Is 'wheel alignment' the same thing as "balancing the tires"? on 1996 BMW 318i

My steering wheel shakes (whether moving or sitting at a stop signal). Probably from hitting too many potholes! It makes me nervous to drive highway speeds until I get it checked out.

Asked by for the 1996 BMW 318i
Not the same but you need both!
2 more answers
poss bad motor or trans mounts
You have more than an alignment and balance. The alignment has nothing to do with vibration, and balance has nothing to do with vibration while the car is sitting still. There is something else as well, causing the vibration while stopped. Alignment and balance needs to be checked as well, but there is another issue.