Vehicle owners must apply for an Arizona DMV license plate through the state’s Department of Transportation (DOT). After obtaining these car registration plates, motorists must display them on the rear of their vehicles, making the tags clearly legible to law enforcement officers in the streets.

Overall, drivers must replace license plate credentials if they sustain damages or become illegible. Furthermore, after vehicle owners obtain a license plate and secure the tag to the rear of their cars, they must ensure that the plate is placed at least 12 inches from the ground. To learn more about how to get license plate credentials and how to renew or replace plates or stickers, review the sections below.

Types of License Plates in Arizona

If you need to obtain a car registration tag in Arizona, be mindful that the DOT will provide you with many different plate options. Overall, AZ car tags include standard plates, disability plates, university plates, military plates, alternative fuel plates or plates for causes or organizations such as the Childhood Cancer Research, Girl Scouts or the White Mountain Apache Tribe. If you purchase a vehicle from a private seller but wish to drive the car before your new registration plates arrive, you may purchase a restricted three-day permit or 30-day general permit from the DOT.

How to Apply for a License Plate in Arizona

After purchasing a new or used vehicle, you must apply for new registration plates within 15 days of acquiring the vehicle. Overall, you will apply for these plates upon completing an application form to title and register your vehicle. If you purchase a car from a private seller, you must apply for an Arizona DOT car tag by completing a different application form and submitting it in person at a DOT branch or authorized third-party facility. Conversely, if you purchase the vehicle from a licensed dealership rather than a private seller, the dealer will generally submit the car registration plates application on your behalf.

In addition to completing the proper new car tag application forms, you must submit all other title and registration documents to the DOT, including the vehicle’s current certificate of title, lien release (if applicable), payment for title and registration fees and proof of completing an emissions or vehicle inspection (if applicable).

How to Renew License Plate Tags in Arizona

Depending on your car’s registration period, you must renew license plate credentials either every year, every two years or every five years. During the Arizona license plate renewal process, you will simultaneously complete the vehicle registration renewal process as well as your license plate decals.

In most cases, you must apply for car tag renewal before the 15th day of your vehicle’s registration renewal month, or before the last day of the month. When renewing license plate decals, you may complete the process online or over the phone. If renewing your car tag online, you must pay for the applicable fees by using a credit card.

How to Replace License Plates in Arizona

Motorists may replace AZ car tags if their plates sustain damages, go missing or become illegible. For drivers wondering how to replace a license plate, they may do so in person by visiting a DOT branch or an authorized third-party office. When replacing license plate credentials, applicants must present one form of identification, an acceptable payment method for obtaining the applicable fees. Moreover, they must provide the vehicle identification number (VIN) and/or the license plate number. On the other hand, car owners may replace license plates through the mail by completing a particular application form and submitting it along with a check or money order to the DOT mailing address.

Note: If your DOT car tags are within three months of expiring, you may renew your license plates early instead of requesting a replacement. However, if you only need to replace your tabs, you may request a replacement credential online or in person at a local DOT branch or authorized third-party facility.

How to Transfer License Plates in Arizona

After purchasing a vehicle from a dealership, you may transfer your old Arizona car registration plates to your new vehicle if you so desire. In order to transfer your DOT license plates to your newly-acquired vehicle, you must provide the dealer with your previous vehicle’s license plate number. Then, the dealer will provide you with a temporary car tag until your new registration certificate and tabs arrive in the mail. You cannot attach your old AZ car registration tags to your new vehicle until you receive your new registration certificate and tabs from the DOT. If you purchase a vehicle from a private seller, you may transfer your license plates when you submit your completed application form. Furthermore, before you sell or dispose of a vehicle, you must remove the vehicle’s license plates.

Arizona License Plate Fees

To get a car tag in Arizona, vehicle owners must purchase a license plate in addition to paying regular vehicle registration fees. However, the fees for car registration tags vary according to the type of license plate you are applying for. Generally, specialty plates have higher costs.

When replacing car tags or decals, motorists must also pay a fee per plate or tab, in addition to postage and handling fees. Overall, the fees for tab and license plate renewals vary by vehicle type and the vehicle’s value.

License Plate Lookups in Arizona

Before you purchase a new or used vehicle and obtain new AZ car tag credentials, you may perform an online license plate lookup to learn more about the vehicle’s history. For instance, an Arizona DOT license plate lookup can provide you with information about the vehicle’s previous owner and its manufacturer, as well as any safety and recall information.

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