Arizona License Plate Lookup

Arizona License Plate Lookup

If you want to drive legally in the State of Arizona, you have to register your vehicle. However, if your vehicle has already been used, you may do an Arizona license plate lookup to check its history.

Getting an Arizona License Plate

After buying your vehicle you must apply for the title certificate in Arizona within 15 days. In the case of buying the vehicle from a private party, you should obtain the signed title from the seller. After this, you must apply to any nearest Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) office to officially register your vehicle.

If you are an Arizona resident, you must go through an emission test after registering your car. The State of Arizona does not accept any previous tests from other states of the US. To finalize the process of registering your car, it must undergo emission and smog tests.

However, there are some cars that can operate without undergoing the above-mentioned tests. These cars must have several characteristic features; such as

  • must use alternative fuel
  • must be at least 5 years
  • should have been manufactured earlier than 1967
  • must be gasoline-powered

Keep in mind that if your car has these features but is customized, it still must go through the emission test.

Vehicle Bought from a Private Party

As we have already mentioned, for putting your vehicle in your name you must go to any nearest MVD office. Here you must have several documents while filling out the Title and Registration Application. Below is the list of these documents:

  • Vehicle year, model, and make
  • Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
  • Lien information and release (if applicable)
  • Vehicle title (notarized and signed)
  • Certified copy of the POA (power of attorney)
  • Representative documents of the buyer

Registering Your Vehicle in Arizona

There are several personal documents that the buyer must bring to the AZ MVD office while registering the vehicle. Here is the list of those documents:

  • Title and Registration Application (fully completed)
  • Signed and notarized car title
  • Proof of vehicle insurance and ownership
  • Manufacturer’s Certificate of Origin (MCO)
  • Valid photo ID (Driver’s License, ID card, or other)
  • Car registration payment receipt
  • Emission test form (if you are living in the Phoenix or Tucson areas)

Renewing Your Registration in Arizona

Depending on the different offices in Arizona, there are various deadlines for car registrations. You may do an Arizona license plate lookup to find out how to do it. Generally, they are valid for 1 or 2 years. However, you may contact your registration office to get exact information on your registration renewal.

There are several ways for completing an Arizona registration renewal: in person at the MVD office, by mail, or by phone. The fee for renewing your registration is $8 regardless of the way you choose to apply for. You should send the fee to the office if you choose to apply online. In the case of applying in person or by phone, you can ask the representatives and they will explain the instructions to you.

Types of Arizona License Plates

According to Arizona law, a license plate is given to the car owner, not the car. Arizona Department of Transportation does the production of AZ license plates. A rear license plate is a must to operate in Arizona. There are three (3) letters and four (4) numbers in the standard license plate of Arizona.

AZ license plates have two categories:

Standard License Plate

The slogan of this type of license is “Grand Canyon State”. It pictures a sunset at the back of the mountain.

Specialized License Plate

The design is different for this type of license. We may say the same thing for its meaning, too. Unlike the standard license plates, this type is generally for people who assist a college or another certain cause. They may also be part of some institutions or organizations.

For example; Military license plate, Education license plate, Charity license plate, Government license plate, etc.

Requirements for Arizona Specialized License Plate

If you want to get a customized license plate, you must pay an additional fee for it. Moreover, there are several requirements that you must follow for getting a specialized license plate. Here are those requirements:

  • There must be only capital letters and numbers on the plates
  • The plates can not include vulgar language or symbols
  • You must not use personalized plate numbers that are already taken by other people
  • You must follow the determined number of characters and use only them

Cost for Registering Arizona License Plate

If you want to get more information on the fees of Arizona license plates, you should visit the Arizona Department of Motor Vehicles. The fee for registering your vehicle may differ in Arizona depending on the services you need.

For example, if you only want to register your vehicle, the fee for that is $8. But, if you add the service of titling your vehicle, then you will pay an additional fee of $4.

If you want a three-day permit for bringing your vehicle to the AZ Motor Vehicle Division (MVD), you will pay $1.50. There is another service for registering your vehicle in 90 days, which costs $15.

