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New Car & Initial Vehicle Registration

Arizona law requires that motor vehicle owners must register their vehicle with the Arizona Motor Vehicle Division before taking it on the road. Both new and second-hand vehicles must be registered, regardless of whether they are purchased from a dealer or an individual.

In addition, new Arizona residents who have registered their vehicle in another state must register their vehicle in Arizona. The initial vehicle registration must be done in person, and registration renewals must be done annually, either in person, online or by mail.


If you are registering a previously owned motor vehicle in Arizona for the first time, you must complete the following steps:

  • Take your vehicle for emissions testing if it’s more than 5 model years old. Emissions tests must be performed at an inspection station or by an inspector that has been licensed by the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ). Find out more about vehicle inspections in Arizona, or locate an inspection station near you. Once the vehicle passes inspection, you will be issued an inspection certification.
  • In certain cases, you may need to get a VIN assigned and a physical inspection completed. This is usually required when the original VIN is not present, or it has been altered. For more information, see our Vehicle Inspections section.
  • Complete an Arizona vehicle title and registration application form.
  • Visit your MVD or Authorized Third Party office, and bring the completed title and registration application form with you, along with the inspection certification from ADEQ. You will need to provide proof of Arizona auto insurance also.
  • For vehicles that have been registered in another state, you must also bring the original, out-of-state title. If the title is unavailable, bring the registration document, along with proof of sales tax payment.

Vehicle Registration Renewals

Ways to Renew

Some registrations are due at the end of the month, others are due on the 15th of the month. Check your renewal notice or current registration to see which due date applies to your vehicle.

Before you are able to renew, you must:

  • Ensure your address is correct. If the address on your vehicle registration form matches your current address, then your address is correct.
  • Complete your vehicle emissions test, if required.
  • Have your vehicle renewal form, or license plate number.

You may visit any MVD or Authorized Third Party Provider like Ayala Motor Vehicle Services to renew your registration in person.

Please have your renewal notice or registration (current or expired); Photo ID; Visa, Mastercard, Discover or American Express credit/debit card; or cash. A $25 returned check fee is charged for any check returned by a financial institution, and may result in cancellation of vehicle registrations and driving privileges.

You may also mail in your renewal to this address:

Motor Vehicle Division
4005 N. 51st Ave.
Phoenix, AZ 85031

Arizona law provides that a license plate is assigned to the vehicle owner, instead of the vehicle.

Most vehicles may be registered for either one or two years at a time. (Some vehicles must be emission tested every year, and are therefore not eligible for two-year registration.) Permanent registration will be issued for some trailers and all-terrain and off-road recreational vehicles.

All-terrain and off-road recreational vehicles that operate only on dirt roads located in unincorporated areas of Arizona must be titled and have a plate, but are exempt from registration and insurance requirements.

Duplicate Registration

When a registration is lost, destroyed, or mutilated, customers may obtain a duplicate registration for their vehicle. The process is fairly simple to obtain a duplicate registration. A person entitled to the registration may come into our third party office, visit or call an Arizona MVD office, or visit servicearizona.com to complete the process electronically. The expiration date will be identical to the lost, destroyed, or mutilated registration.

A duplicate registration may be issued for any vehicle which has a currently valid registration. Also, there must not be any prohibitive actions or codes on the customer’s MVD record, or the vehicle’s MVD record. A duplicate registration may only be picked up by the registered owner, a family member with the same last name and address as the registered owner, or by using a notarized Power of Attorney form from the registered owner. Alternatively, the duplicate registration may also be mailed to the registered owner, but only at the address on file for that owner.

Customers will be required to show ID in our office, or in the Arizona MVD offices. To complete the process on servicearizona.com, specific information about the registered owner, and the vehicle must be provided. The cost to obtain a duplicate registration is minimal, ($4.00 as of the date of writing) and a small convenience fee is added when this service is performed in our office.

When a customer is obtaining a duplicate title and registration in the same transaction, the fee Arizona MVD charges for the duplicate registration is waived, however our convenience fee is not. When obtaining a replacement license plate, a duplicate registration is also generated. A new license plate tab automatically printed, at no additional cost.

Moped Registration

Arizona MVD defines a moped as a vehicle that meets all of the following criteria:

  • Primarily human powered, aided with a helper motor.
  • Engine must be no more than 50 cubic cm (cc).
  • Maximum rated speed of 25 MPH or less
  • A cycle (49cc or above) that does not meet all of the above moped criteria, but is manufactured primarily for use on public streets, roads and highways, will be considered a motor driven cycle and is subject to title and/or registration as a motorcycle.

