How to Apply for Arizona Driver's License: Step-by-Step Guide (2018)

Learn what to expect, things you need, and how to get behind the wheel faster.
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On this page: Types of licenses How to apply Knowledge test Road test Replace or renew New residents

How Does It Work?

If you are an Arizona driver, or would like to become one, you will need an Arizona driver's license. To save you some time, here is a step by step guide that you will need to follow to get, renew or transfer a driver's license in Arizona.

Get an instructional permit

Allows you to practice driving under supervision.

Get a graduated license

Allows you to drive unsupervised with restrictions.

Get a Full (Adult) License

Allows you to drive with no restrictions.

Types of Driver's Licenses in Arizona

For each license type there's a corresponding type of instruction permit
Arizona Class D/G Driver's License
Class D/G
This is the usual kind of driver's license that allows you to drive any vehicle that does not require a motorcycle or commercial license. Class D is for adults ( 18+), whereas Class G is a graduate driver's license for teenagers between 16 and 18 years of age. Read the official AZ Driver License Manual or take a free AZ practice test.
Arizona Class A/B/C Driver's License
Class A/B/C
These are commercial driver licenses (CDL) that allow you to operate heavyweight vehicles with gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 26,001 pounds or more (Class B), vehicles hauling a trailer that is 10,001 pounds (GVWR) or more where the combined GVWR is 26,001 pounds or more ( Class A), vehicles capable of carrying 16 or more passengers (including the driver), or vehicles required to be placarded for hazardous materials (Class C). Read Arizona Commercial Driver License Manual or take a free AZ CDL practice test.
Arizona Motorcycle Driver's License
Class M
It allows you to drive a motorcycle or motor-driven cycle. You must be at least 16 to apply for a motorcycle license. Read AZ Motorcycle Operator Manual or take a free AZ motorcycle practice test.

How to Apply for Your Arizona Driver’s License

To apply for your Arizona Driver’s License, you will have to take a written knowledge test, practice driving, pass a vision and road test. This is your complete plan of action depending on your age:

How to Apply for Your AZ Instruction Permit

An Arizona instruction permit allows you to get driving experience supervised by a driver who is at least 21 years of age and holds a commercial (class A, B, or C) or driver (class D) license. This will help you prepare to apply for a class G graduated license (at age 16 or 17).

1APPLY IN PERSON

2COMPLETE THE APPLICATION FORM

Do it online. The information from your online application will be electronically transmitted by secure connection and stored for use when you visit an office. Otherwise, you can fill out form 40-5122

3PROVIDE YOUR PARENT OR GUARDIAN CONSENT

There is space for it on the application form. The signatures must be witnessed by an MVD agent or by a notary public. The application must be signed by both natural/adoptive parents if not married to each other but share joint custody. Otherwise, one signature of a parent with custody is enough.

4PROVIDE DOCUMENTATION TO VERIFY YOUR IDENTITY

You should provide at least 2 documents from this list. One of which should be from the Primary column. Provide your Social Security Number as well.

5PASS A VISION TEST

You must have uncorrected vision of 20/40 or better in at least one eye to obtain an unrestricted license.

6PAY THE FEE OF $7.00

You can pay by credit card, cash, check, traveler’s check, or money order (payable to Motor Vehicle Division).

7PASS A WRITTEN KNOWLEDGE TEST

You may take the written knowledge test at either an MVD office or an authorized third-party driver license location. The third-party office may charge an additional convenience fee. Alternatively you can take the test online at your home. Your parent must register you for the Permit Test @ Home and conduct the test for you. Take free practice tests before taking the test. You have three attempts to pass the test within 12 months.

8GET YOUR PERMIT AND START PRACTICING SUPERVISED DRIVING

Your temporary card will be issued at the office. You will receive your permit in the mail within 15 days.

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How to Apply for Your Graduated License

Like a regular (class D) license, a class G graduated license allows you to drive any vehicle that does not require a motorcycle or commercial driver license. You will be able to drive unsupervised most of the time, but with some restrictions:

  • You may not drive with more than one passenger under the age of 18, unless they are your siblings or your parent or guardian is in the front seat.
  • For the first 6 months, you may not drive between midnight and 5 a.m. unless one of the following is true: you are driving with your parent or guardian in the front seat, driving to or from work, school, or church, or because of a family emergency.
  1. HOLD YOUR INSTRUCTION PERMIT FOR AT LEAST 6 MONTHS

  2. COMPLETE SUPERVISED DRIVING PRACTICE

    Provide one of the following:

    • Written certification (at the back of the application form) from your parent or guardian that you have had at least 30 hours of supervised driving practice, including at least 10 hours of driving at night.
    • Proof that you have completed an MVD-approved driver education program.

