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New Arizona Driver’s License
Who Needs to Obtain a Drivers License?
If you are a new driver having never held a license, a new resident to the state of Arizona or wishing to obtain work as a commercial driver of goods or passengers, you must first complete the application process for a driver’s license. There are various types of driver’s license options and it is important to understand which one you need. The following list provides you with the options:
- Class G license is for minors age 16 and older driving for the first time
- An Operators License allows anyone over the age of 21 to operate any type of vehicle that does not require you to have a motorcycle or commercial driver’s license
- The Class M allows you to operate a motorcycle or motor-driven bicycle. It can be provided as a separate license or an endorsement on your Class D license if you already hold one in the state of Arizona. You must be 16 to apply for this license.
- Commercial Drivers Licenses are provided for those wishing to operate a vehicle for an occupation. They are given the label Class A, B or C depending on the type of vehicle and what you intend to haul. Special endorsements are needed for certain circumstances such as hauling hazardous materials
What are the Requirements for getting a License?
The materials you will need to provide and the requirements will depend on which license you are requesting and your age at the time of application. You can find the requirements for the CDL and motorcycle license at www.azdot.gov. Below are the requirements for the Standard operator’s license and Graduated program for minors:
- Graduated License programs are for minors at least 15 ½ years old. This program requires that the minor first apply for a learners permit and complete at least 30 hours of drive time with a supervised driver over the age of 21. You will be required to present the drivers license application which can be downloaded in advance, as well as required proofs. All minor drivers must also show proof that they have completed an approved Drivers Education Course. If between the ages of 16 and 18, a parent signature is also required on the driver’s license application.
- Class D license applicants over the age of 18 must also provide required proofs and the drivers license application, but are exempt from the learners permit and drivers education requirements.
Regardless of the license type, there are specific proofs that will be accepted at the time you apply for a license. These are broken into categories of primary and secondary documents. One piece of identification must be your social security card. You must provide two of the listed documents and a photo ID or 3 documents if no photo ID is available. Some examples from each category:
- Primary documents- birth certificates, US passport and Arizona ID card.
- Secondary documents- employee ID, social security card, bank or credit card
In addition you are required to be a resident of Arizona. This is defined in the State of Arizona as someone who lives, works or attends K-12 school in Arizona and has resided in the state for a total of 7 months each year regardless of permanent residence. You must provide proof of residency.
What Tests do I need to take to get a License?
The Following are specific tests required:
- All drivers applying for a license must pass a vision test
- Minors applying for a Class G permit or Graduated License, and adults wishing to obtain the Class D license must pass the written test. In addition, new motorcycle and CDL licenses require a written test specific to the aspects of operating these types of vehicles. New residents that have a current license from another state do not need to take the written test.
- New drivers license applications between age 16 and 18 must also complete a road test based on general aspects of safe driving.
The multiple-choice written test consists of 30 questions based on information found in the Arizona Drivers Manual. You can find additional study materials and practice tests at www.dmvcheatsheets.com.
Taking a Drivers Education Course
A driver’s education course assists new drivers in learning safe driving practices, traffic laws, rules and penalties associated with operating a vehicle on public roads. This includes new drivers under the age of 18, new motorcycle drivers over 15 ½ years old and those applying for their first CDL license. Arizona MVD contains an updated list of approved driver’s education providers. Arizona has an Online Drivers Ed Course you may take with a complete virtual classroom to prepare in advance between training with an instructor.
In addition, some drivers may be required to attend Traffic Survival School if one of the following occurs:
- For convictions causing you to obtain between 8 and 12 points on your license in a 12 month period.
- If you are convicted of aggressive driving, or a ‘Moving Violation’ that resulted in an accident causing serious injury or death
- If you run a red light, or are convicted of any moving violation and under the age of 18
Preparing for the Written Test
The written drivers test will consist of 30 multiple-choice questions and each one is based on the information listed in the Arizona Drivers Manual. You can begin your preparation by reading the sections designed for safe driving, as well as the chapters regarding Arizona traffic laws, rules and penalties for violation. The current test average for the written test is less than 50% and you must receive an 80% or higher to pass. Take sample tests offer online through Arizona MVD, as well as cheat sheets offered through www.dmvcheatsheets.com. You can take additional practice tests at Dmvcheatsheets.com to assure you will pass on the first try.
What to Bring on Test Day
You will take your written and vision tests on the day you apply for your driver’s license at the MVD branch and be sure to arrive at least one hour before closing to allow enough time for the process. Use the following checklist to assure you have everything you will need for testing:
- Your driver’s license application-this can be printed in advance or started online. If you’re under 18, you will need your parent or legal guardian to accompany you, as well as sign the parent portion of the application.
- A photo ID and two accepted documents of identification or three items from the primary and secondary lists if not photo ID can be produced. You must also prove you have qualified residency; a pay stub, lease or sublease, utility bill or school records are examples of proof.
- If between the ages of 16 and 18, you will also need documentation that you have completed driver’s education through an approved driver’s education school and prepared to prove you have completed 30 hours of driving with a driver over 21 with 10 hours at night.
- The amount of MVD fees in the form of check, cash, money order or travelers check. Some offices are able to take payments by credit, but call in advance to assure your office is equipped to accept them.
Costs of Drivers Test
You will only be charged a written skills testing fee if you’re taking an out-of-state written skills or vision exam. The charge for these services is $15.00 for the skills test and $5.00 for the vision. Paying the appropriate license application fee allows you to take the drivers test up to 3 times. You must supply your own vehicle for testing, and if produced after 1972 must be equipped with seat belts. You will be required to provide proof of insurance before allowed to test with this vehicle.
