How To Register a Car In Arizona

New to Arizona? Your vehicle needs an inspection before you can register a car. Otherwise, you can renew online.
Written by Bonnie Stinson
Newcomers to the state must get their vehicles inspected to register a car in
. In
, emissions compliance testing is also required. You will need to fill out forms, provide official paperwork, and pay fees.
In Arizona, it’s easy to renew a vehicle registration online. But if you’re new to the Grand Canyon State, then the process is a bit more complicated.
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How to register a car in Arizona

To register a car in Arizona, you need to fill out a
registration form
. You will need your driver’s license and basic information about your vehicle, like the VIN and license plate number. Bring
proof of insurance
, too.
The base registration fee is $8. However, be aware that there are slightly different processes for buying a new car and registering a car from another state. Note that you will no longer receive a paper title in Arizona, as titles are stored electronically.  

If you just moved to Arizona

Did you recently relocate to Arizona? You should register your car in Arizona as soon as you become an Arizona resident. A person is considered a resident if they live in Arizona for nine months of a taxable year. So if you work, live, or send your kids to school in Arizona, then you’re probably a resident.
The car registration process for an out-of-state vehicle includes filling out several forms, showing official paperwork, and paying fees to the Arizona Motor Vehicle Department (MVD) office near you.
First, Phoenix and Tucson drivers must get their vehicles assessed for emissions compliance and receive a vehicle information report. All vehicles with an out-of-state title in Arizona must also have a Level 1 vehicle inspection. 
If your vehicle is a used car, you may need a lien clearance. If it’s leased, you may need to provide a certified Power of Attorney from the lessor.
Finally, you must bring your out-of-state title (or registration) and out-of-state license plates to the MVD office when you’re ready to register the car.
Registration fees include the $8 base registration fee, a $1.50 air quality research fee, a $4 title fee, and a variable vehicle license tax (VLT), which is based on the assessed value of the vehicle. Commercial vehicles will pay additional fees.
That’s it! Submit your paperwork and pay the fee, and you will have a car registered in Arizona. 

If you just bought a car

If you just got a
new car
, you need to register it and you have 15 days from the date of purchase to
apply for a title
. You must bring this form to an MVD office or an authorized third-party provider to complete the registration.

How much insurance coverage do you need in Arizona? 

Arizona car insurance laws
require that every Arizona resident carries a minimum amount of car insurance in the following categories:
You will be able to register a car in Arizona if your policy meets these minimum coverage limits. However, most experts recommend that you purchase more than the minimum coverage, especially
comprehensive coverage
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How to renew your Arizona vehicle registration 

Arizona vehicles are registered for either one, two, or five year periods depending on emissions status. It’s easy to renew your Arizona vehicle registration
. You can also visit an MVD office or call 1.888.713.3031. 
To renew by mail, send a check or money order with your license plate number on the check to:
Arizona Department of Transportation
Motor Vehicle Division
PO Box 29009
Phoenix, AZ 85038
Renewal notices are mailed one month prior to expiration. If you haven’t received a notice yet, you can check your current registration to find out when your next registration will be due. It will either be the last day of the month or the 15th of the month.
Pay very close attention to your renewal dates, as the state will levy late fees for delayed renewals. After you complete the registration renewal process, you will receive fresh tabs in the mail. 

How to replace a lost registration sticker or license plate

Sometimes, tabs get damaged by weather or vandals. In this case, you can apply for a duplicate registration or replacement tab
online here
. Then, you can print the registration form at a home printer while you wait for your new tabs.
To get a new license plate, one option is to reach out to the MVD. Once your identity is verified, your new plates will be mailed for a $5 fee plus postage and handling. Alternatively, you can mail a
plate application
with appropriate payment and get your new Arizona license plates by mail.

How to save on auto insurance in Arizona

Car ownership in Arizona can be complex—and expensive. From the proper registration to navigating
Phoenix traffic
, it’s a lot to keep track of!
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To register a vehicle in Arizona, you will need to show proof of insurance and a valid license. You may also need to provide an emissions test and inspection report. All applicants must fill out the application form and pay the fees.
The base fee to register a car in Arizona is $8, plus a $1.50 air quality research fee, a $4 title fee, and a vehicle license tax that will depend on the assessed value of the vehicle. 
Registration fees for personal vehicles are partially based on a vehicle’s assessed value. Fees to register commercial trucks are assessed based on weight. Here’s the
full table of fees
by gross weight. An 11,000-pound truck must pay a $63 gross weight fee, and a 76,000-pound truck must pay a $918 gross weight fee, for example. 
Non-residents who are temporarily in Arizona do not need to re-register their vehicles. This includes out-of-state college students. There are some special
for qualified members of the military.
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