by Armando Martinez

License Plate Transfer Process in Arizona

In Arizona, license plates are issued to the owner of the vehicle and not to the vehicle itself. When you sell a vehicle, you must remove your license plate and keep it for your next vehicle or surrender it to the Arizona Motor Vehicle Division (MVD). Contact MVD to transfer it to another vehicle you own or for instructions on how to surrender it to the MVD. When you buy a vehicle in a private party sale, the seller should remove their license plate before handing over the keys.

When you buy a vehicle, you have 15 days to transfer the title into your name and register the vehicle. To obtain a license plate, you must visit a local Arizona MVD office or visit any MVD or Authorized Third Party office to transfer the title and register the vehicle. You will need to bring the vehicle's title, proof of insurance, and a valid driver's license. You will also need to pay a license plate fee and registration fee, which can vary depending on the type of vehicle.

License Plate Fees in Arizona

The license plate fees in Arizona vary depending on the type of vehicle and type of plate you are requesting. Arizona requires only one plate affixed to the rear of the vehicle and has several plate options, including a “digital plate”, so visit to pick a plate that is right for you.  Here are the fees for some common vehicle types:

- Passenger cars: $8

- Motorcycles: $8

- Trucks: $10-$62, depending on the weight and type of truck

In addition to the license plate fee, there are other fees associated with buying or selling a car in Arizona. These fees include:

- Vehicle Registration Fee: The vehicle registration fee in Arizona is $8.

- Vehicle License Tax: The vehicle license tax in Arizona is calculated based on the value of the vehicle and is assessed each year. The tax rate varies depending on the year, make, and model of the vehicle.

- Title Transfer Fee: The title transfer fee in Arizona is $4.

- Air Quality Research Fee of $1.50

It's important to note that these fees are subject to change, so be sure to check with the local AZDOT office or a MVD Office or Authorized Third Party provider, or online at for the most up-to-date information.


Buying or selling a car in a private party sale in Arizona, it’s important to understand the license plate transfer process and fees. Remember that the license plate does not transfer to the new owner, and the buyer must obtain their own license plate from a local MVD office. Also, be prepared to pay additional fees such as vehicle registration fee, vehicle license tax, and title transfer fee. You should now have a better understanding of the license plate transfer process and associated fees when buying or selling a car in a private party sale in Arizona.

This article was written by Armando Martinez. Armando Martinez is among the nation’s experts on automotive titling, registration, DMV services and document operations. With nearly two decades of experience across a broad range of financial services functions and some of the largest names in auto, from Wells Fargo to Uber, Armando combines vision and ingenuity with a wealth of information so auto shoppers and sellers can learn from his experience.

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