Before you can legally operate a vehicle in Arizona, you must get a driver’s license. The Arizona Department of Transportation (DOT) is responsible for issuing licenses to eligible residents. The department has regulations that guide how a person operates a vehicle on the state roads, and any violation of these regulations will attract penalties, including the loss of license.
The use of a driver’s license is to certify that the holder is competent with the laws of the state roads and can effectively operate a vehicle.
Types and Classes of Driver’s License in Arizona
Arizona State issues driver’s licenses classified into different classes and types. The type of license an individual can request depends on the type of vehicle or the use for the license. The classes of driver’s license in Arizona are:
Motorcycle License (Class M)
If you have a motorcycle or a similar vehicle in Arizona, you will need to get a motorcycle license to operate it. To get a class M license, residents have to be aged 16 or older.
Operator License (Class D)
Anyone that is 18 years of age and older can possess an operator license to legally operate a vehicle in Arizona. It excludes vehicles that require a motorcycle or commercial license to drive.
Graduated Driver License (Class G)
Individuals who are at least 16 years of age but not yet 18 can apply for a graduated driver’s license they can use to operate a vehicle. However, this class of license has certain restrictions imposed while operating the vehicle.
Commercial Driver’s License (CDL)
A commercial driver’s license can be a class A, class B, or class C license. It authorizes the operation of vehicles that can take up 16 passengers (including the operator), heavyweight vehicles that weigh 26,001 pounds or gross vehicle weight rating, and vehicles that must carry a sign showing they are conveying hazardous material.
Drivers that operate vehicles towing a trailer weighing 10,001 pounds (GVWR) or heavier must also get a commercial driver’s license.
The main types of driver’s license in Arizona include:
Arizona Travel ID
Under the federal REAL ID Act, the Travel ID document can serve as either an identity document or a driver’s license. It is among the acceptable forms of identification card that are valid to tender at the airport security checkpoints for travels within the U.S.
An instruction permit applies to only minors who are at least aged 15 years and six months, allowing them to operate a motor vehicle or motorcycle. However, such drivers cannot enjoy driving privileges unless a licensed driver, aged 21 and above, accompanies them in the passenger seat. An instruction permit is only valid for a year.
Operating with a motorcycle restricts the driver from using the state’s freeways or highways. The timeframe for using the motorcycle must fall before sunset and after sunrise. Riders can also not ply badly-lit areas that may prevent them from seeing vehicles or pedestrians. This type of instruction permit expires after seven months and can only be renewed once within two years.
Individuals older than 18 years old can apply for a commercial driver’s license permit, which is valid for six months.
An adult must consent before the Department of Transportation can issue an instruction permit.
Getting a Driver’s License in Arizona
The Arizona DOT has the following requirements for individuals that want to get a driver’s license:
- Fill in the application form
- Provide a social security number proof
- Provision of any two of the following documents showing:
- Individual’s identity and date of birth
- Proof of living in Arizona
- For persons that changed names, legal proof of your name change is required
- Immigration document showing legal residency non-U.S residents
- Driver’s license of another state (if applicable)
Applicant must also pay the licensing (Class D) fee, scheduled by their age:
- Applicants aged 16 to 39 years of age will pay $25
- Applicants aged 40 to 44 years of age will pay $20
- Applicants aged 45 to 49 years of age will pay $15
- Applicants aged at least 50 years old will pay $10
- An additional fee of $7 is billed for an instructional permit
Individuals can apply for their Arizona driver’s license by filling the form and submitting it at any MVD office or authorized third-party license providers. However, they must make an appointment before visiting the office. Applicants can also fill the form online, and the information entered will be available at the MVD office.
The DOT requires applicants to pass a written knowledge test (based on the Commercial Driver License Manual) if they lack an instruction permit before the application. Applicants must score at least 80% to pass the test. The test is conducted at the MVD offices and any authorized third-party office.
The MVD also conducts a skill/road test. Applicants must perform the test with the class of
vehicle they intend to use the license with. The Commercial Driver License Office locations conduct this test, or applicants can check any MVD-certified testers authorized to conduct the test.
Upon passing the test, applicants can pay the licensing fee and receive a temporary card. The DOT office will mail the driver’s license within 15 days. The payment process is available through cash, credit card, check, money order (address it to the Motor Vehicle Division).