For the purposes of this chapter, the following terms shall have the following meanings respectively ascribed to them in this section, except in those instances where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:

Terms Used In Alabama Code 32-7A-2

  • Corporation: A legal entity owned by the holders of shares of stock that have been issued, and that can own, receive, and transfer property, and carry on business in its own name.
  • dealer: Every person engaged in the business of buying, selling, or exchanging vehicles who has an established place of business for such purpose in this state and to whom current dealer registration plates have been issued by the Department of Revenue. See Alabama Code 16-36-23
  • department: The Alabama State Law Enforcement Agency of this state acting directly or through its duly authorized officers and agents. See Alabama Code 16-36-23
  • Dependent: A person dependent for support upon another.
  • director: The Secretary of the Alabama State Law Enforcement Agency of Alabama. See Alabama Code 16-36-23
  • following: means next after. See Alabama Code 30-3D-608
  • Lease: A contract transferring the use of property or occupancy of land, space, structures, or equipment in consideration of a payment (e.g., rent). Source: OCC
  • Lien: A claim against real or personal property in satisfaction of a debt.
  • Mortgage: The written agreement pledging property to a creditor as collateral for a loan.
  • Mortgagor: The person who pledges property to a creditor as collateral for a loan and who receives the money.
  • MOTOR VEHICLE: Every vehicle which is self-propelled and every vehicle which is propelled by electric power obtained from overhead trolley wires, but not operated upon rails, except for electric personal assistive mobility devices. See Alabama Code 16-36-23
  • owner: A person, other than a lienholder, having the property in or title to a vehicle. See Alabama Code 16-36-23
  • Partnership: A voluntary contract between two or more persons to pool some or all of their assets into a business, with the agreement that there will be a proportional sharing of profits and losses.
  • person: Every natural person, firm, copartnership, association, or corporation. See Alabama Code 16-36-23
  • property: includes both real and personal property. See Alabama Code 30-3D-608
  • registration: The registration certificate or certificates and registration plates issued under the laws of this state pertaining to the registration of vehicles. See Alabama Code 16-36-23
  • state: A state, territory, or possession of the United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or a province of Canada. See Alabama Code 16-36-23
  • United States: includes the territories thereof and the District of Columbia. See Alabama Code 30-3D-608
  • vehicle: Every device in, upon, or by which any person or property is or may be transported or drawn upon a highway, excepting devices moved by human power or used exclusively upon stationary rails or tracks or electric personal assistive mobility devices; provided, that for the purposes of this title, a bicycle or a ridden animal shall be deemed a vehicle, except those provisions of this title, which by their very nature can have no application. See Alabama Code 16-36-23
  • year: means a calendar year; but, whenever the word "year" is used in reference to any appropriations for the payment of money out of the treasury, it shall mean fiscal year. See Alabama Code 30-3D-608

(1) CERTIFICATE OF INSURANCE. A document issued by an insurer or its authorized representative showing that a specific vehicle is insured for no less than the minimum limits of liability coverage for bodily injury or death and for destruction of property under subsection (c) of Section 32-7-6.

(2) COMMERCIAL AUTOMOBILE LIABILITY INSURANCE POLICY. An insurance policy that:

a. Is written on either a commercial coverage or other commercially rated personal policy form, including, but not limited to, a commercial auto, garage, or truckers form, and is not dependent on the type, number, or ownership of vehicle or entity covered or insured.

b. Insures vehicles that are not identified individually by vehicle identification number on the policy.

(3) COMMISSIONER. The Commissioner of the Department of Revenue or his or her designee.

(4) DEALER. Any person dealing in, buying, selling, exchanging, advertising, or negotiating the sale of motor vehicles and licensed under the provisions of Section 40-12-391.

(5) DECLARATIONS PAGE. That part of an insurance policy showing the name of the insured, insuring company, the vehicle make, the year model, the vehicle identification number (VIN), the policy number, the amount of coverage or coverages, and the effective and expiration dates of the policy.

(6) DEPARTMENT. The Department of Revenue.

(7) DEPOSIT OF CASH. Funds deposited with and held by the State Treasurer as security for payment by the depositor, or by any person responsible for the depositor’s motor vehicle with his or her express or implied consent, of all judgments rendered against the depositor or other authorized operator of the depositor’s motor vehicle arising from injury, death, or damage sustained through use, operation, maintenance, or control of the motor vehicle within the State of Alabama.

(8) DIRECTOR. The Director of Public Safety of the State of Alabama, or his or her designee.

(9) INSURANCE BINDER. A document issued by an insurer or its authorized representative showing that a specific vehicle is insured for no less than the minimum limits of liability coverage for bodily injury or death and for destruction of property under subsection (c) of Section 32-7-6.

(10) INSURANCE COMMISSIONER. The Commissioner of the Department of Insurance, or his or her designee.

(11) LIABILITY INSURANCE POLICY. An owner‘s or an operator’s personal automobile liability insurance policy, issued by an insurance carrier duly authorized to transact business in this state.

(12) MOTOR VEHICLE. Every self-propelled vehicle that is designed to be operated on the streets and highways of Alabama, but not operated upon rails.

(13) MOTOR VEHICLE LIABILITY BOND. A bond of a surety company duly authorized to transact business in this state, which is conditioned for payments in amounts and under the same circumstances as would be required in a motor vehicle liability insurance policy.

(14) NAIC NUMBER. A unique identification number assigned to the insurance company by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

(15) NON-ADMITTED COMPANY. An insurance company not licensed to conduct business in this state which sells coverage that is unavailable from licensed insurers within this state.

(16) NON-OWNER POLICY. An insurance policy issued for persons who drive but do not own the insured vehicle.

(17) ONLINE INSURANCE VERIFICATION SYSTEM. An online insurance verification system using web services as defined in Section 32-7B-2(6).

(18) OPERATOR. Every person who is in actual physical control of a motor vehicle.

(19) OWNER. Any of the following persons:

a. A person or persons holding the legal title to a motor vehicle, unless paragraph b. or c. is applicable.

b. The mortgagor, debtor, conditional vendee, or lessee of a vehicle that is the subject of a chattel mortgage, lien, agreement for the conditional sale thereof, lease or other like agreement with the right of purchase upon performance of the conditions stated in the agreement and with the immediate right of possession vested in the mortgagor, debtor, conditional vendee, or lessee, in which event the mortgagor, debtor, conditional vendee, or lessee shall be deemed the owner for purposes of this chapter.

c. The lessee of a vehicle owned by the United States of America or any of its agencies or instrumentalities.

(20) PERSON. Every natural person, firm, partnership, association, estate, trust, corporation, limited liability partnership, limited liability company, or other entity.

(21) REGISTRANT. Vehicle owner or operator, who is issued a registration for a motor vehicle.

(22) REGISTRATION. Certificate or certificates and license plates issued under the laws of this state pertaining to the registration of motor vehicles.

(23) SIGNATURE. A unique mark, process, or verification in a manner prescribed by the department, as provided in Section 40-1-1.

(24) STATE. Any state, territory or possession of the United States, the District of Columbia, any province or territory of the Dominion of Canada, or a state of the Republic of Mexico.

(25) SUSPENSION. The withdrawal by formal action of the department of a vehicle’s registration as specified by this chapter.

The terms “liability insurance policy,” “deposit of cash,” and a “motor vehicle liability bond” are used interchangeably throughout this chapter.

(Act 2000-554, p. 1005, §1; Act 2011-688, p. 2076, §2.)