Insurance Requirements in Arizona
Though you may still receive a driver’s license in Arizona, the state requires that anyone operating a motor vehicle obtain at least the minimum levels of financial responsibility:
- $15,000 bodily injury liability for one person and $30,000 for two or more persons
- $10,000 property damage liability
There are serious penalties for driving uninsured. Failure to maintain proper insurance can result in suspension of your license or revoking your driving privileges so it is important to keep your policy up to date.
Taking the Drivers Test
The road skills test will evaluate your skills behind the wheel. You will complete a series of instructions given to you by a certified instructor and graded based on your knowledge of traffic signs, laws and regulations as well as your ability to properly control the vehicle. You must supply the vehicle for testing and Arizona requires that the vehicle must be equipped with seatbelts if made after 1972. You will be evaluated on the follow criteria:
- Ability to handle the vehicle including stops, slowing down and maintaining speed
- Basic maneuvers such as turning left and right, changing lanes and driving straight ahead
- How often you remember to check your speedometer, your use of seat belts and turn signals
Before you will be allowed to take the behind the wheel portion of this test you will be quizzed on your knowledge of Arizona street signs and can follow instructions in English.
Taking the Written Test
The written test will consist of 30 multiple-choice questions taken from the Arizona Drivers Handbook. The test is administered at your local MVD office only and can be done on a computer kiosk or verbally if requested. You can find sample tests online at www.az.dot.gov that will give you an idea of what to expect on your test day. You will also benefit from using the excellent materials on DMVCheatSheets.com such as the cheat sheet and online practice tests bundle where you will find outlines of the most important information listed in the handbook. Practice tests included will offer you over 100 multiple-choice tests you can use to test out your written skills before you take the actual MVD exam. For advice on getting a passing score on the first try, there are many informative articles online such as: DMVCheatSheets.com.
Renewing Your Arizona Drivers License
Who Needs to Renew Their License?
The state of Arizona issues an ‘extended license’ that does not expire until the age of 65. Every 12 years you must retake the vision screening and update your license photo. Minors driving on a graduated license may choose to upgrade their license to a Class D extended license at age 18, however this is optional. Temporary residents and those over the age of 65 must renew every 5 years.
How to I Renew my AZ License?
You may renew anytime before its expiration which is every 12 years on your birthday, or 5 years if over 25. Begin the application online to save time and bring it with you to your local MVD branch office. Supply the clerk with your application and current license and pass the vision test. You will then take a new photograph. If the MVD cannot retrieve your current photo, you will be asked to provide an alternative form of photographic identification.
What Tests do I Need to take to Renew?
The only test required to renew your license is the vision-screening unless the MVD determines it necessary for you to retest under special circumstances at their discretion.
What is the Cost to renew my License?
The license fees depend on your age, reducing over time:
- Ages 16-39 $25.00
- Ages 40-44 $20.00
- Ages 45-49 $15.00
- 50 up to the 65 year old expiration- $10.00
- Over 65 must renew every 5 years for a $10.00 fee
Steps to Renew your License
To renew your license:
- check the expiration date of your current license (no formal letter will be sent)
- Begin your application online at www.azdot.gov to speed up the process. Visit your local MVD branch-your license must be renewed in person.
- Take the Vision screening and a new photograph. If your current photo cannot be located by the MVD you will be required to present a secondary piece of photo identification so be prepared with a backup in advance.
- Pay the appropriate license cost for your age
Getting an Arizona Learners Permit
If you are at least 15 years and 6 months old and wish to operate a vehicle, you must apply for a learners permit as the first step in the graduated license process. You will be required to drive with this restricted permit for at least 6 months, accompanied by a licensed driver over the age of 21 at all times before you can move on the next step. Motorcycle permits are available to anyone over the age of 15 ½, and commercial licenses to those adults wishing to drive for a living.
Requirements to getting a Learners Permit
To receive your learners permit you must meet the age requirements at the time of application. In addition you must being the required proof including:
- A completed application that you can begin online in advance. You must apply in person so be sure to print your application and sign the appropriate areas.
- Two approved documents for proof of identity; one from the primary list and one from the secondary along with a photo ID. If no photo ID is available, you must provide three approved documents.
- Proof of citizenship with your social security card
- Proof of residency such as a school report card, pay stub or lease.
In addition, your parent or legal guardian must be present at the time of application and sign the parental consent portion of the application.
Driving with a AZ Learners Permit
While driving with a learners permit you must have an approved driver over 21 sitting behind you in the vehicle at all times. The state of Arizona requires you to complete a minimum of 30 behind the wheel practice hours, 10 of which must be during night-time. When taking your road test you will be quizzed on your knowledge of traffic signs, so be sure to continuously review your Arizona Drivers Handbook. At the end of the 6 month period, your licensed driver must certify that all required hours have been completed when you apply for your graduated license. Read up on some valuable Tips for Passing Your Road Driver’s Test in Arizona online to assure you pass the road test on the first try.
Cost of an Arizona Learners Permit
An instructional drivers permit cost is $7. The motorcycle driver’s permit is also $7.
Steps to getting an Arizona Learners Permit
Gather together all of your required proof in advance and study the Arizona Drivers Handbook to assure you will pass the written test. You must bring your parent or guardian on the day of application to verify permission to drive with the branch office if under 18.
- Submit your application along with two required documents for proof of identity, photo ID and social security card. If you cannot provide picture identification, bring a third piece of identity from the approved list.
- Pass the Vision test and written permit test
- Pay the $7 permit cost in the form of a check, cash or money order. (Some branches allow credit card payments but it is best to call in advance)
Get more information on your Arizona Learner’s permit at: DMVCheatSheets.com Permit Test