Applying for a New License (Drivers 18+) in Arizona
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.
Arizona Voluntary Travel ID
The Arizona MVD now issues federally-compliant REAL ID driver’s licenses—called Voluntary Travel IDs—in addition to standard driver’s licenses. A Travel ID will allow you to use your license for domestic travel and entry into federal and military buildings—after October 2020, a standard driver’s license will not suffice for these activities. Details are outlined below.
New to Arizona?
Find all the information you need to finish your moving requirements with the DMV.
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 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.
Types of AZ Driver's Licenses
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.
Apply for Your New Arizona Driver's License
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.
Ace Your Exam on the First Try!
Don't leave your permit test to chance—take our free permit practice test with questions directly from the AZ driver handbook. It's the fastest, easiest way to set yourself up for success!
To apply for your driver's license, or the Voluntary Travel ID (Arizona’s credential to meet the REAL ID Act of 2005), complete 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.
- If you’re applying for a Voluntary Travel ID, you MUST show 2 documents proving your AZ residency such as bank statements, utility bills, or pay stubs. The documents must include your physical address and name. If you can’t provide the required residency documents, you must complete and submit an Arizona Residency Affidavit(Form 40-5143).
- 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 “New Arizona Driver's License Fees" below).
Once you complete these steps, you'll be issued a temporary license with your photo. Your permanent driver's license will be sent you by mail.
Your license will expire upon turning 50 years old; however, you'll need to get an updated photo and vision exam every 12 years.
Applicants age 50 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.
New Arizona Driver's License Fees
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.
- Voluntary Travel ID: $25.
- Driver's license valid for 5 years.: $10.
- Limited licenses: $10.
- Homeless veterans: free.
The fees lower as age increases due to the fact that licenses expire when the driver turns 50 years old (except in the case of a license valid for 5 years issued to drivers over 50 years old).
Military Members & Arizona Driver's Licenses
Military members are not required to transfer their driver's license from their home state. Most states allow you to renew or extend their licenses so they remain valid while the service member is on active duty.
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 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.