Your top vehicle registration questions (and the answers)

Your top vehicle registration questions (and the answers)

September 23, 2015

We received a record number of comments and questions about an infographic on vehicle registration fees. Today, we attempt to provide some additional answers.

One of our most popular blog posts features an infographic focused on a topic that matters to just about every vehicle-owner in this state. We're talking vehicle registration fees.

Not only has that post been viewed a record number of times, but it is also one of our most-commented-on blog entries. Because it has garnered so many questions, we thought we’d share some of the ones that are most frequently asked (along with the answers!).

Question) What is a Vehicle License Tax?

Answer) A Vehicle License Tax (VLT) is part of your vehicle registration fee. In Arizona, a VLT is assessed in place of a personal property tax charged by other states. The VLT is based on an assessed value of 60 percent of the manufacturer’s base retail price reduced by 16.25 percent for each year since the vehicle was first registered (15 percent before 8/1/98). Then, as of the Dec 1, 2000 reduction, the rate is calculated as $2.80 (new vehicles)/$2.89 (used vehicles) for each $100 of the assessed value. For example, for a new vehicle that costs $25,000, and is registered for two years, the first year assessed value would be $15,000 and the VLT would be $420.00. The second year the assessed value would be $12,562.50 and the VLT would be $363.06.

Q) I will be on an extended vacation and will not be able to get my mailed registration renewal in time to complete before it expires. What do I do if I am not able to get my mailed renewal form?

A) You may wish to sign up for email reminders on You can then use the site to renew online from any location. If an emission test is not required you may renew up to six months before the expiration. If an emissions test is required, you may renew your registration up to three months before the expiration by showing your current registration at the test station. You can find more information on our website.

Q) Is there some place to find out how much you spent on registration to enter on 1040 forms for taxes?
A) You may request a Vehicle Fee Recap on MVD's Service Arizona site. The EZ Vehicle Fee Recap offers a free, easy way for you to access your vehicle tax details. During the busy tax season, Arizona vehicle owners can view their own report of registration fees and taxes paid in the prior calendar year.

Q) I am a snow bird from Minnesota and I reside in Phoenix from November to March every year. What should I do to comply with auto registration for my car?
A)  State law requires that you obtain an Arizona vehicle registration and driver license if you remain in Arizona for a total of seven months or more during any calendar year, regardless of your permanent residence. Find more details about registering your vehicle on our website.

Q) A friend told me that you discount fees for seniors. I cannot find anything on the website indicating that this is true. Can you clarify for me?
A) There are no age-based discounted vehicle license tax (VLT) or registration fees. There are certain VLT waivers available, to those who qualify, through your county assessor’s office or the Social Security Administration. Please contact those agencies for more information.

Q) I'm a 100% disabled veteran, are there and fees waived or discounted?

A) Yes. You must be certified by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to be 100-percent disabled and drawing compensation on that basis. You will need to submit your letter of eligibility to MVD from the Department of Veterans Affairs. Please find more information on our website.

So, did we cover everything? Let us know in the comments below if you have any additional questions related to vehicle registration costs.

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