How to Renew a Car Registration

Vehicle registration renewal in Arizona can be accomplished using several different methods. DMV vehicle registration renewal may be applied for in person. Alternatively, applicants may use the Motor Vehicle Division’s (MVD) online application or automated phone system. The hours of operation for each option are available from the MVD. Late fees will be assessed on all registrations not renewed before their expiration dates. Residents may apply to renew car registration up to several months before their vehicle registrations expire, within limits set by the state. When renewing car registration, emissions testing may be required before the registration can be complete. Arizona’s MVD will send an owner a Vehicle Renewal Form to notify him or her of impending registration expiration(s). These forms also contain information a vehicle owner will need to renew his or her registration. Learn how to renew car registration, including information about the documentation and forms needed, by reading the sections provided.

Emissions Testing Requirements for Car Registration Renewal in Arizona

Before vehicle owners can renew expired car registration, they may be required to submit their vehicles for emissions testing. An expired car registration cannot be renewed if it is found due for testing by the MVD until such testing is completed and passed and the results are forwarded to the Department of Transportation. Vehicle owners can confirm that testing is required or that their vehicles are exempt from testing by using an online tool provided by the MVD. If they prefer, they may instead directly contact the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ), which is responsible for regulating, implementing and otherwise managing emissions tests.

When seeking a vehicle registration renewal, owners will need the information listed on their Vehicle Renewal Forms to use the online tool. Many of residents’ questions about how to renew their car registration are related to emissions testing, and vehicle owners are advised to proactively contact the MVD or ADEQ with specific questions before attempting to renew their vehicle registrations. Not doing so may result in delays and potential failures to successfully renew car registrations due to emissions violations or issues. Vehicles that have been properly certified by the state as Alternative Fuel Vehicles (AFV) do not need to submit to emissions testing. Learn more by downloading our free guide today.

Vehicle Registration Renewal in Arizona

Vehicle registration renewal may be applied for up to several months prior to a registration’s expiration, but state-defined limits apply. These limits may vary by vehicle and circumstances, and residents interested in renewing early will need to fully review the applicable rules before attempting to renew. Although many residents prefer to renew car registration online, vehicle owners may also renew in person at an MVD or third-party vendor facility or over the phone. All methods require that vehicles be exempt from emissions testing or that they have recently taken and passed an ADEQ emission test.

In order to complete the DMV vehicle registration renewal process, owners will also need their Vehicle Renewal Forms or other key identifying information. Vehicle owners may pay the fees associated with renewal in cash, by check or with a credit card if they apply in person. A vehicle registration renewal processed online or by phone require a valid credit or debit card. Residents may apply for a custom license plate during the renewal process, if they wish. Adding or removing vehicle owners’ names to a registration may not be done during the renewal process, as it requires an amendment to the vehicle’s title. Owners who attempt to pay for their renewals with checks that do not go through will not only be subject to extra charges but may have their registrations and driving rights entirely revoked.

Vehicle Registration Expirations, Cancellations and Fees in Arizona

An expired car registration is cause for serious concern and owners are strongly encouraged to renew their registrations in a timely manner to avoid potential fines, legal citations and other negative consequences. Arizona residents attempting to renew expired car registration will face additional costs, including escalating late fees. The sooner a vehicle owner can renew his or her registration after its expiration date, the lower the associated risks and fees will be. Vehicles whose registrations expire before they can be renewed due to failure to pass emissions tests may be eligible for exemption from late fees depending on the circumstances of the testing and renewal. A vehicle with an expired car registration that has been expired for an extended period of time but has not been driven on public roadways may qualify for waivers that exempt the owner from significant expiration fees and allow the vehicle to be reregistered in a timely manner. Vehicles with expired car registrations that expired more than five years ago require special handling. Owners of such vehicles are advised to contact the MVD directly.

Vehicle registration renewal is not only necessary when a registration expires. It may also become necessary when a vehicle owner is issued a registration cancellation notice by the MVD. Cancellations may be issued for a variety of reasons, including funds owed to the MVD by the vehicle owner, discrepancies in essential information between registration documents and the insurance documents submitted to the MVD or other issues. For more detailed information on vehicle registration renewal, download our comprehensive guide.