Welcome to your complete 2022 guide to Arizona driving laws.
Here, we’ll talk about 3 major topics, namely:
- Your AZ driver’s license
- The AZ driving laws
- The AZ road rules
With this, you’ll know everything you need to know to be safe while on the wheel, as well as avoid getting a traffic ticket.
There’s a lot to cover, so let’s get started right away!
Arizona Driving Laws by Category
- Arizona Driver’s License Requirements
- Arizona Driver’s License Renewal
- Arizona CDL Requirements
- Types of Driver’s License in Arizona
- How to Get My Arizona Driving Record
Let’s look at each of these in detail.
Arizona Driver’s License
First up, we have your Arizona driver’s license.
Here is everything you need to know about it.
Arizona Driver’s License Requirements
You can start working towards your driver’s license when you turn 15½ years old. If so, then you’ll have to go through the 3 phases of the GDL program.
- Get your graduated instruction permit
- Get your graduated driver’s license
- Must be at least 16 years old
- Must hold your instruction permit for at least 6 months
- Complete 30 hours of supervised driving, 10 hours at night
- Schedule an appointment with the AZ DOT.
- Submit the necessary paperwork (see above)
- Pass the road test
- Pay the $25 license fee
- Get your operator’s license
- Must be at least 18 years old
- Must hold your graduated driver’s license for 6 months
- Exchange the graduated license for an operator’s license
Arizona Driver’s License Renewal
Once you turn 65 years old, you need to start renewing your AZ driver’s license.
Here are the steps to renew it in-person:
- Prepare your current driver’s license, 1 secondary ID, and a doctor’s statement (if you want your license to show a medical condition).
- Go to your local DMV or any authorized third-party provider.
- Pass a vision test
- Pass the road test (if required)
- Have your photo taken
- Pay the $10 renewal fee
Here are the steps to renew it online:
- Log in or activate your AZMVDNow.gov account
- Click on “My Credentials”, then “Renew Now”
- Follow the instructions and provide all necessary information
What if you aren’t 65 yet?
You only need to replace your driver’s license photo every 12 years.
Arizona CDL Requirements
Looking to get a commercial driver’s license?
Then here are the requirements:
- Be at least 18 years old (21 if driving interstate)
- Must have held a regular driver’s license for 1 year
- Get proof of residency, identity, and Social Security Number
- Pass a background check
- Get a commercial license permit (CLP)
- Submit all documents listed above at your local DMV
- Complete the application form
- Pass the knowledge test
- Pay the fee (depends on your CDL class)
- Complete the ELDT program from a certified provider (if you got your CLP prior to February 7, 2022)
- Get your commercial driver’s license (CLD)
- Must have a valid CLP
- Must have held your CLP for at least 14 days
- Pass the CDL skills test
Types of Driver’s License in Arizona
It’s good to know and understand the driver’s license classifications in Arizona. So here are all the types of driver’s licenses in the state:
- Class A CDL – can operate a combination vehicle with a Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR) of 26,001 pounds. The towed trailer should be 10,001 pounds or more.
- Class B CDL – can operate a single or combination vehicle with a GCWR of 26,001 pounds. For combination vehicles, the towed trailer should be less than 10,000 pounds.
- Class C CDL – can operate a combination vehicle less than 26,000 pounds, a vehicle that transports hazardous materials, and a vehicle that can carry 16 passengers.
- Class D – can operate a private vehicle that does not need a commercial or Class M license. This is the most common license type.
- Class M – can operate motorcycles or motor-driven cycles
How to Get My Arizona Driving Record
Before you can obtain your driving record, you need to know which one to get. Here are the different types of driving records in Arizona:
- 39-month uncertified driving record
- 39-month certified driving record
- 5-year uncertified driving record
- 5-year certified driving record
Depending on the record you need, you can get it either online, in-person, or through the mail.