  3. COMPLETE THE APPLICATION FORM

    Do it online. The information from your online application will be electronically transmitted and stored for use when you visit an office. Otherwise, you can fill out form 40-5122. If you have any medical conditions that you wish to have shown on your license, submit a statement from your physician or nurse practitioner.

  4. PROVIDE YOUR PARENT OR GUARDIAN CONSENT

    There is space for this on the application form. The signatures must be witnessed by an MVD agent or by a notary public. The application must be signed by both natural/adoptive parents if not married to each other but share joint custody. Otherwise, one signature of a parent with custody is enough.

  5. PROVIDE REQUIRED DOCUMENTATION

    Provide at least 2 documents form this list. At least one of which should be from the Primary column. The documents you choose must verify

    • your identity and date of birth
    • your Arizona residency
    • Legal proof of your name change, if your name differs from that shown on your primary document
    • Proof that your presence in the US is authorized under federal law (non-US citizens)

  6. PASS A ROAD TEST

    Do it at either at an MVD office or an authorized third-party office. Authorized third-party providers frequently offer tests to walk-in customers with no wait but may charge an additional convenience fee. If you take the road test at an MVD office, you may schedule an appointment online.

  7. PAY A $25 LICENSING FEE

    Pay by credit card, cash, check, traveler’s check, or money order (payable to Motor Vehicle Division).

  8. GET YOUR TEMPORARY CARD

    Your temporary card will be issued at the office. You will receive your license in the mail within 15 days. Your license will have a vertical format. Once you turn 18, if your six-month restricted driving period has not been extended, you may upgrade your class G graduated license to a full class D driver license but you don’t have to. Your Class D license will still have a vertical format that indicates you are under 21.

How to Apply for Your Full (Adult) Driver’s License

At the age of 18 you can apply for an Arizona Class D license without holding an instruction permit first. However, you can still choose to apply for an instruction permit if you want to get some practice. Start with Step 1 below if you have never held any types of AZ license or hold an AZ instruction permit. If you hold an AZ graduate driver’s license, you may upgrade it at an MVD office to a full class D driver license but you don’t have to. Your Class D license will still have a vertical format that indicates you are under 21.

1APPLY IN PERSON

2COMPLETE THE APPLICATION FORM

Do it online. The information from your online application will be stored for use when you visit an office. Otherwise, you can fill out form 40-5122. If you have any medical conditions that you wish to have shown on your license, submit a statement from your physician or nurse practitioner.

3PROVIDE REQUIRED DOCUMENTATION

Provide at least 2 documents form this list. At least one of which should be from the Primary column. The documents you choose must verify:

  • your identity and date of birth
  • your Arizona residency
  • Legal proof of your name change, if your name differs from that shown on your primary document
  • Proof that your presence in the US is authorized under federal law (non-US citizens)

4PASS A WRITTEN KNOWLEDGE TEST

You are required to take the test if you don't hold an instruction permit. You may take the written knowledge test at either an MVD office or an authorized third-party driver license location. The third-party office may charge an additional convenience fee. Take free practice tests before you go.

5PASS A ROAD TEST

Do it at either at an MVD office or an authorized third-party office. Authorized third-party providers frequently offer tests to walk-in customers with no wait but may charge an additional convenience fee. If you take the road test at an MVD office, schedule an appointment online. For your road test, bring a qualifying vehicle with license plates, proof of registration and insurance.

6PAY THE LICENSING FEE

  • Ages 16-39: $25
  • Ages 40-44: $20
  • Ages 45-49: $15
  • Age 50 and older: $10

Pay by credit card, cash, check, traveler's check, or money order (payable to Motor Vehicle Division).

7GET YOUR TEMPORARY CARD

Your temporary card will be issued at the office. You will receive your license in the mail within 15 days.

