Applying for a New License (Teen Drivers) in Arizona
Getting your first driver license is an exciting, gratifying success. It is a rite of passage that represents freedom, maturity, and responsibility. However, it is also an invitation to a world that is dangerous, especially when your skills are in their early stages.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for American teenagers. In fact, people between the ages of 15 and 20 participate in 14% of the country's fatal crashes even though they represent only 6.7% of those who drive. The NHTSA compiled the following astonishing statistics as well:
- Each year more than 5,000 teens (16-20) are killed in car crashes.
- In the last decade, more than 75,000 teens have died in car crashes.
- The majority of teen passenger deaths, 65%, occur when another teenager is driving.
- Nearly half of the fatal crashes involving 16-year-old drivers were single-vehicle crashes.
While these numbers are disturbing, they are not final sentences. Instead, they underscore the importance of appreciating the responsibility a driver license bestows, as well as the care required to operate a vehicle on the open road.
There are several types of driver licenses in the state of Arizona, so it is important to know your needs before you earn one. They are outlined below, as well as in the Driver License Manual and Customer Service Guide.
The first is the Class G (Graduated) license. It allows teens between the ages of 16 and 18 to operate a non-commercial car or truck. The Class G driver license is the first of the series, so it also holds the requirement of having an instruction permit for six months before the actual license test, as well as parental permission to drive.
You are eligible for the Class D Operator license at the age of 18. The standard and most common of the licenses, it allows you to operate any non-commercial car or truck. Those with a Class G license can upgrade to the Class D at the age of 18, but it is not mandatory.
The Class M Motorcycle license is open to drivers over the age of 16. It can take the form of a free-standing license or be added to another license as an endorsement. Either way, it requires a separate instruction permit, behind-the-wheel training, and testing by the Motor Vehicle Division (MVD). It also has a separate educational manual.
If you're at least 15 years and six months old but under the age of 18, you must first apply for a Class G instruction permit at one of the more than 100 MVD offices or third-party offices. You should brush up for the written test by reviewing the Driver License Manual and Customer Service Guide before testing.
When you do go in to apply for your instruction permit, you will need to be accompanied by a parent or other legal guardian. If your parents are still married, or you are under the care of a single legal guardian, you will need only one signature on the instruction permit application.
However, if your parents are not married and share joint custody, you will need both of them to come with you when you apply for the permit or have both of them sign the application in front of a notary public. The signatures on the permit application will be required again when you apply for the actual license.
Once you have your instruction permit, you can begin your driver's training. This can be done through an approved third-party organization or under the wing of the guardian who signed your permit application. If you choose the latter, your guardian will have to verify that you completed at least 30 hours of behind-the-wheel training, 10 hours at night.
Make an appointment with the MVD once you have turned 16 and fulfilled your driver's training requirements. You will need to bring $25 for the application fee, as well as the same signatory or notarized representation you brought when you applied for your instruction permit. They will serve as your first method of identification, but you will need two others.
You will take another written exam, a vision exam, and a behind-the-wheel exam in the car you drove to the office. Review the pretest information sheet to make sure you are prepared for the tester's questions―it will help immensely. And don't forget to smile when you take your license picture!
Valid Forms of Identification
Check out the MVD's list of acceptable forms of identification. You'll need at least one primary source of ID.
Once you've obtained your graduated license, you'll need to follow special rules pertaining to your license type.
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