Applying for Special Plates in Alabama
You can apply for several types of specialty license plates in person with the AL DOR. To renew your plates, you simply renew your registration. To replace your plates, you'll fill out the appropriate form and pay a minimal fee.
Applying for Specialty Plates in Alabama
To obtain specialty plates in Alabama, you must visit your local Department of Revenue (DOR) license plate issuing office.
You can visit the Alabama Department of Revenue website to learn specific information about your desired specialty plate including:
- Eligibility requirements for the specialty plate.
- Required documentation.
- Whether the plate can be personalized.
- Applicable fees.
Alabama offers a number of different types of custom license plates. You'll find all the information specific to your desired plate on our Types of Special License Plates page.
NOTE: Specific forms are required for certain types of license plates. View the DOR's list of forms to see if your plate type has an application.
Reserving Personalized Plates
Before you go into your county's license plate issuing office, you can:
- Check the availability online of a license plate message/number.
- Reserve it online.
- Pay the fee.
If your personalized plate is approved, you have 5 business days to visit a license plate issuing office to complete your order.
Types of Specialty License Plates in Alabama
The Alabama DOR offers several different types of custom plates outside of the main list of specialty license plates. These include:
- Collegiate plates.
- Military plates.
- Very specific guidelines apply to military and veteran plates. Make sure to read all documentation and eligibility requirements.
- Generic specialty plates.
- Generic race plates.
- Annual plates.
- These plates are available to dealers and manufacturers only.
- Vintage plates.
Requirements and fees will vary for each category of plate. For details, visit our guide to Alabama specialty license plates.
Disability Access Plates
If you have a qualified disability, you may be eligible for a disability access plate. You must get certification from a licensed doctor BEFORE disability plates may be issued.
For details, visit our page on Alabama Disability Plates & Placards.
Renewing and Replacing Specialty Plates
Renewing Specialty Plates
You will need to renew your custom plates when you renew your vehicle registration. For details, visit our AL Vehicle Registration Renewal guide.
Replacing Specialty Plates
If you need to replace a lost or stolen license plate, you'll:
- Fill out the Application for Replacement Credentials (Form MV 40-12-265-1).
- Submit the application with applicable fees:
- In person to your local licensing office.
- By mail to the address on the form.
Special Requirements for Personalized Plates
Certain requirements apply for personalized plates. Generally, you cannot get a plate with the same number/message until you renew your registration.
You can ONLY replace a custom plate with the same message IF:
- The plate was lost in the mail.
- You've surrendered the plate because of damage.
In all other cases, you have only the following options:
- Order a different message OR a pre-numbered license plate on the same tag.
- Order a pre-numbered license plate on a tag that doesn't have additional annual fees.
NOTE: If you've requested a new plate because your plate is damaged OR if you've requested a plate and you later found your old one, you must surrender your old plate to the licensing authority.
Replacing Government Plates
If you need a duplicate government plate, you'll need to:
- Complete the Application for Replacement License Plates and Registration Receipts for Government License Plates (Form MV 40-12-250).
- Pay the $2 fee by check to the address on the form.
- State agencies have the option to fax or e-mail the forms.
Transferring Specialty Plates
Most personalized and specialty plates cannot be transferred between different owners. (Certain exceptions may apply; click your plate type to view the guidelines.)
NOTE: You may be able to transfer your specialty plate to another vehicle in your possession. Contact your license plate issuing office for more information.
- MV 40-12-265-1
- MV 40-12-250