Mopeds are not issued titles, only registrations. As such, liens cannot be recorded for mopeds. All moped registrations expire on October 31st of each year.

When registering a moped for the first time, one of the following ownership documents will be required:

  • Manufacturer’s Certificate of Origin (MCO).
  • A properly notarized Bill of Sale.
  • Out-of-State Registration
  • When the document presented, or the Arizona record, does not clearly indicate that the vehicle meets all of the above requirements, or when the Arizona record indicates that the vehicle is titled as a motorcycle, a physical inspection is required to determine the correct body style.

Mopeds are exempt from emissions testing requirements, and from the required equipment relating to motorcycle and motor-driven cycles.

Golf Cart Registration

In Arizona, golf carts are eligible to be registered for highway use. A golf cart is defined by Arizona MVD as:

  • Primarily designed to carry four or fewer persons.
  • Designed to be, and is operated at, speeds of 25 MPH or less.
  • Has at least four wheels in contact with the ground, or,
  • Has an unladen weight of 1800 lbs. or less

A golf cart is exempt from registration when it is used in the operation of a golf course, or incidentally operated or moved on a highway. Typically, a golf cart is only issued a title unless it has been modified (and registered) for highway use.

Golf carts which are modified for highway use, meaning they meet the requirements below, are eligible to be titled and registered. For an initial title transaction, Highway Use Certificate (form # 96-0371) must be completed.

Arizona MVD requires the following to qualify:

  • Must exceed 5 horse power, or
  • Be designed to operate at more than 25 MPH
  • Must have a piston displacement of more than 50 cubic cm

Must have the following safety equipment:

  • Head lights
  • Tail lights
  • License plate light
  • Rearview mirror
  • Reflectors
  • Horn
  • Brakes
  • Stop lights
  • Windshield (if manufactured or modified for highway use after 6/17/1998)

Additional Requirements:

  • May display a personalized, disability, or personalized disability motorcycle plate.
  • Golf carts are exempt from emissions testing, AQF, and ACQF fees.
  • Must comply with Arizona’s financial responsibility requirements (Insurance)
  • Must pay applicable title/registration transaction fees.

Golf Carts & OHV Decals

Golf carts that are not designed to be used off-road are not eligible for an OHV decal. Arizona MVD distinguishes between the two, using the following criteria… Golf carts that are not manufactured or modified primarily for travel over unimproved terrain are not eligible for an OHV decal. Golf carts that have been designed by the manufacturer for travel over unimproved terrain and golf carts that have been modified primarily for travel over unimproved rain may qualify for an OHV decal.


  • Requires documentation from the manufacturer or modification facility clearly showing the vehicle is designed primarily for travel over unimproved terrain, or has been modified for travel primarily over unimproved terrain.
  • The documentation must include the vehicle’s make, and model year.

If a golf cart is modified primarily for travel over unimproved terrain by the customer, receipts must be submitted for the items purchased that would clearly show the golf cart was modified for use on unimproved terrain.

These items may include, but are not limited to:

  • Tires
  • Axles
  • Engine
  • Lift kit

Arizona Registration Only (ARO)

Arizona MVD allows a vehicle to be registered via an ARO, only when the vehicle is not eligible to be titled in the state of Arizona. To qualify for an ARO, the vehicle must be titled in a “title-holding” state, meaning the title is not provided to the owner until the lien is paid or otherwise satisfied; the lien holder has possession of, and is holding, the title. Arizona MVD and Authorized Third Party offices will verify for you whether the state the vehicle is titled in, is a title-holding state.

Customers wishing to get an ARO will be required to show proof of registration from another (title-holding) state. The out-of-state registration may be expired. A non-validated registration renewal document will be treated as an acceptable document, however, a temporary registration (or permit) will not be accepted. Out-of-State license plates must be surrendered.

ARO customers will not receive an Arizona certificate of title for their vehicle. The names and legal status shown on the out-of-state registration provided cannot be changed. The names and legal status will be entered into Arizona’s records exactly as they are shown on the out-of-state registration document.

If no ownership documents are presented, a level one physical inspection will be required, and a 90-day resident registration will be issued until the customer can provide an ownership document. This gives you time to contact the state where it is titled, to obtain the required documents. ARO customers must comply with Arizona’s emissions testing requirements, if applicable.

Once a lien has been paid off on an ARO vehicle, the customer will be required to return to Arizona MVD, or an Authorized Third Party provider, to convert the ARO record to an Arizona title and standard registration.

Special Interstate Registrations (SPI)

A Special Interstate Registration (SPI) is for a vehicle that is titled and registered in another state, and is owned by a non-resident who conducts business between his/her home state and Arizona. An Arizona title will not be issued to the owner/operator, and they will retain their out-of-state registration. Vehicles must meet Arizona’s requirements for registration, and an SPI will not be issued to a vehicle which is eligible to be titled in the state of Arizona.

