Selling a Car in Alabama

When selling a car in Alabama, you’ll need to sign the title, complete a bill of sale, pay the relevant fees, and remove the plates from the vehicle.
Written by Jason Tushinski
Reviewed by Carrie Adkins
When selling a car in Alabama, you’ll need to sign the title, complete a bill of sale, and hand over both to your local county licensing office. You’ll also need to pay the relevant fees and remove the plates from the vehicle.
Selling a car privately can feel like a daunting task, but it’s pretty easy if you understand the steps that you need to take. Every state has its own requirements and rules to ensure legal transfer of ownership, and failing to complete them properly could leave you liable for the car—even after someone else has possession of it.
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What you need to sell a car in Alabama

If selling your car privately in
, gather all the necessary forms and documentation. Alabama’s Department of Revenue requires certain documentation to complete the transfer of ownership, including:
  • Completed Title (if the title is lost, stolen, or damaged, get a duplicate from the
    Alabama Department of Revenue
    , or AL DOR)
  • Your signature
  • Signature of any lienholder(s)
  • Signature of the buyer
  • Bill of sale
  • Odometer disclosure in Conforming Odometer Statement on back of title (if no space on back of title, get a Conforming Odometer Statement form and submit to the AL DOR)
  • Remove license plates and transfer them to a new vehicle (plates stay with original registrants)

Getting a pre-sale inspection

A pre-sale inspection is not required in Alabama, no matter the make, model, or year of the vehicle. That said, you or the buyer may decide to get a safety inspection prior to finalizing the sale if you wish.

Documenting the sale

If you have a title, you can reassign ownership on the title itself. A bill of sale won’t be required for this.
But if no title is available, you must have a bill of sale. You’ll also require a bill of sale to register the vehicle. Do note that each county has its own requirements for a bill of sale, as there are no formal bill of sale requirements covering all of Alabama.
The bill of sale must be notarized or have two witnesses for each signature. It must also contain the following information:
  • Name and contact information for both buyer and seller
  • VIN
  • Make, model, year of vehicle
  • Series number and body type
  • Odometer reading
  • Buyer signature
  • Seller’s notarized signature
  • Date of sale
  • Purchase price
For vehicles more than 35 years old, you won’t need a title but you will need a bill of sale. The bill of sale will be used to register the vehicle in the buyer’s name.

Signing the title over

To transfer the vehicle to a new owner, both buyer and seller must fill out the relevant sections on the back of the title, including:
  • Legal names, addresses, and signatures of both buyer and seller
  • Date of purchase
  • Odometer reading
  • Purchase price

Finding affordable car insurance 

Once you’ve got all your ducks in a row for selling your old vehicle, make time to revisit your car insurance for your new one—because you don’t want to overpay! 
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Resources such as
Kelley Blue Book
can help you figure out what your car is worth so you can determine a fair price based on its make, model, year, and condition.
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