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Registering a vehicle in Arizona might seem like somewhat of a bureaucratic nightmare to some. However, the process is actually fairly simple, especially compared to states with excessive “red tape”. If you are considering driving without registering your vehicle at an Arizona MVD, don’t give in to temptation! Arizona law requires all motor vehicle owners to register their vehicle with the state’s Motor Vehicle Division before it is driven on the road. Here is how to register a car in AZ:

The First Steps

The vehicle registration must be performed in person. Start out by bringing your vehicle in for emissions testing. This test must be conducted at an emissions inspection station or by a licensed inspector. Your vehicle will be issued an inspection certification upon passing the emissions test. The next step is to obtain a VIN assignment and have the physical inspection performed. This inspection is free as long as the vehicle has no complications.

Pen and Paper

Proceed to fill out a vehicle title/registration form. Bring this completed form to the MVD along with your vehicle’s inspection certification. Proof of insurance is also required. If you have recently moved to Arizona from another state, be sure to bring your original title. If you can’t find this title, bring your registration document and proof of your sales tax payment.

Registration Fees

Do not show up to the MVD without money! The registration fee is typically $8. The title application fee is $4. There is also an air quality fee of $1.50. Standard license plates run a mere $5. Additional vehicle registration fees may apply depending on the class and weight of the vehicle. However, it must be noted that the specific vehicle registration cost is determined by the vehicle’s retail value when brand new. The registration cost is then decreased by a percentage for each year following the original registration date in the state. In terms of forms of payment, Arizona MVD offices take cash or personal checks. Some offices accept MasterCard and Visa credit cards.

Renewing a Vehicle’s Registration

Those who own a motor vehicle in the state of Arizona must renew the vehicle’s registration each year. This can be done at one’s local MVD office, through the mail or in person. If you do not do this, you may be pulled over and fined; this is a violation that will not be dismissed by taking AZ traffic school.

Additional Information

Those who are non-resident active duty members of the United States Armed Forces can register and title their vehicle on the web. These individuals can also register and title their vehicle over the phone by dialing (888) 713-3031. Or, these individuals can title/register their vehicle by mail. Those who elect to register/title the vehicle by mail should address correspondence to the following address:

Motor Vehicle Division
4005 N. 51st Avenue
Phoenix, Arizona 85031

Information for Out-of-state Individuals

Those who have recently arrived in Arizona from an outside state must have the vehicle “out of state inspected” at the MVD. Do not do anything else before this inspection occurs. It is performed at the line for “Inspections” at the MVD building. Drive to this area and wait for the next inspector. He will request your registration and/or title. He will likely perform the inspection and give you your state of Arizona registration paperwork. Thankfully, Arizona requires minimal paperwork for vehicle registration compared to other states.
Proceed to the MVD line for “information”. State that you desire to register an out-of-state vehicle. The clerk will verify that you have all the proper paperwork and provide you with a number. Wait for your number to be called and bring your paperwork to the MVD clerk for processing. Be sure to let the clerk know if you desire a custom license plate.