Arizona

Motor Vehicle Division (MVD)
P.O. Box 2100
Phoenix, AZ 85001-2100
(602) 255-0072 | www.azdot.gov/mvd

Department of Public Safety Highway Patrol Division
P.O. Box 6638
Phoenix, AZ 85005
(602) 223-2000 | www.azdps.gov

Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT)
206 South 17th Avenue
Phoenix, AZ 85007
(602) 712-7355 | www.azdot.gov

Title Application

Application is made to ADOT within 15 days of purchase or transfer of vehicle.

Transferee must sign application.

If vehicle previously registered, application must contain odometer mileage disclosure statement.

If a new vehicle, must contain certificate from manufacturer showing date of sale to dealer, name of dealer, description of vehicle, statement certifying vehicle was new when sold.

Applicants that appear in person may be required to take a vision-screening test.

No certificate of title is required for mopeds.


Title Transfer of Ownership

Transferor must deliver an odometer mileage disclosure statement unless the vehicle is 10 years old or older or the vehicle has a gross vehicle weight of 16,000 lbs. or more.

If vehicle is registered, the registration expires and the owner shall transfer the license plates to ADOT or an authorized third party or submit affidavit of license plate destruction within 30 days of transfer of title.

If transfer is by operation of law, transferee has 30 days to apply for new title.


Titles for Mobile Homes

Must be titled with ADOT unless the mobile home is permanently affixed.

A mobile home consisting of 2 or more separate sections must have a title for each section.

Registration Application

Application is made to ADOT and must include name and residence of owner, date of sale if a new vehicle, vehicle description, and certificate of title.

There is no period of grace for late registration.

Registration cards issued by ADOT must be carried in the vehicle at all times.

A vehicle belonging to a person must be registered in the county where the person maintains a permanent and actual residence.

Registration may be done via mail, internet, in person, or by an authorized third party.


Registration for Non-Residents

A resident is defined as a person that remains in the state for an aggregate period of 7 months or more during a calendar year; a person that engages in work other than seasonal or temporary work; a person that places children in public school without paying non-resident tuition; a person that declares residency in the state for purposes of state rates of tuition or licensing fees; or a company that maintains a main office in the state.

It is illegal for a person to operate a motor vehicle unless it has been properly registered for the current year in the state or county in which the person is a resident.


Registration Type

Vehicles not otherwise disqualified may be registered biennially; newly licensed or leased vehicles will be automatically selected for biennial registration. Vehicles not subject to emission inspections may be registered annually, biennially, or every 5 years.

If effective date of registration falls between the 1st and the 15th day of the month, annual registration expires on the 15th day of the month 12 months later; biennial registration expires 24 months later.

If effective date of registration falls between the 16th and last day of the month, annual registration expires on the last day of the month 12 months later; biennial registration expires 24 months later.

Renewal registration must be submitted no later than the day the prior registration expires.


Emissions Inspection

Emissions inspection is required prior to registration Area A and B and differs in the two areas.

Area A includes townships in Maricopa, Yavapai, and Pinal counties; Area B includes select townships in Pima county.

Vehicles manufactured in or before 1966 are exempt from inspection.

Vehicles in Area B and manufactured in or before 1980, other than diesel-powered vehicles, must pass the curb idle test condition; vehicles in Area B and manufactured in or after 1981, other than diesel-powered vehicles, must pass the curb idle test condition and the loaded test condition. Exempts collectible vehicles and motorcycles from emission inspections in Area B.

Vehicles in Area A and manufactured in or after 1981 with a Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) rating of 8,500 lbs. or less, other than diesel vehicles, must pass a transient loaded test or an on-board diagnostic test; all other vehicles in Area A, except diesel vehicles, must pass a steady state loaded test and a curb idle emissions test.

Repair and maintenance costs not to exceed $500 in Area A and $300 in Area B.

OBD is utilized as part of the state emissions inspection process.

Visit the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality for more information on Arizona’s Vehicle Emissions Inspection Program.


Safety Inspection

No periodic statewide safety inspection requirement. If at any time there is reasonable cause to believe a vehicle is unsafe or improperly equipped, officers and employees of the Department of Public Safety may stop and require a vehicle be submitted to inspection.


