Arizona Drivers License vs. REAL ID Card

Sample of Arizona Driver License, effective June 16, 2014
Arizona Department of Transportation

Getting a new driver's license or renewing a current license in the state of Arizona is a very simple process. Much of the application can be started online, but whether you go directly to the DMV or an approved third-party location, be aware that you may want to just apply for a standard license.

Real ID

Effective October 1, 2020, the standard Arizona Driver License will no longer be accepted by TSA to pass through airport security and board commercial aircraft, as well as access restricted areas in federal facilities, nuclear power plants, and military facilities. Only the REAL ID compliant Voluntary Travel ID will be accepted.

Those wanting to convert their Arizona driver’s license or IDs to the voluntary travel ID before the 2020 deadline can visit servicearizona.com to make an appointment at any of the eight offices in Phoenix, Tucson, Prescott, and Flagstaff, or visit any of the 24 authorized third-party driver's license providers across the state without an appointment.

Applicants will need to provide one document to establish birth or legal presence in the United States, such as a birth certificate, a U.S. passport, passport card, certificate of citizenship, or immigration documents. They’ll also need to provide a document to confirm their social security number (like a W-2 form), as well as a document to establish proof of residence, such as a bank statement or utility bill. A full list of approved documents is available online. The travel ID card costs $25.00 and is good for up to eight years.

Residents can also opt-out of a REAL ID-compliant and choose a regular state license. The card will be marked with "Not for federal identification.” and will need a valid passport to travel even within the United States.

Apply for a New Arizona Driver's License

This information is via the Arizona Department of Transportation – Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) website. To apply for your driver's license, you'll need to begin by filling out the Driver License/Identification Card Application (Form 40-5122).

To complete your new driver's license application process:

  • Submit your completed license application 
  • Surrender your out-of-state license, if you're a new resident.
  • Present proof of ID, age, and legal presence in Arizona
  • You'll need a minimum of 2 documents from the full list of accepted documents (birth certificateU.S. passport, I-94, Social Security card); 1 document must include a clear photo of you.
  • If you don't have a photo document, you'll need 3 documents from the list.
  • All documents must be originals or certified copies.
  • Provide proof of name change, if applicable (marriage certificate, divorce decree).
  • Provide your Social Security number.
  • Pass a vision exam.
  • Pass the written knowledge test (unless exempt).
  • If you hold a permit, you will not need to take the permit test.
  • New residents generally do not have to take this exam.
  • Pass the driving test (unless exempt).
  • New residents generally do not have to take the driving test.
  • Pay the applicable fee.

Who Needs an Arizona Driver's License

The law in Arizona requires that residents who drive and/or own a vehicle(s) have a valid state drivers license. A person is considered a resident if any of the following applies:

  • You work in Arizona (other than for seasonal agricultural work).
  • You are registered to vote in this state.
  • You place children in school without paying the tuition rate of a nonresident.
  • You have a business with an office in Arizona that bases and operates vehicles in this state.
  • You obtain a state license or pay school tuition fees at the same rate as an Arizona resident.
  • You have a business that operates vehicles to transport goods or passengers within Arizona.
  • You remain in Arizona for a total of seven months or more during any calendar year, regardless of your permanent residence.

Out-of-state students enrolled with seven or more semester hours are not considered Arizona residents, regardless of employment.

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