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Obtaining a New Car Title

Before calling a vehicle your own, the state of Alabama requires completing a process that includes submitting standard paperwork and designated fees in order to obtain a new car title. A car title is a legal document establishing a person as the legal owner of a vehicle. If you are purchasing a new vehicle from a car dealership, the dealership handles the titling process on your behalf. In the sections below, you will find information on how to obtain a salvage car title, how to transfer a used vehicle to a new owner, the car title application process in Alabama, and titling cars for new residents from out of state.

Before calling a vehicle your own, the state of Alabama requires completing a process that includes submitting standard paperwork and designated fees in order to obtain a new car title. A car title is a legal document establishing a person as the legal owner of a vehicle. If you are purchasing a new vehicle from a car dealership, the dealership handles the titling process on your behalf. In the sections below, you will find information on how to obtain a salvage car title, how to transfer a used vehicle to a new owner, the car title application process in Alabama, and titling cars for new residents from out of state.

Requirements for Obtaining a New Title for Car

In order to get car titles in Alabama, you must submit the proper documents and pay the necessary fees to the Alabama Department of Revenue, which include:

  • An application for a vehicle title – This vehicle certificate is mandatory, and the process will move quicker if you are prepared with all supporting legal forms.
  • The application fee – The cost of titling a vehicle is $15 in Alabama. An additional $1.50 commission fee will be charged.

Note: You also have the option of applying for a new car title at the license plate issuing office in your county if you cannot visit the Alabama DOR.

Used Vehicle Title Transfers to New Car Owners

If you plan to sell a vehicle to another Alabama driver or would like to gift a car to a friend or family member, there are different steps to follow in order to transfer car titles. Note that vehicle registration with your name must be given up when transferring car titles to the new vehicle owner. You must also prepare to:

  • Surrender any other documents of the car that back up the transfer of the vehicle to the applicant.
  • Present proof that the automobile adheres to state safety and emission standards.
  • Provide a bill of sale with the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) and new car owner information (home address and valid drivers license is required).
  • Visit in person for a new car title in the state of Alabama (if you are the new car owner).

Note: You cannot apply for a DMV car title on another vehicle owner’s behalf.

If you are applying for a new car title and are buying a car used, it is required to legally transfer the motor vehicle title into your name. This process requires several documents and fees, including:

  • The car manufacturer certificate and ownership transfer.
  • A finished and signed bill of sale.
  • Registration documents stating that the car has, in fact, been reassigned to you.

Car Titling for Out-of-State Vehicles

If you are moving to Alabama and are bringing your vehicle, the state requires you to obtain a title (if you have not already), within 30 days of moving. When applying for a certification to get a new title for car, the Alabama DOR requires that the car be no more than 35 years old.