Like many other states, Arizona has a graduated-licensing system (GDL) for teens, which separates the process into three stages and helps you learn important road rules and develop the necessary driving skills before becoming an independent driver.
In Arizona, the GDL program consists of obtaining a:
- Graduated instruction permit (or learner’s permit)
- Class G graduated driver’s license
- Class D operator’s (unrestricted) driver’s license
In this guide, you will learn how to prepare for the Arizona permit test, receive your graduated driver’s license and eventually go on to become an unrestricted driver.
When you are at least 15 and a half years old, you can apply for your Arizona graduated instruction permit (also known as the learner’s permit), which will allow you to practice driving with a licensed driver age 21 or over in the passenger seat. The permit requires that you pass a written exam that demonstrates your knowledge of the rules of the road as well as various traffic signs and signals.
Spend Plenty of Time Studying
If you want to do well on the test, you will need to dedicate time to studying. Read the entire handbook and spend extra time on any parts that you’re unsure about. We provide a free copy of the Arizona Driver’s Handbook here, or you can get a physical copy by visiting the office of the Arizona Motor Vehicles Division (MVD) and requesting one.
Take Practice Exams
Don’t waste your time and money taking a test you aren’t prepared for. Instead, take a few practice tests first. Our Arizona practice permit test includes many of the same topics you will find on the real test and is a great resource for learning.
Collect the Required Items and Visit Your Local MVD Office
Before you head to the MVD to take the test, check to make sure you have everything that is required:
- A driver’s license application (form 40-5122) with a signature from your parent or guardian
- Two forms of identification, one of which must include a photograph of you
- $7 for testing fees
Take the Exams
Try to relax and be positive as you take the written exam. Think carefully about your answers and take all the time you need. After passing, you will take a vision test to ensure you can see well enough to safely drive.
You are eligible to move on to the next stage in the graduated-license process when you are 16 years old, have held your instruction permit for at least six months and have completed at least 30 hours of practice driving with a licensed driver aged 21 or above supervising you. Of those 30 hours, 10 must be at night.
If you don’t have a parent or guardian willing to help, you have the option of completing a state-approved driver’s education course instead.
When you are ready, visit your local MVD office to take the road test. Be sure to bring a few items along with you:
- Your Arizona graduated instruction permit
- Two forms of identification, one of which includes your photograph
- Registration and proof of insurance for the vehicle you’ll be driving during the test
- $25 for testing and license fees
- Written certification from your parent or guardian that you completed your necessary practice hours or proof of successful completion from a state-approved driver’s education class
Be aware that the Arizona Class G graduated driver’s license comes with a few limitations:
- You may not drive with passengers under 18 years of age unless they are family members or your parent or guardian is riding in the passenger seat
- You may not drive between midnight and 5 a.m. during the first six months of holding your license unless there is a family emergency, your parent or guardian is riding in the passenger seat, or you are on your way to or from a work, church or school event
When you have your Class G graduated license for at least six months and haven’t had any traffic violations, you will be free to drive without restriction. When you turn 18, you can choose to continue driving with your Class G license or go on to obtain a new Class D license. If you choose the latter, you will need to bring two forms of identification to your local MVD office and pay $12 in fees to receive your Class D license.
If you are a teen with a driver’s license from another state, you can transfer your license to Arizona by bringing your current license to the MVD office, taking a vision test and paying a $25 fee.