Arizona Written Knowledge Test

You can take the written knowledge test at either an MVD office or an authorized third-party provider. The third-party office may charge an additional convenience fee. Teenagers may also use the Permit Test @Home service and take the test online.
Take a free practice test
What does the test include?
There are 30 multiple-choice questions. All questions are taken from the Arizona Driver License Manual. You should score 80 percent or higher to pass the exam. You take the test at a computer work station using a touch screen (audio assist is available). You will find out your score as soon as you are done with your exam.
How to prepare for the test?
Study the Arizona Driver License Manual as all questions are based on the information provided in it. Take free practice tests available here. When you feel comfortable with your score, you are ready!
Is there a mobile Arizona practice test app for my iPhone/iPad?
Yes, and it’s free and great for all of your studying needs. Just go to our application page.
Can I use the Arizona manual on the test?
Nope. You have to answer the questions without any help.
What common mistakes should I avoid?
The most common mistake comes from not knowing enough information out of the manual. This happens when people study solely with practice tests. Make sure you read the manual first. Another problem is rushing through questions. Take your time and remember what you have studied.
Where is the easiest MVD office in Arizona?
Save yourself the trouble and go to an MVD office near you. The best days to visit are usually Wednesday and Thursday.
What happens if I fail?
You have three attempts to pass the written test within 12 months from the date of the application. After three failed attempts to pass, you must pay for a new application.
Can I take a verbal test?
A verbal test may be considered if you cannot read or have a low reading competency; or has failed a second or third attempt. Offices conduct verbal tests by appointment only.

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Arizona Road Test

Step-by-Step Guide
What to expect during AZ road test
Road Test FAQ

You will drive a test route that has a variety of traffic situations. Your job is to follow the examiner’s directions as you will be observed and graded on specific actions and on your general ability to operate the car safely.

You can take the road test at any MVD location, but availability is limited, so make an appointment before you go. You may also consider taking a road test at one of third-party providers.

Note that a parent or legal guardian will be required to accompany a teen driver who is applying for a driver license.

What to Bring

A vehicle in good operating condition with the following functioning features:

  • brakes
  • brake lights, turn signals and horn
  • windshield with no cracks
  • inside and outside rearview mirrors
  • good tires
  • operational passenger and driver side windows and doors
  • seat belts if your car is a 1972 model or newer

Provide:

  • proof of current registration
  • liability insurance
  • plates
  • instruction permit or other identification
Before the Test

Before driving, you will show that you understand the meaning of Arizona traffic signs. Your examiner will also check your ability to understand the following English language instructions:

  • Stop
  • Slow down
  • Change lanes left/right
  • Drive straight ahead
  • Turn left/right at the next street, corner, stop sign or traffic light
  • Honk the horn
  • Fasten seat belt
  • Turn on your left/right turn signal
Preliminary Vehicle Maneuverability Test

    Before going on the road, you will be asked to pass a parking test or complete a three-point turn.

    Successful completion of a three-point turn is required at all MVD offices that offer road tests, with the exception of Flagstaff, Holbrook, Tempe and Winslow which require parallel parking.

    You will have one attempt with the grading based on a point system. You will accumulate points for each error during the vehicle maneuverability test. Most infractions are worth two points. If you get 8 or more points, you will fail the maneuverability test and the entire road test.

    Possible errors:

    • parking not within a box
    • hard braking
    • difficulty maneuvering the vehicle
    • changing direction of travel once the vehicle pulls into the space
On the Road

Your route of travel will include various traffic situations. You will show the following maneuvers :

  • going through a traffic light
  • lane changes
  • 2 or 3 right and left turns
  • observance of road signs and speed zones

You begin your road test with 100 points. The points are deducted for each driving error. Depending on its severity 10, 4 or 2 points are deducted each time. To pass the test you must keep at least 80 points.

Ten points are deducted each time for

  • failure to make a full stop
  • improper following distance
  • improper right-of-way to vehicles and pedestrians
  • going over speed limit (5-10 mph)

Four points are deducted each time for

  • Incorrect choice of proper lane
  • Improper use of brakes
  • Improper signaling
  • Poor observation or lack of planning

Two points are deducted each time for

  • Improper operation of the vehicle
  • Too slow driving
  • Improper steering
  • Incorrect vehicle position after stopping
  • Improper turns
End of the Test

The examiner will show you the final score and explain your strengths and weaknesses.

If you fail the test, you will be able to come back in a 7-day period. You have 3 attempts to pass the test in a 12-month period. After that a new application should be completed for a fee.

How to Replace or Renew Your Driver’s License in Arizona

  • You license expires every 5 years and has to be renewed. You may renew your license up to six months before its expiration date.

