Title Transfers in Alabama

How to Complete a Title Transfer in Alabama:
  1. Have the seller complete the title assignment on the title certificate.
  2. Obtain a bill of sale from the seller.
  3. Bring the above, plus payment for the title fees, to your county license plate issuing office.

Continue reading to learn more details about titling and title transfers in Alabama.

In Alabama, vehicles at least 35 model years old must be titled with the Alabama Department of Revenue's Motor Vehicle Division (MVD). You can find information below on how to title your car or complete a transfer of ownership in Alabama.

New-to-State Title Transfers

If you have recently moved to Alabama, you can apply for an Alabama vehicle title by bringing your current out-of-state title to your county license plate issuing office. Be prepared to pay an auto title transfer fee.

If your previous state was not required to issue a title for your car, you can bring in the vehicle registration certificate as proof of ownership.

When applying for an Alabama title, have your vehicle with you, as it may be subject to a vehicle identification number (VIN) inspection.

Lien Holds

If you are currently making payments on a car loan, your vehicle will have a lien hold against it. The MVD will not issue titles to vehicles with lien holds, if the title was issued to the lienholder.

However, you can register your car without getting an Alabama title by bringing a copy of your title certificate to a license plate issuing office.

If your car has a lien hold against it, and your previous state issued the title to you, Alabama will issue you a title. Bring your title certificate to a license plate issuing office to begin your Alabama vehicle title transfer application.

NOTE: If your car was originally titled in any of the following states and your lienholder has the title, you must provide the MVD with documentation from your previous state proving that the lienholder possesses the title:

  • Michigan
  • Montana
  • South Dakota
  • Wyoming

Buying or Selling a Vehicle in AL

An Alabama MVD title transfer must take place when a vehicle changes ownership in Alabama. Read below to learn how to complete an AL car title transfer.

Buying a Vehicle

The process for transferring a title when you buy a car in Alabama differs depending on whether you're purchasing the vehicle from a dealer or a private seller.

Buying from a Dealer

Licensed dealers in Alabama are authorized to process car title transfers themselves. This means that when you buy a car from a dealer, you will have to do little more than sign some papers to get your Alabama title.

Buying from a Private Seller

Take the following steps to complete an Alabama vehicle title transfer when purchasing a car from a private seller:

  • Have the seller assign the title certificate to you by completing all required fields on the certificate.
  • Complete any required fields on the title as the purchaser.
  • Obtain a bill of sale. You are only required to have a bill of sale if no title is required.
    • Each county has its own rules regarding bill of sales, which may include having the document notarized. Contact your county office for more information.
  • Submit the above, including payment for the title transfer fees, to an AL license plate issuing office.

Selling a Car in Alabama

When you sell your car, the buyer is responsible for completing the DMV title transfer. However, it is your responsibility to do the following:

  • Fill all required fields on the title certificate to assign it to the buyer.
  • Complete a bill of sale.

If you have misplaced your title certificate, you can order a duplicate title.

Gifted Cars in Alabama

The process for gifted car title transfers is similar to when a car is bought and sold between private parties. The person gifting the vehicle acts as the seller, and the recipient is the buyer.

Note that you may be required to have a bill of sale notarized, or provide a gift affidavit. Contact your county MVD office for specific requirements you must meet in your county.

AL Inherited Vehicles

Depending on varying circumstances, completing an Alabama vehicle DMV title transfer for a car you have inherited may involve different steps.

If you have inherited a vehicle that was part of an estate not requiring probate, you can transfer the title to your name by:

Contact the Motor Vehicle Division at (334) 242-9000 for more information about the auto title transfer of an inherited vehicle.

Title Lien Releases

Once you have finished making payments on your financed car, you can have the lien removed from your title. Keep in mind that you will not be able to transfer your title before the lien is released.

To get your Alabama lien released, your lender must complete an Application for Lien Release (Form MVT 5-63). This form must be submitted to the MVD along with the title certificate.

Title Transfer Fees

The following are basic titling fees in Alabama:

  • Title application: $15.
  • Duplicate title: $15.
  • Processing fee: $1.50.

Your county may also charge additional title fees. Contact your county license plate issuing office for more information.

Replacing Your Alabama Title

If you have lost your title certificate, you can apply for a duplicate AL title by completing an Application for Replacement Title (Form MVT-12-1).

Send the completed form along with payment for the $15 replacement title fee (made out to Alabama Department of Revenue) to the address listed on the form. You may also apply for a replacement title at your local license plate issuing office.

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