Applying for a New License (Drivers 18+) in ArizonaDMV Cheat Sheet - Time Saver
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- New to Arizona?
- Types of AZ Driver's Licenses
- Apply for Your New Arizona Driver's License
- New Arizona Driver's License Fees
- Military Members & Arizona Driver's Licenses
- Related Content
Verified As Of: 05/15/2015?Our goal is to give you the most up-to-date, accurate information about your state DMV's processes. The date you see here reflects the most recent time we've verified this information with your state DMV. When they change something, we do, too!
Apply for a New Arizona Driver's License
If you've just moved to Arizona, or you've never been licensed to drive before, you'll need to get an AZ driver's license right away to begin driving legally in the state.
The AZ Department of Transportation – Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) makes getting a license simple. Follow the steps outlined here to make sure your application goes as smoothly as possible.
Once you move to Arizona, you'll need to get an AZ driver's license and register your vehicle(s) immediately upon establishing residency.
Arizona considers you a resident when any of the following situations apply:
- You work in Arizona.
- This does NOT apply to seasonal farm work.
- You're a registered voter in AZ.
- Your children go to an AZ school and the tuition rate reflects that of a resident.
- Your business operates in AZ and operates vehicles in the state.
- You have a business that uses vehicles as a transport for goods or passengers in AZ.
- You live in AZ for 7 months or more during a calendar year (regardless of whether you claim AZ as your permanent residence).
NOTE: If you are an active duty military member who is based in AZ and you qualify for exemption by the Service Members Civil Relief Act of 2003, you are not an AZ resident and do not need to apply for a license.
To apply for your new driver's license, take the steps outlined below.
NOTE: If you hold a current out-of-state license, you will likely be able to forego the written knowledge test and driving tests required for licensing in Arizona (although the MVD does not make any guarantees). If it has been determined that you must take the written exam, the MVD offer a basic practice test to help you study.
This page will walk you through how to obtain your full Class D Arizona driver's license.
If you're interested in applying for another type of license, check out the following pages:
- Teen Drivers
- Covers licensing requirements for teen drivers, including driver's education, instruction permits, and testing requirements.
- Motorcycle Licenses
- Learn how to obtain a Class M license or add a motorcycle endorsement.
- Commercial Vehicles
- Find out how to get your Class A, B, and C commercial driver license (CDL), as well as how to add endorsements.
AZ does not require that adult applicants hold a permit prior to applying; however, if this is your first time getting licensed anywhere, you'll need a permit to practice. To learn more, please visit our page on Driver’s Permits in AZ.
To apply for your driver's license, you'll need to begin by filling out the Driver License/Identification Card Application (form 40-5122).
For your convenience, the Arizona MVD allows you to begin the license application process online. The online service lets you:
- Fill out the application.
- Determine your ID requirements.
- Print your completed package.
- You'll bring this when you visit an MVD or authorized third-party office.
The information you submit online will be transmitted electronically and stored for when you visit your local Arizona MVD office.
To complete your new driver's license application process:
- Submit your completed license application (see above).
- Surrender your out-of-state license, if you're a new resident.
- Present proof of ID, age, and legal presence in AZ:
- You'll need a minimum of 2 documents from the full list of accepted documents(birth certificate, U.S. passport, I-94, Social Security card); 1 document must include a clear photo of you.
- At least 1 document must be from the Primary column.
- If you don't have a photo document, you'll need 3 documents from the list.
- All documents must be originals or certified copies.
- Provide proof of name change, if applicable (marriage certificate, divorce decree).
- Provide your Social Security number.
- Pass a vision exam.
- Pass the written knowledge test (unless exempt).
- If you hold a permit, you will not need to take the permit test.
- New residents generally do not have to take this exam.
- Pass the driving test (unless exempt).
- New residents generally do not have to take the driving test.
- Pay the applicable fee (see “Driver's License Fees" below).
Once you complete these steps, you'll be given your permanent license right away, UNLESS your local office cannot issue them (this generally applies to very small towns and cities). If you do not receive your permanent driver's license immediately, you'll get a temporary license to use while your permanent is being mailed to you.
Your license will expire upon turning 65 years old; however, you'll need to get an updated photo and vision exam every 12 years.
Applicants age 60 years old or older will get a license valid for 5 years.
NOTE: Minors (under 21 years old) will be issued a license with a vertical orientation that indicates the driver is a minor. Holders of minor licenses can continue to use the license once they turn 21 years old, or apply for a duplicate license that has a horizontal orientation.
Knowledge and Driving Skills Tests
If you're required to take the written knowledge exam/permit test and/or driving test, you'll have 3 attempts to pass in within 12 months. If the 12 months pass, or you've failed your 3 attempts, you'll need to begin the application over and pay a new fee. You can retest as soon as the following day.
If taking a road test, you must provide the vehicle with current registration, plates, and tabs. It must also have seat belts if it is model year 1972 or newer.
You must also demonstrate, prior to taking your driving test, your ability to understand both English-language instructions and the meaning of AZ traffic signals.
The fee you pay for your new AZ license will vary, depending on your age and license type.
- 16 to 39 years old: $25.
- 40 to 44 years old: $20.
- 45 to 49 years old: $15.
- 50 years old and older: $10.
- Driver's license valid for 5 years.: $10.
- Limited licenses: $10.
The fees lower as age increases due to the fact that licenses expire when the driver turns 65 years old (except in the case of a license valid for 5 years issued to drivers over 60 years old).
As a military member stationed in AZ, you can visit any Arizona MVD office to apply for a new license. The steps will be the same as those listed in “Apply for Your AZ Driver's License," EXCEPT you will likely be exempt from both written and knowledge tests if you hold a valid out-of-state license.*
Once you've successfully applied, you'll be issued a a license valid for 5 years.
Dependents of military members may also apply for a new driver's license which will be valid for 5 years.
* Remember, your Arizona driver's license remains valid even if the expiration date on it has passed. It remains valid for up to 6 months from the date your military service stops.Recommended ArticlesOther Topics in This Section