Displaying Arizona Plates

Arizona law does not allow modifying or altering an AZ license plate. You must display your plate on the backside of the vehicle. There are some requirements for displaying a plate in Arizona:

  • You must display your plate on the rear of the car that is a minimum of twelve inches from the ground. It must be clearly readable and firmly attached so that it will not swing. The name of the plate must be visible without any covering.
  • The same rules apply to the temporarily issued plates.

Stolen or Lost Arizona Plates

If your license plate is stolen or lost, you’d better replace it as soon as you can. If somebody has stolen your plate, you should visit the police for reporting the case. In this way, the person who has stolen your plate will not damage or misuse it. You may replace your plate in two ways: applying for it in person and online.

Replacement of Arizona Plates

In the case of a license plate has become unreadable, deteriorated, or damaged; Arizona law asks to replace it. If you want to replace your plate, you may contact the MVD or an Authorized Third Party office. You can apply for a replacement in two ways: in person or by mail.

While applying for a license plate replacement in person, you should take with you some personal documents; including passport, driver’s license, etc. Moreover, you must provide your VIN number or license plate number. Do not forget to pay the fee for the replacement which is $5.

Renewal of Arizona License Plates

Once the registration of your Arizona license plate is not valid, you must renew it to continue driving in the State of Arizona. While applying for renewing your license plate, you will need your ID, VIN, and renewal fee.

Transferring of Arizona License Plates

Generally, you can transfer your AZ license plate from one vehicle to the next one. You can apply for transferring your license plate to the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT).

If you bought your automobile from a dealership, the staff will generally take care of the majority of the paperwork related to plate transfer. While you wait for your request to be processed, the dealer may provide you a Temporary Registration Plate.

You may replace the interim plate with the one you submitted for the transfer after you have received your new registration.

Personalized Vanity License Plates in Arizona

You may request a personalized license plate in Arizona, but sometimes your requests may be denied for one or more reasons. Check our Arizona Banned License Plates page for more details.

Arizona License Plate Lookup

When you are thinking of buying a new car, it is better to complete a VIN check or an AZ license plate lookup on your car. A license plate lookup will help you to get more accurate, legal, and detailed information on the vehicle.

Finding a VIN code while doing an AZ license plate lookup

A VIN code is the ID number for your vehicle that contains 17 characters. You can find the VIN code in the following places on your vehicle:

  • Car Title and Insurance
  • The part of the driver’s side where the door slams (door jamb)
  • Motorcycles: the front frame
  • Trailer: the front part of the frame at the driver’s side

The information you may get from an Arizona license plate lookup

By doing an AZ license plate lookup, you will find some detailed information on the vehicle history. So, here is the list of the things you will certainly get information about:

  • Accident and Inspection Records (if any)
  • Vehicle engine, make, and model
  • Vehicle title and year of manufacture
  • If the vehicle was previously used as security for a loan by the past owner
  • If the vehicle once had faulty parts and was taken to the repair by the manufacturer
  • Any damages caused by fire, water, etc.
  • If the vehicle has been a part of the criminal activities, or the police have ever picked it out for overspeeding
  • Odometer crimes (Some people try to make a profit by rewinding the odometer. They ensure the buyers that the vehicle has low mileage by making the car more expensive)

AZ License Plate Lookup

The Arizona DOT provides public records on Arizona registered license plates. By doing an AZ license plate lookup you can find exact information on the vehicle you want to buy. You may apply for the plate lookup in person, by mail, or through their office hotline with the number 602.255.0072.

Rita S.

Rita S.

With over the years of writing content for a number of websites, Rita has a uniquely developed style of writing. Rita is a copy and content writer with experience of three to four years. She has worked as an SEO and an SMM specialist, as well. During her working years, Rita has written many articles and blog posts for different companies in the world. She provides coaching, ghost writing, and ghost editing services. She has brought very high rankings for the websites she has teamed up with. She uses the combination of SEO and different content tools in her writings, as she knows that successful content is the one that is well optimized. Rita has posted her articles on the websites, such as Medium, ArticlesBase,, and so on.