Vehicle Title & Plates

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Important Notice from ADOT Motor Vehicle Division

Effective April 2020, all titles, registration documents and license plate tabs are mailed and no longer printed at MVD or Authorized Third Party offices. A temporary plate may be issued, and the metal plate will be mailed.

When you renew, your record is updated instantly, and your receipt is your proof of registration.

Be sure your mailing address is current and complete with the U.S. Postal Service and MVD on your Arizona Driver’s License.

Buying a Car

If you are buying a car, we will check the Motor Vehicle Service system to make sure:

  • You have the most recent title or Title Transfer Bill of Sale.
  • There are no existing or hidden liens.
  • The title is properly signed off by the Seller. Arizona no longer requires a Notarized signature from the Seller as of October 2022.
  • Arizona requires Title documents that are not altered, crossed out or erased or the document is void.
  • If the vehicle needs an emissions test (See the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality https://www.myazcar.com/)
  • Any individual to be included on the Application will need to be present when Registration and Title are transferred in new owner(s) name.

Selling a Car

If you are selling a car, we will check the Motor Vehicle Service system and verify:

  • You have the most recent title or Prepare a Title Transfer Bill of Sale.
  • You have posted a sold notice with the Motor Vehicle Service system. If not, we can notify the Motor Vehicle Service system for you.
  • The title no longer requires a notary or MVD Agent to witness the seller signature as of October 2022.
  • If you are selling to an out of state buyer, we recommend you come in so we can notarize it to prevent problems in a different state. Your buyer’s state may not be aware of this recent change.
  • Titles are now electronic and not mailed so you may not have a paper title.

Sold Notice

When selling your vehicle, we will assist you to ensure all sold vehicle transactions are complete. When you sell a vehicle, we recommend the seller and buyer visit us together for a smooth process.

When a vehicle is sold (or otherwise transferred) you, the seller, is required by law to complete a Sold Notice and sign off the back of the title as seller. Remove the license plate from the vehicle and return it to us or destroy it. Personalized plates may be transferred to another vehicle. Be sure and bring the plate with you.

When you sell, trade-in, end your lease, donate, or otherwise transfer ownership of your vehicle, you need to complete a Sold Notice. This notice may help protect you from liability if the vehicle is, used for criminal activity, involved in an accident, ticketed, or abandoned ($500 fee).

Sold Notice

Plate Refund

A refund is not automatically sent to you when you sell your vehicle. When you sell your vehicle, you may have a plate refund available. You must complete the Sold Notice, or a Plate Registration Refund will not be available.  Your refund will be pro-rated based on the request date, so be sure you request this immediately, to maximize your refund.  Only the VLT is refundable for the number of “months” left on your current registration. AZ AUTO can assist in applying for a refund and requesting a check to be mailed. Plate credits are not available to transfer to another vehicle during a Title Transfer or for Renewal. If you move out of state, a refund will not be available to you or be sent to the out of state address.

Duplicate Title

Can’t find that title to your vehicle? If you visit us we may be able to prepare and notarize a Title Transfer Bill of Sale Affidavit that may be used instead of an Arizona title. Titles in Arizona are now created electronically and not automatically mailed to the owner. A title may be requested to be mailed and there are additional fees charged.

If the new owner is out of state, a title must be ordered.

Title Transfers

Whether you have an Arizona title or out of state title, we can change ownership and issue a new Arizona title, registration, and license plate to new owners. Arizona title transfers need to be completed in 15 days from the sale date to avoid penalty. You will want to see if you need emission testing to complete the transfer. You will leave with the coated temporary plate and registration. Metal plates and registrations are mailed now from the MVD central distribution processing center. All titles are now stored as an electronic record.

Problem Titles

We have a talented, enthusiastic staff that can help with a confusing title problem. Stop by with your documents, and we help you resolve any concerns and best steps to complete the transaction.

Bonded Titles

If you have purchased a trailer, boat trailer, All Terrain Vehicle (ATV), Motorcycle (MC), or old project vehicle, with no title, we can help you through the entire process and make it easy. Many states do not title trailers and some vehicles, so we can help with those situations as well. This will require an Inspection, which our office can assist you with the entire process.

Mobile Home Titles

We can assist you with Mobile Home Title Transfers through our centralized system. Bring in your documents for a new Mobile Home, Park Model, or a previously titled Mobile Home to be transferred to your name. A Bill of Sale may be required.

Registration Renewal

AZ AUTO can renew registration on all vehicles. Running late? Walk out with your receipt and your new tags will be mailed. We can update your registration for your commercial vehicle’s GVW (gross vehicle weight) and avoid an expensive fine. Check to see if emissions may be required for your (see EMISSIONS below.) Renewal notices are not always mailed, emailed, or received. You should check your plate tag to be sure when it is time to renew. Many vehicles are due on the 15th of the month instead of the last day of the month.

Emissions

Newer vehicles are exempt for the first* 5 years of registration. Vehicles in Maricopa and Pima County require emissions testing.

