If you’re a new owner planning to get a motor vehicle in Alabama, the license plate will become one of your priorities, together with a driver license and insurance. Within this article you will learn about license plate search, options, validity and many more.
As a vehicle owner in any Alabama county, whether you have purchased a new or a used car, you must obtain a temporary plate to drive it legally. If you’re already an Alabama resident, you can also use the Alabama license plate lookup to report drivers on the road
The appropriate time for the search of your license plate is within 20 days after purchasing your automobile.
Lookup can be done in several ways. You can visit the Alabama Department of Revenue (DOR) motor vehicle division personally. If you can’t, just mail or phone them. Online lookup is also possible. Due to the pandemic outbreak, however, it is advisable to do the transactions electronically.
Once you are done with your search, you can download the application for the government license form. Complete the vehicle and registrant information to get your plate number. You also need to apply for other forms and certificates like Alabama title, credit voucher, lease agreement and more, according to your vehicle status.
Another way is to use the online app to place your reservation. When the plate is ready, it will be sent to your local MVD office. Within 5 days you’ll have to visit the office, pay a specialty plate fee and get it. Some vehicles may apply for registration fee and ad valorem tax.
There are lots of specialty tags and license plate options. To make it clearer, you need to know the difference between personalized and vanity plates. Vanity plates contain only up to 3 numbers or only 1 to 7 letters. Personalized or custom plates contain both numbers and letters.
Alabama Department of Revenue gives you the chance of online search to see the design and information about plates. The personalized license plate or tags are ordered on demand through the Plate Reservation and Ordering System.
There are some special plate types available, including: military, distinctive, collegiate, vintage, and other personalized plate designs. To obtain any of them you must meet the requirements and pay the required fees.
In all 50 states, most follow the standard size of a plate for commercial or passenger vehicles which is 6″x12″. For motorcycles and other types, it’s 4″x7″. Also, a plate frame is allowed as long as it doesn’t obscure any information like the sticker and the number itself, unless you want to be pulled over by a police officer.
If the goal is to lookup license plate numbers for unlawful reasons, then it’s definitely illegal, as per the Federal Driver’s Privacy Protection Act in the United States. But every state has its own rules when it comes to providing information when it comes to a plate search. As long as your reasons will fall within the acceptable circumstances, then the information you’re looking for can be provided.
Since a state license plate for your car is issued by your local DMV or county clerk’s office, it’s considered a public record, just like your driver’s license information. The plate and the registration sticker are constantly displayed, wherever you go to. Even a temporary license plate is considered as part of the public record.
Any license plate owner who gets pulled over by traffic personnel or any police officer will have their plates run on their system. When they run your license plate number, they have access to your driving and vehicle information. They can also see if your driver’s license is suspended, your vehicle history, and if the car that you’re driving has been tagged as stolen. Every officer has a permissible purpose to run any plates, especially if the person driving the car is acting suspiciously. Sometimes, running a license plate number can make a difference in catching criminals on the run.
Some states will require any owner to have front plates. Why? They believe that implementing front and rear plates would help in keeping the public safe. Those states that don’t require front plates did it for the purpose of cost-cutting. Those who still implement the front and rear plate system still follow this to lower the crime rate. It’s a lot better to track down a car with front and rear plates.
Some would also argue that a car that has a front license plate enhances the visibility of other cars due to the reflective coating. Lastly, revenue. A study showed that millions in revenue aren’t generated because there’s a multitude of reasons preventing a rear plate to be read in tollways.