New regs for trailers bought out of state

Published 5:52 pm Friday, July 10, 2009

Used trailers and motorcycles that have never been registered in Alabama now have to be physically inspected by the Butler County Probate Office, said Probate Judge Steve Norman.

“I just want to get the word out about this so it won’t be such an inconvenience to the public,” said Norman.

Anyone who purchases a used trailer or motorcycle out of state must bring it to the Butler County Courthouse for a physical inspection so that officials may certify the vehicle identification number (VIN) on the title matches that on the vehicle. A sheriff’s deputy may also inspect the motorcycle or trailer at the person’s home.

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Norman said he completely understands the frustrations of some recent trailer buyers. Having come to the courthouse to fill out the paperwork, they then have to return and get the trailer for inspection, he said.

“Nobody wants to make two trips to spend money that they don’t want to spend in the first place,” said Norman.

Guidelines for Vehicle Identification Number Inspections include:

– All vehicles not required to be titled, being registered for the first time in a new owner’s name, must be physically inspected by the license plate issuing official. All vehicles required to be titled must be physically inspected by the license plate issuing official whenever that official is processing an application for first Alabama certificate of title.

The physical inspection requirements do not apply to the following:

– Registration renewals

– Vehicles registered pursuant to Section 32-6-56, Code of Alabama 1975 (IRP-registered vehicles)

– 1975 and subsequent year motor vehicles owned by a manufacturer or dealer and held for sale or registered with dealer or manufacturer plates.

– Required ownership documentation for the first time registration for non-titled trailers and 1974 and prior year model motor vehicles is a bill of sale that contains the minimum requirements established in Department of Revenue Administrative Rule 810-5-1-246.

The VIN on the vehicle must be compared to the number appearing on the ownership documentation to ensure that the correct vehicle is being registered.