The Arizona Department of Transportation has recently updated their online services. For information on activating your MVDNow Account and renewing your OHV Decal use the videos provided below. To schedule an appointment with the Motor Vehicle Department (MVD) Monday-Friday (except on state holidays) 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. use your MVDNow Account or call 602.255.0072.
The following stipulations have been in place since January 1, 2009:
Off-Highway Vehicle Decal: A new off-highway vehicle decal is required to be purchased each year for operation of any vehicle operated on unimproved roads, trails and approved use areas not suitable for conventional two-wheel-drive vehicular travel. Examples include All-Terrain Vehicles (ATV), trail motorcycles and dirt bikes. This does not apply to pickup trucks, SUVs, cars and other recreational vehicles.
License Plate Holder Law: State law (A.R.S. 28-2354 B) requires that the state name at the top of Arizona license plates must be visible. Any license plate holder or cover which prevents the license plate from being clearly legible is in violation of this law.
Title & Registration Plate
Title Plate (RV)
The “Off-Road” or “RV” plate that you may have on your OHV is only an indication that the vehicle has been titled in the State of Arizona. It is NOT a registration plate and does not allow you to ride or drive on roads which require your vehicle to be registered (street legal/licensed). However, there are exemptions for incidental use on roads requiring registration (street legal/licensed vehicles). In general, incidental use would be crossing a street or conducting very limited travel on it for the purpose of access to OHV area/trails. Check with the local land management agency for information on road status. (Photos courtesy Arizona Game & Fish)
Registration Plate (MC)
State motor vehicle laws apply on many backcountry roads, which means your vehicle must be registered and you must be licensed. Here’s a good rule of thumb: If a passenger car can use the road, it needs to be registered. You also need an OHV Decal to operate on unimproved roads, trails and approved use areas not suitable for conventional two-wheel-drive vehicular travel if your vehicle meets the criteria listed below.
What is the OHV Decal?
The OHV Decal is a sticker which must be purchased annually to allow your OHV to be operated within Arizona. The decal will need to be applied to the upper left corner of your license plate, and your license plate will need to be visibly displayed on the rear of your OHV. The dollars collected through the purchase of the OHV Decal are considered an OHV user fee and apply to all OHVs meeting the bulleted criteria in the following paragraph. The OHV Decal should not be confused with “registration.” Registration is required if you want your OHV to be “street legal” (legal to be operated on paved and improved roads and streets).
The OHV Legislation used the word “indicia” to describe what needs to be put on the title of registration plates of covered OHV’s. “Indicia” means distinctive marks or indication. It’s also commonly referred to as a “sticker” or “decal.”
What is considered an off-highway vehicle for the purpose of obtaining the OHV Decal?
An off-highway vehicle is any motor vehicle operated on unimproved roads, trails and approved use areas not suitable for conventional two-wheel-drive vehicular travel. Examples include ATVs, UTVs, trail motorcycles and dirt bikes.
The requirement to purchase an OHV Decal only applies to OHVs meeting both of the following criteria:
- An OHV designed by the manufacturer primarily for travel over unimproved terrain.
- An OHV with an unladen weight of eighteen hundred pounds or less.
Pickup trucks, SUVs, cars and other recreational vehicles are not required (and will not be able) to obtain an OHV decal. All other regulations apply.
How do I obtain an OHV Decal and what does it cost?
The OHV Decal is available for purchase online at ServiceArizona.com or at a Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) Office or Authorized Third Party Provider. The cost is $25.00. The decal is valid for one year. It is the ATV/OHV owner’s responsibility to purchase subsequent year decals.
Click HERE to learn about how Off-Highway Vehicle Decal funds are legislated to be spent.
Requirements for Decal, Title, License Plate & Registration
The OHV Decal (available from ServiceArizona.com) goes on your OHV license plate. (Photo courtesy Arizona Game & Fish)
What steps do I need to take to be in compliance with the law?
- Your OHV/ATV must have an Arizona Certificate of Title in your name. If the vehicle is not titled in your name or you have an out-of-state title, you will need to visit an MVD Office or Authorized Third Party Provider to obtain an Arizona Certificate of Title. Vehicles with an engine displacement less than 49cc’s are not titled in Arizona.
- The vehicle must have an Arizona license plate. The license plate must be securely attached to the rear of the vehicle and clearly visible.
- If you need to confirm the vehicle has been issued a license plate and title, you may request a Motor Vehicle Record (MVR) online at www.servicearizona.com or visit an MVD Office or Authorized Third Party Provider. The vehicle identification number (VIN), your driver license number and a $3.00 fee is required to obtain an MVR.
- Purchase the annual OHV Decal for your OHV on-line at ServiceArizona.com or at an MVD Office or Authorized Third Party Provider. The OHV Decal shall be affixed to the upper left corner of the license plate.
- The OHV Decal is valid for one year from purchase. You will NOT be sent a renewal notice. It is your responsibility to renew and display a current OHV Decal on your vehicle license plate annually.
- If you want to ride on improved and maintained roads, your OHV can be registered for “street legal” use in Arizona. Your vehicle will first need to be titled and then meet all on-highway equipment requirements, plus you will need to purchase the annual OHV Decal.
Street Legal Registration
How do I register my OHV to be “street legal?” i.e., to operate it on paved or maintained roads; Depending on how you plan to operate your OHV in Arizona, you have two options:
If you operate primarily off-highway, then your vehicle is eligible for a reduced Vehicle License Tax (VLT) of $3.00 and a waiver of the registration fee.
The following requirements must be satisfied:
- You must purchase an OHV Decal. An OHV owner may request a free motor vehicle registration when paying for the OHV Decal.
- The vehicle must be designed by the manufacturer primarily for travel over unimproved terrain and have an unladen weight of 2,500 pounds or less.
- You must affirm that your vehicle is equipped for highway use and will be primarily used off-highway.
- Registered vehicles must comply with mandatory insurance requirements.
- Vehicle emission testing requirements may apply.
If you operate primarily on improved roads and highways (such as city driving), then you are required to register your vehicle and pay all fees, through the standard registration process.
You must also satisfy the following requirements:
- If your vehicle is designed by the manufacturer primarily for travel over unimproved terrain and has an unladen weight of 2,500 pounds or less, you must purchase the OHV Decal.
- You must affirm that your vehicle is equipped for highway use.
- Registered vehicles must comply with mandatory insurance requirements.
- Vehicle emissions testing requirements may apply.
My OHV is currently registered for highway use and is street legal, but I primarily use it off highway. When can I get the reduced Vehicle License Tax (VLT) and the registration fee waived?
At the time of your vehicle registration renewal, you will be eligible for the reduced VLT and a waiver of the registration fee if your qualifying vehicle has a valid OHV Decal. There are no refunds for VLT or registration and you WILL still need to purchase the OHV Decal to legally operate in Arizona.
I lost my license plate and/or my OHV Decal. Now what do I do?
If it is lost, stolen or mutilated, then you may purchase a replacement for a $5.00 fee at an MVD Office or Authorized Third Party Provider.
I own a truck and would like to purchase the OHV Decal to help support the program. Can I do that?
- No. At this time the OHV Decal can be purchased only for qualifying vehicles, which are designed by the manufacturer primarily for travel over unimproved terrain, with an unladen weight of 2,500 pounds or less.