How to Replace a Lost Vehicle Title in Alabama

by Tom Streissguth

Vehicle titles are important documents, and state law in Alabama requires you to have the title in your possession at all times when driving. Selling the car without a title in hand will pose a serious problem, as you need the title to legally transfer ownership. Fortunately, if you've lost the title, the state has a fairly easy and inexpensive procedure to secure a valid replacement.

Application for Replacement Title

Alabama will only replace titles for a vehicle already registered in the state. You will need to complete and file an Application for Replacement Title, a document available from the Alabama Department of Revenue/Motor Vehicle Division. You can go online to print out a blank form, or request a copy from the nearest division agent, such as a county office, bank, credit union, or licensed auto dealer.

Complete the Form

The application form requires your full name, which must be identical to the name on the original title. You must also furnish the vehicle identification number, as well as the odometer reading, the date of purchase, the year the car was made and its make, model and color. Give the reason for the application in Section F. If there are any outstanding liens on the vehicle, you must list them on the application. If you took out a loan but paid it off, the lien release information must be completed by that lienholder's agent in sections G and H.

Filing the Application

Mail the completed application form to Alabama Department of Revenue, Motor Vehicle Division -- Title Section, P O Box 327640, Montgomery, AL 36132-7640. You must include a money order or cashier's check for $15, made out to the Alabama Department of Revenue. The department does not accept cash or personal checks. You can also file the application in person at any agency that also supplies the form.

Processing Time

Normal processing time for a replacement title is two or three weeks. If there is an outstanding lien, the lienholder or lienholder's representative must complete the application, and that party will get the replacement title. In Alabama and other states, a lender keeps possession of the title document until the loan is paid in full.

About the Author

Founder/president of the innovative reference publisher The Archive LLC, Tom Streissguth has been a self-employed business owner, independent bookseller and freelance author in the school/library market. Holding a bachelor's degree from Yale, Streissguth has published more than 100 works of history, biography, current affairs and geography for young readers.

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