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How To Register A Car In Arizona

Are you new to Arizona? Welcome to the Grand Canyon State! 

How to register a car in ArizonaDid you just purchase your first car? Congratulations! 

Now that you’ve unpacked all your boxes or just received the keys to your new ride, you’ll have to get your car(s) registered. Arizona requires that all vehicles be registered through the MVD. There are just a few things you must have in place before you head down to the Motor Vehicle Division to get your car registered. 

Here’s everything you need to know on how to register a car in Arizona.

When you purchase a vehicle, you must apply for the title within 15 days to have the car registered. If you purchase your vehicle from a dealership, in some cases, they may submit the necessary documents on your behalf. For new residents, you have 30 days to register your vehicle from the time of your arrival. Your driver’s license and initial title registration will require an office visit, but renewals thereafter can all be taken care of online or by phone.

In order to register your car in Arizona you need:

  • Valid Arizona Driver’s License
  • Emissions Test (if applicable)
  • Proof of Insurance
  • Proof of Ownership
  • Lien Details
  • Signed Application

Emissions Testing

All residents in the Phoenix and Tucson area, with the exception of a few counties, are required to have all vehicles 1967 or newer pass an emissions test. Some exemptions apply such as newer vehicles that are less than six years old. An emissions testing technician will connect to your vehicle’s internal computer that monitors the emission control system and its operation. Most tests take less than 20 minutes and cost less than $20. Locate a testing facility near you and view wait times by visiting arizona emissions test

Proof of Insurance

The state of Arizona requires that all operational motor vehicles have coverage by liability insurance through authorized businesses in Arizona. Minimum levels of coverage required include $15,000 bodily injury for one person and $30,000 for two or more people as well as $10,000 in property damage liability.

Proof of Ownership

Your out-of-state title and registration must be relinquished when turning in your application for an Arizona title and registration. When a loan has been recorded against the vehicle and the title is in the possession of a lender in another state, registration is still needed, however, the title may not be required. 

How To Register a Car in Arizona without a Title

If you don’t have the proper documentation needed to register, don’t fret. You can apply for a 90-day registration which allows you to drive your vehicle while you are obtaining the required documentation for registration. The fee for a 90-day registration is $15 and once you have all required paperwork, the vehicle license taxes for the full year will be calculated back to the date the 90-day registration was issued. 

Cost to Register a Car in Arizona

Depending on the type of vehicle, a $4.50, $8.00, or $9.00 registration fee will apply, plus, depending on the location of where the vehicle will be used, an air quality compliance fee of $0.25 will be applied, and finally a vehicle license tax (VLT) will be calculated (VLT takes the place of a personal property tax that is often applied in other states). The vehicle license tax is based on the measured value of 60% of the vehicle’s MSRP and reduced by 16.25% for each year since the initial registration. The rate is then calculated as $2.80 for new vehicles and $2.89 for used vehicles for every $100 of value. 

For example, if you purchased a brand-new car for $30,000, the first year’s assessed value would be $18,000 and the VLT would be $504. The second year the assessed value would be $15,075.75 and the VLT would cost $435.67. It’s important to note that a vehicle that is eligible for a 2- or 5-year registration will only be assessed a one year registration fee and a one year quality compliance fee to cover the entire registration period. Based on VLT and other fees, the entire cost of registration, for the 30,000 car, could cost about $512.25 (504.00 + 8.00 + .25 = $512.25).

How to Register a Car in Arizona Online

Residents of Arizona that have already registered their vehicles through the MVD are eligible to renew online at

To complete an online renewal keep your renewal slip handy, as you will need to enter your record number and the last two digits of your Vehicle ID Number. If you don’t have it, you have the option to enter your license plate number as well as the VIN or your last name. Next, you’ll need to confirm that your address is correct, and the vehicle is insured. 

If your vehicle is not insured, you will have the option to keep your vehicle classified as de-insured or remove this status by obtaining insurance.  A vehicle that is de-insured cannot be operated on any public roadway in AZ and will not be reinstated until proof of insurance is provided. You’ll then be required to enter your vehicle information and confirm the data as well as the renewal period, view the itemization of the fees, enter your payment details, and print or email your confirmation. 

You may also opt to renew your vehicle registration by phone by calling 1-888-713-3031.