If you have recently moved to Arizona or have not obtained a driver license in the state, you must obtain the license before you can legally drive a vehicle. Thankfully, the state’s Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) makes it quite easy to obtain an AZ driver license. Here is how to do it.

The Basics of Arizona Driver’s Licenses

Those who have moved to Arizona from another state and have a valid driver’s license will likely be able to bypass the written knowledge test as well as the driving test. Military members who have moved to Arizona from another state can transfer their home state driver’s license in a streamlined manner. There are several different types of Arizona driver’s licenses.

The so-called “normal” driver’s license is referred to as the Class D Arizona driver’s license. The state also provides Class M motorcycle licenses. Those who are interested in a license to operate a commercial vehicle will need a Class A, Class B or Class C commercial driver’s license, typically referred to with the acronym of “CDL”. Teen drivers have different testing and licensing requirements including instruction permits and diver’s education.

Where to Start: The Issue of the Permits and the Application

The state of Arizona does not mandate that adult driver’s license applicants obtain a permit before applying. However, if the applicant is applying for his first driver’s license in any state, he will need a permit in order to practice driving in a legal manner. More information about permits can be found on the Arizona MVD Driver’s Permits in AZ web page.

One can apply for an Arizona driver’s license by completing the Driver License/Identification Card Application, referred to as Form 40-5122. The Arizona MVD should be commended for allowing driver’s license applicants to start the license application process on the web. This online service empowers applicants to fill out the application, figure out the necessary ID requirements and print the completed package that must be brought to the MVD office. The information the applicant enters online is transmitted in an electronic manner and subsequently stored for reference upon his visit at the brick-and-mortar Arizona MVD office.

Completing the Process

To complete the driver’s license application one must submit the above referenced application. If he hails from another state, he must surrender his out-of-state license. He must provide proof of identity as well as age and his legal presence in the state of Arizona. An apartment lease, mortgage document, or utility bill will likely suffice to prove Arizona residency. To prove one’s identity, the applicant must provide a birth certificate, U.S. Passport, a Social Security card, I-94 or two other accepted documents. One of these documents must show a clear photograph of the applicant.

All driver’s license applicants must successfully complete the vision exam. If the applicant has not obtained a driver’s license from any state yet holds a permit, he will not be required to take Arizona’s permit test. Finally, the applicant must pay the applicable fees. These fees differ by the applicant’s age as well as the type of license he seeks.

• Those between 16 and 39 years of age must pay $25.
• Those between 40 and 44 years of age must pay $20.
• Those between 45 and 49 years of age must pay $15.
• Anyone 50 years of age and older must pay $10.

Once all of these steps have been completed, the applicant will be provided with a temporary license with his photo. It will likely take several weeks for the permanent driver’s license to be mailed to the applicant’s residence. Be careful once you start driving! Arizona traffic schools stay in business due to those nonchalant drivers and help them dismiss their costly traffic tickets.