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Alabama Utility Trailer License Requirements

by Horacio Garcia

Alabama requires that utility trailers be registered through the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and that a utility trailer have its own license plate. There are few exemptions from this utility-trailer registration, so the owner of the utility trailer needs to check with the DMV to ensure that all requirements are being met before applying for a registration.

Registration Time Limit

A person who purchases a new utility trailer, moves to Alabama for permanent residence or is transferring ownership of the utility trailer has a time limit from the date of purchase or residency to register the utility trailer. An owner has 20 days to register the trailer from the date of purchase, or to transfer ownership of the trailer; he has 30 days to register the trailer if he moves to Alabama as a permanent resident.

Insurance Requirements

A utility trailer owner must have the minimum insurance required by Alabama in order to register the trailer, but does not have to show proof of this insurance when registering the trailer. The owner states that the vehicle has the proper insurance when he signs the registration form at the DMV.

Title of Utility Trailer

The title must be submitted to the DMV with all the proper signatures so the state can record the title of the utility trailer into the state's vehicle database when ownership is transferred. A new Alabama title is sent to the utility trailer owner once the title has been submitted to the DMV. A person who buys the utility trailer from a dealership has the benefit of the dealership filing the title and registration; a person who purchases a trailer through a private individual must do a little more work, however. A notarized bill of sale and form MVT-5-6, which states the reasons for filing for a new title and registration, must be submitted when registering the trailer, along with personal identification, such as a driver's license.

Registration Fees

A utility trailer owner must pay the pertinent registration and titling fees to the DMV when registering the trailer. The fees start at $23 as of 2010, but additional fees may apply, such as transfer-of-title fees, late fees, prorated fees or tag-transfer fees. All the applicable fees must be paid at the time of registration to have the utility trailer registered in Alabama.

About the Author

Horacio Garcia has been writing since 1979, beginning his career as the spokesperson for Trinity Broadcast Network. Within 10 years Garcia was being called upon to write speeches and scripts for several state and federal congressmen, local broadcast networks and publications such as "Readers Digest." He received his bachelor's degree in public relations from Argosy University.

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  • Trailer on Grass image by Towards Ithaca from