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Apply for Arizona Learners Permit

Apply for Arizona Permit

There are two driver permits available in the state of Arizona - the graduated instruction permit that is available only to drivers under the age of 18 years and a regular operator permit. The applications process is exactly the same, no matter which Arizona learners permit you are applying for, however each permit comes with its own driving privileges and restrictions. The minimum age for applying for an Arizona graduated instruction permit is 15 years, 6 months and everyone operating under this type of permit is required to abide to the graduated license program rules. Those who apply for an Arizona operator's permit should not be misled by its seeming lack of restrictions - an operators permit does not grant you full driving privileges and you have to have a licensed driver at least 21 years of age seated next to you whenever you practice driving.

Graduated Driver's License

The graduated license program is part of the effort to reduce the number of teenagers dying on our roads every year. According to current statistics, traffic accidents kill more people between 15 and 20 years of age than anything else. This is especially shocking, considering how deeply is driving integrated into our lives and how mundane it is to most of us today.

The graduated license program in Arizona targets everyone who chooses to apply for a learners permit before their 18th birthday. Under the program, teenagers are required to complete mandatory 30 hours of supervised driving with parents or and MVD-approved drivers education course before they can say goodbye to their permit and take an Arizona drivers test.

Testing Required

In order to prove that you are physically able to operate a vehicle and that you have the knowledge required for doing so, you are required to take a vision exam and a written knowledge test.

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 an Arizona learners permit. 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 permit.

MVD Permit Test

A knowledge test based on Arizona driving rules, traffic signs and safe driving practices is a must for every first time permit applicant. The Arizona permit test may be taken either through the MVD or at one of the approved third party testing locations. The list of such locations is available in the drivers permit book.

The test consist of multiple choice questions and it is based on the information contained in the MVD manual. There are many ways to prepare for the knowledge exam and not all of them cost money. Many permit applicants find it beneficial to take free Arizona permit practice tests after reading the manual, since practice tests allow you to identity the rules you may have missed while studying.

Required Paperwork

Apart from granting you with the privilege to operate a vehicle (a restricted privilege, mind you), your Arizona learners permit can also serve as means of identification. Due to this fact, the MVD needs to make sure that you are really the person you claim to be before you are issued with a drivers permit. When you submit your application for an Arizona permit, you are required to present the following paperwork:

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

If you are under 18 years of age when you are applying for a learner's permit, you must bring a parent or legal guardian with you to the MVD office that you visit, The parent will need to sign your application form, granting the consent to you being licensed. The parent also assumes financial responsibility for damages your driving may cause.

Applying for a Graduated Instruction Permit - Under 18 Years of Age

You have to be at least 15 years, 6 months old before you can submit your application for a graduated instructional permit in Arizona, however there is no law that says that you cannot start studying sooner. Grab yourself a copy of the Arizona drivers manual and study the driving rules outlined there. Once you think you are ready, you can either visit one of the MVD locations or go to a third party testing center near you to take your test. If you pass the test and all of your paperwork checks out, you are issued with a graduated instruction permit so you can start practicing driving with a licensed driver at least 21 years of age.

Although you are not required to take an Arizona drivers education course when applying for a permit, you may be required to do so while submitting your application for an Arizona drivers license, so you may just as well kill two rabbits with one stone and take the course before you try to pass the knowledge exam at the MVD. Drivers ed classes do a great job of teaching you the state driving rules, plus they may also make you eligible for a car insurance discount in the future.

Applying for an Operator Permit

The application procedure for an operator's permit is exactly the same as for a graduated learners permit. Study the driving rules, then visit the MVD or a third party testing center to take a vision exam and the permit test. If you meet testing requirements, you are issued with an operator's permit that allows you to practice driving while being supervised by someone who holds a valid Arizona drivers license and is at least 21 years of age. Once you pass the Arizona drivers test, you can start driving alone.

Operating Under a Permit

Everyone operating under a learners permit must remember that the permit grants limited driving privileges only and that you must observe all Arizona permit restrictions while driving. You are not allowed to drive alone and must have another licensed driver at least 21 years of age seated in the front seat next to you while practicing driving. Those operating under a graduated instruction permit will need to complete either a drivers education course or at least 30 hours of supervised driving with parents before upgrading to the next level of the graduated license program.