How to Transfer a Car Title in Alabama?

When selling or buying a used car in Alabama, transferring the title is one of the most important steps.
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The title transfer process is typically the last step in buying or selling a car. If you’re working with a private party, then both the buyer and seller need to work together to legally transfer a title in the state of Alabama. Alabamians can use this guide to navigate the process.
Transferring an Alabama title needs to be done accurately—this is especially important when purchasing from a private seller.

This title transfer guide tells you everything you need to know to get your new-to-you vehicle titled in your name with the state of Alabama.

The Alabama Title Transfer Process

A car title transfer makes the buyer the new owner of the vehicle. A title transfer is divided into two stages:

1. The buyer and seller meet in person. The buyer pays for the car. Both fill out the physical title certificate and sign it. The buyer is now the legal owner of the purchased car.
2. The buyer registers the newly bought vehicle with the Alabama Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV), and the DMV updates its records to establish the buyer as the titled owner.

The first step (the seller signing over the title) is the critical transfer of ownership. The second step is a formality so that the state recognizes you as the new owner.

As the car seller, you transfer ownership of the car by signing the title over to the buyer. You’ll take off your rear license plate and hand over the keys for good.
As the buyer, you become the legal owner as soon as the seller transfers the title to your name. You will finalize with the Alabama DMV to get the title and vehicle registration in your name. You’ll also get your own license plates and car insurance.
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Signing the Title

It’s time to do the actual title transfer. This is a step where the seller signs the title over to the buyer. It’s probably the single most vital step in the entire transaction (along with the buyer paying for the car).

There are some key details you need to pay attention to when signing an Alabama title.

Front of the Alabama Title

The front of an Alabama title is only for cars that have a lien holder, so you don't look at this side of the paper.
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Back of the Alabama Title

The back of an Alabama title has a section for sellers (red) and buyers (teal).

Here is the step-by-step process for filling out the back of an Alabama vehicle title.
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1. In the read section numbered “1,” the seller enters the date the car was transferred to the new owner, the buyer's name, and the buyer's address.
2. The seller enters the exact odometer reading in the red section marked “2”.
3. In the red square marked “3,” the seller enters the date of sale and the sale price.
4. The buyer acknowledges the certification made by the seller by signing and printing their name.
4.1. If there is a co-buyer, they will also sign and print their name.
5. The seller signs and prints their name and enters their address in the red rectangle marked “5”.
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Finalize Ownership Transfer with the Alabama DMV

You’ve done the deal and are the owner of a new-to-you vehicle. Your work is not done yet. There are still steps you need to take to finalize your vehicle's title transfer with the Division of Motor Vehicles Alabama.

You will also need to get a new license plate, register the car in your name, and pay applicable sales tax on your purchase.

Here’s what you’ll need to provide when you do your titling and registration at the DMV office:

The Certificate of Title, signed over to you by the previous vehicle owner.
A completed title application.
Completed bill of sale.
Proof of lien release (if applicable).
Payment for Alabama’s vehicle title transfer fee: $15.
Payment for Alabama registration fee: from $23 and $105.
Payment for Alabama’s sales tax: 2% of the vehicle purchase price.
Payment for Alabama license plate: $23.
Proof of identification.
Proof of insurance.
Proof of VIN inspection.

Your registration fee includes the cost of an Alabama standard license plate.

Alabama Title Transfer FAQ

How do I apply for a duplicate title in Alabama?

If your car’s title has been damaged, lost, or destroyed, you need to request a replacement title.

You will need to provide the following documentation to the local Alabama DMV:

- Complete an application for replacement title
- Provide your driver’s license
- Pay the $15 replacement vehicle title fee

How much does it cost to renew registration in Alabama?

Can I transfer a car title to my name in Alabama if the owner is deceased?

How can I register an out-of-state vehicle in Alabama?

How do I correct an Alabama title or a title assignment?