Here are just some of the 92 license plate options Alabama residents have when they go to their county courthouse.

When it comes to plates, drivers have plenty of options

Published 9:21am Monday, January 28, 2013

Ninety-two. That’s the number of options Alabama vehicle owners have when it comes to choosing a license plate or car tag. The Alabama Department of Revenue motor vehicle division offers 92 unique and personalized license plates, so motorists and passengers ought to pay attention next time they’re driving across town or across the country because they are bound to see dozens of different Alabama plates on the road.

According to Dallas County License Commissioner Edward Foster, a standard, non-personalized plate will cost $28. But for an extra $50 each year, vehicle owners can personalize their tags with anything from a choice of special letters and numbers to their choice in college, military, various social causes and more.

Foster said the most popular personalized tags purchased from the Dallas County Court House are “probably the Alabama, Auburn and the Helping Schools tags.”

Foster explained that the state of Alabama makes all the car tags, and Dallas County sells what the state sells to them, he said.

“The state of Alabama is over the tags, not us. If you get a personalized tag it has to be ordered,” Foster said. “We have to put it in the system and first see if it’s available, because somebody in the state might have that already, and you can’t duplicate personalized tags.”

Foster said Alabama residents purchasing car tags should remember that proof of insurance is now required.

“With the new law that came in with Jan. 1 of 2013, they’ll have to have proof of insurance or a valid driver’s license or valid id to purchase or renew their tags or vehicle,” Foster said.

According to the Alabama Department of Revenue, the new requirements of the law state that county license plate issuing offices must have an online insurance verification system — a system that will allow them, as well as Alabama law enforcement, to immediately verify the insurance status of a vehicle at any point in time.

“Alabama averages over 4 million vehicle registrations each year which are subject to the mandatory liability insurance requirements, and this system will give both state and local motor vehicle administrators and law enforcement the ability to fulfill the requirements of Alabama’s mandatory liability insurance law,” State Revenue Commissioner Julie P. Magee said in a press release.

Foster said the new requirements have been a transition in Dallas County.

“It’s a transition. Everybody knows about it because the state’s been running ads on television and radio, but you still have people come across and say they don’t know anything about it,” he said.

So whether the decision is between a Support the Arts tag, a NASCAR tag, a tag in support of the Cahaba River Society or one of the other 90 options available, vehicle owners should be aware that to complete their transaction proof of insurance will now be required.

To see all of the state’s license plate options visit

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