Example for this year of 2022: *Model years of 2017 – 1967 vehicles currently require emissions. This includes gasoline and diesel-fueled vehicles. Alternative fuel, flexible fuel (E85) and hybrid vehicles also require emissions. Some vehicles may require a different schedule. If unsure, call 1-877-myAZcar (1-877-692-9227.) or visit MyAZCar.com.

If you purchase an Arizona vehicle that is 5 years old, it may require emissions prior to the Title transfer if the last test does not extend for 12 months. Arizona no longer pro-rates registration cycles and starts a new 12-month cycle.  This means the emissions must match the new registration cycle. (1966 and older do not require emissions.)

Not sure if you need emissions? You may check any vehicle emission history with a VIN number at MyAZCar.com. Scroll to the bottom of the home page.

Depending on the vehicle’s year and weight, emissions test frequency can vary from every 1 to 2 years. Diesel and one-ton vehicles require emissions every year and certain models will require annual emissions.

Emission test locations and wait times are available at MyAZCar.com.

Plates

Arizona residents who are driving within the state need valid license plates for each of their vehicles. Those who are not using Arizona license plates are at risk of receiving fines.

If you have recently sold your vehicle, be sure and keep your plates when the car is given to the new owner. This will encourage the new owner to get the vehicle transferred quickly. We will check to see if you have a refund available and complete the Sold Notice.

Old or Lost License Plates

Replace that tired old plate or lost license plate with a brand new one.

Special Personalized License Plates

Ever wanted your own personalized license plate? Arizona offers special themed or organization plate backgrounds and is proud of the contribution to the Charity it represents. We can help you get that done.

ATC & OHV Tags

Come in to discuss the best type of license plate for you to register your Off-Road Vehicle.

Recreation Vehicle (RV) Plate – 100% off road, no insurance is required, and you are not allowed on any maintained road. You would need to trailer the ATC, ATV, to the location to ride.

Motorcycle (MC) Plate – Primary Off-Road or Primary On-Road. Insurance is required along with annual registration renewal. Effective January 1, 2009, all Off-Highway Vehicles under 2,500 GVW require the OHV Tag.

You will need to sign the OFF-HIGHWAY VEHICLE DECAL APPLICATION when you register for the type of registration you select. Street legal requirements for the ATV or MC are:

  • At least one brake which can be operated by hand or foot
  • Brake light
  • Headlight(s) and taillight(s) visible from 500 feet if operated from dusk till dawn
  • At least one red rear reflector
  • License plate securely fastened to the rear and license plate light
  • Eye protections for the driver or a windshield
  • Spark arrestor
  • Horn and muffler
  • Rearview mirror
  • Seat and footrests for the operator and any passenger
  • Fuel tank cap
  • Vehicle insurance, and valid driver’s license
  • Helmet with a Dept. of Transportation rating for anyone under 18 years of age

Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) decals are valid for one year from date of purchase. Renew your OHV Tag prior to renewing your registration. Always check the date of the OHV Tag expiration as it may not be the same as your Registration.

If you purchase a new ATV at a dealership, once you receive the plate and registration, we can change it from a RV plate to a MC plate. Most dealerships only issue RV plates.

The Arizona Game and Fish Department has more information on off-highway vehicles and the OHV decal. OHV Equipment Requirements – Arizona State Parks

https://www.azgfd.com/OHV/

Level One Inspections (On & Off-site)

Vehicles that may require a Level I Inspection include Vin number issues, homemade trailers, trailers or ATV’s without a title, cab & chassis, Abandoned Vehicles, Bonded Titles, non-operating vehicles, project vehicles being restored, and some other circumstances.

Vehicles new to the state typically do not require an inspection if all ownership documents are in order.

All of our AZ AUTO locations can complete Level I inspections.

Off-Site Inspections may be available depending on your home location or where the vehicle is. To Schedule an Off-site inspection, come into our office with vehicle information and we will help to determine if we can help you. Typically, you will need to be within 10 miles of our location and pay in advance.

Abandoned Vehicle Inspection & Processing

Arizona Auto License Service can help you with the abandoned vehicle that has been left on your property. We are authorized to perform the necessary abandoned inspection. Please come into our office to review the requirements and how the process works.

Non-Operating Vehicles

When you are ready to start working on that project vehicle, be sure you check with us to see if an inspection or other steps may need to be completed before you tow the vehicle to the shop and start investing money in improvements.

Temporary Permits

If it is necessary to drive a vehicle, the buyer or owner should obtain a Restricted Use Three-Day Permit for private sales, emissions testing, or repairs. In some cases, we can issue you a temporary permit when the title work is incomplete or there is a problem preventing the issuance of license plates. Every vehicle is limited to the amount of permits available, so we can help you check if this is an option.

Vehicle & Drivers Records

New job prospect? Need a motor vehicle record? We can do a personal record printout in minutes. Want a vehicle record for a vehicle that you own? We can do that too.

Vehicle License Tax (VLT) Paid Report

Many people don’t realize that the VLT (Vehicle License Tax) that is paid on their registration is TAX DEDUCTIBLE. We can run a “Vehicle Recap Report” on all VLT that was paid in a year so you can deduct this on your income tax returns.