Title and Registration Fees

AUTOMOBILE

Title Fee: $4.00

Registration Fee: $8.00; $8.25 in Metro Phoenix and Tuscon

MOTORCYCLE

Title Fee: $4.00

Registration Fee: $9.00

DUPLICATES

Plate Fee: $5.00

Registration Fee: $4.00

Driver’s License Fee: $12.00

Title Fee: $4.00

Special Plates: $25.00

Plate Disbursement

ADOT shall issue 1 plate per vehicle registered.

Every plate shall be coated with reflective material.

The color scheme for plate is blue and white with a Grand Canyon background.

Plates are validated with tabs.

Mutilated or illegible license plates shall be returned to ADOT for replacement plates.

New or replacement plates may be received via mail.

Special plates for disabled drivers are available upon application.

Transfer of Plates

The owner of a vehicle shall retain the vehicle’s license plates when the owner transfers the vehicle to another person.

ADOT may assign the plates to a new vehicle of the owner if the new vehicle is of the same type and the owner pays the appropriate transfer fees.

If the vehicle is not of the same type, the owner must surrender the plates to the department or submit an affidavit of license plate destruction.

An owner who transfers, submits, or destroys plates is entitled to a credit for the unexpired portion of the fees and taxes paid.

Driver’s License Examination

Examinations are conducted by ADOT or approved third parties, or waived upon documentation of successful completion of a driver education course approved by MVD.

Examination includes eyesight test (20/40 visual acuity required), written test, roadside demonstration test, and medical questionnaire.

ADOT retains discretion to require a licensee to submit to re-examination upon giving at least 5 days advance written notice to the licensee.


Graduated Driver's Licensing

Arizona has a system of graduated licensing for novice drivers.

At 15 years and 6 months, residents are eligible for a learner’s permit.

  • During this stage, novice drivers may only drive when supervised by a licensed driver age 21 or older.

At age 16, drivers are eligible for an intermediate license after holding a learner’s permit for at least 6 months and upon completion of a driver education course or upon written certification that the applicant has completed at least 30 hours (10 at night) of supervised driving.

  • For the first 6 months of licensure in the intermediate phase, individuals may not drive between the hours of midnight and 5 a.m. unless accompanied by a parent or legal guardian or traveling to or from a school, family or religious activity or other qualifying emergency (secondarily enforced).
  • During the first 6 months of licensure in the intermediate phase, individuals may not have more than 1 non-related passenger who is under age 18 unless accompanied by licensed parent or legal guardian (secondarily enforced).

At age 16 and 6 months, drivers who have held an intermediate license for at least 6 months are eligible for an unrestricted license.


Driver’s License Issuance/Application

Persons with conventionally corrected vision must wear corrective lenses at all times while driving.

Application for license and driver’s license must contain a photo image of the applicant.

License exemptions exist for military personnel and non-residents duly licensed in other states or foreign countries.

The MVD may not accept another state license as a primary source of identification.


Driver's License Renewal

Upon issuance, a driver’s license is valid until the applicant’s 65th birthday and is renewable thereafter for successive 5-year periods.

Any valid driver’s license issued to a person on active duty is effective without requirement for renewal until 6 months after the date of the person’s discharge from the service.

Persons 70 and older may not renew by mail. Persons 65 or older renewing by mail must submit a vision test verification form, or a verification of an eyesight examination conducted not more than 3 months before.


Types of Driver’s Licenses

Classes A, B, C, D, G, and M.

  • Classes A – C permit operation of motor vehicles based on GVW rating and must be renewed every 5 years.
  • Classes D and G are valid for operation of a single motor vehicle with a GVW rating of 26,000 lbs. or less.
  • Class M is valid for operation of a motorcycle or moped; class M license can be endorsed on a valid class A, B, C, D, or G license.

Distracted Driving

Drivers under 18 with a learners permit and intermediate license holders during the first 6 months after licensing are prohibited from using wireless communication devices, a secondary offense (effective 6/30/2018).  School bus drivers are prohibited from talking on a cell phone and driving, except in emergencies. Flagstaff, Phoenix, and Tuscon have a ban on texting while driving for all drivers. Coconino County has a ban on handheld cell phone use while driving.


