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What is Salvage title? US States Rebuilt Title Rules

Alabama Car Rebuild Title Laws and Transfer Rules

By Mike Richards Updated: 08/11/2022 Posted: 10/28/2015

In Alabama, there are a number of rules and regulations when it comes to registering and titling a vehicle. It is important for those looking to register and transfer the titles of their vehicles to have an understanding of what is expected of them during the process. What is Alabama car title laws and Alabama title application?


Model Year Title Requirements in Alabama

If a motor vehicle is 35 years old or less and located in Alabama, and is required to be registered in the state, it will also need an Alabama title. Camping trailers that fold or collapse, as well as travel trailers that are less than 20 years old, will need to have a title as well. In addition, manufactured homes that are less than 20 years old will need a title. The definition of a motor vehicle includes cars, motorcycles, mobile trailers, semi-trailers, trucks, truck tractors, trailers, and all other self-propelled or drawn devices except for those that utilize animal power to move, or that are only used on rails or tracks.

If the trailer is more than 20 years old, or the motor vehicle is more than 35 years old, it will not need to have a title. In addition, vehicles owned by a government agency do not need to have a title. Vehicles that are owned by manufacturers and dealers that are for sale do not need to have a title either, even if they are driven for demonstration or testing.

Other vehicles that do not need to have a title in Alabama include ATVs, snowmobiles, off-road vehicles, junk vehicles, boats, or special mobile equipment, vehicles that use animal power to move, pole trailers, and devices for husbandry. Utility trailers that can be drawn by a car or truck (driver can’t replace it without other vehicles) do not need a title either. In addition, vehicles that are owned by people who are not residents of the state and that are not required to be registered in Alabama will not need to have a title either.


Applying for a Certificate of Title

To obtain a certificate of title, applicants will need to go through a Designated Agent from the Alabama Department of Revenue. These can include license plate issuing officials, licensed motor vehicle dealers, as well as some banks and credit unions. Those who are looking for a replacement title will be able to submit an application through the Department of Revenue (not DMV).

The current cost for a title application fee is $15 for each application for a title for a motor vehicle. The title application fee for manufactured homes is $20. The designated agents will also add a commission of $1.50 for each of the applications processed. This pays for the processing and mailing costs. In some counties, there may also be local fees. So applicants should contact their county officials to determine what, if any, local fees apply.

Those who want to apply for a replacement title can submit their replacement application to the Alabama Department of Revenue. The fee is $15 for the replacement title, and it is non-refundable. It is also possible to apply for a replacement title through any designated agent.


Necessary Documents for a Certificate of Title

To complete the application for the certificate of title in Alabama, you will need to surrender the following documents: outstanding manufacturer’s certificate or origin, and outstanding registration documents (if applicable). In some cases, there may need to provide additional documentation to determine whether the vehicle meets the state and federal safety standards.  As well as anti-theft and emissions standards. This does not apply to all vehicles, though.


How Long Before You Receive the Title?

Another common question is how long it will take before the certificate of title arrives.

The time for processing can vary widely. Those who do not receive their title on time should contact the agent who did their title application. It is also possible to track the title application’s status online through the website of the Alabama Department of Revenue.


Rebuilding a Salvage Car

After this, you’ll need to have the car rebuilt. For this purpose, you will have to obtain a rebuilder’s license from the Alabama Department of Revenue. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you are rebuilding the car yourself. You can still have a mechanic or body shop do the work, and that may be advisable in many cases. What this means, though, is that the state is giving you the right to have the car rebuilt.

Only then should you begin doing the work. If you didn’t get a rebuilder’s license, then you will not be able to have the car inspected, and that means you will never be able to get it registered either.

You will need to post a $10,000 surety bond for the rebuilder’s license. This is simply stating that you will have the car rebuilt.

After all of the rebuild, work is complete and your car is properly safe to drive and roadworthy, then you will need to apply to have it inspected.

In Alabama, the inspection is for the sole purpose of looking for stolen parts and salvage car fraud. It is not a safety inspection, but it is a requirement.

So, you will need to contact the Alabama Department of Revenue to set up an appointment and have the inspection scheduled.

You will need to provide a certain set of documents:

  • The completed Application for Inspection of a Salvage Vehicle
  • A Remittance Advice Form
  • The original salvage title
  • The rebuilder’s license
  • A fee of $90, which must be provided via a certified check
  • A notarized bill of sale for the car
  • Bills of sale for any major components you had to add to the car for repair

You can mail copies of all of the documents directly to the Alabama Department of Revenue at the Automobile Inspection Unit, PO Box 327641, Montgomery Alabama 36132.

Once you get an appointment and that inspection is complete, then you will be issued a rebuilt title.

As long as your car is in good working condition and is safe to drive. And as long as it doesn’t have any stolen parts on it, then you should have no issue getting the rebuilt title.

Find information on Rebuilt Title Laws for Other US States.
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