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Alabama Buying a Vehicle

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Getting a Title & Registration for a Vehicle Purchased from a Dealership

If you purchase a vehicle from a dealership in Alabama, the dealer will handle the title and registration for you. This is true whether you purchase a new vehicle or a used vehicle. The dealer will have you complete some of the relevant paperwork at the dealership when you are buying the car, but they will handle most of the paperwork themselves. Of course, you will still have to pay the title and registration fees, and most dealerships will also charge a documentation fee to take care of the process for you.

Getting a Title & Registration for a Vehicle Purchased from a Private Party

If you purchase a vehicle from a private party in Alabama, you will have to handle the title and registration paperwork yourself. The required paperwork when purchasing a vehicle from a private party in Alabama includes:

  • Title that has been signed over to you
  • Proof of insurance
  • Proof of residency
  • Bill of sale (must be signed by seller and include the VIN, model year, make, and model of the vehicle. It also must include the amount, date of sale, and your signature)
  • Your driver’s license

This paperwork must be presented at a driver license office. You do not need to go to a driver license office with the seller, though this may be a good idea.

Filling Out the Title

If you are buying a vehicle from a private party in Alabama, they must fill out the transfer form on the title, which includes your information, information about the sale, and the signatures of both the seller and buyer. You must also fill out an Application for Replacement Title. This form requires you to write down much the same information, with the addition of any liens. If you are financing the purchase, you will have to put the financial institution’s information on this form.

Registering the Vehicle You’ve Purchased

If you intend on driving the vehicle you’ve purchased on public roads, you will need to obtain an Alabama registration at the same time as you get a title for the vehicle. To get an Alabama registration, you must first have a title. You can get a title and then a registration in the same visit. In addition to a title you will also need to supply the vehicle’s VIN number and proof of insurance. When you submit all this information to an official at a driver license office in Alabama, they will then issue you a registration.

Submitting Payment

There are some nominal fees for titling and registering a vehicle in Alabama. The title fee is $18 plus sales tax, which varies by jurisdiction. The registration fee for a passenger car is $23, plus a $1.25 issuance fee. Other fees may be added by the county.

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Last Verified:
Aug 8, 2022