Registration Renewal in Alabama
COVID-19 Effects on Motor Vehicle Services
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, state DMVs nationwide have closed driver licensing offices, extended license and registration expiration dates, and/or limited the transactions they are processing. Follow the DPS' updates for the latest information.
The Alabama Department of Revenue (DOR) handles vehicle registrations and requires all residents to register their vehicles on an annual or biennial basis, depending on your county.
New to Alabama?
If you purchased a new car or are new to the state, you will need a first-time registration with the DOR.
Alabama Registration Renewal Cycles
The DOR has a staggered monthly registration system. The month in which you must renew your AL registration depends on the first letter of your last name.
- A & D: renew in January
- B: renew in February
- C & E: renew in March
- F, G, & N: renew in April
- H & O: renew in May
- M & I: renew in June
- P & L: renew in July
- J, K, & R: renew in August
- Q, S, and T: renew in September
- U, V, W, X, Y, Z, and National Guard: renew in October
- Leased, fleet, and commercial vehicles: renew by November 30
Renewals only take place during the months of January through November. You must renew your vehicle by the last day of your renewal month to avoid any penalties.
AL Registration Renewal Notice
As a courtesy, your county may send you a renewal notice, reminding you that your registration's expiration is approaching. Typically, county renewal notices include:
- Vehicle information.
- PIN for online renewal (if allowed by your county).
- Renewal fee.
- The name and address under which the vehicle is registered (be sure to update your address as necessary before renewing).
Didn’t Receive a Renewal Notice?
Alabama counties are not required to send renewal notices. Failing to receive a notice does not waive your obligation to renew before your plates expire. If you didn’t get a notice, contact your local Title and Tag Office to get more information about your renewal.
How to Renew Your Alabama Car Registration
DID YOU KNOW?: Proof of car insurance may be REQUIRED when renewing your registration!
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Renew Registration in Person
Go to your local Tag and Title Office and:
- Provide your renewal notice or current registration.
- Show your driver’s license or non-driver ID card.
- Pay your renewal fee. Call before visiting for accepted forms of payment.
You will be given your new plate decals and registration before you leave.
Renew Registration Online
Not every county allows for online renewals, and the requirements vary for those that do. Note that some counties charge an extra fee for using the online system.
You must have the Record Number listed on your renewal notice to renew online.
If you have a PIN to renew online:
- Go to the Alabama eServices Motor Vehicle Online Tag Registration website.
- Click the link for your county.
- Click the “Renew an Automobile” button.
- Enter the Record Number from your registration renewal notice.
- Enter your current tag/license plate number.
- Pay your registration fee (E-Check, AMEX, VISA, MasterCard, Discover).
- Print your renewal receipt.
Keep your renewal receipt until you receive your new license plate stickers and registration in the mail. This will serve as your temporary proof of registration.
Contact your local Tag and Title Office to check the status of your order if you do not receive your registration materials within a reasonable time.
Renew Registration by Mail
- Make sure everything on your notice is correct and follow the directions on your notice for completing your renewal.
- Write a check or money order for your renewal fee.
- Send everything to the address located on your renewal notice.
Renewing your registration by mail takes the most amount of time. Consider renewing in person if your registration is close to expiring.
Contact your local Tag and Title Office if you have any questions.
AL Registration Renewal Fees
Your DOR renewal notice will list the total amount of your registration renewal fee. You may contact your local Tag and Title Office for help with calculating your fee.
Late Fees and Penalties
You will have to pay a late fee of $15 in addition to your standard renewal fee if you don’t renew your registration with the AL DOR before your plates expire.
AL Liability Insurance Requirements
Liability insurance is required before any vehicle can be registered and operated in the state. You will not be able to renew your registration if you allow your coverage to lapse.
For additional information regarding state insurance requirements, and to review coverage rates, visit our Insurance Center.
Register a Non-Operational Vehicle
If you need to renew the expired plates of a vehicle that has been non-operational and/or in storage for an extended period of time, you will need to visit your local Tag and Title Office and:
- Complete a Motor Vehicle Affidavit (Form MV IRP-15) certifying that at no time did you operate your vehicle on public roads while your registration was expired. Otherwise, you'll have to pay all past due registration fees.
- Pay the new registration fee.
If you received a renewal notice for a vehicle that you do not plan to operate, you do not have to renew its registration.
Replacement Certificates, Stickers, and License Plates
You can get a ticket if you do not have your vehicle registration, even if your registration is current.
If your Alabama registration stickers or certificate become damaged or lost, immediately apply for replacements through the DOR.
The same applies for lost or damaged license plates.