Vehicle Services

Registration

Alternative Fuel Vehicle (AFV)

An alternative fuel vehicle is one that is powered only by an alternative fuel. Arizona statute defines an alternative fuel as one of the following:

  • Electric
  • Natural gas / CNG or LPG
  • Hydrogen
  • Blend of 70 percent alternative fuel, 30 percent gasoline
  • Alcohol
  • Solar
Registration and Fees

The vehicle license tax (VLT) for an AFV is changed to a rate of $4 per $100 of assessed valuation, which is determined by the following:

  • For the first year, the assessed value is 1-percent of the factory list price (FLP) of the AFV.
  • For subsequent years, the assessed value is depreciated 15-percent each year.
  • The minimum VLT for an AFV registration is $5.

In addition, an AFV is subject to

  • $8 vehicle registration fee.
  • $8 one-time special plate or sticker fee.
  • 25¢ Air Quality Compliance Fee (if in an emissions test area) and a $1.50 Air Quality Fee.

To calculate the savings for an Alternative Fuel Vehicle, take the Vehicle License Tax due (for gasoline or diesel vehicles) and multiply it by 0.02381. The result is what you would have paid (or $5, whichever is higher).

Plates

You can continue to display your AFV plates if the car can be driven on one of the qualifying alternative fuels. If the alternative fuel tank is removed or disabled such that the system is not functional, you will be required to pay full registration fees. However, you may be subject to some recapture of the tax credits depending on when the alternative fuel tank was removed or disabled.

If you have a current AFV special plate or sticker, you can use the HOV freeway lanes at any time, regardless of the number of passengers. An AFV may only display the following plate types: AFV plates, personalized AFV plates, Disability and Personalized Disability. No other plate may be displayed.

Emissions

An AFV will require emissions testing if you live in or commute for work or school to Area A (Maricopa County and some areas of Yavapai and Pinal Counties) and Area B (Pima County). If you own a bi-fuel vehicle, emissions testing must be conducted on both types of fuel.

New original equipment manufactured AFVs (current year models and two previous model years) have the option of paying an Emissions Exempt fee with the vehicle registration, instead of being tested. That fee goes to the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) for the state Air Quality Fund.

Other AFVs do not have the option and must be tested. Hydrogen, solar and electric powered vehicles are exempt from all emission testing requirements.

The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality is responsible for the emission testing program and laws. For more information contact the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality at the toll-free phone number 877.692.9227, or myazcar.com.

Bi-Fuel Vehicles

Bi-fuel vehicles (vehicles that can operate on gasoline and another fuel independently) may not be registered as AFVs and receive the Alternative Fuel license plate, effective Sept. 30, 2009. As a result, the vehicles are no longer eligible to receive the reduced vehicle license tax (VLT) and may not be driven in the High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes with less than two occupants (including the driver) during peak hours.

Current bi-fuel vehicle owners are allowed to keep alternative fuel plates, but if a license plate is lost it cannot be replaced and it cannot be transferred to another bi-fuel vehicle.

If you own a bi-fuel AFV and no longer want to use the alternative fuel, you (owner or lessee) must go to an MVD office, surrender the AFV plate and pay full registration fees. You must remove or disable the alternative fuel tank such that the system is not functional. You may be subject to some recapture of the tax credits depending on when you remove or disable the alternative fuel tank.