Registration Renewal in Arizona
COVID-19 Effects on Licensing Services
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, state DMVs nationwide have closed office locations, extended license and registration expiration dates, and/or limited the transactions they are processing. Residents are urged to use the state's online services. Follow the MVD's recent updates for the latest information.
Arizona requires all residents to register their vehicles with Arizona's Motor Vehicle Division (MVD). Residents are also required to maintain a valid registration on vehicles by renewing before the end of their registration cycles.
New to Arizona?
You need a first-time registration when you purchase a car or move to a new state. Learn everything you need to know about first-time registration on our Car Registration page.
Arizona Registration Renewal Cycles
Vehicles registered in AZ fall under one of three possible renewal cycles:
- 1 year renewal
- 2 years renewal
- 5 years renewal
NOTE: Vehicles that only receive a “basic" emissions test, along with out-of-state exemptions, are NOT eligible for either renewal of 2 years or 5 years.
The following types of vehicles are eligible for a renewal of 5 years:
- New vehicles that have not been registered in AZ or any other state before.
- Vehicles registered outside of the Tucson and Phoenix metro areas.
- Vehicles manufactured in 1966 or earlier.
- Hydrogen, solar, and electric-powered vehicles.
AZ Registration Renewal Notice
The MVD will send you a renewal notice several weeks before your registration's expiration date.
Your notice will include:
- Your renewal fee.
- Taxes due.
- "Renew by" date (either the 15th of the month or last day of the month during the year in which you must renew).
- Emissions testing requirement.
- Outstanding issues (unpaid tickets or fines) that may prevent you from renewing.
Didn't Receive a Renewal Notice?
You do not need an MVD renewal notice to renew your AZ registration. You are, however, responsible for renewing your registration on time even if you do not receive a renewal reminder.
If you didn't receive a notice, contact your local MVD office or call the MVD help desk at (800) 251-5866 for help on how to proceed with renewing your registration.
Renewing Your Arizona Car Registration
Arizona provides four options for renewing your registration: online, by mail, and in person.
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- Successfully complete a vehicle emissions inspection, if necessary (the MVD is automatically notified of the result).
- Go to the MVD's EZ Renewal Page (Spanish).
- Following the instructions.
- Confirm all information is correct.
- Pay your renewal fee.
- Print your renewal receipt.
You should receive your new registration and sticker by mail in about 5 business days. Contact your local MVD office to check your registration renewal status if you do not receive your registration documents in a timely fashion.
Renew by Mail
- Complete a vehicle emissions inspection, if applicable (the MVD is automatically notified of the result).
- Follow the directions on your renewal notice.
- Pay your renewal fee with check or money order made out to the Arizona Motor Vehicle Division.
- Send payment and renewal notice in the return envelope provided with your reminder.
Registrations will not be considered late as long as they are postmarked by the expiration date.
Renew in Person
- Your MVD renewal notice or current or expired AZ registration.
- Photo ID.
- Proof of auto insurance, if necessary.
- Payment for renewal fee.
You will be given your new registration materials before you leave.
Registration Renewal Fees in AZ
Arizona vehicle renewal fees vary, as there are a number of different elements that go into calculating them.
- A $4.50, $8, or $9 registration fee depending on the vehicle type.
- A $1.50 air quality research fee.
- A vehicle license tax (see below).
- Additional fees for specialized license plates.
Vehicle License Tax (VLT)
The VLT is based on a percentage of the retail value of your vehicle and will change with every renewal as the value of your vehicle depreciates. Your renewal notice will list the total amount of your renewal fee, including your VLT. If you don't receive an MVD notice, contact your local MVD office for help in calculating your fee. Or call the MVD HELPDESK:
- Phoenix: (602) 255-0072
- Tucson: (520) 629-9808
- All other AZ regions: (800) 251-5866
Late Fees and Penalties
The MVD does not offer a grace period. Your registration will expire either on the 15th or at the end of your renewal month. As long as you renew or your mailed paperwork is postmarked by the deadline, you will not be charged late fees.
If you are late with your registration renewal, you must pay an $8 penalty for the first month and $4 for each month thereafter.
Exception for Late Renewal
If your vehicle fails a smog check before your registration expires, the MVD will grant you an extra 30 days past your renewal date to get the car repaired, pass an emissions test, and complete the renewal process.
Liability Insurance Requirements
Liability insurance is required by state law. If you allow your coverage to lapse, the MVD may revoke your registration and/or driver's license. The MVD requires that you submit proof of insurance when initially registering so as to have it on file. Depending on the circumstance, you may be asked to provide proof of insurance when renewing. You must update your insurance information following any changes in your coverage.
Learn more about Arizona's insurance requirements at our Car Insurance Center.
Canceling Car Insurance?
Complete a De-Insured Certificate (Form 46-0602) through the MVD if you opt not to renew your vehicle registration.
Arizona Vehicle Inspections
The MVD requires most vehicles to undergo regular emissions inspections before registration renewal. Your registration renewal notice will show if an emissions test is required.
If you commute to the Phoenix or Tucson metro areas, you are required to get emissions testing, even if your registration renewal notice does not mandate it.
The MVD will allow you to renew your registration up to 6 months in advance if no emissions test is required. Or up to 3 months early if emissions testing is needed.
Learn more about smog check testing at our Emissions page.
Registration Renewal for AZ Military Members
If you're an AZ resident serving as a member of the U.S. Armed Forces out of state, you may renew your registration by following the standard methods for renewal, just as if you were in the state.
Deployed Out of Country
If you're temporarily deployed out of the country, you may apply for an emissions exemption, provided your vehicle will not be driven while you are away. To apply for an exemption:
- Apply within 90 days of your expiration.
- Visit the online exemptions portal to fill out our application.
- Have payment ready for the Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) $9.50 processing fee.
The online form will walk you through the application process, including how to submit proof of your military service.
Military Renewal Fee Exemption
You may apply to have your renewal fees waived all together from the beginning of your deployment until 1 year after the end of your deployment OR your honorable discharge from service if you meet one of the following criteria:
- As a member of the U.S. Armed Forces, including the Reserves and National Guard, you are deployed in support of a worldwide contingency outside of Arizona.
- You served in Operations Enduring Freedom or Noble Eagle as a member of the Arizona National Guard or Reserves.
Find more detailed information on our Drivers in the Military page.
Renew a Non-Operational Vehicle
To renew the expired registration of a vehicle that has been non-operational for an extended period of time, visit your local MVD office and:
- Present your license plate number or VIN.
- Present a completed Penalty Fee Waiver (Form 48-9402). This form verifies that your vehicle has not been driven on any state roads and, therefore exempting you from past due registration fees.
- Pay your renewal fees.
Additional requirements may apply if your vehicle's registration is expired. Contact your local MVD office for specific information.
Replacement Registration & License Plates
Replacement Registration and Tabs
You may apply for both a replacement registration certificate and tab online or in person at any MVD or authorized third-party office. Online replacement registrations will print from your home printer, whereas online replacement tabs will be mailed to you with a new registration certificate.
Replacement License Plates
You must obtain a replacement license plate at your local MVD office, an authorized third-party office, or by mail. Provide:
- Your license plate number and/or your vehicle identification number (VIN).
- Payment for the $5 replacement fee.
If replacing by mail, complete the Plate Notice (Form 48-3302) and send everything to:
Mail Drop 555M
Title Maintenance Unit
Motor Vehicle Division
4005 N. 51st Avenue
Phoenix, AZ 85031