Alabama License Plate Information Summary
In Alabama, you can apply for license plates when you register your vehicle at the DMV. Your license plate then gets renewed every time you re-register your vehicle. If you change vehicles, you may have the option to transfer your old plate to the new car – particularly if it is a vanity plate. Should you become the victim of license plate theft, you can order replacements from the DMV.
Alabama License Plates Offered
All Alabama residents who own a vehicle must have plates issued by the Alabama Department of Revenue.
What you'll get is a plate to attach to the back of your vehicle, plus tags that show when you need to renew it.
Every five years, the official state license plate design changes. You have the option to ask for specialty plates. If you qualify, you can also ask for plates that identify you as handicapped or disabled – and allow you special parking privileges.
When You Need To Get Alabama License Plates
You are legally obligated to get a license plate within 30 days of moving to the state or, if you live in the state, within 20 days after buying a vehicle.
Keeping Your License Plates Up To Date
The Alabama Department of Revenue will attempt to send you a letter reminding you that you need new, up-to-date tags on your vehicle.
As noted above, you renew them along with your registration. This can be done online, over the mail, or in person.
You'll then get new stickers to put on your plate.
If Your Alabama License Plates Are Stolen
Should your license plate be stolen or vandalized, you can ask for new ones from the Alabama Department of Revenue. This must be done in person – and the state will contact the police to let them know what happened to your plates.
A new plate will cost you $2. So will new stickers.
If for some reason you find your stolen license plate after you've reported it, you must bring it back to the Department of Revenue right away.
Transferring Or Surrendering Your License Plates
If your vehicle is no longer in your possession – if you sell or donate it, for example – you need to take the plate off, and either give it back to the Department of Revenue or transfer it to your new vehicle.
If you want to transfer your license plate, you need to pay the Department of Revenue $1.25. You may also have to pay additional fees or taxes.
In general, specialty plates can be transferred – but contact the Department of Revenue to make sure.
You need to surrender your license plates to the Department of Revenue if you stop paying car insurance on the vehicle or get a new license plate.
Obviously, if you reported your license plate stolen, you must surrender it if you eventually find it.
Alabama License Plate Costs
These are the general costs associated with an Alabama license plate. You may have to pay additional fees for related services.
The annual license plate fee is $23.
Replacement plates and stickers are $2 each.
Transferring your plate costs $1.25.