Why you can trust Jerry
Jerry partners with some of the companies we write about. However, our content is written and reviewed by an independent team of editors and licensed insurance agents, and never influenced by our partnerships. Learn more baout how we make money, review our editorial standards, reference out data methodology, or view a list of our partners
- What is a title transfer?
- Car title transfer in Alabama
- Registering a car in Alabama
- Finding insurance for your vehicle
Load full table of contents
To transfer ownership of a vehicle in Alabama, you’ll have to complete a title transfer. You can do this at your local county license plate issuing office or, in some cases, online through the Alabama Title System (ALTS).
When you buy or sell a vehicle, the sale won’t be official until the title is transferred over to the new owner. This usually requires you to fill out some paperwork, pay a small fee, and take your car to the license plate issuing office in your county.
The process can seem confusing, which is why the car insurance comparison and broker app Jerry has compiled everything you need to know about title transfers in Alabama.
What is a title transfer?
A car title determines the owner of a vehicle, so when you transfer a car’s title, you’re transferring the ownership to another person.
There are two steps to this process:
- The seller must sign the title to release ownership of the car
- The buyer must bring the signed title to the DMV (or equivalent department) in order to receive a new title and registration from the state
Different states have different processes for this. For example, you may be required to fill out a bill of sale or a transfer of ownership form in addition to signing the title.
Who does the title transfer?
In a private sale, the buyer and seller will complete the title transfer process on their own.
If you’re buying a car from a dealer, the dealership will take care of the paperwork and mail the title to the state DMV.
Reasons for a title transfer
Generally, you would need to complete a title transfer if you are buying a car, selling your car, or moving to another state.
You would also need to transfer a title if you are:
- Donating a vehicle
- Giving a vehicle as a gift
- Inheriting a vehicle
- Paying off an auto loan
Thousands of customers saved on average $887/year on their car insurance with Jerry
This app is great, but the customer service is even better! Not to mention convenient! My husband and I got the lowest rate (much lower than the rates I was finding online through my own searches), quickly, and pretty much all through text message! Thank you so much for a hassle free experience👍
Car title transfer in Alabama
In Alabama, you must complete a title transfer within 20 days of acquiring a new or used vehicle.
When you buy a used car from a private seller, you will have to complete the title transfer at the license plate issuing office in your county, although you may be able to submit an online application through the Alabama Title System’s Public Title Portal.
If you are moving to Alabama from a different state, you have 30 days to register and title your car. There is a $15 title application fee, and some counties require additional local fees.
Registering a car in Alabama
Once you’ve transferred the title, you’ll also need to register the vehicle. Your vehicle registration serves as proof that you can legally drive that car in Alabama.
In order to register your car for the first time, you must bring your vehicle to the license plate issuing office in your county, along with the following documents:
- Certificate of title
- Proof of insurance
- Ownership documents (ex: bill of sale)
Alabama drivers must renew their vehicle registration annually, and some counties offer online renewal services. Your renewal month will be assigned to you based on the first letter of your last name.
The base registration fee is $23, although the exact cost depends on your vehicle type, among other factors. Large trucks, for example, have more expensive registration fees, and some vehicles require additional annual fees.
Finding insurance for your vehicle
In addition to transferring the title and getting your car registered in Alabama, you’ll need to have the right car insurance to legally drive in the Yellowhammer State.
Jerry is the easiest and most effective way to find a car insurance policy that is customized for you.
After providing you with a comprehensive cross-analysis of the best policies across providers, Jerry will handle the phone calls, paperwork, and renewals for your top pick so that you don’t have to. They even help cancel your old policy!
So why do all that extra work when Jerry can do it better?
“I’ve shaved off at least $50 a month using Jerry. For now, I chose only to pay for Alabama state minimums, but I am confident that with Jerry, I can upgrade or change my coverage at any time. The process is really intuitive, too!” —Fred D.
Haven’t shopped for insurance in the last six months? There might be hundreds $$$ in savings waiting for you.
Judith switched to Progressive
Saved $725 annually
Alexander switched to Travelers
Saved $834 annually
Annie switched to Nationwide
Saved $668 annually
What if my car has a loan?
If you’re trying to sell a car with a loan, you should talk to your lender first. They can help you figure out the title transfer process.
Where do I sign to transfer the title?
On the back of an Alabama certificate of title, there is a line for the seller’s signature and a line for the seller’s printed name. Be sure to write your name exactly as it’s listed on the front of the title.