Arizona’s Vehicle License Tax (VLT), Explained

The Arizona Vehicle License Tax (VLT) is a fluid fee calculated in place of a personal property tax as part of a registered vehicle’s annual fees
Written by Jason Tushinski
Edited by Pat Roache
Vehicle License Tax (VLT) is an annual 2.80% to 2.89% ad valorem tax levied on a diminishing percentage of your registered vehicle’s assessed value, depending on its model year. 
  • New cars are taxed 2.80% on 60% of their MSRP while used cars are taxed 2.89% on 60% of the MSRP with an annual deduction of 16.25%.
  • The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) collects your VLT when you pay your annual
    vehicle registration
    renewal fees at the MVD.
  • Anyone who resides in Arizona for seven months or more in a single calendar year are required to register their vehicle and pay VLT.

Calculating Arizona’s vehicle license tax (VLT)

The Arizona VLT is a fluid tax rate that changes yearly with the age of your vehicle:
  • New vehicles
    : 2.80% on 60% of the manufacturer’s base retail price for your vehicle
  • Used vehicles: 2.89% on 60% of an annual 16.25% deduction of your vehicle’s MSRP to account for depreciation.
Expert tip: You can use
Arizona's VLT calculator
to find the amount you’ll owe when you renew your registration at the Arizona Motor Vehicle Division (MVD).
Use the table below as a guide to calculate your model’s VLT and see an example for a new car with a $20,000 MSRP in action:
Model age
VLT tax rate
Percentage of your vehicle’s MSRP
Example assessed value (based on $20,000 MSRP)
Example taxable value (60% of assessed value)
Example tax owed
2.80% on 60%
2.89% on 60%
2.89% on 60%
2.89% on 60%
2.89% on 60%
2.89% on 60%
2.89% on 60%
Key Takeaway The amount you pay in VLT will change each year you
register your car in Arizona
. The Arizona MVD offers a handy calculator in case math isn’t your strong suit.

Annual VLT and registration fees in Arizona

The VLT is part of your annual driver registration fees as a resident and registered driver in the state of Arizona. Be prepared to pay the following potential fees when you renew your registration at your local MVD office:
  • $8 vehicle registration fee
  • $4 title fee
  • $1.50 air quality research fee
  • $17
    vehicle emissions testing
    fee (for your first year of registration)
  • Vehicle License Tax (as calculated above)

Arizona vehicle license tax exemptions

Most Arizona residents who register a car must pay the annual VLT. However, there are numerous exemptions to paying the VLT based on who you are, where you work, and what you drive.
Here are some of the most common tax exemptions to paying Arizona’s VLT:
  • Non-government emergency service personnel
  • Vehicle used for a non-profit organization
    , school, or religious institution
  • Recipient of social security income disability payments from the federal government
  • Widow or widower
  • Survivor of fallen first responder
  • Survivor of fallen military member
  • Indigenous American tribe member
  • Specialized military exemption
  • 100% disabled veteran exemption
  • Vehicle purchased with VA grant

Arizona registration requirements

Arizona drivers must perform the following if planning to reside in Arizona for seven months or more during one calendar year:
Part-time residents: These requirements apply to snowbirds and other part-time residents who only plan on residing in the state for a limited period of time. Figure out how long you’ll be residing in the state during a single calendar year to determine your registration requirements.
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Arizona doesn’t charge a personal property tax, as many other states do. The VLT is an "in lieu" tax for Arizona to still generate revenue off of vehicle purchases.
It depends on how much time you spend in the state. If you spend more than seven months per calendar year in Arizona, you’ll need to register your car there and pay the VLT.
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