How to Renew an Alabama Drivers License

If you drive in Alabama, you need to have a valid driver's license. Driving without a current, valid license puts you at risk for fines, penalties and legal charges. Alabama licenses expire on the licensee’s birthday, with renewal due every four years. Fortunately, renewing an Alabama driver's license is secure and easy, and in many cases possible online.

Who Regulates Alabama Licenses?

The Alabama Law Enforcement Driver License Department (ALEA) is the agency managing all vehicle licensing in Alabama. Any ALEA office in the state can process a renewal application. It’s important to note that they do not send a notice to drivers before a license expires. However, they do send a notice 30 days after expiration, and drivers then have another 30 days to renew before their license becomes invalid. If you renew after the expiration date, though, you will be charged additional fees on top of the regular renewal fee of $36.25. To avoid these late fees, people who already have a valid license can renew it up to 60 days in advance of the expiration date.

Renewing Online

You can renew a driver's license, state ID card, and Star ID card online, but only for every other renewal. You must go in-person to renew your license for each intervening renewal.

To renew your license online, visit the ALEA online driver's services portal and follow the instructions. Be sure to have your current license number and a valid credit card to pay the fee. Access the renewal website from a computer connected to a printer so that you can print out your temporary license once you’ve renewed. This temporary license is valid for 30 days, while you wait for your permanent license to arrive in the mail. Be sure the DMV has your current mailing address when you renew, or you may not receive your new license. If you move, you must go in-person to an ALEA office to update your mailing address.

Renewing by Mail

If you are temporarily residing out-of-state, or you are in the military, you can renew your Alabama driver's license by mail. Go to the ALEA website and complete an out-of-state renewal form. You must pay the fees using a money order as personal checks are not acceptable. Also remember to include documentation showing your eligibility for mail renewal, such as a copy of your student ID at an out-of-state university, or your military ID card.

Mail all of your documents to: Alabama Department of Public Safety, Driver License Division, PO. Box 1471, Montgomery, AL, 36102.

Renewing In-Person

To renew your license in-person, go to any Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) office in the state. Be sure to take your current driver's license and one other form of ID, plus cash or a money order to pay the renewal fees.

You may also be required to provide proof of state residency. When renewing in-person, you will be issued a temporary license valid for 30 days, until your permanent license arrives in the mail.

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Andrea Leptinsky