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How To Get an Arizona Drivers License

Arizona MVD (Motor Vehicle Department)

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Sample of Arizona Driver License, effective June 16, 2014

Arizona Department of Transportation
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Your temporary driver license will look like this. Your permanent license, shown above, will be mailed to you within two weeks.

Arizona Dept. of Transportation

Updated: June 2014

Beginning June 16, 2014 the Arizona Driver License process will change. The application process and general guidelines are unchanged, but the actual look of the driver license will change. In addition, you will no longer receive the actual driver license when you go to MVD (or authorized satellite companies) to get a license or renew a license. You will receive a temporary license only, and the original will be sent to you in the mail at the address on the license. Enhanced security features are part of the new process.

If you already have a valid driver license, you do not have to change it until it needs to be renewed or until you have a name or address change. You may get a new one if you want one, though.

Beware!

If you are traveling via air and will be passing through TSA security while you have the temporary license, that temporary license may not be sufficient. According to TSA, your ID must "show a valid U.S. Federal or State-issued photo ID that contains a name, date of birth, expiration date, social security number,  phone number, and a tamper-resistant feature." The temporary license does not qualify. Your best alternative is a passport. Otherwise, you should carry a second form of identification.

ADOT tells me that people renewing licenses will receive the old one back with a hole punched through the expiration date. Since it has tamper resistant features (with the exception of the hole!) that might suffice for TSA, but it is not a certainty. Of course, if you are not renewing a license, and getting one for the first time with your current name and address, you'll still need a second form of ID.

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Here are instructions for getting a new driver's license, replacing your out-of-state license, or renewing your license.

Difficulty: Easy

Time Required: Depends

Here's How:

  1. If you have a valid license from another state, you must bring it and one other form of ID.
  2. Examples of acceptable forms of identification include a U.S. birth certificate, U.S. passport or Passport Card, Permanent resident or Resident Alien Card and U.S. military ID. There are others. You can find a list online.
  3. If you have a valid license from another state, or are renewing your AZ license, you must take a vision test. A written test is usually not required.
  4. If you are applying for your first driver's license you must bring 3 forms of ID, at least one of which must have a picture.
  5. If you are applying for your first driver's license you must take a written, vision and driving test.
  6. If you are between the ages of 16 and 18, you must have a parent or legal guardian sign the license application.
  7. You will also have to take a driving test if your license has been canceled or expired for more than a year, or if your license has been revoked.
  8. Fees will be collected for all services.
  9. If you have a license and simply need to change your address, you can do so by phone at (602) 255-0072. Have your current license handy to answer questions.
  10. A Class G Graduated License is for drivers under the age of 18 who have had drivers education classes or instruction. There are some curfew restrictions, and different penalties for citations/violations.
  11. You can find out what tickets you have on your record by phone at (602) 255-0072. Have your license handy to answer questions.

Tips:

  1. If you have to go to MVD, try to go during the middle of the week, and during the middle of the month. Avoid Saturdays if you can.
  2. Bring a book and a cell phone. Try not to bring the kids. It may take awhile.
  3. Don't assume you'll be able to complete your transaction during your lunchtime, if you work during the day. Some offices have Saturday hours.
  4. If you are from another country (other than Canada) you will have to bring your current driver license, picture ID, and you will be required to take both the written and driving test. This can all be done in one day.
  5. You might not even have to go to a MVD office. There are some services that can be completed online if you have a valid credit card to pay the fee. Those are:
    Ordering a duplicate driver license
    Making an address or email change
    Reinstating your driver license
    Ordering a copy of your Motor Vehicle Record

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