Here’s how to get your Arizona driving record online:
- Go to the official website of the Arizona Motor Vehicle Division
- Sign in or activate your account
- Click driver’s license record
- Fill up the required details
- Pay the fee of $3
- Get your PDF driving record and print it
Here’s how to get it in person:
- Go to any local MVD office or an authorized third-party office
- Fill up the Motor Vehicle Record Request Form (you can do this in advance)
- Pay the fee of $5 for a certified record or $3 for an uncertified record
- Get your driving record
And here’s how to get it through the mail:
- Complete the Motor Vehicle Record Request Form
- Send a fee of $3 (for uncertified) or $5 (for certified)
- Make an MVD agent sign and notarize the back of the form
- Send all these to any local MVD office or an authorized third-party office
- Wait for your driving record to arrive via mail
Arizona Driving Laws
Now that you know everything concerning your Arizona driver’s license, let’s look at the actual laws of driving in the state.
Arizona Seatbelt Laws
For adults, the seatbelt law is pretty basic. Everyone should wear their seatbelts properly when the vehicle is moving.
As for children, you need to install a car or booster seat if they are:
- Younger than 8 years old
- Below 4’9
What you should know is that seatbelt laws are secondary. This means an officer can only give you a citation for breaking that law if you are caught breaking another driving law.
However, the car seat law for children is more strict. You can get pulled over if an officer sees your child riding without a booster seat.
If you are caught breaking these seatbelt laws, you will need to pay a fine of $50 and get a citation.
Arizona Vehicle Laws
You CANNOT drive a vehicle if it isn’t registered in Arizona.
If you are found driving with an unregistered vehicle, you will face a traffic ticket and a big fine of $300.
And, if you are found driving a vehicle registered in another state, you will be charged with a criminal offense.
So make sure you register your vehicle to Arizona within 15 days of purchase.
Here are the steps to registering your vehicle in Arizona:
- Submit a signed Title and Registration Application form to the nearest local MVD office or any authorized third-party providers.
- Submit a valid driver’s license
- Submit vehicle emission test (if required)
- Submit the title of the vehicle
- Submit proof of insurance
- Submit lien details (if required)
If you need to renew your vehicle registration, here are the steps:
- Submit current vehicle registration
- Submit vehicle emission (if required)
- Pay an $8 fee, plus tax
You can submit these online, in person, or through the mail.
Arizona DUI Laws
You will be charged with a DUI if:
- You are 21 years old or older and your Blood Alcohol Concentration or Drug Content level is 0.08%
- You hold a CDL and your BAC level is 0.04%
- You are under 21 years old and any percentage of BAC level is found
Arizona also has an Implied Consent law. This means that you have to submit to a breath, blood, or urine test if an officer suspects you of driving under the influence.
And because DUI is a serious issue, you will face harsh penalties if caught breaking this law.
The penalties will depend on 2 factors:
- Number of DUI offenses
- Amount of BAC detected
Let’s take a closer look.
First offense with BAC level 0.08% to 0.149%:
|Jail time:||10 consecutive days|
|License suspension:||90 days|
Second and subsequent offenses with BAC levels 0.08% to 0.149%:
|Jail time:||90 days or more|
|License suspension:||12 months|
First offense with BAC level 0.15% or higher:
|Jail time:||30 consecutive days|
|License suspension:||90 days|
Second or subsequent offenses with BAC level 0.15% or higher:
|Jail time:||120 days or more|
|License suspension:||12 months|
First offense with BAC level 0.20% or higher:
|Jail time:||45 consecutive days to 6 months|
|License suspension:||90 days|
Second offense with BAC level 0.20% or higher:
|Jail time:||6 months or more|
|License suspension:||12 months|
Subsequent offenses with BAC level 0.20% or higher:
|Jail time:||4 months in Arizona State Prison|
|License suspension:||3 years|
Arizona Distracted Driving Laws
On January 1, 2021, Arizona officially placed a distracted driving law.
This states that you are NOT allowed to use any handheld device while driving a vehicle.
And, because of the seriousness of distracted driving, Arizona planted this as a primary law. That means that an officer can stop you and give you a citation if caught holding your phone.
So what are the penalties for breaking the distracted driving law?
- For your first offense, you will need to pay a $75 to $149 fine.
- For subsequent offenses, the fine goes up to $150 to $250.
