Register Car in Arizona
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This article is only about first-time vehicle registrations. So, if you're looking for renewal information, you'll need to visit our page about that subject.
You'll need to register your vehicle if you recently:
- Moved to the state
- Bought a vehicle
- Received a vehicle as a gift
You must register your vehicle within 15 days of taking ownership of it. If you're new to the state, you must obtain an Arizona registration immediately after becoming a resident.
You must show the vehicle's title before you can register the vehicle.
You'll need to be covered by some sort of financial responsibility coverage to legally drive your vehicle. Auto insurance is the most common form of this coverage. If you're looking to obtain insurance for your vehicle, check our Insurance Center for providers and to find the best rates.
When you buy a vehicle from a dealer, the title transfer should be handled for you. Visit our Title Transfers article to see how to take care of non-dealer transactions.
To register your vehicle, you'll need the following documents:
- Completed Title and Registration application.
- Notarized vehicle title.
Depending on the situation, you may also need the following:
- Lien release.
- Power of attorney copy or personal representative papers.
Registration fees differ depending on the vehicle. However, here's the standard fee breakdown:
- Title: $4
- Air quality research fee: $1.50
The variable aspects come into play with the vehicle license tax (VLT), weight fee for commercial vehicles, and other fees. See the Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) page about this for more information, or contact the MVD.
If you need to replace a license plate, tab, or registration, it will cost you. The fees and replacement process for each varies.
After you have the proper paperwork and payment for your fees, head to a MVD office to register. Your vehicle will need to pass a physical and a vehicle identification number (VIN) inspection. The MVD provides additional information on these inspections.
New to the State
In addition to the other requirements, if you're registering an out-of-state vehicle, you may have to pass an emissions test before you're able to register.
You can pick up a standard license plate at the MVD office for free. If you want to upgrade to something fancier, you can get a special plate through the mail. You can also showcase your license plates with stylish frames.
After you receive your tabs at the office, be sure to properly display them on your plate by following the instructions provided.
Since the VLT acts in place of a personal property tax, you can deduct your registration fee from your federal income tax return. If you need more information on this matter, you might want to consult a tax specialist.
After you're registered and titled your vehicle, you can hit the road. But, you can improve the safety and quality of your driving experience.
For starters, consider purchasing a roadside assistance program and car emergency kit. Each will give you more confidence and peace of mind to deal with whatever situation you might encounter while driving. Also, hands-free headsets allow you to keep your hands on the steering wheel instead of on your cell phone. And, child safety seats not only help ensure the safety of child passengers, but are also required.
As far as the car itself, it's always wise to have a quality, reliable mechanic to get the most out of your vehicle. After-market warranties can also help to extend the life of your vehicle by allowing you to take care of repairs that you might otherwise not be able to afford.
Other Topics in This Section
- Register Car
- Registration Renewal
- Registration & Insurance
- Replacing a Lost Registration
- RV & Motorhome Registration
- Custom Built Car Registration
- Boat Registration and Licenses
- Title Transfers
- Replacing a Lost Title
- Salvaged Vehicles
- Special Vehicles
- Drivers with Disabilities
- License Plates & Placards
- Smog & Emission Checks
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We put a lot of effort into making our content helpful & accurate. Please let us know if you see something that isn't clear or correct; we are here to ease any frustrations you may have while navigating DMV topics. We are not a government agency, please reach out to your local DMV, insurance agent, or respective professional for further assistance on specific situations.