By Alison Stanton

Tips on Getting a Driver License in Arizona

Whether you have been chomping at the bit to get your driver’s license or you are sort of ho-hum about the whole idea, it is still a good idea to know how the process works here in Arizona.

This way, when you are old enough and/or ready to become a licensed driver, you will already have a good idea of what to do.

With that in mind, please check out the following tips:

Permit First, Then License

As the Arizona Department of Transportation notes (ADOT), if you are at least 16 years old but less than 18, you will be able to apply for a graduated driver license. This will allow you to drive a vehicle that does not require a motorcycle or commercial driver license. In other words, you can drive your mom’s car, but not your uncle’s motorcycle or your neighbor’s delivery truck.

To apply for the graduated license, you must have had an Arizona instruction permit for at least six months, and it must be valid at the time you apply to get your driver’s license.

You also have to satisfactorily complete an Arizona driver education program that was approved by the Motor Vehicle Division (MVD)—or a parent or guardian has to write a note that you have done at least 30 hours of supervised driving practice, including at least 10 hours of night driving.

Get Ready for the Road Test

As part of getting your driver license in Arizona, you will have to take a road test. They are by appointment only, and you can sign up online. If you prefer, you can go to an Authorized Third Party Driver License location—information about this is at the “road test” link above—you can sometimes walk right in at one of these locations and take the test without waiting.

Before you go out on the road for the test with an MVD employee, you will have to pass a parking test. This includes being able to successfully make a three-point turn at all offices except those in Coolidge, Flagstaff, Holbrook, Nogales, Payson, Show Low, Tempe and Winslow, which require parallel parking. Depending on where you take your test, it’s a good idea to practice one or the other skill.

What Happens During the Road Test?

Once you are on the road, the test will usually include a number of common driving situations—the examiner will come along for the ride and give you directions to follow. He or she will observe you and grade your actions and your ability to drive the vehicle in a safe manner. If you feel nervous during the test it is totally understandable; please remember though that the examiners go out on the road with lots of teens your age and are not there to make things tough on you. Please be sure your parent or guardian takes you to the test location and stays there during the duration of the exam; they will be required to be with you when you apply for your license.

After passing your road test, it will cost $25 to receive your driver license. And just like that, you did it and now are a valid driver in Arizona—way to go!