Are you considering buying or selling a car in Arizona? There’s one major document that can help in both cases: the car title. A vehicle title states who has ownership of the vehicle — and when a car is either bought or sold, there’s a transfer in ownership and there needs to be a title transfer. If you live in Arizona, here’s your guide on how to transfer a title in Arizona.
What is required for an Arizona title transfer?
As part of transferring ownership of a vehicle, a title transfer needs to happen to get everything up-to-date. To do a title transfer in AZ, you need the following, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Division (AZ MVD):
- Title and Registration Application — which includes VIN, make, year, model, odometer reading
- Vehicle title signed and notarized (that last part is important!)
- A lien release, if the car was financed, and only if applicable
- Payment of all potential transfer and registration fees
- Any other relevant documents that may be required (such as power of attorney)
These are items you need to complete the Arizona title transfer process, but there may be some differences depending on which role you have in the situation (e.g. buyer or seller).
Getting a title if you buy a vehicle from a dealership
If you purchased a new vehicle in Arizona, the dealership may take the title and registration off your hands and do it for you if you pay a fee.
You may also decide to take this on yourself and can do so by filling out the Title and Registration Application. At the top of the application, you can check “Title and Registration.” You have a 15-day window to do this before a penalty fee may be tacked on.
Arizona is unique because the state now offers titles to be stored electronically. In other words, don’t expect a paper one. You can view the car title by creating an AZ MVD Now account.
According to the AZ MVD, there is a:
- $4 title fee
- $8 registration fee
- $1.50 air quality research fee
- A vehicle license tax (VLT) that depends on the vehicle
If you end up moving out of Arizona and need a paper title instead of an electronic one, it’s possible to get one for $4 through your AZ MVD Now account.
Arizona title transfer if you buy a car on the private market
Bought a vehicle in Arizona on the private market? The good news is that figuring out how to transfer titles in Arizona is simple thanks to their eTitle Transfer program.
Through this program, it’s possible to do the transaction online, if certain conditions are met. For example, this is only available for private sales between individuals and only for passenger vehicles. There also must be no lien on the vehicle. Check out eligibility requirements here and learn more about the process.
You can expect to pay the same title and registration fees (such as the $4 title fee, $8 registration fee, $1.50 air quality research fee, and any vehicle license tax) as you would with a dealership with a private market sale. Review this buyer’s checklist to make sure you’ve got everything covered.
How to transfer title in Arizona if selling your car
Selling your car in Arizona means parting ways with your title as part of transferring ownership. You’ll need to sign your paper title and get it notarized. Hand over the completed title plus a lien release, if applicable.
If you’re eligible, you may be able to do the eTitle Transfer online, so you can avoid making a visit to your local MVD office. Provide an odometer reading if your vehicle is from 2011 or after (vehicles from 2010 and before are exempt).
After completing the Arizona title transfer process, make sure you remove your license plates and keep them with you. You can contact the MVD office to put them on a new vehicle or to do away with them. You also have a 30-day period to request a registration credit refund as well.
To finalize the sale, submit a Sold Notice that lets the AZ MVD know you’ve transferred ownership, so you’re no longer liable for the vehicle.
If you don’t have a car title in Arizona
If you want to do an Arizona title transfer and realize you don’t have your title, you need to get a duplicate one. To transfer the title, fill out the Title and Registration Application and mark “Duplicate.” After getting the duplicate, then you can sign and notarize the title and give it to the new owner.
Transferring a title if the owner has passed away
If the vehicle owner has passed away and you inherit the vehicle and don’t need to go through probate, you can fill out the Non-Probate Affidavit. You must fill in the owner’s name, date of death, and information regarding the vehicle. You must wait 30 days after the owner’s passing, and the value of the estate must not exceed $75,000. After filling out this document and providing any additional paperwork, you can pay any relevant fees for a title transfer in AZ.
Title transfer in AZ among family members
Want to give your old car to a family member? The process is similar. Simply sign and notarize the vehicle title and give it to your family member. You may also be able to complete the Arizona title transfer process online.
If there was a lien on the car, provide a lien release as well. The family member must take steps to register the vehicle and pay any associated fees and have car insurance coverage.
Out-of-state title transfer in AZ
Whether you purchased a car with an out-of-state title or you recently moved to Arizona from somewhere else, you need to update your vehicle’s title and registration. To do so, you must:
- Fill out and submit a Title and Registration Application
- If you live in Phoenix or Tucson, you must complete an emissions compliance form
- Have your current out-of-state vehicle title
- A vehicle inspection, if required
- Your license plates from the other state
- A lien clearance, if needed
- Power of Attorney if the car is leased
- Payment for all associated fees
You want to complete this process ASAP after moving to Arizona to make sure all your paperwork is in order.
The bottom line
If you need to figure out how to transfer a car title in Arizona, you can take the above steps based on your situation. Whether buying or selling or moving, take the necessary steps to do a title transfer in Arizona to make sure your records are up-to-date. If you need new insurance or want to check out different options, consider pay-per-mile coverage if you don’t drive that often. You could save money and pay based on how many miles you drive rather than a flat rate. Grab your free quote.
Melanie Lockert is a freelance writer, podcast host of the Mental Health and Wealth show, and author of Dear Debt. She’s a cat mom to two jazzy cats, Miles and Thelonious, an amateur boxer, music lover, and needs coffee to function.