New To Arizona?
As a new resident to Arizona, you are required to obtain an Arizona driver license and to register your vehicles in this state.
MVD offers services for vehicle title and registration and for obtaining a new Arizona driver license. Please look over the information contained here to learn the simple compliance of licensing and vehicle registration.
We look forward to providing you with outstanding customer service.
Stacey K. Stanton
Motor Vehicle Division
State law requires that you obtain an Arizona vehicle registration and driver license, immediately if any of the following applies. If you:
- Work in Arizona (other than for seasonal agricultural work) –or–
- Are registered to vote in Arizona –or–
- Place children in school without paying the tuition rate of a nonresident –or–
- Have a business that has an office in Arizona, and that bases and operates vehicles in this state –or–
- Obtain a state license or pay school tuition fees at the same rate as an Arizona resident –or–
- Have a business that operates vehicles to transport goods or passengers within Arizona –or–
- Remain in Arizona for a total of 7 months or more during any calendar year, regardless of your permanent residence.
Out-of-state students enrolled with 7 or more semester hours, are not considered Arizona residents, regardless of employment.
Active duty military personnel based in Arizona who qualify for exemption under the Service Members Civil Relief Act of 2003 are not considered Arizona residents.
Obtaining a License
For more information, see Driver License Information and Driver License FAQ. For information on obtaining a Commercial Driver License, see Commercial Driver License Information.
Begin your application online. If you need to print one, see Driver License/Identification Card Application or Commercial Driver License Application.
Proof of Identification, Age and Authorized Presence
Arizona law requires that you submit proof that your presence in the United States is authorized under federal law. See Identification Requirements (or for a commercial driver license see CDL Documentation Requirements) for a listing of acceptable proof.
You need at least two documents listed – one must have a clear photo of you
Or three documents listed with no photo
One must be listed under the Primary
All must be originals or copies, in English, certified by the issuing agency
Additional documents needed for a name change (e.g., marriage certificate, divorce decree). You must first change your name with the Social Security Administration.
Requirements may change without notice.
Social Security Number
You are required by ARS 28-3158(D)(5) and 42 USC 405(c)(2)(C) to provide your Social Security Number. It will be used to verify your identity and to comply with federal and state child support enforcement laws. It will not be used as your driver license number.
If you are under 18, your application for an instruction permit or driver license must be signed by at least one adult. The adult will be responsible for any negligence or willful misconduct when you are driving.
The application must be signed by:
- One natural parent if married to the other natural parent or
- Both natural parents if not married to each other, but share joint custody or,
- One natural parent with sole custody
Or, if neither parent is living:
- Legal guardian (proof required) or
- Foster parent living with the minor (proof required) or
- Employer of the minor (death certificates must be shown)
The signatures must be witnessed by an MVD agent or by a notary public. Signatures obtained for an instruction permit will be required again for a driver license.
You may be given a simple vision exam. Written and road tests may not be required if you provide a valid driver license in another state.
Types of Licenses
Licenses are issued by "class", G (graduated), D (operator), M (motorcycle) and A, B, C (commercial). If the class M license is combined with any other class of license, it will be added as an “endorsement” on the back of the current license.
If you are at least 15 years and 6 months of age you may be issued a graduated and/or a motorcycle instruction permit. You must be at least 18 for an operator permit.
With a graduated or operator permit you must be accompanied by a class A, B, C or D licensed driver, who is at least 21 years of age and occupies the seat beside you. These permits are valid for 12 months.
With a motorcycle permit you are prohibited from operating a motorcycle on freeways or interstate highways or between sunset and sunrise, or at any time when there is not enough light to clearly see persons or vehicles at a distance of 500 feet. The motorcycle instruction permit is valid for 7 months and can be renewed one time within a 24-month period.
The commercial instruction permit is valid for 6 months. You must be at least 18 to apply. For additional information, see our Commercial Driver License Information page.
Graduated License (Class G)
A graduated driver license is issued to an applicant who is at least 16, but less than 18 years of age and is valid to operate any vehicle that does not require a motorcycle or commercial license.
An applicant for a graduated license must have held an Arizona instruction permit for at least 6 months. The permit must be valid at the time of application. An applicant must also have satisfactorily completed an Arizona driver education program approved by MVD or the parent or guardian must certify in writing that the applicant has completed at least 30 hours of supervised driving practice, including at least 10 hours at night.
The following restrictions apply to a class G license for the first six months the license is held.
- Teen cannot drive between the hours of midnight and 5:00 a.m. unless,
- A parent or legal guardian who has a valid driver license is sitting in the front passenger seat, -or-
- The teen is driving to or from a sanctioned school sponsored activity, sanctioned religious activity, place of employment or family emergency.
- Teen can not drive a motor vehicle containing more than one passenger under the age of 18 on a public highway unless,
- The passengers are the teen driver’s siblings, -or-
- The teen driver is accompanied by a parent or legal guardian with a valid driver license and occupies the front passenger seat.
An applicant holding an out-of-state driver license is exempt from the driver education/driving practice and instruction permit requirements. The applicant will be required to follow the restrictions stated above for the first six months that the original class G license is held.
Operator License (Class D)
An operator license allows you to drive any vehicle that does not require a motorcycle or commercial license. You must be at least 18 years of age to apply for an operator license.
Motorcycle License (Class M)
A motorcycle license or endorsement is required to drive a motorcycle or motor-driven cycle. You must be at least 16 to apply for a motorcycle license.
An applicant for a motorcycle license or endorsement who is under 18 must have held an Arizona instruction permit for at least 6 months. The permit must be valid at the time of application. An applicant must also have satisfactorily completed a motorcycle driver education program that is approved by MVD, or the parent or guardian must certify in writing that the applicant has completed at least 30 hours of motorcycle driving practice.
