Cost of some speciality tags increases

Published 1:55 am Thursday, January 7, 2016

Locals who purchase specialty car tags will likely pay more this year.

The Alabama Legislature passed a bill during the last session to make the fee for most specialty tags $50 plus a $5 issuance fee.

The new fee structure went into effect Jan. 1, 2016.


Probate Judge Ben Bowden said a specialty tag is any tag that is sponsored by a charitable organization.

“For a long time, these tags were created by acts of the legislature,” he said. “Then they formed a committee to review and approve new tags.”

Bowden serves on the committee.


“I hate to see fee increases,” he said. “The Department of Revenue is trying for uniformity.”

Bowden said the fee structure doesn’t change his staff’s jobs.

“It’s all computerized for us,” he said.

There are more than 120 different types of specialty license plates offered through the Department of Revenue.

The higher fees won’t be assessed to the “God Bless America” or the “Sweet Home Alabama” tags, which are classified as standard state tags. Personalized tags will have to pay the additional fee.


Bowden said the Helping Schools tag is exempt from the $50 fee; however, the cost has increased from $15 to $20. The money from this tag goes to the local school district.

Other tags that are exempt include: Retired Educator, which is $25 and goes to the Alabama Penny Trust Fund; all firefighter plates — $23 to $105 depending on the vehicle; Rescue Squad – free to $105 depending on the vehicle; amateur radio tag — $23 to $890 depending on the vehicle; and veterans and military plates — $3 to $105 depending on the type of vehicle.

Disability tags will also be exempt from change. Those plates range from $23 to $105.