How to Get a Temporary License Plate in Arizona

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Arizona understands that getting plates as soon as you buy a car isn’t always an option—that’s why drivers in the Grand Canyon State can obtain a temporary license plate with a 3-day restricted use permit, a 30-day general use permit, or a 90-day registration. 
A temporary license plate is a helpful way to deal with unexpected difficulties in the
vehicle registration
process, from missing documents to a private sale that leaves you stranded without plates. But the rules for obtaining temporary tags are different in every state. That’s why we've created a guide to getting temporary license plates in Arizona. 
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Does Arizona issue temporary plates?

In general, car owners in Arizon are required to register their vehicles with the state and
display a rear license plate issued by the Arizona Department of Transportation’s Motor Vehicles Division (ADOT MVD). However, in certain special circumstances, drivers can apply for a temporary registration that comes with a placard to be displayed on the car for a limited time. 

How to get a temporary license plate in Arizona

Temporary registrations in Arizona fall into three categories, based on the length of the registration and the type of restrictions on its use: 
  • Restricted use 3-day permit: Allows a driver to drive from their home to the MVD to obtain a permanent registration and license plates
  • 30-day general use permit: Allows a driver to operate a car normally for 30 days before obtaining a permanent registration
  • 90-day registration
    : Allows drivers without complete documentation for permanent registration to operate a vehicle for 90 days while assembling documentation
To get a temporary license plate in Arizona via any of these three options, you can go in person to
an MVD office or an authorized third-party provider
. For a restricted use 3-day permit or a 30-day general use permit, you can apply online through the official
Whether you’re heading to the MVD in person or just logging on at home, be prepared to provide: 
  • Your
    Arizona driver’s license
  • Your vehicle’s vehicle identification number (VIN)
  • A $1 fee for a 3-day restricted use permit and a $15 fee for a 30 or 90-day registration
Once you’ve got your temporary tag, you’ll need to display it on the vehicle exactly as you would a permanent plate. Make sure all the text, including the name of the state, is visible and legible and the tag itself is securely attached at least 12 inches above the ground.  

Can I drive a car without plates if I just bought it in Arizona?

If you’ve just
bought a car in Arizona
and don’t yet have plates, you’ll need to get a 3-day restricted use permit or another form of temporary registration before you can drive. Arizona’s MVD allows drivers to print temporary tags at home using the
online portal
—so if you’ve got a printer at home, you’re all set!

How to find affordable car insurance in Arizona

A temporary Arizona license plate can be a lifesaver when you’re in a tricky situation. Maybe you’re waiting on one last document to complete your registration, or maybe you bought a used car from a friend and need a way to get to the MVD. 
understands the difficult situations drivers face today—that’s why we created the fastest, easiest system for
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By R.E. Fulton
Updated on Feb 17, 2023
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