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Alabama License Plate Search

All vehicles registered in Alabama require registered plates from the Department of Revenue.

When purchasing a new or used vehicle, you must use a temporary plate to drive legally.

Sample Alabama License Plate

Sample Alabama License Plate

Types of Alabama License Plates

If you're going to live in Alabama, your vehicle needs a license plate registered with the Alabama Department of Revenue (DOR).

You can apply for Standard Plates or Specialty Plates in Alabama, which have different fees and costs. 

When to Get an Alabama License Plate

Legally, you must obtain a license plate for your vehicle within 30 days of moving to the state, or, if you already live in the state, within 20 days of purchasing your vehicle. 

Confirming Ownership using an Alabama Vehicle History Report

If you’re buying a used car, you may be wondering who owned the car before you and what its history is. When you do an Alabama license plate search, you can discover the history of ownership of the car.

Getting a vehicle report lets you make confident decisions when purchasing a used vehicle, by answering these important questions:

  • Has it been stolen?
  • Who is the real owner of the vehicle?
  • Is the seller the actual owner of the vehicle?

Get a vehicle history report before you make the purchase.

Steps to Take When License Plates are Stolen

This really happens: You park your car for the day, then return in the evening to find that your license plates have been removed.

In the event that your plates are stolen, here are the steps to take:

  1. Contact your local authorities to report your plates stolen
  2. Go to your local Alabama DMV to obtain new plates
  3. Fill out a Stolen License Plate Affidavit
  4. Pay the fees [Set of Standard License Plates costs $14]

Transferring or Surrendering License Plates in Alabama

If you want to sell or donate your vehicle, you’ll have to remove the plates and either:

  1. Return the plates to DOR
  2. Transfer the plates to your new vehicle

You can transfer your license plates to a new vehicle by paying the DOR $1.25 (additional fees or taxes may apply).

Some specialty plates may not be transferable, and you should contact the DOR to check.

If you discontinue your car insurance payment or you get different license plates, you’ll have to surrender your original license plates.

Also, if you reported your plates stolen but found them or recovered them later on, you’ll also have to surrender your plates to DOR.

Costs of Alabama License Plates

Fees additional to those listed below may apply. Check with your local DMV for service fees, taxes, or fees for titling a vehicle or vehicle registration (if needed).

  • Standard License Plates: $23 (annually)
  • Replacement License Plate: $2
  • Replacement Decal $2
  • Transfer Fee: $1.25

Alabama Specialty License Plates

If you want your vehicle to stand out on the streets, you may want to get a specialty license plate. Here are a few of the options available to you in Alabama:

  • Specialty License Plates with a unique design. For example:
    • Breast Cancer Research Plate
    • Wildlife Federation Plate
    • Firefighter Plate
  • Generic Specialty Plates with a small logo or image on a white plate. For example:
    • Rotary International Plate
    • Alabama Tennis Foundation Plate
    • Children’s Trust Fund Plate
  • Other Specialty Plates in Alabama:
    • Military Honor Plates
    • Antique License Plates
    • NASCAR Racing License Plates
    • Collegiate Plates

Check with your local Alabama DMV for all available specialty plate styles.

Note: Fees for specialty plates range from $23 to $890 per year, depending on your vehicle being registered.

Applying for Your License Plate

When you purchase a new vehicle, you should have a temporary tag, which will be valid until your new plates arrive. Typically, the temporary tags are valid for 20 days and must be displayed in your back window.

To apply for license plates in Alabama, you must first register your vehicle at DOR. Remember, you must register your vehicle: 

  • Within 20 days of buying a vehicle
  • Within 30 days of moving to Alabama

You’ll need the following to register your vehicle:

  • Yellow copy of Alabama title application, vehicle title, or manufacturer's certificate of origin
  • Bill of sale and itemized sales tax info
  • Dealer's affidavit (for out-of-state dealers)
  • Surrender old license plates from the vehicle
  • Odometer disclosure statement if your vehicle is less than 10 years old and less than 16,000 lbs
  • Copy of the most recent registration
  • Valid Alabama driver's license that proves you are a resident
  • Proof of insurance
  • License plates you want transferred to the new vehicle (if you have them)
  • Payment for all applicable fees

Renewing Your Alabama License Plates

You’ll receive a reminder from the Alabama Department of Revenue letting you know that you must renew or update the tags on your vehicle.

When you renew your tags, you will also renew the vehicle’s registration. This can be done online, by mail, or in person.

After you complete this, you’ll receive new stickers to place on your plate.

How to look up Alabama license plates

Do you need an Alabama license plate? Thanks to, you can search the plate you want and the state you want to register in, then click search. FindByPlate will do the work for you to find available plate information, for you, for free! Look up an Alabama License Plate Number Now.

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to look up Alabama License Plates and report bad drivers:

  1. Open a web browser
  2. Go to
  3. Enter the plate number, and select state
  4. View the report
  5. View images submitted by the community
  6. View videos submitted by the community
  7. Add comments
  8. Add pictures of the vehicle
  9. Add videos related to the vehicle