Arizona Graduated License Program - AZ Graduated Drivers License Requirements
Just like most states nowadays, Arizona has its own version of the graduated drivers license program that targets teenage drivers and aims at reducing the number of casualties on the road. Teenage drivers have the highest crash rates among drivers of any other age group due to a number of reasons and the Arizona graduated drivers license program sets additional requirements and restrictions that must be observed by all teenage drivers. If you apply for an Arizona drivers license before you turn 18, your license will be marked as a G (graduated) license and you will be subject to all restrictions attributable to this type a license.
So what exactly is a graduated drivers license program, why do we need it and how does it work? The graduated drivers license program is a name that is commonly given to a number of laws and restrictions that are applied to drivers who are below a certain age - 18 for Arizona. According to many studies, drivers below this age are very likely to be involved in a traffic accident, on average one in every five teenage drivers has a traffic accident during the first year of driving. Traffic collisions is a number one cause of death for people aged 50 to 20. These statistics clearly indicate that there is a problem and steps should be taken to reduce the number of accidents and casualties among young drivers.
There are a few reasons why young drivers have such high crash rates. Number one is probably lack of driving experience, but lack of driving experience alone would not have accounted for such a large number of accidents. Take a look at first-time licensees who get their Arizona driver license at 30 or 40. The crash rates for these drivers are significantly lower than those for teens, although they have just as much driving experience. The difference between teens and old drivers is that older drivers are able to predict possibility consequences of their actions and take active steps to avoid getting into a dangerous situations. Most of the teen drivers lack this ability and tend to overestimate their driving skills, which can lead to a disaster.
So how does the Arizona graduated license program addresses these issues? First of all, the graduated license program breaks the licensing procedure into a number of separate steps. Each step has its restrictions and requirements that must be met before graduating to the next level. The first time applicant is kept at each step for a certain period and during this time the essential driving experience is gained. In addition to this, the graduated license law sets a number of permit and license restrictions that prevent young drivers from making the most dangerous mistakes.
AZ Graduated Drivers License Steps
The graduated drivers license program consists of the following key stages:
- Graduated instruction permit
- Graduated drivers license
- Unrestricted operator license
You have to remember that the graduated license requirements apply only those to obtains a drivers license before he or she is 18 years of age. If you are 18 or older, you do not need to observe these procedures.
Arizona Graduated Instruction Permit
You can apply for the learners permit when you are at least 15 years and 6 months old. At this point, you are required to take an Arizona learners permit test to prove that you know the rules of the road and traffic signs. If you want to see what kind of questions you will encounter on your permit test, check out practice permit tests for Arizona that are completely free.
Once you pass the exam, you are given the permit that allows you to start your driving lessons. You have to remember that this is not a full license yet and you must have a licensed driver who is at least 21 years old seated next to you at all times while driving. Under to circumstances you are to drive alone. If you break the rules, your driving privileges will be suspended.
You will need to hold your instructional permit for at least six months before you can take a road test. During this time, you have to complete one of the MVD approved Arizona drivers education classes. If you don't want to take drivers ed courses, you can substitute them with 30 hours of supervised driving with your parents. 10 hours of supervised driving must be completed at night time.
If you satisfy these requirements, you can schedule your road test and achieve your Arizona graduated drivers license.
Arizona Graduated Drivers License
The minimum age for applying for a graduated drivers license is 16 years old and you must satisfy the learners permit requirements before proceeding to this step. Your drivers license allows you to drive without a supervising driver, but you must still observe the following restrictions for the first six months following the issuance date:
- Curfew. No driving alone between midnight and 5 a.m. You can drive during this time if you have a licensed parent or legal guardian seated in the front seat next to you or if you are traveling to employment and school related activities.
- Passenger restrictions. You can only carry one passenger under 18 years of age unless the passengers are your immediate family members.
- No cell phones. The usage of electronic devices while driving is strictly prohibited.
These restrictions will be lifted from your drivers license in six months provided you don't commit any traffic offenses. If you are convicted of a traffic violation, you will face a number of penalties and your driving privilege may be suspended or canceled. You can read more about the consequences of breaking the graduated drivers license rules in the official Arizona drivers manual.
Once you reach the age of 18, you can surrender your graduated drivers license and obtain a regular operator license, although it is not required and all restrictions are removed from your G class license at this point.