Utility Trailer Laws of Alabama

by Amanda Maddox
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Utility trailers must be registered in the buyer's name, according to Alabama state law. The county courthouse performs the registration of a utility trailer. To register a trailer, the buyer must present at least one of the supporting documents accepted by the state and pay the required fee based on the use, or classification, of the trailer.


According to Limestone County, Alabama, utility trailers that must be registered in Alabama weigh less than 12,000 pounds and are pulled behind cars or pickup trucks. There are several types of utility trailers used in Alabama. For instance, boat trailers, horse trailers and equipment trailers are considered types of utility trailers.


Alabama State Law, Code of Alabama 1975, 40-12-252, requires any utility trailer for personal or commercial use be registered with the state. Such utility trailers include those carrying mowers or golf carts, horse trailers, enclosed auto transporters and tow dollies.

Supporting documentation must be presented when completing the registration process. A manufacturer's state of origin or Alabama certificate of title, a bill of sale signed by the seller with the buyer listed or a current registration receipt in the seller's name are acceptable documents for registering a utility trailer. However, the utility trailer can be visually inspected at the county courthouse if a registration receipt is not available.


Alabama law requires an annual registration tax for utility trailers operated on public highways. The fee is $12 for personal trailers and $15 for commercial trailers as of 2010. However, as of July 1, 2009, utility trailers pulled behind automobiles are exempt from title laws. Therefore, a tag or license plate is not required for a utility trailer for highway use in Alabama.


In Alabama, a utility trailer weighing over 3,000 pounds must have electric brakes. The vehicle pulling the trailer must have an electric brake box.


Any licensed driver over the age of 16 can pull a utility trailer in Alabama on the highway for personal use. This includes travel trailers, boat trailers and enclosed utility trailers. However, only one trailer may be pulled at a time. Also, the speed limit posted on Alabama highways is the same for all vehicles, even when hauling a utility trailer.

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