Title Transfer Regulations
Rules and regulations concerning the application for an Alabama certificate of title are specified and regulated by The Alabama Department of Revenue. Inquiries or concerns may be addressed to Motor Vehicle Division – Title Section, P O Box 327640, Montgomery, Alabama 36132-7640. The office location is at the Gordon Persons Building in Montgomery.
Altered Documents (Regulation 810-5-75-.39)
The State Motor Vehicle Department will not accept any document that has been altered. This includes any type of fluid or means used to remove, delete, or cover up previously entered information. MVD will require a replacement title (download form)— to be obtained for the altered document.
Certification of Physical Inspection of Vehicle (Regulation 810-5-5-.13)
A physical inspection and verification of the VIN and descriptive data shown on the title application are required only for the first certificates of title, including the following:
- New vehicles – Application for the first title.
- Out-of-state vehicles – Brought into Alabama and surrender out-of-state titles.
- Other vehicles – Not currently titled and subject to Alabama title law.
- All non-title vehicles being registered for the first time in a new owner’s name and not registered in Alabama within the two previous calendar years.
(The vehicle or trailer may be brought to the Clinton St. Courthouse Annex or State Form MVT 5-10 (download form) may be completed and inspected by a governmental law enforcement officer in Alabama.)
Requirements for Name and Signature (Regulation 810-5-75-.40)
An application for a certificate of title shall have the name of the vehicle owner on the title application form (MVT 5-1C). The signature of the owner must be the individual owner’s signature or a power of attorney (download form) appointee. If joint ownership is reflected, then BOTH owners must sign the title application. No more than two owners shall be listed on an application for a certificate of title. Beginning October 2015, Act 2015-362 requires any change to the owner’s legal name (marriage, divorce, court order, etc.) must be reflected on the new Alabama title before registration renewal of the motor vehicle.
Seller’s Signature Requirements (Regulation 810-5-75-.37)
The proper assignment of title by the registered owner or selling dealer is a necessary part of the transfer of a vehicle. The signature of the seller must meet the Revenue Department’s requirements for the transfer of title. The seller must sign exactly or more than the name shown on the face of the title e.g. Blackwood James M on the face of the title should sign the legal signature as James M. Blackwood. James Marshall Blackwood is also an acceptable signature. The listing of Davis T William on the face of the title should sign a legal signature as William T. Davis.
Surrender of Out-of-State Title (Regulation 810-5-5-.07-.08)
When a vehicle enters this state from a title state and an application is made for an Alabama certificate of title, the original out-of-state title or replacement title shall be surrendered. A leasing company located outside of Alabama, that leases a vehicle that will be domiciled in Alabama, shall furnish the residence address of the lessee and grant power of attorney (download form) to an appointee to sign the title application. The lessor shall always be named as owner and the title shall be mailed to the owner’s mailing address as provided. If the out-of-state title is held by a lienholder, then a copy or electronic copy of the original title record may be provided and the new resident may receive vehicle registration only with the out-of-state title remaining with the lienholder.
Transfer of Title to an Alabama Owner (Regulation 810-5-75-.18)
The titled owner(s) assigns the title to the purchaser(s). If the purchaser is a licensed auto dealer, then he may reassign the title to the next dealer, etc. If a title is assigned to an individual or firm who is not a licensed auto dealer that party must first obtain the title in their name.