Selling a Car in Alabama

When you’re selling a vehicle in Alabama, there are some requirements that are specific to the state. We’ve collected the appropriate information here so the process of selling your vehicle in the state can be a piece of cake.

1. Title Information

First, make certain you actually own your vehicle in its entirety. In Alabama, you can only sell a vehicle if you have complete ownership of it. In other words, any “lien” (loan) on the vehicle must be paid off before you can sell the vehicle.

Second, make certain that you have the actual title. If you cannot find the title, you’ll need to request a replacement title from the Alabama Motor Vehicle Division. You need an official title because you and the new owner will both sign the title as proof of the transfer of ownership from you to them. Make sure both of you fill out the title transfer section of the title completely. You don’t want to accidentally end up still owning the vehicle and being liable for anything the new driver does with it.

Also keep in mind that in Alabama, pre-1975 model vehicles are not required to have titles.

2. Bill of Sale Requirements

Alabama requires you to put together a Bill of Sale when you sell a vehicle. The Bill of Sale must include the following:

  • The new owner’s name
  • The new owner’s full address, which cannot be a P.O. box
  • The seller’s name
  • The seller’s full address, which cannot be a P.O. box
  • The date of the sale
  • The sale price
  • A full and detailed vehicle description, including the vehicle’s make, model, year, series number (if applicable) and body type (2-door, 4-door, sedan, etc.), as well as the vehicle identification number (VIN)
  • If the new owner has taken out a loan on the vehicle, the name of the lienholder
  • The date of the lien (if such exists)
  • The vehicle odometer reading at the time of sale
  • The signatures of the seller and new owner

Note that the signatures must be notarized, so be ready either to have a notary meet you when you are doing the final paperwork or to go with the new owner to a notary public. Also be aware that the sale of your vehicle may be taxable; check with your accountant or financial adviser for more about this.

3. Inspections

Alabama does not require inspections or emission testing but does require that any vehicle sold be currently registered before the sale can happen. So make certain that your vehicle’s registration is up to date.

4. License Plates

In Alabama, license plates remain with the owner, not the vehicle. When you sell your vehicle, you will keep the license plates and may be able to put those same plates on your next vehicle. This does mean that the new owner will have to order new plates from the Alabama Motor Vehicle Division.

5. Odometer Disclosure Requirements

The state of Alabama requires you to disclose a vehicle’s odometer reading when you sell the vehicle or whenever a new title is required for any reason. You can simply fill in the appropriate space on the back of the title in order to fulfill this requirement.

6. Other Information

If you have any questions or want more details about selling your vehicle, check out the website for the Alabama Motor Vehicle Division.