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License Plates & Placards in Arizona

SUMMARY: Arizona License Plates

To apply for an Arizona license plate, you'll register your vehicle in person at a DMV office. To renew your tags, renew your vehicle registration either online, in person, by mail, or by phone. If you sell, trade, or donate your vehicle, you may be able to transfer your AZ tags to your next vehicle. License plates and tabs must be replaced if they are damaged, stolen, or lost.

Continue reading this page to learn more about Arizona license plates.

Interested in specialty plates? Visit our pages about Types of Specialty Plates and Specialty Plate Applications for more information.

Eligible for disabled parking? Our Disability Plates page has complete details.

Types of Arizona License Plates

Most vehicles in Arizona are required to have a license plate, including passenger vehicles, trucks, and motorcycles.

The Arizona Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) issues license plates once your register your vehicle.

Your plate must go on the back of your vehicle and have a valid expiration decal.

License Plate Designs

The standard Arizona license plate has the state name, the phrase “Grand Canyon State," and a background of mountains and a setting sun.

The AZ MVD also issues specialty plates, such as personalized and organizational plates, usually for an additional fee. For more information about special plate options, see our page on Types of Specialty Plates. For application details, visit Applying for Specialty Plates.

If eligible, you may also apply for disabled parking permits, including license plates. For application and fee information, see our Disability Placards and Plates page.

Temporary Tags

When you buy a vehicle, you can get a temporary registration so you can operate the vehicle while waiting for your permanent AZ license plates.

Temporary Registration Plate

If you buy a vehicle from a licensed dealer, they can give you a Temporary Registration Plate. It will be valid until your AZ license plate arrives and allows you to operate your vehicle without restrictions.

Restricted Permit

You can get a Restricted Use 3-day Permit if you buy a vehicle privately. This permit allows you ONLY to operate the vehicle in order to register it, title it, or have it inspected.

You can obtain a restricted permit:

You'll pay a $1 fee for the permit, plus any applicable service fees.

Apply for License Plates

Apply for an Arizona license plate by registering your car with the AZ MVD.

You must register your vehicle as soon as you move to AZ or buy a vehicle.

NOTE: If you buy from a dealership, they'll usually handle the paperwork for you.

See our Vehicle Registration page for complete details, including document requirements and fees.

Renew Your Vehicle Tags

To ensure your AZ tags are up to date, you'll need to renew them by renewing your vehicle registration.

You should receive a reminder to renew your tags, which you can do:

  • Online.
  • By phone.
  • By mail.
  • In person.

For renewal information and instructions, see our Registration Renewal guide.

Replace License Plates & Tabs

If your license plate or expiration tab has been lost, stolen, or damaged, you can apply for replacements from the Arizona MVD.

If your license plates were lost or stolen, you can file a police report in case your tags are illegally used; however, a police report is NOT required.

License Plate Replacements

Replacement license plates can be ordered:

  • By mail.
  • In person.

To apply by mail, send:

  • A Plate Notice (Form 48-3302).
  • Payment for the replacement fees:
    • $5 for a license plate.
      AND
    • First class postage to have your plates or stickers mailed to you.

Submit the application and fees to the address on the form.

To apply in person at an AZ MVD or tag office, you'll need:

  • 1 document proving your identity, such as your AZ driver's license.
  • Your license plate number or vehicle identification number (VIN).
  • Payment for the $5 replacement fee.

NOTE: Third-party tag offices may charge additional service fees.

Tab Replacements

Replacement expiration tabs can be ordered:

  • Online.
  • In person.

To apply online for tabs ONLY, use the Service Arizona system. The replacement tab fee is $5 fee, and the stickers will be mailed to you.

To apply for tabs in person at an Arizona MVD or tag office, you'll need:

  • Photo identification.
  • Payment for the $5 fee.
    • Additional service fees may be charged at some offices.

Transfer & Surrender AZ Tags

In Arizona, the license plate belongs to you, and not your car. That means that when you sell your car, you will need to:

  • Remove the license plate.
    AND
  • Complete a vehicle sold notice within 10 days, which you can do:
    • Online.
    • On the back of the title you transfer to the buyer.

You can then:

If you move outside of Arizona, you ARE NOT required to surrender your license plates or notify the AZ MVD.

You may need to surrender your license plates if you get a new type of plate or otherwise do not need your license plate any longer. For more information contact the Arizona MVD:

  • Online.
  • By phone:
    • Phoenix: (602) 255-0072.
    • Tucson: (520) 629-9808.
    • Other AZ locations: (800) 251-5866.

Fees for Arizona License Plates

The fees below DO NOT include service fees, postage fees, or fees for related services you may need to pay.

  • New standard plates: Fees vary based by vehicle. See our Vehicle Registration page for details.
  • Renewal: Fees are based on vehicle type and value. Get a list of fees from our Registration Renewal page.
  • Replacement license plates: $5.
  • Replacement tabs: $5.

Forms

96-0353

Submit this form to request a refund of your unused registration fees when you sell your vehicle or no longer need your AZ license plates.

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