An applicant holding an out-of-state motorcycle license or endorsement is exempt from the driver education/driving practice and instruction permit requirements.
For additional information, see our Motorcycle License Information page and the Motorcycle Operator Manual.
Commercial Driver License (Class A, B or C)
A commercial driver license (CDL) is required for drivers of heavyweight vehicles, 26,001 lbs or more gross vehicle weight (GVW), vehicles capable of carrying 16 or more passengers (including the driver), or vehicles required to be placarded for hazardous material. The minimum age for a commercial driver license is 21. If you are at least 18, you may apply for an intrastate commercial driver license that is valid only in Arizona.
You are required to submit a copy of your DOT Physical Examination form when you apply for a commercial driver license, or renew an existing license. Incomplete or inaccurate information on the examination form may result in suspension or denial of the license. You must maintain your physical qualification with MVD and must submit a copy of your examination form every 24 months to the MVD Medical Review Program. Failure to do so may result in suspension of your commercial driving privilege.
For additional information, see Commercial Driver License Information and CDL Manual.
Applying for Title and Registration
When you buy a vehicle, Arizona law requires that you apply for a title within 15 days of purchase. If your vehicle was registered in another state and you wish to operate it in Arizona, you must register it here as soon as you become an Arizona resident (See "Resident Definition" above).
Most vehicles may be registered for either one or two years at a time. (Some vehicles must be emission tested every year, and are therefore not eligible for two year registration.) Permanent registration will be issued for the following:
- Noncommercial trailers with a declared gross vehicle weight (GVW) of 10,000 lbs or less (one-time $125 registration fee)
- Commercial trailers with a declared GVW of more than 10,000 lbs (one-time $800 registration fee)
All-terrain and off-road recreational vehicles that operate only on dirt roads located in unincorporated areas of Arizona must be titled and have a plate, but are exempt from registration and insurance requirements.
In addition to other fees, vehicle owners in Arizona pay a Vehicle License Tax (VLT), assessed in place of a personal property tax charged by some other states. The VLT is distributed to the State Highway User Revenue Fund, State Highway Fund, State General Fund (for school financial assistance), County General Fund, to the counties for the same use as the State Highway User Revenue Fund and to the incorporated cities and towns for transportation, maintenance and improvements.
Plate and Fee To Owner
Arizona law provides that a license plate is assigned to the vehicle owner, instead of the vehicle.
- Plate stays with owner when vehicle is sold
- Get credit for remaining fees
- Transfer plate and fees to another vehicle (with an expired registration)
- Credit reduces each month not used
See Selling Your Vehicle for more information.
Items Needed For a Title and Registration
The following are requirements to obtain an Arizona title, registration and license plate for a vehicle previously titled or registered in another state. This is general information only. Any title and registration action may present special requirements. For additional information, see our Title and Registration FAQ page.
Physical Inspection of the Vehicle
Physical inspection is not required on out of state vehicles if the owner has proof of ownership, such as a title and/or registration. The make, vehicle identification number (VIN), body style and other general vehicle information must be verified at an MVD or authorized Third Party office prior to registration. If there are obvious safety or mechanical flaws, registration may be denied until repairs are completed.
For more information, see Vehicle Inspections.
Before you register, your vehicle may need an emission test. The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality is responsible for the emission testing program and laws. For more information contact the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality toll free 877-692-9227 (877-myazcar) or www.myazcar.com.
Arizona requires that every motor vehicle operated on our roadways be covered by one of the statutory forms of financial responsibility, more commonly called liability insurance, through a company that is authorized to do business in Arizona. This includes golf carts, motorcycles and mopeds.
Minimum levels of financial responsibility are:
- $15,000 bodily injury liability for one person and $30,000 for two or more persons
- $10,000 property damage liability
Law enforcement officers will ask you for proof of insurance at the time of traffic stops or accidents. Insurance companies notify us of all policy cancellations, non-renewals, and new policies. If your insurance company sends us a notice that your policy is no longer active, we will send you an inquiry notice to verify insurance status.
Failure to maintain proper insurance could lead to the suspension of your vehicle registration and/or driver license. To reinstate these privileges, fees and future proof of financial responsibility must be filed with us. The future proof requirement is most commonly an SR22 form from an insurance company. This can be expensive to the vehicle owner, especially since the law requires the owner to carry the SR22 for three years from the date of suspension.
For additional information, see our Mandatory Insurance FAQ page
Proof of Ownership
Your out-of-state title and registration must be surrendered at the time of application for Arizona title and registration. When a loan has been recorded against the vehicle and the title is being held by a lender in another state, the registration is still needed, although the title may not be required.
All liens on your existing title will be recorded on the new Arizona title unless you provide an original lien clearance from the lender (or a letter on the lender’s letterhead) that contains the vehicle identification number (VIN), year, make and body style of the vehicle, the original loan amount, the date of the contract, and the lender’s complete name and mailing address.
All applicants listed on the application for Arizona title must sign the application. An original, notarized power of attorney is acceptable to allow an appointed person to sign on behalf of one or more of the owners.
Ninety Day Registration
An Arizona resident who does not have complete documentation for issuance of a title or registration may apply for a 90 day registration. This registration allows you to operate the vehicle while obtaining additional documentation. The fee is $15. When complete documentation is submitted, vehicle license taxes will be calculated, for the full year, back to the date of issuance of the 90 day registration.
Out-of-state license plates must be surrendered when you obtain Arizona plates. Special plates are available for most vehicles.
For more information, see our Frequently Asked Questions