How To Apply For An OHV Sticker In Arizona

dirt biker riding offroad in the mountains

When you think of OHVs, you might think of back-country riding and wild west-style lawlessness. The truth is that the OHV industry is huge, and the state government works hard to regulate it. 

It’s no secret that off-highway vehicles are a big deal in Arizona, but even avid OHV users don’t realize just how big the Arizona OHV industry is. One study found that residents and tourists spend almost $2 billion on purchasing, riding, maintaining, and registering OHVs in Arizona alone. 

If you enjoy off-roading in AZ, you need to know how to apply for an OHV sticker in AZ. We’re here to tell you.

Read on to learn about Arizona’s requirements for OHV riders and how to get that crucial OHV sticker.

What Steps Should I Take to Be in Compliance With Arizona OHV/ATV Laws

If you’re going to operate an OHV in Arizona, you’ll need to make sure that you’re in compliance with OHV laws. OHV laws apply to vehicles that are manufactured first and foremost for travel over unimproved (“off-road”) terrain with an unladen weight of no more than 1800 pounds. Passenger vehicles with four-wheel drive that are equipped for off-roading, like SUVs or Jeeps, are not considered OHVs and do not need to take these steps (and do not qualify for an OHV sticker in AZ). 

Now, let’s take a look at the steps to take to ensure that your OHV is legal to operate in AZ.

1. Certificate of Title

If your OHV has an engine displacement of more than 49cc, you will need to get an Arizona Certificate of Title in your name. An Arizona Certificate of Title in someone else’s name or an out-of-state Certificate of Title in your name does not count. Whether the OHV is brand new, new to you, or new to Arizona, you will need to visit a Motor Vehicle Department office or work with an authorized third party to secure the proper title. 

2. Arizona License Plate

You may receive an “off-road” title plate when you receive your Certificate of Title, but this is not a stand-in for your Arizona license plate. In order to register your OHV for use, even on many backcountry roads that do fall under state laws, you will need an Arizona license plate. Once you receive your license plate, you must attach it to the back of your OHV, and no details, including the top portion that says “AZ,” can be obscured.

3. Annual OHV Decal

Each year, you must buy your OHV sticker (aka OHV decal), effectively paying your OHV user fee to the state. You can purchase your OHV sticker at the Motor Vehicle Department or online through an authorized third party. You must place your OHV sticker on the upper-left corner of your license plate, and it cannot be obscured.

4. Renewing Your OHV Decal

No matter what time of year you buy your OHV sticker, it is good for one calendar year. Once that year is up, it’s your responsibility to purchase a new one. Make sure to remove the old sticker and display the new one to prove that your OHV is up-to-date and compliant with Arizona OHV requirements.

Requesting a Motor Vehicle Record

What if you’re unsure about the status of your OHV? If you need to know whether or not your OHV is titled and licensed in Arizona, you can request a Motor Vehicle Record. All you will need is your VIN, your driver’s license identification number, and $3.00 to cover the fee.

Getting Street Legal Registration

A street legal OHV is one that you can legally operate on “improved” roads, which includes any road that is paved and maintained by the state. Some new OHV drivers mistakenly believe that completing the above steps will make their OHV street legal when the truth is that you have to complete a few additional steps to operate your OHV on improved roads. Let’s take a look at the two options you have depending on how often you intend to use your OHV on improved roads.

Option One: Registration for Primarily Off-Highway OHVs

If you don’t intend to use your OHV on improved roads often, you can pay a reduced Vehicle License Tax and waive the registration fee. First, you must demonstrate that:

  • you have a valid OHV sticker
  • your OHV is manufactured for off-road use and has an unladen weight of 2500 pounds or less
  • your vehicle is equipped for highway use but will be used primarily off-highway
  • you’ve met mandatory insurance requirements

In addition, you may have to pass the AZ emissions test, but this does not apply to all OHV owners.

Option Two: Registration for Primarily Improved Road and Highway OHVs

If you intend to operate your OHV primarily on highways and improved roads (which is often the case for city OHV owners), you will pay all fees and taxes through the standard registration process. First, you will need to demonstrate that:

  • you have a valid OHV sticker
  • your vehicle is equipped for highway use
  • you’ve met mandatory insurance requirements

Once again, you may also have to pass the AZ emissions test. 

Learn How to Apply for an OHV Sticker in AZ With GG&D

Learning how to apply for an OHV sticker in AZ isn’t hard, especially when you know where to look. With GG&D, you can ensure that your OHV is compliant with Arizona regulations with ease. As an authorized third party, we can help with everything from title transfers to OHV stickers to temporary permits.

Want to find out if there’s a GG&D location near you? Take a look at our locations and come and visit us for all of your OHV needs, no appointment necessary.