    Plan of Action:

    1. Apply at your local MVD office or authorized third-party driver license provider.
    2. Fill out and submit Form 40-5122. If you have any medical conditions that you wish to have shown on your license, submit a statement from your physician or nurse practitioner.
    3. Pass a vision test.
    4. Submit your existing license as your primary documentation and one more document from this list as your secondary documentation.
    5. Have a new photo taken.
    6. Pay a 10$ licensing fee.

    Receive a temporary license that will be valid for 30 days. Your permanent license should be mailed to your address before your temporary license expires.

  • If you are in the military and stationed outside Arizona, submit a notarized driver license application, a photocopy of the front and back of your current driver license and military ID card, and a check or money order for $10.00. Send it to the address below:

    Motor Vehicle Division
    P.O. Box 2100
    MD 510
    Phoenix, AZ 85001

    If you are on active duty in the military: Notify MVD about your active military status. Once MVD knows you're on active duty, you will not be required to renew your license until six months after you have been discharged from the military. This is an automatic extension, you don't have to specially apply for it.

    If you'll be out of state on your expiration date: you may mail an extension letter to the MVD, requesting an extension. You must include a payment of $5 for the extension. You may pay this fee by credit card, cash, check, traveler's check, or money order (payable to Motor Vehicle Division).

  • You may not renew your license online.

    You can only replace your license online if

    1. Your license is lost, stolen, destroyed or damaged.
    2. Your address has changed.
    3. You wish to change a graduated license to an Under 21 driver license.

New Residents: How to Get Your AZ Driver’s License

Once you become a resident of Arizona, you must obtain an Arizona driver license and vehicle registration immediately.
Out-of-state license Foreign license
Not sure if you are a resident of Arizona?
Are you an Arizona resident?

Arizona considers you a resident if any of the following apply:

  • You work in Arizona (other than for seasonal agricultural work).
  • You are registered to vote in Arizona.
  • You have children in school without paying the tuition rate of a nonresident.
  • You have a business with an office in Arizona that bases and operates vehicles in this state.
  • You obtain a state license or pay school tuition fees at the same rate as an Arizona resident.
  • You remain in Arizona for a total of seven months or more during any calendar year, regardless of your permanent residence.

Note: Out-of-state students enrolled with at least seven semester hours are not considered residents of Arizona, regardless of employment. Active-duty military personnel based in Arizona are not considered Arizona residents either.

I’ve Got a Valid Out-of-State Driver's License

Moving from another US state? Welcome to Arizona!
Moving from another state?
If you are licensed in another state or Canada, Germany and Taiwan, you can transfer your license easily without taking a written or road test.
Plan of Action
  1. APPLY IN PERSON

    You can apply at your local MVD office or authorized third-party driver license provider.

  2. COMPLETE THE APPLICATION FORM

    Do it online. The information from your online application will be electronically transmitted and stored for use when you visit an office. Otherwise, you can fill out form 40-5122. If you have any medical conditions that you wish to have shown on your license, submit a statement from your physician or nurse practitioner.

  3. PROVIDE REQUIRED DOCUMENTATION

    Provide at least 2 documents from this list. At least one of which should be from the Primary column. The documents you choose must verify

    • your identity and date of birth
    • your SSN number
    • your Arizona residency
    • legal proof of your name change, if your name differs from that shown on your primary document
    • proof that your presence in the US is authorized under federal law (non-US citizens)

  4. TURN IN YOUR OUT-OF-STATE DRIVER'S LICENSE

  5. PASS A VISION TEST

    You are required to pay a $5 out-of-state screening fee.

  6. PAY THE LICENSING FEE

    • Ages 16-39: $25
    • Ages 40-44: $20
    • Ages 45-49: $15
    • Age 50 and older: $10

    Pay by credit card, cash, check, traveler's check, or money order (payable to Motor Vehicle Division).

  7. GET YOUR TEMPORARY CARD

    If you are under 18 years of age, the MVD will issue you a class G graduated license instead of a full class D operator (driver) license. Your temporary card will be issued at the office. You will receive your license in the mail within 15 days.

driver's license in Arizona

I've Got a Valid Foreign License

Moving from another country? Welcome to Arizona!

The procedure for exchanging your foreign license for an Arizona class D operator (driver) license is the same as that for obtaining a new Arizona license unless you are licensed in Germany, Canada or Taiwan.

If you have a valid driver's license from Germany, Taiwan or Canada, your procedure is the same as transferring an out-of-state driver's license.

If you have a driver’s license from another country, go to our guide to apply for your full driver’s license.

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