The following circumstances are eligible for an SPI:

  • A non-resident who conducts business between his/her home state and Arizona.
  • An applicant who owns or uses a vehicle that is titled and registered out-of-state, and who has established concurrent residency, and uses the vehicle in Arizona.
  • A vehicle titled in another state and routinely operated in Arizona by a resident who is not the owner of the vehicle.
  • An applicant who is registering a leased vehicle.

In addition to all other registration requirements, the applicant must submit satisfactory evidence that the vehicle is currently titled in another state. When an out-of-state resident owns the vehicle, the applicant must present a notarized power of attorney from the out-of-state owner, authorizing the applicant to register the vehicle in Arizona.

The names that appear on the SPI record will exactly match the names that appear on the out-of-state registration document. When the out-of-state registration document lists a lessee that is not the current lessee, the out-of-state title must be submitted to Arizona MVD. An Arizona title in the name of the lessor will be issued, and the current lessee will be indicated as the registrant (at the option of the lessor). The Lessor Authorization Form (form # 40-0207) will be required in order to indicate the lessee as the registrant.

For the purposes of issuing an SPI, the following clarifications have been made by MVD:

  • A non-resident who conducts business between their home state and Arizona must have a current registration for their out-of-state vehicle.
    • Example: The applicant owns or uses a vehicle that is titled and registered out-of-state, who has established concurrent residency and uses the vehicle in Arizona.
      • The vehicle will carry current registration in both states.
      • When in Arizona, the vehicle will display the Arizona license plate assigned to it.
      • When in their home state, the vehicle will display the license plates issued to it by that state.
  • A vehicle titled in another state and routinely operated in Arizona by a resident who is not the owner of the vehicle.
    • Example: The applicant is a student going to ASU, paying resident tuition. The vehicle is owned by their parents who live in Utah.
      • Arizona registration and a power of attorney are needed.
  • A leased vehicle which the owner presents an out-of-state title has moved to Arizona
    • Example: The applicant(s)
      • Names and legal status cannot be changed
      • If both the lessee and lessor names appear on the out-of-state registration, a completed Lessor Affidavit must be included with the application.
        • The lessee may complete the form with a power of attorney from the lessor. This allows the lessee to renew the vehicle without another power of attorney.
        • If the lessor’s name is the only name on the out-of-state registration, the SPI will be processed in the lessor’s name only.
        • The lessee must have a notarized power of attorney from the lessor to perform the original SPI transaction.
        • The lessee will need a power of attorney to process a renewal of the SPI registration.

Neighborhood Electric Vehicle Registration (NEV)

Arizona defines a Neighborhood Electric Vehicle (NEV) as a vehicle which is self-propelled, and meets the following criteria:

  • Emission free.
  • Designed to carry four or fewer persons.
  • Designed to be, and is, operated at speeds of 25 MPH or less.
  • Has at least four wheels in contact with the ground.
  • Complies with low speed vehicles set forth in the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 500 and 49 Code of Federal Regulations.
  • When these vehicles are initially titled, the owner must sign a statement regarding the operational restrictions that apply to the vehicle. Form 96-0124, Neighborhood Electric Vehicle is completed by the owner.

The following restrictions apply to the NEV:

  • Cannot be operated at a speed of more than 25 MPH.
  • Cannot be driven on a highway that has a posted speed limit of more than 35 MPH, but can cross a highway with a posted speed limit of more than 35 MPH at an intersection.
  • A notice of the operational restrictions applying to the vehicle must be permanently attached to, or painted on the vehicle in a location that is in clear view of the driver.
  • An NEV is eligible for the Alternative Fuel Plate and reduced VLT.
  • If manufactured prior to June 17, 1998, the NEV must have a Level I Inspection to verify that the vehicle meets the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS). Those standards are as follows:
  • Head lamps
  • Front and rear lamps
  • Tail lamps
  • Stop lamps
  • Reflectors
  • Exterior mirror on driver’s side of vehicle
  • One additional mirror located either on the interior or the passenger side of the vehicle
  • Parking brake
  • Windshield
  • VIN#
  • Seat belt
  • The NEV must be retrofitted if manufactured before June 17, 1998 and the Alternative Fuel Plate and reduced VLT rate are to be obtained.
  • NEV’s must be titled regardless of the registrations status.
  • Registration and insurance are required to operate on roads in Arizona
  • NEV’s are exempt from paying both the AQCF ($0.25) and the AQF ($1.50) at the time of registration

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