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Apply for Arizona Drivers License

Arizona Drivers License Application

The process of applying for a drivers license in Arizona is very similar to that in other states - every first time drivers license applicant is required to take a vision exam, a knowledge test and an actual road test before a driver's license can be issued. Those who choose to apply for an Arizona driver's license before their 18th birthday are subject to the graduated drivers license law and must meet a number of additional requirements before obtaining a full operator license. Licensing in Arizona is conducted by the Department of Transportation, Motor Vehicle Division (MVD), so if you have any questions, you may always voice them at your local MVD branch.

Drivers License - Under 18 Years of Age

As already mentioned, everyone who would like to apply for a drivers license before their 18th birthday needs to take part in the Arizona graduated drivers license program. The reason why the program was enacted in the first place is the fact that crash rates among teenage drivers are about 4 times greater than those among older licensees. In order to counteract factors that contribute to these statistics, the MVD has developed a number of restrictions and additional requirements that are posed between youngsters who wish to start driving before they reach the age of 18 years.

You will need to start by applying for an Arizona graduated instruction permit. The minimum age when you can apply if 15 years, 6 months. Once you meet the age requirement, you are good to visit a local MVD office, take a vision test, the MVD permit test, file the required paperwork and receive your permit. Please note that you can take your permit test at one of the third party testing centers, however you would still have to file all of the required paperwork at one of the MVD locations.

You will have to hold your permit for at least six months before you can go ahead and apply for your first Arizona driver's license. During these months, you are to complete at least 30 hours of supervised driving with parents or you may also take an MVD-approved Arizona driver's education class through one of commercial driving schools. Remember, there is no law that says that you cannot do both, since a drivers education class can teach you some great defensive driving tips and more hours of driving experience allow you to apply the acquired knowledge in real life situations.

Once the above requirements are met, you are good to submit your application for a drivers license at one of the Arizona MVD offices. At this point, you will be required to take a drivers license test. Just like with the knowledge exam, you can take the test either through one of the MVD locations or turn to a third party testing center, the choice is yours.

Everyone who successfully passed the driving test are issued with a graduated drivers license. This license allows you to start driving without supervision, but you will still needs to observe all Arizona graduated license restrictions up until your 18th birthday.

Driving License - 18 Years of Age and Older

If you choose to wait until your 18th birthday before testing for a drivers license, you will have it much easier, since the graduated license law has no rule over you and you can apply for the Arizona operator license through a simplified application procedure. Start by visiting the MVD and applying for an operators permit. At this point, you are required to take a vision exam and a knowledge test that is based on Arizona driving rules, road signs and general safe driving practices.

When you receive your Arizona operator permit, you can go ahead and start practicing for your drivers license test. Keep in mind that you are to observe all Arizona permit restrictions up until the point when you receive a drivers license, thus you are not allowed to drive alone and must have a person at least 21 years of age with a valid drivers license seated in the front seat next to you whenever you are practicing.

There is no certain period of time that you need to hold the permit for before applying for a driver license, however we advise that you do not rush and practice as much as possible before scheduling the driving test. You have to get comfortable enough behind the wheel so the drivers license examiner gets the impression that you can be trusted with operating a vehicle unsupervised, and that takes time. If you are unsure as to how much time you should invest into drivers practice, stick the MVD recommendation for teenage license applicants, which is 30 hours, including 10 hours at nighttime.

Once you are ready, schedule the driving test with the MVD or one of the third party testing centers. Once you pass the test, you are issued with a full unrestricted Arizona operators license.

Testing Requirements

Driving is a serious matter that can be dangerous if approached carelessly. The death toll on public roads proves it. That's why before you can be issued with an Arizona drivers license, the MVD requires you to submit to a number of tests that aim at evaluating whether you have the potential to become a safe and responsible driver. If you are applying for the first drivers license, you are required to take a vision exam, a knowledge test and a road skills exam. These tests can be completed at one of the MVD locations or through a third-party testing center.

Vision Requirements

Seeing well is a must for every driver, so you can identify a potentially dangerous situation and react upon it well in advance. You must have visual acuity 20/40 in at least one eye to be able to receive a drivers license in Arizona. The field of vision must be 70 degrees, plus 35 degrees on the opposite side of the nose, in at least one eye. If you are unable to meet these requirements, you may have an ophthalmologist or an optometrist complete a Vision Examination Report and bring it back to the MVD. Based on this report, the MVD will decide whether you can be licensed and what restriction may need to be placed onto your drivers license.

Drivers Permit Test

The knowledge test that you must take before you can be issued with a drivers license is based on Arizona road signs, driving rules and safe driving practices. All things you need to know in order to be able to pass your Arizona driver permit test are contained in the MVD drivers license handbook that you can download from the MVD website. Failure rates for the knowledge exam are quite high, so make sure you take your time learning the rules before you visit a testing center., You may also wish to take an Arizona practice drivers test to see if you are truly ready for the real thing.

The MVD in Arizona is not the only place where you can take your knowledge exam, The MVD employs the services of third-party testing centers to make sure that you do not have to wait in line, so you may just go a local testing center instead of the MVD. The official Arizona drivers license manual contains a list of approved third party testing centers.

Road Test

Taking the Arizona driving test is the final step in the process of applying for a drivers license. It is the ultimate test of your driving abilities and your knowledge of driving rules. Yes, don't be surprised, the driving test is not all about controlling a vehicle, you also need to demonstrate that you can apply the theory that you learned from the book. Revising the drivers handbook prior to taking the drivers license test is a very good practice.

Just like with the permit test, you have a choice of taking your road skills exam either at one of the MVD branches or through a third party testing center.

Required Paperwork

The process of applying for a driver's license in Arizona requires you to present certain paperwork that allows to verify your identity and determine your eligibility for a driver license. Please be prepared to provide the MVD with the following thing:

  • proof of birth date
  • proof of identity
  • your Social Security Number
  • proof of Arizona residency

If you are under 18 years of age at the time when you submit your application for an Arizona drivers license, your parents will need to co-sign your application form. You will also need to prove proof that you either completed a drivers education course or received at least 30 hours of supervised driving practice from your parents before you are issued with a graduated drivers license.