If you buy your car outright from a private seller, or finally pay off the loan on your vehicle purchased through a dealership, you’ll receive a title. A car title is a certificate that proves you are the owner of the vehicle. Car titles are issued through state departments of transportation or departments of motor vehicles. In Alabama, your title is issued through the Department of Revenue.
If your title is lost, damaged beyond recognition, or if it is stolen, you’ll need to have it replaced. You may also need to have your title replaced (changed) if you purchased a salvage car and have completed the necessary repairs to make it roadworthy. In these instances, a duplicate title is the solution.
In the state of Alabama, you must have a valid title if the car is registered in the state, operated within the state, and is less than 35 years old (cars older than 35 years don’t need a title to be legal). The state of Alabama also requires that other vehicles (beyond traditional motor vehicles) have titles. These include:
- Manufactured homes (less than 20 years old)
- Camping trailers, including folding/pop-up campers
- Travel trailers
There are two ways to replace a lost, damaged or stolen car title in Alabama. You can do it through mail, or you can do it in person at a Department of Revenue MVD location.
To replace your title by mail:
Complete the state’s application for a replacement title (form MVT-12-1)
Include the $15 title fee
Mail it to the following address:
Alabama Department of Revenue
Motor Vehicle Division – Title Section
PO Box 327640
Montgomery, AL 36132
Note: You must send a cashier’s check or money order. Cash and personal checks are not accepted.
Note: You’ll need to provide a reason for the replacement title (stolen, lost, damaged).
To replace your title in person:
- Visit a county license plate issuing office
- Visit a licensed Alabama car dealer
- Visit a qualifying bank or credit union in Alabama (not all banks or credit unions offer this service)
You can find more information about replacing a lost or stolen car title in Alabama by visiting the state’s Department of Revenue website.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as How to Replace a Lost or Stolen Car Title in Alabama and was authored by Valerie Johnston.