If you cause harm or death while breaking this law, you’ll also face:
- 6 months of jail time
- 1-year suspension of your driver’s license
- A fine of $100,000 for restitution
- High demerit points on your driving record
Though not stated in the law, you should avoid other distracted driving methods, such as:
- Arguing with a passenger while driving
- Listening to loud music while driving
- Eating while driving
- Putting on makeup while driving
Arizona Road Rules
The last category that we’ll look into is road rules.
Arizona Road Signs
Road signs are there to direct you, warn you, help you, and so much more. This is why it’s important to understand the road signs you see along the way.
In Arizona, there are 3 types of signs:
- Signal lights
- Traffic signs
- Pavement markings
Signal lights are the common green, yellow, and red stoplights. Whether you drive or not, you probably know what these colors mean.
Then, there are the traffic signs. You will meet 3 kinds of traffic signs – speed limit signs, regulatory signs, and warning signs.
Here are some speed limit and regulatory signs in Arizona:
And here are some warning signs:
Lastly, there are the pavement markings.
Yellow center lines separate two-way traffic. White lines separate lanes, mark stop sign boundaries, indicate pedestrian lanes, etc.
Broken yellow lines mean you can pass on the left side of the opposite lane.
A broken and solid yellow line means passing is only allowed for the vehicles on the side of the broken lines.
Double yellow lines mean that no passing is allowed.
Broken white lines mean you can pass but with extra caution.
As for solid white lines, this indicates that you can’t pass near intersections.
Arizona Road Conditions
Because the weather in Arizona is ever-changing, it’s a good idea to know the most common road conditions and how to drive safely through them.
- Driving with sun glare:
- Wear polarized sunglasses.
- Use your car sun visor to block out most of the sunlight.
- If the sunlight is coming from behind you, the glare will be on the drivers following your vehicle. Make sure to leave enough following room between you and other vehicles to avoid accidents.
- Make sure your windshield is clean before pulling out of the driveway.
- Avoid placing items that could reflect the sun’s glare (e.g., papers, wallets, and phones) on the dashboard.
- Driving through strong winds:
- Slow down to get more control of your vehicle
- Be wary of open areas where you could be caught in a crosswind.
- Always keep a safe distance between you and other drivers, especially high-profile vehicles e.g., trucks, vans, buses, vehicles that are towing cargo, and trailers.
- Driving through dust storms:
- Stop as far to the right as possible.
- Buckle your seatbelts and stay in the vehicle at all costs.
- Wait until the storm has cleared before attempting to restart your car.
- Driving through heavy rain:
- If visibility is less than 1,000 feet, make sure to turn your headlights on to counter this effect.
- Increase the distance between the vehicles around you.
- Remind yourself not to panic if your tires start hydroplaning. Don’t slam on the breaks to force your vehicle to a stop. Instead, slowly let go of the accelerator and try to keep your steering wheel straight.
- Driving through thick fog:
- Drive slowly
- Open your windows so you can hear oncoming vehicles
- Prepare to perform defensive driving maneuvers
- Turn off cruise control to maximize the control of your vehicle
- Increase the distance between other cars
- Keep your eyes peeled for animals on the road
- Use your wiper and defroster to remove excess moisture from your windshield
- Driving through snow and ice:
- Drive slowly and with caution
- Avoid abrupt changes in your speed and direction
- Use your wipers to clean snow off your windshield
- Make sure your lights are fully-functional and not covered in snow
- Remember to switch out your normal tires with snow tires for better traction
- Check weather updates to stay informed of changing road conditions.
- Driving at night:
- Keep your headlights on while driving.
- Avoid looking directly into approaching headlights.
- If you’re feeling particularly sleepy, don’t continue your journey.
To stay updated with the Arizona road conditions, you can download the AZ 51 app.
Want to know the requirements for an AZ driver’s license?
Or, maybe you’re looking to understand the driving laws in the state.
Still, you might want to know about the Arizona road rules.
Whatever the case, you can find all the answers in this 2022 guide to Arizona driving laws.
So pick the topic you’re interested in and learn more about it.
We hope this article has helped you a lot!