About Changing Your Name on Your Alabama Car Registration
You must change the name on car registration in Alabama whenever your legal name changes and no longer matches the information on your registration documents. Specific application requirements may vary depending on the county where you live, but most license plate issuing officials will require you to present proof of the name change and evidence of vehicle ownership when updating your legal name with the Alabama Department of Revenue (ADOR).
Changing your name on car registration materials takes a few more steps than simply updating your address. For example, before you can change car registration and titling information, you must notify the Social Security Administration (SSA) of your new name. Then, you must apply for an updated replacement Social Security card that displays your new legal name. To learn more about the steps you must take after you legally change your name, review the information below.
When is it necessary to perform a DMV name change in Alabama?
Performing a name change on car registration, title records and Alabama driver’s licenses is one of the first steps you must take after you legally change your name for any reason. However, the ADOR cannot process your application until you have updated your name with the SSA.
Before changing name on car registration credentials, you must complete an Application for a Social Security Card. Then, you must bring the application, proof of identity and evidence of your name change to your local Social Security office.
You may also submit these application materials by mail. Once the SSA processes your request and updates its records, you must wait at least 24 hours before updating the information on your vehicle registration credentials.
Get helpful information on how to change your name with the SSA and the ADOR in our free guide.
Your Alabama Name Change Checklist
To change name on car registration credentials, you will typically need to visit the license plate-issuing office in the county where your car is registered. You cannot change your name online, by mail or by email, as you will need to provide the license plate issuing agent with a certified copy of your name change document.
To change your vehicle registration information, you may present a copy of your marriage certificate, divorce decree, court order or other legal documentation. Additionally, you must present proof of identity, your vehicle’s current state-issued certificate of title and a completed application for a certificate of title.
If you finance your vehicle and a lienholder has the vehicle title, you will need to contact them to send the currevt title to the office where you can complete the transaction. Alternatively, the county license office can request the title on your behalf.
As proof of complying with the state’s Mandatory Liability Insurance (MLI) law, you will typically need to present proof of a valid automobile insurance policy when updating the information on your vehicle’s registration and titling credentials. If you need to change your auto registration information but you finance the registered vehicle, you may also need written permission from your lienholder.
Since specific DMV name change requirements vary by county, you should contact your local license plate issuing office before heading in.
What happens if I do not change my Alabama car registration information?
If you do not perform an ADOR name change after legally changing your name, you will not be able to renew your vehicle’s registration credentials, including plates, during your vehicle registration renewal period.
If you do not renew your license plates in a timely manner, you may incur penalty fees and/or receive a traffic citation if a police officer chooses to pull you over.
Find helpful information on changing the name on your Alabama car registration by downloading our free guide.