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Alabama License Plate Lookup

The application for the Alabama title is made through designated agents who can be either license plate issuing officials, licensed dealers or banks, or credit unions in Alabama.  It will take 10-15 days to receive your certificate of the plate and after that, you can register your vehicle.

In Alabama, the motor vehicles are registered through license plate issuing offices in your county. We will discuss the regulation and issuance of a license plate from the different counties in Alabama later. Now, let’s mark all the documents you will need to register your vehicle in the state:

  • Certificate of title
  • Proof of liability insurance policy
  • Bill of sale
  • Other documents if applicable such as federal heavy vehicle use tax in case the truck weighs 55,000 lbs or more.

Once all the necessary documents, registration charges, and property taxes are collected the licensing official will issue your license plate. So allow it 4-6 weeks to receive your Alabama license plate. You can utilize our Alabama license plate lookup page and learn detailed information about the vehicle.

Types of Alabama license plates

Current, standard license plates in Alabama have a tag design with the theme “Sweet Home Alabama”. Apart from the standard design, there are numerous other Alabama license plates that are categorized below:

  • Vanity or personalized plates
  • Disability access tags
  • Collegiate license plates
  • Specialty Tags
  • Military license plates
  • Vintage plates

If the vehicle weighs 8,000 pounds or less, the registration fee for the standard plates will be $23. To personalize your automobile’s license plate you will need to pay $50. However, the costs may vary due to the type of your vehicle. Now, let’s discuss each category separately. It will help you to understand which type of plate will suit your interests the best.

Vanity plates

Getting your license plate design and characteristics customized is very common in Alabama. In fact, over 230,000 vehicles have vanity plates in the state. To change the standard license plate into a vanity plate you will need to pay $50. The vanity plates must have 7 characters including letters, numbers, and spaces.

You can check the availability of your desired vanity license plate by visiting the ADOR website. If your suggested characters are available for issuance you can take them to your local county. In the licensing office of your local county, the issuing official will collect all the required materials and within 4-6 weeks your license plate will be shipped.

You will need to pay $2 to reserve your custom license plate. If the Department of Revenue accepts your personalized message you will have 5 business days to visit your local county for issuing your license plate.

Alabama may ban your vanity license plate request for one or more reasons. Visit our banned Alabama license plates page for more details.

Disability access license plates

Alabama residents with disabilities can obtain disability access license plates and get disability access parking credentials. To purchase this license plate, a licensed physician should verify a person meets all the criteria to obtain disability parking privileges. A physician completes the application form and certifies that the person has a current mobility disability. Remember, that to obtain this license plate an applicant should fully or partially own the vehicle.

Collegiate License Plates

You can support a certain university or college in Alabama by purchasing a collegiate license plate.  The charges of these tags go to the general scholarship funds of the college/university. You can personalize the collegiate license plates but remember that the design changes every 5 years.

Specialty License Plates

There are many specialty tags in Alabama that you can obtain and support a special cause. Such types of license plates cost $50 which will go to the sponsoring organizations when you purchase.  There are certain restrictions who shouldn’t apply for specialty tags in Alabama:

  • Private businesses
  • Public schools
  • Supporters of racial or social disharmony
  • Religious organizations
  • Political unions or organizations

There are loads of Alabama distinctive plates you can purchase and support a cause. The following list can help you decide which one you are willing to obtain:

  • Children’s Trust Fund. If you purchase this license tag the charges will be used to fund child abuse and neglect prevention programs in Alabama to help children and families.
  • Donate Life Alabama. This license plate will help to promote the donation programs in Alabama.
  • Support the Arts. Buying this tag will support arts education throughout the state. It will also fund the local art education programming.
  • Help End Epilepsy. This tag is sponsored by the Children’s Hospital Foundation in Alabama. It supports the research and the care of patients who have epilepsy.
  • Wildlife Federation. The license plate will fund wildlife and natural resource conservation programs.
  • Curing Childhood Cancer. The net proceeds of $50 are used for medical research expenses to cure cancer.

Military Plates

The Alabama Department of Revenue categorizes two military license plate types for US veterans:

  • Armed Forces retired
  • Disabled veteran

Retired military persons can obtain a special license plate in this category if they provide the following documents:

  • DD214 form or other materials as proof of qualification for the license plate
  • A spouse of the retired military personnel should have a dependent ID to get a distinctive plate
  • Payment of registration fees depending on the type of car ($15-$105)

If the veteran is disabled there is no registration fee for a license plate. In case disabled veterans want to access parking privileges, they can fill out the form and get a specific license plate.

Vintage License Plates

Any car manufactured in 1976 or earlier is qualified to obtain a vintage license plate in Alabama. To receive a vintage plate, head to your local issuing office where the official will examine your vehicle. If you need further details about the registration of the vintage vehicle or another type of info visit here.

Register your vehicle in the local county

If you want to register your vehicle in Alabama you should reach the license plate issuing office in your local county.  Once you present all the needed materials in the local county, the licensing official will collect the registration fees and property taxes to issue your license plate.

So let’s talk about the license plate issuance procedures of different counties in Alabama. The first numbers in the license plate determine which county in Alabama the vehicle is registered. Therefore I will include county codes along with the county name.

Morgan County, Al, county #52

According to the official website of Morgan county states if you purchase your car from the auto dealer you can register it online. Here are the documents you will need:

  • Title of application
  • Insurance policy
  • Bill of sale
  • Driver’s license
  • Other materials as well if applicable

You can renew your license plate online through the same website by selecting the county and clicking on the “renew automobile” option.

Shelby County, AL, county#58

To register your car in this county you will present the same documents as mentioned earlier. If your vehicle has an out-of-state title you need to take it to the county’s office for the VIN inspection. You can also present the completed inspection form which should have been signed by an Alabama law enforcement officer.

You can acquire the full list of licensing offices in various counties in Alabama by visiting the ADOR registration webpage here.

Alabama License Plate Renewal

Before the expiration date of your license plate, most counties in Alabama will send a renewal reminder. The renewal notice will include information such as a PIN to renew your license plate online and details about your car.

However, if you don’t receive a notice you can go to the County Offices and renew your registration in person. So here are the documents you should present:

  • A renewal notice if you have it or your vehicle’s registration docs
  • Driver’s license
  • Payment of renewal fees

Stolen or Lost License Plate? Here is what you should do

If you have lost or somebody has stolen your license plate you should file a report with the police department. Once you have the report, fill out the form and head to your local license plate issuing office.

You will receive your new license plate and with the police report, you don’t have to pay the replacement fees. In case your vehicle’s license plate gets damaged you should pay $2 to replace it.

Mary H

Being a skilled creative writer and SEO content writer, with 2+ years of experience I can't imagine any other profession to fulfill my life as much as writing does. As a proud member of geek culture, I enjoy reading, writing, watching Sci-Fi gems, while also advocating the involvement of young, bright-minded girls and women in STEM research. Latter was largely the result of working at UNESCO Chair, Life Sciences International Postgraduate Educational Center as an editor of scientific journals.

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