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  • Replacing a Lost Registration in Alabama

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    Replacing a Lost Alabama Vehicle Registration

    AL Replacing a Lost Registration

    The state of Alabama requires that your owner registration papers be carried in the vehicle and you display a legible license plate at all times. If you fail to produce the registration papers upon a traffic stop or drive without your vehicle's license plate, you could be fined or have your vehicle impounded.

    Should your registration documents go missing, you can request a replacement registration with minimal effort.

    Generally, the following will apply when you need to replace your vehicle's registration papers, license plates, or registration tags:

    • You will need to visit your county's tag and title office and show proper photo ID, and the Alabama Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) will issue you new papers.
    • You may, depending on your county, be charged a small fee. Call before visiting.
    • If the papers have been stolen, first file a police report and then provide a copy to the tag office when you request replacement papers.

    NOTE: You should submit your replacement request to the agency that initially issued the license plate or registration; either the Alabama Motor Vehicle Division OR your county licensing office.

    Replacement Registrations or Tags in AL

    Replacing your registration or tags in Alabama is usually as simple as going to your county's tag and title office and completing a form. A fee may apply. If your license plates were stolen, you'll also need to file a police report and bring a copy of the report with you to the tag office.

    If you need to replace your vehicle's registration papers, license plates, or registration stickers that were originally issued by your local Alabama county licensing office, you'll need to complete an Application for Replacement Credentials (Form MV 40-12-265-1). You'll need to:

    • Fill out your vehicle registration information with your name, address, phone number, and email address.
    • Include your vehicle's plate and vehicle identification number (VIN).
    • Check the box of the item you need to replace.
    • Provide an explanation for the replacement request.
    • Sign the application and submit it to your local county licensing office.

    NOTE: A replacement fee may apply.

    If you are a government employee or a volunteer fire fighter and need to replace your government or fire fighter license plates and registration receipts, you may need to fill out an Application for Replacement License Plates and Registration Receipts for Government License Plates (Form MV 40-12-250A). You'll need to:

    • Fill out your registration information with your department name, address, phone number, and email address.
    • Include your vehicle's license plate number and VIN.
    • Mark the box to indicate whether you need a replacement license plate or registration credential.
    • Indicate the reason for your replacement request.
    • Sign the application and mail it to the address on the form.

    NOTE: A fee will apply for replacement license plates.

    Reasons for Replacement

    To successfully complete a request for a replacement license plate, registration receipt, or registration sticker, you must indicate your reason for requesting a replacement.

    Some of the general reasons for replacement include the license plate, registration receipt, or license plate sticker being:

    • Stolen or lost. (You should notify you local law enforcement agency.)
    • Mutilated or damaged. (You'll need to surrender the damaged plate or registration credential OR submit a notarized statement that the plate has been destroyed and cannot be surrendered.)
    • Incorrect. (You'll need to submit a copy of the registration receipt that shows the incorrect information.)
    • Lost in the mail or never received.

    If you have personalized Alabama license plates, you can get a replacement with the same message if:

    • The personalized plate was lost in the mail and never received .
      OR
    • The plate was sent back to the Alabama MVD or county licensing office because it is damaged.

    If your personalized plate need to be replaced outside of one of the situations above, you must wait until your vehicle registration expires until you can get a license plate with the same message.