Arizona car registration and documentation is handled by the Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) of the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT). All initial auto registration services must be completed in-person at a local MVD office or qualifying third-party location as soon as a new vehicle is obtained. In many cases, AZ auto registration documentation covers a period of one, two or five years. However, temporary vehicle registration paperwork may be obtained for a period of 90 days. To learn more about getting car registration documentation and the types of information needed to register a vehicle in Arizona, review the sections below.
Arizona Vehicle Registration Information Required
Arizona auto registration documentation must be submitted within 15 days of purchasing a new or used vehicle. If AZ car registry documents are not submitted within 15 days, a title transfer penalty may be applied to the motorist. To avoid delays and penalties during the process of how to get car registration documentation, a motorist should gather all required information or apply to receive a temporary vehicle registration for a 90-day period. Required motor vehicle registration information needed to register a vehicle includes the motorist's driving license, plate number, plate credit number, vehicle identification number, and the make, model, year and body style of the vehicle. Other required auto registration information pertains to the vehicle's list price, odometer reading, gross weight rating (GVWR) and fuel. Required personal information includes the owner(s) driver's license number, full name, date of birth and mailing address.
Additionally, DMV car registration documents may only be obtained if a vehicle is covered under liability insurance. Liability insurance must include $15,000 for the bodily injury of one person, $30,000 for two or more passengers and $10,000 for property damage.
Where to Register a Car in Arizona for the First Time
AZ auto registration services are available through more than 40 MVD offices and 160 third-party locations. While car registration renewals and other services can be performed online, new car registration services require an in-person office visit. Arizona motor vehicle registration may also require emissions testing, which can be completed at service stations located throughout the state. Regulations for emissions testing vary depending on where in Arizona motorists reside and the vehicle's year. Generally, vehicle registration emissions testing services are required of Tucson and Phoenix residents.
"Do I need to register my car before I can drive it?", you may ask. In Arizona, all DMV car registration paperwork must be completed before the vehicle may be operated. When a motor vehicle registration requires an emissions test, motorists may apply for a three-day restricted use permit, which allows drivers to operate the vehicle without penalty during the emissions test.
How to Register a New Car in Arizona
New car registration paperwork for vehicles purchased from a car dealer are often handled by the dealership during the time of purchase. However, AZ car registration services often vary by dealership, so it is important to confirm with the dealership to be sure. If auto registration services are not handled by the dealership, motorists must follow the same steps a motorist would follow for used vehicles purchased from a private party. This includes the completion of a Title and Car Registration Application (MVD Form 96-0236).
Whether the DMV car registration process is for a new or used cars, vehicles may be registered for a period of one, two or five years (unless a one-or two-year emissions test is required). If emissions testing is required to get car registration documentation, a driver cannot apply for a five-year registration. However, most new car registration for vehicles that have not previously been registered in Arizona (or any other state) are eligible for a five-year registration period. This rule also applies to electric, solar and hydrogen-powered vehicles, or vehicles registered outside of the Tucson or Phoenix metro areas.
How to Register a Used Car in Arizona
Registration of vehicles purchased used and/or from a private party require the motorist to visit a local MVD office or third-party location to submit the following required documentation:
- A completed and signed Title and Car Registration Application (MVD Form 96-0236).
- A signed (and notarized) vehicle title.
- A lien release (if applicable).
- Proof of liability insurance.
- Proof of passing an emissions testing inspection (if required).
- All required Arizona car registration fees and vehicle license tax (VLT).
If Arizona auto registration services do not require emissions testing, a five-year registration may be obtained. Additionally, the motorist's old license plates may be transferred to the new vehicle.
Moreover, the process of how to get car registration documentation differs for out-of-state residents. In addition to the vehicle registration documentation listed above, out-of-state residents must present proof of vehicle ownership by submitting the following documentation in-person at the MVD: an out-of-state title (or out-of-state car registration if the title is held by the vehicle's lienholder), a Level I vehicle inspection (if the out-of-state registration or title are missing), a lien clearance (if applicable), the out-of-state license plates and a certified or original power of attorney from the lessor (for leased vehicles).
Temporary Arizona Vehicle Registration
While many AZ auto registration services cover a five-year period (unless the vehicle requires emissions testing), temporary car registry documentation is also available in the state of Arizona. Temporary DMV car registration covers a 90-day registration period, giving motorists additional time to gather vehicle registration information and required documentation. To obtain temporary auto registration documentation, motorists must apply for a 90-day vehicle registration through a local MVD office.