There has been much in the news lately about new immigration enforcement in Arizona, but what does that mean for the average U.S. citizen? How does Arizona define a “resident” and what do you need to know if you plan to live there?

Arizona makes the rules for residency very clear. Essentially, if you are already a U.S. citizen you don’t have anything to worry about. The state is not conducting a witch hunt against legal immigrants or citizens, nor is trying to halt all emmigration to the state. They are trying to put an end to illegal immigration and ensure that everyone who is using state services has a legal right to do so.

However, if you are unaware of their state laws it is possible you could find yourself in violation of one or more of them, so it’s best to learn the facts before you make a move.

The Arizona Department of Motor Vehicles makes it very clear who qualifies as a resident of the state. In those cases the individuals must obtain proper license and identification if they want to stay on the right side of the law. Once you have determined your status (resident or not) then you can begin the process to make application for a state issued driver’s license or identification:

Identification and Proof of Age

Arizona state law requires that all applicants for an original driver license or identification card present two forms of identification – one must have your photo (or three forms of identification if no photo identification is available). See list of acceptable documents. All must be originals or copies certified by the issuing agency. All must be in English.
Social Security Number

You are required by ARS 28-3158(D)(5) and 42 USC 405(c)(2)(C) to provide your Social Security Number. It will be used to verify your identity and to comply with federal and state child support enforcement laws. It will not be used as your driver license number.
Parent/Guardian Approval

If you are under 18, your application for an instruction permit or driver license must be signed by at least one adult. The adult will be responsible for any negligence or willful misconduct when you are driving.

The application must be signed by:

One natural parent if married to the other natural parent or
Both natural parents if not married to each other, but share joint custody or,
One natural parent with sole custody

Or, if neither parent is living:

Legal guardian (proof required) or
Foster parent living with the minor (proof required) or
Employer of the minor (death certificates must be shown)

The signatures must be witnessed by an MVD agent or by a notary public. Signatures obtained for an instruction permit will be required again for a driver license.