Whenever a vehicle changes ownership in the state of Arizona, the vehicle title must be officially transferred to the new owner. The transfer must be filed with the Arizona Motor Vehicle Division. Transferring the title releases the previous owner from all liability and gives the new owner rights over the vehicle’s ownership.
Transfer of Vehicle Title After Buying a Car
After you purchase a vehicle, the title transfer must be completed at an MVD office within 15 days of the sale. If you bought the vehicle from a dealer, most of the time the dealer will handle the registration and title transfer for an additional fee.
If you would rather register and title the vehicle by yourself, you’ll need to bring the following documentation to your local MVD office:
- Proof of ownership of the vehicle (for used vehicles, the assigned vehicle title; for new vehicles, the manufacturer’s statement of origin)
- Your completed Title and Registration Application
- Payment for the applicable fees
If you bought the vehicle from a private seller rather than a dealer, you and the seller should visit the MVD office together to complete the title transfer. You’ll need all of the above listed documentation along with a lien release if there is a recorded lien on the title. The vehicle’s title must also be signed by the seller and be notarized.
Vehicle Transfer Requirements When Selling a Car
To transfer your vehicle to a new owner, you’ll need to sign the title and then have the title notarized. If there are any liens on the vehicle, you’ll need to have a notarized lien release for every lien.
You’ll need to complete the following additional steps to finish the transfer:
- Remove the license plate (but don’t give it to the buyer)
- Contact the MVD to see whether you can get a plate refund or plate credit
- Complete a sold notice either on the back of the vehicle registration or online at the MVD website
Sold notices release you from liability should the car be ticketed or involved in an accident after you sell it. The notice must be filed within 10 days of the transaction.
Gifting a Vehicle
When you gift a vehicle, you’ll use the same title transfer process outlined to buy or sell a vehicle. The individual giving the vehicle will act as the seller, while the individual receiving the vehicle will act as the buyer.
Inheriting a Vehicle
If you inherit a vehicle, you’ll use the same process that you would if you were buying a car. You’ll require a copy of the death certificate and a copy of the will in lieu of transfer signatures on the vehicle title itself.
Title Transfer Fees in Arizona
Several fees are charged for title changes, transfers, and other related transactions. The amount you pay will depend on your unique circumstances.
For car title transfers or new titles:
- A $4 fee for the title
- A $8 fee for the registration
- A $1.50 clean air fee
- A vehicle license tax (amount varies depending on the vehicle)
If you need to get a duplicate title before you sell your vehicle, you’ll need to pay $4 for the replacement. Duplicate titles are necessary if your original title has been lost, or if it’s damaged and eroded to the point of illegibility.
If your vehicle is brand new, you should determine the assessed value of the vehicle (60% of the price you purchased it). You’ll pay $2.80 for every $100 of the assessed value.
If your vehicle is used, the assessed value is 60% of the base retail price. You subtract 16.25% for each year the vehicle has been registered. You also subtract an additional 15% for every year it was registered before August 1, 1998. Your license tax will be $2.89 for every $100 of the assessed value.