Emergency Radio/Cellular

The emergency phone number is 911.

Citizen band radio channel 9 is monitored for emergency calls in some counties.


Headsets

Licensees of child care facilities must ensure that an individual who uses a motor vehicle to transport enrolled children does not use audio headphones while the car is in motion.

School bus drivers may not wear headsets whenever the bus is in motion.


Impaired Driving

All 50 states and the District of Columbia prohibit the operation of a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating beverages, with the illegal per se limit set at 0.08 percent blood alcohol content (.08 BAC). All 50 states and the District of Columbia set the legal drinking age at 21.

Every state’s chemical test law has ‘‘an implied consent’’ provision providing that any person operating a motor vehicle on a public highway, who is suspected of driving while intoxicated, consents to a chemical test to determine if he or she is inebriated. Failure to submit or pass such a test may cause the driver’s license to be suspended or revoked regardless of any court action finding the person innocent of the charge.

The most comprehensive resource on U.S. impaired driving laws is the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Digest of Impaired Driving and Selected Beverage Control Laws.  NHTSA’s Digest is updated annually.

Arizona requires the use of ignition interlocks for all impaired driving offenders.


Move Over Law

State law requires drivers to reduce speed and, if safe to do so, vacate the lane closest to any stationary vehicles with flashing or warning lights, including emergency vehicles and tow trucks.


Seat Belts

Seat belts are required for the driver and front seat passengers age 16 and older. Children ages 8-16 must be restrained using a seat belt.

Violation of the seat belt law is a secondary offense.

Riding in a pickup truck bed is permitted.


Child Passenger Safety

Children under 16 are required to be properly restrained in all seats.

Children who are age 5 to 8 and 57 inches or less in height must use a booster seat.

Child restraints are required for children under age 5.

Violation of the child restraint law is a primary offense.


Railroad Crossing

A person approaching a railroad grade crossing shall stop within 50 feet but not less than 15 feet from the nearest rail of the railroad and may not proceed if a clearly visible electric or mechanical signal device gives warning of the immediate approach of a train, a crossing gate is lowered or a human flagman gives or continues to give a signal of the approach or passage of a train, or a train approaching within approximately 1500 feet of the highway crossing emits a signal audible, an approaching train is plainly visible and is in hazardous proximity to the crossing, or any other unsafe conditions exist.

A driver suspecting a malfunctioning signal device where there is no gate or barrier may cross if there is a clear line of sight at least one mile in all directions and there is no evidence of an approaching train.

Motor vehicles carrying passengers for hire, school buses, and vehicles containing explosive or flammable materials must stop at all crossings except those in business or residential districts, or where a police officer or signal directs traffic to proceed.


School Buses

Driver’s must stop when buses are stopped and displaying alternately flashing signals except when the school bus is on a different roadway or controlled access highway or stopped in a loading zone where pedestrians are not permitted to enter the roadway.

Bumper Height

Modification of original vehicle bumper is permitted.


Headlight Use

Headlights are required from sunset to sunrise and when visibility is less than 500 feet.


Hazard Light Use

Hazard light use is not permitted while driving except in an emergency situation.


Tire Chains

Tire chain usage is permitted for hazardous weather or other related incidents only, but may not damage the highway surface.


Studded Tires

Studded tires are permitted from October 1 to May 1.


Glass/Window Tinting

Application or installation of a substance or material that alters the color or reduces the light transmittance is permissible for a luminous reflection of 35% or less.


Telematics

Application or installation of a substance or material that alters the color or reduces the light transmittance is permissible for a luminous reflection of 35% or less.


Radar Detectors

Radar detectors are permitted for passenger vehicles but prohibited for use by commercial vehicles.


Windshield Stickers

Windshield stickers are prohibited if driver’s view is obstructed.


Other Equipment Rules

N/A

Motorcycle Equipment

All motorcycle operators under 18 years of age must wear a protective helmet; all operators must wear protective glasses, goggles, or a transparent face shield unless the motorcycle is equipped with a transparent windshield.

A rearview mirror, seat for the operator and passengers, and footrests for both operator and passengers are required; handrails for passengers are required.

Handlebars cannot be above the height of the operator’s shoulders.

