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FAQ Categories / Tax: Lien

No certificate of title shall be issued for a vehicle for which the Alabama license plate issuing official has verified that the current owner or operator is listed on a currently effective certificate of title issued by another state and the certificate of title is held by a recorded lienholder. A vehicle normally subject to the Alabama title law would be required to be registered without obtaining an Alabama certificate of title first if all of the following requirements are met:

  • The registrant is listed as the owner or operator on the out-of-state title.
  • There is a lien recorded on the out-of-state certificate of title.
  • The title is being physically held by the lienholder and the title was not issued by one of the states listed below.
  • The vehicle’s owner must provide to the county licensing official a copy of the certificate of title or a printout of the title record from the state if it issues the title in electronic format. The following is a list of states that sends the valid original title to the owner and not to the lienholder. Applicants from these states must surrender the out-of-state title to the license plate issuing official and their vehicles will be required to be titled in the State of Alabama:
    • Kentucky
    • Maryland
    • Michigan (unless owner authorizes title to be mailed to lienholder)
    • Minnesota
    • Missouri
    • Montana (unless owner authorizes the mailing with signature)
    • New Jersey
    • New York
    • Oklahoma
    • South Dakota (unless owner indicates that title is to be mailed to lienholder)
    • Wisconsin
    • Wyoming (title may be mailed to either the owner or lienholder as requested)

    If the owner has requested that a Michigan, Montana, South Dakota or Wyoming title be mailed to the lienholder, the owner must provide documentation from that state that title was mailed to the lienholder in order to be exempt from titling the vehicle in the State of Alabama.

In this situation a lien release is required because at the time the lienholder originally released the lien the department was not notified. When you lost the Alabama certificate of title, the lien release was also lost. If the title is not submitted to this department to have the lien removed and the title is lost, the owner must obtain a lien release statement in order to obtain a replacement (lien free) title.