How To Transfer a Car Title in Alabama

How to Transfer Car Title in Alabama

You must go through a title transfer process to transfer vehicle ownership in Alabama. This can be done personally at your local county license plate issuing office or, in certain situations, online via the Alabama Title System (ALTS).

The car title transfer process in Alabama requires:

  • Completing the application paperwork
  • Paying the title transfer fee and state sales tax
  • Bringing the vehicle to your county's license plate issuing office

Learn the details of how to transfer your car title in Alabama.

Key Takeaways

The steps to transfer a car title in AL include:

  • Physically transferring car ownership
  • Completing the bill of sale
  • Submitting the signed title and billl of sale to the county licensing office
  • Paying the applicable fees

How To Transfer Car Title in Alabama

Transferring a car title in Alabama is relatively straightforward, requiring only a few steps.

Whether you are selling, buying a car, gifting it to someone, or transferring the title for an inherited car, the process remains broadly consistent.

Step 1- Seller must sign the title

To physically transfer ownership,  the current owner must sign the title to the new owner.

If the car is gifted, then the gift-giver must sign over the title to the car recipient.

Step 2- Complete the Bill of Sale

Once the title has been signed and transferred to the new owner, the seller must complete the bill of sale.

For cars over 35 years old, the new owner only need a bill of sale (no title transfer) to register the vehicle in their name.

Each county in Alabama has unique requirements for a bill of sale structure, and confirming these requirements with them is vital.

Step 3- Submit Paperwork to DMV

Submit the signed-over title and the completed bill of sale to the county licensing office.

Step 4- Pay Fees

Pay the applicable title transfer fee and Alabama state sales tax including:

  • Application fee: $15
  • Title duplication fee:$15
  • Processing fee:$1.50
  • Plate transfer fee: $1.25
  • Registration fee: $15-23, plus $50 annually
  • Sales tax: 2%
  • County licensing offices may charge additional fees


How To Register a Car in Alabama

To legally drive your car in Alabama, you must transfer the title and register your vehicle. Your vehicle registration proves legal ownership.

Present your automobile at the license plate issuing office closest to you, accompanied by the following documents:

  • Certificate of title.
  • Proof of insurance.
  • Ownership documents like a bill of sale.

Annual registration renewal requirement

Alabama drivers must renew their vehicle registration annually, and some counties offer online renewal services. Your renewal month will be assigned based on the first letter of your last name.

The renewal is $50 per year.

How much does registration cost?

The base registration fee for Alabama vehicles is $23, but the actual cost will depend on your vehicle type and other factors.

Large trucks, for instance, may have more expensive registration fees, and certain vehicles require additional annual fees.

Can you transfer a car title online in Alabama?

You may only complete electronic titling when purchasing from dealership. When buying from a private party, you must visit the DMV to complete the process in person.

Alabama Bill of Sale

A legal instrument known as a bill of sale is required to transfer ownership of a vehicle. The bill of sale serves as a confirmation of the sale, which the seller can retain.

If you transfer the title without a bill of sale when selling your car, you will not have any official record that you are no longer the vehicle owner. Here are some essential elements you must include in a bill of sale:

  • Your complete name and notarized signature.
  • The complete name and notarized signature of the other party.
  • The agreed-upon price of the vehicle sale.
  • A vehicle description.
  • A disclaimer that the car is being sold "as-is" without any warranty.
  • The transaction date.

Required Car Insurance in Alabama

Alabama mandates that all drivers have insurance coverage. To effectuate a title transfer, you must verify insurance with a minimum of:

  • $25,000 in bodily injury liability coverage
  • $50,000 per accident
  • $25,000 in property damage liability coverage for each individual.
  • $25,000 per individual and $50,000 per accident for underinsured/uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage

Gifting a Car in Alabama

In Alabama, it is permissible to give a car as a gift. To transfer the vehicle's title, you must follow the same process if sold between private parties.

You will assume the role of the seller as the donor, and the recipient will become the buyer.

The transfer process may require you to present a notarized bill of sale or a vehicle gift affidavit (Form MV IRP-15). The Alabama vehicle bill of sale must include the following information:

  • The buyer’s and seller's full names and residential or office addresses (P.O. Boxes are not accepted). The dealer's license name must be included if the vehicle seller is a dealer.
  • Date of sale.
  • A detailed description of the vehicle, including:
    • Make.
    • Model.
    • Year.
    • Vehicle Identification Number (VIN).
    • Body type.
    • Series number.
    • The car odometer reading at the time of sale.
  • A notarized signature of the seller or an authorized representative.

How To Transfer Car Title in Alabama After a Lease Buyout

If you purchase a vehicle from a leasing company in Alabama, the vehicle's title must be transferred to your name.

You can sell the vehicle or transfer the title to another person. Transferring the vehicle's title can be done by mail or at your local MVD agency.

To transfer the vehicle's title by mail in Alabama, you need to follow these steps:

  1. Complete a vehicle registration/Title application (Form MVT 20-1) or application for a title.
  2. Provide proof of identity (valid AL driver's license, non-driver ID card, permit). The ID must be current.
  3. Provide the vehicle's Alabama state title or other valid proof of ownership of the vehicle (The vehicle's title must disclose the buyer's and seller's information. The leasing company and the buyer must provide their addresses, dates of transfer, and signatures)
  4. Provide proof of sales tax payment.
  5. If the car is more than a decade old, provide an odometer and damage disclosure statement (Form MVT 5-5).
  6. Submit payment for the Alabama title fee of $20.

How To Transfer Car Title in Alabama If the Owner Is Deceased

If a vehicle owner passes away in Alabama and the beneficiaries choose to keep the vehicle, the vehicle title must be transferred to them.

If the car is part of a probated estate, the following steps are necessary:

  1. Contact the Probate Court and an attorney.
  2. Gather the necessary documents to transfer the vehicle's title.
  3. Schedule a visit to the title office.

Transferring the vehicle's title can only occur once the probate is complete. The estate administrator should promptly contact an attorney or Probate Court to proceed with the vehicle title transfer.

The required documents required include:

  1. An order from Probate Court to transfer the vehicle.
  2. A valid certificate of the vehicle's title.
  3. An odometer disclosure statement (Form MVT 5-5).
  4. The death certificate of the individual.
  5. The transfer fee.


To transfer a car title in AL, you will need the seller's signature, a completed bill of sale, proof of identification, and proof of insurance, and to pay the required fees. The process is overall fairly simple to complete, but you will need to do it in person when transferring from a private party.

Learn about the title transfer process for all 50 states via our helpful guides!

Frequently Asked Questions

Who transfers the car title after a vehicle owner passes away?

The executor of the deceased individual's estate or the beneficiary of the vehicle is responsible for initiating the vehicle title transfer.

What documents are required to transfer a car title in Alabama?

Some required documents include a valid certificate of the vehicle's title, an order from the Probate Court to transfer the vehicle, an odometer disclosure statement (Form MVT 5-5), and the individual's death certificate.

How much does it cost to transfer a car title in Alabama?

The transfer fee in Alabama is $15.

Can the new owner of a vehicle complete the title transfer process online?

No, the new owner must complete the title transfer process in person at an Alabama title office.

How long does it take to complete the car title transfer process in Alabama?

After submitting the required documents, receiving the new title typically takes two to three weeks.

Can a vehicle title be transferred to a family member as a gift?

Yes, a vehicle title can be gifted to a family member in Alabama. However, the gift recipient must still complete the title transfer process and pay the necessary fees.

Do you need a bill of sale to transfer a title in Alabama?

Yes, you must present the bill of sale to transfer a car title.