Paper title processing being phased out

Published 8:36 pm Thursday, September 18, 2008

If you’re in the market for a new or used vehicle or manufactured home after Sept. 30, the Alabama Department of Revenue encourages you to make sure your certificate of title application is electronically generated and is not completed using an obsolete blue and white paper title application.

Beginning Oct. 1, the Alabama Department of Revenue (ADOR) will convert its entire motor vehicle and manufactured home certificate of title processing operation to a Web-based electronic title application processing system called ETAPS and will discontinue processing blue and white paper title applications.

The revenue department activated ETAPS in March 2007, and since that time has worked with new and used automobile dealership associations, banking associations and county governments to educate Alabama designated agents on using the ETAPS.

Approximately 75 percent of all Alabama title applications are currently processed through the ETAPS.

“Over the last year, we’ve continued to process both paper and electronic title applications to allow our designated agents – companies who are approved by the ADOR to complete and submit certificate of title applications – a smooth transition in moving from a paper application environment to an electronic one,” State Revenue Commissioner Tim Russell said.

The processing turnaround time for electronic filing is about 7 to 10 business days – compared to weeks for paper processing. Common processing errors are also avoided because of built-in edits, resulting in fewer rejected applications.

“ETAPS has allowed the department to reach a long-awaited milestone in motor vehicle title customer service and will further enhance the service offered by our designated agents,” Russell said.

Vehicle owners must apply for a certificate of title when they purchase a new motor vehicle, bring a motor vehicle into the state, or at any time the ownership of the motor vehicle changes. Manufactured home owners also must apply for a certificate of title in the same manner as motor vehicle owners.

Annually, the Alabama Department of Revenue processes over 1.5 million motor vehicle certificates of title and over 50,000 manufactured home certificates of title.

For more information about ETAPS, visit ADOR’s Web site at and follow the prompts under “Electronic Services.”