask about fees and tests specific to your situation.

    The DPS will immediately give you a temporary paper license and send your permanent hard copy in the mail. If you don't receive your permanent hard copy within a few weeks, please contact your driver license office.

    Update Your Driving Skills

    Driver training is an ongoing process, so consider taking a supplemental training course to sharpen your skills. In some cases, training courses may help you dismiss tickets and possibly even become eligible for a discount on your car insurance.

    Check with your current car insurance provider about obtaining discounts when you complete a training course. If the company doesn't offer such discounts, maybe it's time to browse our Insurance Center for one that does.

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