Registration and Tags
When purchasing or leasing a new or used vehicle, the new owner must register the vehicle within twenty (20) days at the Commissioner of Licenses office. If the vehicle is acquired from a licensed Alabama dealer, then the dealer should apply for the Alabama certificate of title. It is the owner’s responsibility to register the vehicle in his/her home county within twenty (20) calendar days.
The minimum registration requirements are as follows:
- Valid driver’s license or State Issued ID for EACH REGISTERED OWNER, pursuant to Section 32-7A-17, Code of Alabama 1975. Other forms of ID may include, but are not limited to:
- Medicare Card A
- US Passport (valid, not expired)
- Birth Certificate
- US Military ID
- Veterans Administration Card
- Driver license or non-driver ID card from another state (valid, not expired)
- Title document or Title Application issued by a designated agent of the State of Alabama.
- Bill of Sale showing proof of sales tax, purchase price and date of purchase, and/or trade information. Bill of sale must list vehicle by description and vin. A bill of sale from an Alabama dealership must meet with the requirements set by Code of Alabama, 1975, Section 40-23-104 and Administrative Rule 810-5-1-.246.
- Proof of Alabama insurance. Out-of-state policies will not be accepted for Alabama licensing purposes. Certain military policies, such as USAA, must confirm before being accepted. (Please see MLI section on this page for more information.)
Your Alabama motor vehicle license plate/decal must be renewed annually. Renewal reminders will be mailed to the last known address as a courtesy at the beginning of the scheduled renewal month. If you have changed your address since your last renewal or vehicle purchase, please notify the License Commissioner’s office at (256) 241-2900 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- It is the owner’s responsibility to renew his/her tag/decal during the correct renewal month even if you do not receive a renewal reminder in the mail. The first letter of your last name determines the month in which your renewal is due. (See chart below.)
All tag renewals may be processed at the Calhoun County Administration Building, Piedmont Annex, the Alexandria Community Center, or by mail. In addition, you may now renew your tag online if you want to save a trip to the administration building, Click Here Please allow 7-10 business days for delivery of your renewal decal.
If you are renewing your tag in person, it is best to come to the administration building between the 10th and the 25th of the month, in order to avoid waiting time.
The amount you pay to renew your tag is a combination of your ad valorem tax assessment and a license fee. Ad valorem taxes are determined by multiplying the state-assigned value of your vehicle by the assessment rate (based on the classification of the vehicle), then multiplying the assessed value by the millage rate determined by your address. All ad valorem taxes are collected at the time of registration.
Please note: A mail fee of $2.00 is charged for each tag renewal processed through the mail.
RENEWAL TRANSACTIONS MAY BE PROCESSED UP UNTIL MIDNIGHT
ON THE LAST DAY OF THE MONTH WITHOUT PENALTY
*********************************************************************October 1, 2008 – You may renew your car tag,
boat license, manufactured home & business license online.
HOW TO RENEW ON LINE:
Through the renewal site www.altags.com, customers may renew their tags, business licenses (in the month of October), boat registrations, and manufactured home decals (during the months of October and November only). **The fee is $5.00 or 3% of your total, whichever is greater when renewing with a debit or credit card online. This fee is not paid to Calhoun County but to the processing entity, Ingenuity. Upon completion of your renewal, you will receive a confirmation number and a printed receipt. (Your printed receipt is not considered a legal document for law enforcement purposes). Please record the confirmation number, print and retain the receipt until you receive your actual registration or sticker. If you have any difficulty you may contact Ingenuity at 205-263-1573 for telephone assistance.
Online registration questions can be directed to email@example.com
If an address change is required with your tag renewal, you may still renew your tag via an online transaction, provided that your new address remains in Calhoun County. You will need to submit a request for address change, which must be approved by the renewal clerk before you can renew your tag.
Tag Renewal Information
Once a vehicle is registered in your name, it is necessary to renew the registration each year according to the renewal schedule listed below:
|Renewal Month||First Letter of Last Name|
|January||A and D|
|March||C and E|
|April||F,G, and N|
|May||H and O|
|June||M and I|
|July||P and L|
|August||J, K, and R|
|September||Q, S, and T|
|October||U, V, W, X, Y, and Z|
|October/November||Trucks, Commercial & Fleet|
To renew your registration you must show:
1. A previous tag receipt in your name or a renewal card, which has been mailed to you as a courtesy by the License Commissioner’s Office.
Even if you do not receive a courtesy notice, it is your responsibility to renew your tag before the expiration date.
Note: Please notice the decal on your license plate. If the month on your plate has passed, your tag is expired. Example – if your plate shows August, the renewal must be made prior to September 1st. For more information, contact the Commissioner of License Office at 256-241-2900 or you may also email firstname.lastname@example.org.
2. Each registered owner or co-owner should also bring their valid Alabama driver license or photocopy to comply with Act 2011-688 related to Mandatory Liability Insurance compliance.
3. Proof of Alabama insurance will be required in the form of evidence that includes the provider’s NAIC number, policy number, vehicle identification number (VIN) and current effective date, visible either physically or electronically.
Companies renewing fleet vehicles may use a “fleet insurance card”, however, this fleet coverage is not allowed on privately owned vehicles.
**Effective January 1 2020, the Rebuild Alabama Act went into effect. An additional $200 registration fee will apply for battery electric vehicles, and $100 will apply for each plug-in hybrid electric vehicle.
Mandatory Liability Insurance (OIVS)
Minimum liability insurance is required on all self-propelled motor vehicles. Beginning January 1, 2013, license plate issuing officials will attempt to verify liability insurance utilizing the State of Alabama Online Insurance Verification System, which will allow license plate issuing officials to immediately verify the insurance status of a vehicle at any point in time.
