So you’re curious to know about Alabama driving laws?
Then you’ve come to the right place.
In this article, we’ll be talking about all the laws, from getting your driver’s license to car seat laws to road signs.
We have it all here.
So buckle up and let’s go!
Alabama Driving Laws by Category
- Alabama Driver’s License Requirements
- Alabama Permit Test
- Alabama Driver’s License Renewal
- Alabama CDL Requirements
- Alabama Driver’s License Types
- How to Get Your Alabama Driving Record
- Alabama Reckless Driving Laws
- Alabama Parking Laws
- Alabama Car Seat Laws
- Alabama Traffic Laws
- Texting While Driving Laws in Alabama
Let’s take a quick look at each of these.
Alabama Driver’s License
First up, let’s look at everything related to your Alabama driver’s license.
Alabama Driver’s License Requirements
Alabama follows a Graduated Driver’s License (GDL) program. With this, you’ll have to go through 3 stages, namely:
- Learner’s permit
- Restricted or provisional license
- Unrestricted or regular license
Here are the steps to get your learner’s permit:
- Schedule an appointment with the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) online (click here)
- Pass a vision test
- Pass the written exam
- Pay the fees
- Get your learner’s permit
To upgrade to a provisional license:
- Submit a 30-hour behind-the-wheel verification form. It must be signed by your parent, grandparent, legal guardian, or certified driving instructor. If not a verification form, you can submit a certificate of completion form stating that you completed a State Department of Education (SDE) approved driver’s education course.
- Submit a ‘permission to drive without supervision’ form signed by your parent, grandparent, or legal guardian.
- Pass the road skills exam
- Pay the fees
- Surrender your learner’s permit
- Get your restricted or provisional license
Once you turn 17 and have held your provisional license for 6 months, simply visit a local driver’s license office, pay a fee of $31.25 (could be more expensive in different counties), and exchange the restricted license for an unrestricted one.
Alabama Permit Test
Let’s talk a bit about the permit test (or written exam) in this section.
In total, you’ll have to answer 30 multiple-choice questions. To pass, you need to get 80%, that’s 24 items correct.
Thankfully, you won’t be timed. You can’t, however, take it online. Only from your local DMV.
Now, all the questions will be based on the AL Driver Handbook. So if you want to pass with flying colors, it’s best to study it.
What happens if you fail?
Well, you’re given 2 more attempts. You will have to reschedule and repay the exam fee again, though.
If after 3 attempts and you still don’t pass, your application will be closed and you’ll have to reapply.
Alabama Driver’s License Renewal
Follow these steps for online driver’s license renewal in Alabama:
- Go to ALEA’s online license renewal service (Click here)
- Fill in your information (license type, name, license number, birth date, SSN number…)
- Pay the renewal fee of $36.25, with an additional service fee of $2.75 (credit card)
- Print your temporary license (your official license will be mailed within 30 days)
For in-person renewal, follow these steps:
- Go to any local ALEA driver’s license office (click here for locations)
- Present your current AL driver’s license, proof of identity (birth cert, U.S. passport…), and proof of residency (utility or mortgage documents)
- Pay the license fee of $36.25 (cash, credit card, money order)
- Have your photo taken
- Get your temporary license (official license will be mailed to you within 30 days)
You can renew your driver’s license through mail, too (only available to some individuals). To do that, follow these steps:
- Print and fill out the Renewal License for Alabama Drivers Temporarily Out of State form (click here for the form)
- Get a money order or cashier’s check of $36.25 for the license fee (should be made payable to ALEA Drivers License Division)
- Obtain proof for being temporarily out of state
- If you need to make changes to your name, include a photocopy of your legal name change document and social security card
- Send all documents to:
Alabama Law Enforcement Agency
Driver’s License Division
PO Box 1471
Montgomery, AL L36102-1471
Alabama CDL Requirements
Here are the steps to getting a commercial driver’s license in Alabama:
- Choose your CDL type (Class A, B, or C)
- Get a commercial learner’s permit (CLP) by submitting these documents to your local DMV:
- Regular driver’s license (valid for 1 year)
- Proof of age (birth cert, valid ID)
- DOT-approved medical card
- Affidavit of self-certification
- Proof of identity and legal presence
- Proof of residency
- Social Security Card
- Driving record
- Get your endorsements
- Get your commercial driver’s license
- Pass a 3 part skills test: vehicle inspection test, basic controls test, and the road test.
- Bring an approved vehicle that is the same class as the CDL you are testing for
- Submit proof of your vehicle liability insurance
- Submit your affidavit of self-certification
- Prepare and pay the $20 Skills Test fee (no checks)
- Prepare and pay the $53.50 Class A CDL fee
- Prepare and pay the $43.50 Class B CDL fee
- Prepare and pay the $23.50 Class C CDL fee
- Prepare to get your photo taken for your commercial driver’s license
Alabama Driver’s License Types
There are 6 types of driver’s licenses in Alabama. Let’s take a look at them one by one.
- Class D
This is your regular driver’s license. This license can drive private vehicles around.
- Class A
Class A is the highest form of CDL in Alabama. With this license, you can operate a combination of vehicles with a gross combination weight rating (GCWR) of 26,0001lb or more. Plus, you can tow vehicles over 10,000lbs (GCWR).
- Class B
This is somewhat similar to Class A, meaning you can operate any combination vehicle with a GCWR of 26,0001lbs or more. The difference is that your towing weight should be less than 10,000lbs (GCWR).
- Class C
This is also a CDL. This type of license allows you to operate a single or combination vehicle that is designed to transport 16 or more passengers (including the driver). Or, it can be used for transporting hazardous materials.
