Personalized license plates are a lot of fun, and can really help you make your vehicle a lot more unique. Purchasing a personalized license plate in Alabama serves two great purposes: first, it allows you to choose a license plate theme out of dozens of available options that displays something you support or enjoy, and second, it lets you customize a license plate message so that your car can say something special about you.
If you feel like adding an extra flair of customization to your car, then a personalized license plate may be for you. They are easy and affordable to obtain, and can be a great addition to your vehicle.
Part 1 of 3: Reserve a customized Alabama license plate
Step 1: Visit the Department of Revenue site: Using a web browser, go to Alabama’s Department of Revenue website.
Step 2: Go to the Motor Vehicles division: Visit the Motor Vehicles division of the Alabama Department of Revenue.
From the main page of the Department of Revenue, choose “Motor Vehicles” from the dropdown menu titled “Divisions.”
Step 3: Visit the plate reservation page: To begin reserving a specialized Alabama license plate, visit the plate reservation page.
From the Motor Vehicles division, click the link titled “Search or Reserve a Personalized Tag Message.”
Next, click on the button that says “Start Reservation.”
Step 4: Select a license plate theme: Choose a license plate theme from the plate reservation website. Choose a genre for your license plate by clicking on one of the available options:
- Generic Specialty
- Race Specialty
- Motorcycle Plates
After choosing your genre, select one of the specific license plate templates from that list. The available themes range from Support Our Troops, to Auburn University, to Autism Awareness.
- Tip: Different Alabama license plate themes have different character restrictions. Be sure to check under your selection to see what the restrictions are, or you may not be able to choose your desired personalization.
Step 5: Select a plate message: Choose the plate message that you want on your personalized license plate.
Write the message that you want in the box that says “Plate Message.” If the plate message is already being used, an alert underneath the box will tell you that the plate is unavailable. Keep trying until you find an available plate message, then press the “Continue” button.
- Warning: If you use too many characters, or characters that are not allowed with the plate template you chose, a message underneath the “Plate Message” box will alert you.
Step 6: Fill out your information: Fill out all of the information required to reserve a license plate.
After choosing a plate, you’ll have to fill out a form that includes personal information and vehicle information. Fill out all of this information accurately, then press the “Review Order” button.
- Tip: Always double check your answers to make sure that you are providing completely accurate information.
Step 7: Reserve your customized license plates: Reserve the customized Alabama license plate that you picked out.
Follow the instructions provided to finish reserving your personalized license plates. You will have to pay a small fee to secure your reservation.
Your personalized license plate will only be reserved for five days.
Part 2 of 3: Order your customized license plate
Step 1: Visit a Title and Registration office: Head to your local County Title and Registration office.
Find the County Title and Registration office nearest you by clicking the “Title and Registration Offices” button on the “Contact” dropdown menu, which is on the Motor Vehicles division website.
Visit the Title and Registration office nearest you during business hours.
- Tip: It’s a good idea to call the Title and Registration office in advance to see if you need an appointment or not.
Step 2: Apply for your personalized license plate: Find a clerk at the Title and Registration Office, and apply for your personalized license plate.
You will have to provide some confirmation information, so that the clerk knows which license plate you reserved. You will then have to fill out some final personal information.
Step 3: Pay the fees: Pay your personalized license plate and registration fees.
After filling out the paperwork, you’ll have to pay fees for your personalized license plate and your vehicle’s registration. The price of your fee will vary based on your car and the license plate that you chose.
- Tip: Most Title and Registration offices take all standard forms of payment, but if you want to double check that your form of payment will be accepted, you can call them in advance.
Step 4: Put on your temporary license plates: Install your 60-day temporary license plates.
After purchasing a personalized Alabama license plate, you will be given a set of 60-day temporary license plates. Install these license plates onto your vehicle.
- Tip: You will also be given registration tags, which you should hold onto until your personalized license plates arrive.
Part 3 of 3: Install your personalized Alabama license plates
Step 1: Get your personalized license plates: Pick up your personalized license plates from the Title and Registration Office.
When your personalized license plates have arrived, the Title and Registration Office will call you so that you can come pick them up.
- Tip: When you order your personalized plates, you may be given the option to have them shipped directly to you.
Step 2: Install your plates: Install your personalized plates on your vehicle.
After you receive your personalized license plates, install them on your car.
Once the plates are on your vehicle, add the registration stickers.
Once your new license plates are installed, you’re good to go. Now it’s time to drive around and show off that customized license plate!
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as How to Buy a Personalized License Plate in Alabama and was authored by Brady Klopfer.