Dirt bikes are typically manufactured for tough terrains and an off-road experience. However, if you want to ride your dirt bike on the streets, public roads, and highways of Alabama, it is probably a good idea to first understand the dirt bike laws and if it is street legal in Alabama.
In order for an automobile to be considered street legal in the state of Alabama, it has to comply with regulations governing safety, emission, and antitheft standards. Since dirt bikes are not manufactured to comply with any of those federal and state statutes, they are not considered street legal in the state of Alabama. That being said, there are some mechanical and non-mechanical procedures to make your dirt bike street legal in the state of Alabama.
Each state in the US relies on its own regulations and guidelines to determine if a vehicle is safe to ride on the roads. However, if you are a beginner rider, the regulations and guidelines may become a bit overwhelming at first. But don’t worry, I have compiled an extensive guide on making a dirt bike street legal in the state of Alabama.
Is it Illegal to ride dirt bikes on Alabama roads?
Since dirt bikes in stock form are not street legal in the state of Alabama, it is illegal to ride them on Alabama roads, streets, and highways. Dirt bikes can only be ridden on the public roads and streets of Alabama only if it is registered and plated. In order to register a dirt bike in Alabama, you’ll need to make it street legal in Alabama first. Not following these laws may likely lead to a citation(ticket), your dirt bike may be towed and a small fine may be imposed.
Where can you ride your dirt bikes legally in Alabama?
If your dirt bike is not registered and plated, you can not legally ride it on public roads, streets, and highways of Alabama. Therefore, if your dirt bike is not street legal in Alabama, the best place to ride it is your own backyard. Although no one can stop you from riding a dirt bike on your private property, there are laws and regulations regarding pollution and noise violations in Alabama. Therefore, if your property is close to other homes, you might not be able to ride your dirt bike even on your private property. Since every city and county in Alabama has its own laws and regulations regarding pollution and noise violations, I would highly recommend taking some time to research and understand these local regulations before riding dirt bikes on private property.
The next best place to ride your dirt bike is the local state park trails or public dirt bike parks. However, make sure you glance at the park’s basic rules, as some parks or trails in Alabama only allow certain types of vehicles to be ridden and some may even require you to buy a permit.
How do you make a dirt bike street legal in Alabama?
Alabama is like most other states when it comes to making a dirt bike street legal. The state of Alabama has its own set of rules and regulations regarding the legalities of dirt bikes on its public roads and highways. The first and most important thing to remember while making your dirt bike street legal in Alabama is to make your dirt bike resemble more like a street bike or a motorcycle.
In Alabama, a motorcycle is defined as a motor vehicle having a seat or saddle for the use of the rider and designed to travel on not more than three wheels in contact with the ground, excluding a tractor.
It includes some mechanical adjustments as well as some non-mechanical procedures.
Mechanical Additions to make a dirt bike street legal in Alabama
The first step to making your dirt bike street legal in the state of Alabama is making sure all the safety components of a motorcycle is present in your dirt bike. Knowing the parts you need in your dirt bike to make it street legal in Alabama may sound pretty simple. However, assembling all the required parts and modifying your bike can be an overwhelming process. Be at ease, though! I have linked exactly where you should go to purchase every part you require to legally ride your dirt bike on the public roads of Alabama.
Your dirt bike should have the following equipment:
- A working headlight and a taillight,
- A working brake light,
- A functioning pair of front and back brakes,
- A functioning turn signal and a horn,
- Two Mirrors,
- DOT-approved Tires,
- A License Plate Bracket,
- Additional Components (Odometer, Kickstand, Charging System, Stator )
Keep in mind, Alabama does not restrict the sound that the dirt bike makes. Therefore, mufflers are not required in the state of Alabama.
Non-mechanical procedures to make a dirt bike street legal in Alabama
Once you install all the safety components in your dirt bike and make it look more like a street bike, you’ll need to follow a few more steps in order to make your dirt bike street legal in Alabama.
1. Visit the motorcycle shop and get an approval
Visit a motorcycle shop in Alabama with your modified dirt bike to get it checked out. You’ll receive a certificate to assist with the registration procedure if your dirt bike passes the test.
2. Register your dirt bike with the DMV Alabama
The registration of your dirt bike in Alabama depends on where you purchase your dirt bike from. When you plan to take the trip to DPS, you must provide some crucial documents to complete the registration.
- A copy of the title or Manufacturer’s Certificate of Origin
- Bill of Sale
- A dealer’s affidavit if the motorcycle was bought in another state
- Proof of Insurance
- VIN inspection Report
- Receipts of all the paid fees and taxes
You’ll need to pay some fees for registration and title at the DPS for your dirt bike. There will be a $15 fee for application and $15 for registration. Keep in mind, local county taxes and surcharges(varies by county) may also apply.