License plates shall be displayed on the back of a motorcycle.

Headlamp modulators are permitted.


Motorcycle Licenses

Operators age 15 and 6 months and older may be issued a motorcycle instruction permit. First time drivers must pass both a driver license and a motorcycle operator written test. Current instruction permit or license holders need only take the motorcycle operator written test.

Applicants must be at least 16 years of age to apply for a motorcycle license or endorsement.

An applicant must also have satisfactorily completed a motorcycle driver education program that is approved by MVD, or the parent or guardian must certify in writing that the applicant has completed at least 30 hours of motorcycle riding practice.


Motorcycle Noise Limits

Specific motorcycle noise limits, based on motorcycle model year and rate of speed, are in effect.


Mopeds & Other

Registration and driver’s license are required.

Minimum age to ride a moped is 16.

The following safety equipment is required: headlight, horn, brakes, muffler, tail light, license plate light, and rearview mirror.

Trailer Dimensions

Total length: 65 feet; trailer length: 28.5 feet; motor home length: 45 feet; trailer width: 8 feet (8 feet 6 inches on certain roads); motor home width: 8 feet 6 inches (excluding appurtenances up to width of rear view mirrors); height: 13 feet 6 inches (14 feet on designated roads).

May pull 2 units if the middle unit has a 5th wheel and brakes and has a weight equal to or greater than the rear unit; the rear unit is 3,000 lbs. or more and is equipped with brakes.


Trailer Brakes

Independent brake systems are required when the gross weight is 3,000 lbs. or more.


Trailer Hitch/Signals

Devices used for towing shall not exceed 15 feet from 1 vehicle to the other.


Trailer Lighting

Trailers with a GVW of more than 3,000 lbs. must be equipped with 1 clearance lamp on each side of the front of the vehicle, 2 side marker lamps on each side of the vehicle, 2 reflectors on each side, 2 clearance lamps on the rear, 2 reflectors on the rear, and 1 stoplight on the rear.


Trailer Mirrors

Vehicles with trailers that obstruct driver’s rear view must be equipped with mirrors that reflect at least 200 feet of the roadway.


Trailer Speed Limits

Vehicles towing trailers or semitrailers may not exceed a rate of speed that causes lateral sway.


Trailer Towing

Devices used for towing shall not exceed 15 feet from 1 vehicle to the other.

If a chain, rope, or cable is being used, a white flag or cloth at least 12 inches square must be displayed on the device itself.


Trailer Other Provisions

A non-commercial trailer with a gross vehicle weight of 10,000 lbs. or less receives a permanent trailer registration. Travel trailers or tent trailers do not qualify.

Riding in trailers is permitted.

 

Accident Reporting

Crashes are required to be reported when property damage exceeds $300.00, results in bodily injury to or death of a person, or if the settlement of the crash has not been reached within 6 months of the crash


Bail Bonds

Mandatory recognition of AAA Arrest Bond Certificates recognized up to maximum $300 amount.


Liability Laws

Minimum $15,000 financial responsibility for any 1 person in 1 accident, $30,000 for any 2 people in 1 accident; $10,000 for property destruction in any 1 accident.

State has non-resident service of process law. Does not have guest suit law.


Weigh Stations

Any commodity shipped into the state is subject to inspection for agricultural pests.

Gross weight fees apply to trailers and semitrailers with GVW of 10,000 lbs. or less; motor vehicles or vehicle combination if used primarily for transporting passengers for compensation; a hearse or ambulance or similar vehicle used in conduct of a mortician


Bicycles

Bicycle helmets are not required.

Drivers passing a bicycle must pass with a space of 3 feet between the motor vehicle and the bicycle.


Other

Arizona is party to the Non-Resident Violator Compact.

Agricultural inspections required for all commercial vehicles crossing the border.

Vehicles parked on roadways with curbs must be parked with right-hand wheels parallel to and within 18 inches of the curb. It is illegal to park on a crosswalk, within 15 feet of a fire hydrant, within 20 feet of a crosswalk at an intersection, within 30 feet of approach to any flashing beacon, within 50 feet of the nearest rail of a railroad crossing, within 20 feet of the driveway of a fire station, on a bridge or in a highway tunnel.