- Class M
Class M allows you to drive motorcycles on the road.
- Class V
Though not a vehicle license, we felt like it was important to include it here. This license allows you to drive water vessels.
How to Get Your Alabama Driving Record
Unfortunately, you can’t acquire your AL driving record online. You can only do so in person or through the mail.
If you decide to mail your request, you should:
- Submit a Driver Record Request – 3 years or a Request for Motor Vehicle Record
- Include your name, driver’s license number, birth date, and social security number…
- Provide other personal information and your mailing address
- Write a certified check or money order of $5.75 to the “Alabama Department of Public Safety”. This is the record fee.
- Mail it to your local Alabama DMV office:
Alabama Department of Public Safety
Driver License Department
P.O. Box 1471
Montgomery, AL 36104
As for in-person requests:
- Go to your local DMV office
- Submit a completed Driver Abstract Request
- Write a certified check or money order made payable to the Alabama Department of Public Safety. The fee is $15 for the abstract record.
Up next, let’s look at some of the most common driving laws in Alabama.
Alabama Reckless Driving Laws
If you are caught driving recklessly on the Alabama roads, you will be charged with a criminal offense.
On top of that, you’ll have to undergo penalties. These are:
- First offense. A first reckless driving offense carries 5 to 90 days in jail and/or $25 to $500 in fines.
- Repeat offense. Second or subsequent reckless driving offenses can result in 10 days to 6 months jail time and/or $50 to $500 in fines. The court can ban you from driving on the road for up to 6 months. You can also get your license suspended if you’re a repeat offender.
- If you’ve had 3 reckless driving convictions all within a year, your license can get revoked. You can apply for a new license once the revocation period has expired.
You might be wondering what is considered reckless driving in Alabama. Well, it is any person who drives with negligence of others’ safety. This can include:
- Driving excessively over the speed limit
- Beating the red light
- Swerving from lane to lane
- Repeatedly switching lanes without signaling
- Refusing to stop at stop signs
- DUI (even though this is considered a step above reckless driving)
Alabama Parking Laws
In Alabama, you cannot park, stop, or stand on the opposite side of another parked vehicle. You cannot park on sidewalks, near intersections, or crosswalks, either.
What’s more, you can’t park beside a fire hydrant, unless you are loading or unloading passengers.
Here are other parking laws:
- You shouldn’t park within 30 feet from stop signs, flashing signals, traffic control signals, and yield signs
- You shouldn’t park within 20 feet from a driveway entrance to a fire station
- Don’t park on the opposite side and 75 feet away of a fire station entrance
Alabama Car Seat Laws
All adults MUST wear seatbelts at all times while the vehicle is moving.
As for children, they must have the appropriate car seat. This is a law because it’s so important to keep the young ones safe in case of a collision or accident.
Here are some of the car seat laws that you should know:
- Infants should use rear-facing car or convertible seats. This is required until they turn 1 year old or reach at least 20lbs.
- 1 to 5-year-olds (or at least 40lbs) can use forward-facing seats.
- Children 5 to 6 are advised to sit in booster seats.
- Children above 6 can use regular seatbelts. However, they must be able to reach it comfortably.
If you don’t follow these laws, then parents will be fined $25 for each offense. But the real punishment is if something happens to their child because they didn’t follow these regulations.
Alabama Traffic Laws
Traffic laws are there to help the flow of, yes, traffic.
Speed limit laws make sure that you don’t go over the recommended speed. This is both for maximum and minimum speed.
There are signs that tell you the max or min speed limit of an area, so make sure you always follow them.
There are also passing laws.
Yes, you probably want to overtake that annoyingly slow car. But make sure you keep these laws in mind:
- If there are white or yellow solid lines on the pavement, that is a no-passing zone
- If the lines are broken, then you can pass with care
Texting While Driving Laws in Alabama
Alabama doesn’t enforce super strict texting while driving laws. You are still allowed to use a phone while driving. However, you cannot use it for texting or messaging.
Even so, it’s best to avoid using your phone altogether.
It becomes stricter when it comes to teens.
If you are below 18 years old, you are not allowed to use your phone or any handheld or even hands-free devices, for whatever reason.
If you are caught, your penalty will be as follows:
- $25 for the first offense
- $50 for the second offense
- $75 for the third offense; may also get a citation from law enforcement.
Lastly, let’s look at some things you should know about Alabama roads.
Alabama Road Signs
Road signs are classified into 3 categories:
Regulatory signs are usually colored black and white, as well as red. These signs instruct drivers on what they can or cannot do in order to regulate the flow of traffic.
Examples of regulatory signs are stop signs, yield signs, do not enter, no parking, etc…
As for warning signs, they are colored black and yellow. Plus, these are usually diamond-shaped. These signs warn you of hazardous or unexpected conditions up ahead.
For example, it warns you of a sharp curve ahead, a soft shoulder, railroad crossing ahead, etc…
Then, the informational signs give information or guidance about an area. If it is colored green and white, these are usually directional signs. Blue and white are for services, while brown and white indicate cultural features or public spaces.
Aside from those signs, you also have to be aware of pavement markings and traffic signals.
Alabama Road Conditions
Road conditions can drastically change.
So whether it’s night or raining, you need to keep these safety tips in mind:
- Always follow the speed limit of the area
- Keep your headlights clean
- Use defensive driving strategies
- Don’t get distracted
As for road closures, accidents, and traffic congestion, you can check out Alabama’s ALGO Traffic app.
So there you have it!
Those were the Alabama driving laws that you should know about.
If you want more information for any of the topics we mentioned here, just click on the read more buttons. You will get an even more detailed article of the topic.
We hope that this article has helped you!