If you purchased your dirt bike from the dealer and the dirt bike’s certificate of Origin does not mention your dirt bike being off-road only, you don’t need to do anything. The dealer will submit your documents to the DPS. You’ll receive copies of the documents sent for your records.
However, if you bought a dirt bike, which is already registered as street legal, from a private seller, it is your and the seller’s responsibility to register the motorcycle at the DPS. The titling can be done at the same time. To register your dirt bike:
- You and the seller must sign the title
- Provide proof of insurance
- Present the current registration
- Pay all the applicable fees
If you don’t want to go through the hassle of making your dirt bike street legal in Alabama yourself, DirtLegal provides a dirt bike legal service for just $299. After you complete your order, they’ll be getting the paperwork ready for you and send you within 24 hours.
Do dirt bikes have titles in Alabama?
Yes, it is possible to title a dirt bike in Alabama. However, the Manufacturer Statement of Origin (MSO) must state that the vehicle meets or exceeds all federal emissions, safety, and anti-theft standards. If this statement is not present in y our dirt bike’s MSO, it is usually considered for “off-road” purposes only and thus will be very difficult to get titled in Alabama.
In case you don’t have the MSO, you can contact your dealer or the manufacturer to obtain this information. If you bought the dirt bike from someone else and the dirt bike is not yet titled, you may ask them for the certificate of origin. Furthermore, even if the previous owner doesn’t have the certificate of origin, you can use the VIN number to find out who the first owner is. This way you can contact them and ask them if they have the MSO of your dirt bike.
If your dirt bike is older than the model year 1980, you don’t require a title in Alabama.
How to get a title for a dirt bike in Alabama?
The process of getting a title for a dirt bike in Alabama is very similar to getting a title for a motorcycle, car, or truck. The most important document you’ll need in order to get a title and registration in Alabama is proof of ownership. Proof of ownership can typically be provided with one of the following documents:
- Title from the previous owner that has been filled out and signed,
- Bill of sale,
- Manufacturer’s Statement of Origin from the dealership(MSO),
- Documents that demonstrate the full chain of ownership.
If you purchased your dirt bike in another state and want to title and register it in Alabama, you’ll also typically need to complete a VIN verification and inspection.
Once all the documents are ready, visit the DMV office in Alabama and:
- Provide all the proof of ownership documentation,
- Complete an application for title and registration for an OHV/dirt bike, if applicable,
- Pay all the necessary fees and taxes.
If you’re buying a used dirt bike and the previous owner doesn’t have the title, or the state doesn’t issue titles to dirt bikes, a bill of sale will often suffice. To register/title a dirt bike in Alabama with just a bill of sale, you’ll need to be sure that it meets the Alabama DMV’s bill of sale requirements, which typically include:
- Full name, address, and signature of the seller,
- Full name, address, and signature of the buyer,
- Details of the dirt bike including year, make, model, and VIN,
- Details of the sale including date, sale price, and any other details.
Alabama also requires you to notarize the signatures on the bill of sale. Alternatively, you can also request that the seller applies for a duplicate title before proceeding with the sale.
How to register your dirt bike with no title in Alabama?
If you’re trying to register a dirt bike in Alabama with no title, here are some things you could do.
- Get a valid bill of sale from the seller along with any other ownership and registration documents they may have. The more documentation you have that proves the chain of ownership, the easier the process will be.
- Run the dirt bike’s VIN to be sure that it’s not stolen and matches the dirt bike you’re buying.
- The DMV Alabama also requires you to complete a VIN verification.
If you are still having issues registering your dirt bike without title in Alabama, you may register the dirt bike in a non-title, no residency requirement, mail-in registration application state. One such state in the US is Vermont.
And lastly, if you still want to ride the dirt bike on Alabama roads without getting a title, you can go through the temporary dealer’s tag route. You can register a used motorcycle and bicycle repair shop in Alabama and request a dealer’s tag. Dealer’s tag in Alabama costs around $25 each. You’ll need to fill out a form that requires a Federal Tax ID number. If you don’t have this number, you may also use your SSN. I don’t personally recommend going through this route even though it is completely legal. Dealer’s tags are for temporary use only to either transfer the bikes or for local dealer use.
Do you need a license and insurance to ride a dirt bike in Alabama?
You don’t need a license or insurance if you plan to ride your dirt bike strictly off-road or even on your private property in Alabama. However, if you plan to link trails by roads or want to experience riding your dirt bikes on public streets and roads of Alabama, you’ll first need to register it with DMV Alabama and get your dirt bike plated. Furthermore, you should also apply for an Alabama motorcycle license(Class-M) and have insurance in place. And lastly, always carry your license, title, and insurance papers with you while taking your dirt bike on Alabama roads.