If insurance cannot be verified through the system, vehicle owners must provide evidence of insurance to the license plate issuing official. To be acceptable, the proof of insurance must display the current effective date, insurer’s NAIC number, vehicle identification number, and policy number.
Proof of insurance is required at EACH registration and renewal.
Alabama Department of Revenue runs digital verification of VIN numbers monthly and sends correspondence to registrants for insurance verification, when verification is not automatic.
Failure to provide insurance: It is important for registrants to return all correspondence received from Alabama Department of Revenue as soon as possible to the Mandatory Liability Insurance Department of ADOR. Fines and penalties, once accrued, may be paid at the Calhoun County Commissioner of License Office at all locations.
Beginning June 1, 2000, “No person shall operate, register or maintain registration of a motor vehicle unless the motor vehicle is covered by a liability insurance policy, bond, or deposit of cash.”
This requirement affects automobiles, pickups, trucks, motorcycles, motor homes, and other self-propelled vehicles. (Registrants must provide proof that they are in compliance with the MLI requirements when applying for new registration or renewals).
The Alabama Department of Revenue may, at random, contact you to verify compliance with the Mandatory Liability Insurance law (Section 32-7A-4 CODE OF ALABAMA). If contacted, you will be asked to complete a survey showing proof of insurance coverage. Failure to provide proof of coverage may result in suspension of your license plate.
If you have questions about a Mandatory Liability Insurance survey that you have received, you may contact the Mandatory Liability Insurance Department at the Alabama Department of Revenue at 334-242-9000 (Option 2). You may also visit Alabama Department of Revenue’s website for more information by clicking ADOR.
For further information regarding suspended or revoked registrations, you may contact the Calhoun County Commissioner of License Office at 256-241-2900.
Effective January 1, 1998, the plate no longer goes with the vehicle. By statute of law, an owner who trades, sells, or disposes of a vehicle, he must remove the license plates from the previously owned vehicle. An owner may transfer the plate to a vehicle of the same classification already owned and not currently licensed, or to a vehicle of the same classification acquired later in the license year.
In the event an owner trades vehicles, the transfer of the plate is the transfer of registration only. The ad valorem tax is due on the newly acquired vehicle at the time the tag is transferred.
Ad valorem tax is a property tax based on the market value of property in Alabama on October 1. Ad valorem tax on vehicles is authorized under Section 40-12-253, Code of Alabama 1975. An ad valorem tax lien attaches to a vehicle when it is first brought into the state by a new resident, or when it is originally sold by a new vehicle dealer. Property tax is an ownership tax and not a usage tax. The tax lien accumulates whether the vehicle is operated on the highway or remains off the highway.
When an Alabama resident buys a vehicle with an outstanding property tax lien, then the buyer must:
1. Pay all property tax that has accrued on the purchased vehicle since it was last registered and any interest and penalties on taxes that are delinquent.
2. Transfer the buyer’s current plate to the replacement vehicle or purchase a new plate for the vehicle within twenty (20) calendar days of acquisition.
3. Inquire about a property tax credit voucher if a vehicle is sold or transferred prior to the owner’s renewal month.
- You must keep a copy of your registration, either paper or digital, in your vehicle at all times. You may be asked to present this form to law enforcement officers at any time. Please note that your tag registration is not your vehicle title. We do not recommend that you keep your original title in your vehicle under any circumstances.
**For general vehicle renewal/ registration questions, please call 256 241 2900 or email email@example.com.
Distinctive and Specialty Plates
Personalized tags may be ordered for most private passenger and commercial vehicles, and some motorcycles and recreational vehicles. The combination of letters/numbers requested must not conflict with the regular number system and is subject to State of Alabama Revenue Department approval.
The number of characters allowed on a plate ranges from 5 – 7, spaces included. No symbols are acceptable. Our office will provide you with a registration receipt and a 60-day temporary tag. After the plate is manufactured, it will be mailed to your address in four to six weeks.
Picking your design and lettering can be time consuming. You can save time by visiting the Alabama Department of Revenue website at https://pros.mvtrip.alabama.gov/Plates/Create to see if your choice is available. There is no cost to reserve a license plate. Once approved, the reservation will be valid for five business days.
Some of the military and distinctive plates require certification. Please use the following link that to connect to the Alabama Department of Revenue for more information about these tags:
Specialty Plate Fees
For a complete listing of fees for specialty tags and standard plates, especially those used for large trucks and recreational vehicles, please click the following link to the Alabama Department of Revenue Fee Schedule.
The fee for obtaining most specialty tags is $50.00. This fee is a tax deductible donation made to the organization you are supporting at the time you purchase the specialty plate. Personalization of your specialty plate is free at the time of purchase of the plate. The $50.00 fee is annual, due at every renewal of the specialty plate.
The Helping Schools tag design is available for a $20.00 donation that will be made to the Calhoun County public school of your choosing. Personalization of the Helping Schools plate is free at the time of purchase of the plate.
Heavy Trucks and Motor Homes
All trucks, including pickup trucks and motor homes, are registered based on combined gross weight. Thus, in registering a truck the owner should declare the gross weight of the vehicle on the tag/tax receipt based on:
The weight of the truck with maximum load, including full tank of fuel, the weight of passengers, tools, etc., plus
The weight of the heaviest load to be towed if, for example, the truck is used to tow a utility trailer, the truck must be registered based on the weight of the truck, passengers, cargo in the truck, the weight of the trailer, and the weight of the load carried if the vehicle is used commercially.