- Location: Arizona
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In Arizona you own your license plates. This means no surrendering of your license plates, regardless of the situation. Below you'll find detailed information on what to do with your plates if you sell or buy a car or move in or out of the state.
After establishing residency you'll need to register your vehicle with Arizona's Motor Vehicle Division (MVD). Your former state may require returning your former license plates. If not, you must surrender them to the AZ MVD when registering. When the time comes to swap your old state plates for new AZ ones, you'll find that the state offers a variety of license plates to choose from.
For more on becoming a new Arizona resident, refer to to our relocation guide for those new to Arizona.
You are not required to surrender your license plates to the MVD after moving out of Arizona. For more on what to do when you relocate, check out our guide on moving out of Arizona.
After selling or gifting your vehicle, remove the license plates from the car. You can then transfer the plates to another vehicle that's in your name and, depending on your situation, apply for a license plate refund. If you do not transfer the plates within 30 days of the sale date, you must either surrender them to any MVD office or submit a completed Plate Notice.
Dealing with the license plates is only one part of changing ownership. Learn more in our guide to Arizona title transfers.
NOTE: You cannot request a license plate refund after moving out of Arizona.
Since license plates stay with owners, you'll need to apply for plates after purchasing a used car. If you need to drive the car to register it, apply for a Restricted Use Three-Day Permit with the MVD. Get the full details on changing ownership with our guide to vehicle title transfers.Other Topics in This Section