How It Works
Fix your ticket now

Arizona New Resident Guide

Welcome to Arizona! As a new driver to this state you will need to be aware of our unique traffic laws and regulations. Here's what you need to keep in mind while driving in Arizona. Some of these rules may be the same as what you're already used to, but others will be drastically different!

Licensing and Residency Requirements



  • A vehicle belonging to a person must be registered in the county where the person maintains a permanent and actual residence.
  • You are required by law to notify MVD within 10 days of any change to your address and/or your name.
  • State law requires that you obtain an Arizona vehicle registration and driver license, immediately if any of the following applies:
    • You work in Arizona (other than for seasonal agricultural work).
    • You are registered to vote in Arizona.
    • 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.


Graduated Licensing Program



Graduated Instruction Permit

Requirements

  • Must be at least 15 years and 6 months old;
  • Must provide necessary application documents;
  • Must pass written and vision tests.

Privileges and Restrictions

  • Must have a licensed driver who is at least 21 years of age seated in the front seat next to him or her at all times

Graduated Driver License

Requirements

  • Must be at least 16 years old
  • Must hold an Arizona Graduated Permit for at least 6 months
  • Must have completed 20 hours of supervised daytime driving practice and 10 hours of supervised nighttime driving practice before applying

Privileges and Restrictions

  • For the first 6 months:
    • May not drive between midnight and 5 AM unless:
      • A licensed parent or legal guardian is sitting in the front seat;
      • Driving to or from a sanctioned school sponsored activity, sanctioned religious activity, place of employment or family emergency.
    • May not transport more than one passenger under the age of 18 on a public highway unless:
      • The passengers are the teen driver's siblings;
      • The teen driver is accompanied by a licensed parent or legal guardian sitting in the front seat.
  • If the teen has no extensions of the restricted driving period, or suspension of driving privileges during the first 6 months of restricted driving, the teen may drive without restriction until age 18.

No License

If you have outstanding or unresolved actions in any state, an Arizona license will not be issued.



Violation Point Counts

The amount of points that go against your driver's license for specific types of violations.



8 Point Violations

  • DUI;
  • Extreme DUI;
  • Reckless Driving;
  • Aggressive Driving.

6 Point Violations

  • Leaving the scene of an accident, hit and run;
  • Failure to stop for a traffic signal, stop sign or to yield the right-of-way, causing death.

4 Point Violations

  • Failure to stop for a traffic signal, stop sign or to yield the right-of-way, causing serious injury.

3 Point Violations

  • Speeding;
  • Driving over or parking in a gore area.

2 Point Violations

  • All other moving violations.

Time Violations Remain on Record

A conviction stays on your record for five years from the date of conviction.

If you accumulate 8 or more points in any 12 month period, you must attend Traffic Survival School or your license will be suspended up to 12 months.



Insurance Requirements



Mandatory Insurance

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.

Requirements

  • $15,000 financial responsibility for any 1 person in 1 accident.
  • $30,000 for any 2 people in 1 accident.
  • $10,000 for property destruction in any 1 accident.

Penalties

  • 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 the MVD.


Headlight Laws



You must dim your headlights from high to low beam within 500 feet of an oncoming vehicle and within 200 feet when following another vehicle.

You must use your headlights:

  • From sunset to sunrise;
  • When visibility is less than 500 feet.

There is no specific law allowing or prohibiting headlight flashing.



Implied Consent Laws



  • First Refusal - 12-month suspension
  • Subsequent Refusal (within 84 months) - 2-year suspension


DUI Penalties



Standard DWI Offense and .08 Offense

First offense (Class 1 misdemeanor)

  • 10 days - 6 months imprisonment;
  • Up to $2,500 fine plus two $500 mandatory assessments;
  • Community service at court's discretion;
  • Driver training course mandatory for first offenders under age of 18, otherwise at court's discretion;
  • 90 days - 1 year license suspension;
  • Alcohol education and treatment required for license reinstatement;
  • Ignition interlock 12 months.

Second offense (within 84 months) (Class 1 misdemeanor)

  • 90 days - 6 months imprisonment;
  • Up to $2,500 fine plus two $1,250 mandatory assessments;
  • Minimum 30 hours community service;
  • Driver training course at court's discretion;
  • 1 year license suspension;
  • Alcohol education and treatment required for license reinstatement;
  • Ignition interlock 12 months.

Greater than or equal to .15 Offense but less than .20:

First offense (Class 1 misdemeanor)

  • 30 days - 6 months imprisonment;
  • Up to $2,500 fine, plus a $250 mandatory assessment and two $1,000 mandatory assessments;
  • Community service at court's discretion;
  • Driver training course mandatory for first offenders under age of 18, otherwise at court's discretion;
  • 90 days - 1 year license suspension;
  • Alcohol education and treatment required for license reinstatement;
  • Ignition interlock 12 months;

Second offense (within 84 months) (Class 1 misdemeanor)

  • 120 days - 6 months imprisonment;
  • Up to $2,500 fine, plus an additional mandatory assessment of $250 and two $1,250 mandatory assessments;
  • Minimum 30 hours community service;
  • Driver training course at court's discretion;
  • 1 year license suspension;
  • Alcohol education and treatment required for license reinstatement;
  • Ignition interlock 12 months.

Greater than or equal to .20 Offense

First offense (Class 1 misdemeanor)

  • 45 days - 6 months imprisonment;
  • Up to $2,500 fine, plus a $250 mandatory assessment and two $1,000 mandatory assessments.
  • Community service at court's discretion.
  • Driver training course mandatory for first offenders under age of 18, otherwise at court's discretion.
  • 90 days - 1 year license suspension.
  • Alcohol education and treatment required for license reinstatement.
  • Ignition interlock 18 months.

Second offense (within 84 months) (Class 1 misdemeanor)

  • Imprisonment
    • 180 days - 6 months imprisonment;
    • Up to $2,500 fine, plus a $250 mandatory assessment and two $1,250 mandatory assessments;
    • Minimum 30 hours community service.
  • Driver training course at court's discretion;
  • 1 year license suspension;
  • Alcohol education and treatment required for license reinstatement;
  • Ignition interlock 24 months.

Aggravated DWI (Class 4 felony)

  • 1 year - 3.75 years imprisonment;
  • Up to $150,000 fine;
  • 10 years probation, at court's discretion;
  • 3 year license revocation;
  • Alcohol education and treatment mandatory for Aggravated DWI cases;
  • Ignition interlock for 24 months.

Child Endangerment

  • An intoxicated driver with a person under 15 in the vehicle commits aggravated DUI.


Open Container Law



The Open Container Law prohibits possession of an open alcoholic beverage container in the passenger area of any motor vehicle, by any occupant of the vehicle, on any public highway or right of way, whether or not the vehicle is in motion.



Red Light Violation Fines



  • Traditional enforcement: $250 fine/2 points;
  • Auto enforcement: $165 fine/2 points.


Construction Zone Penalties



Speeding violations when workers are present are subject to two times the original fine.



Turn Signal Information



Signal your intention to turn or change lanes at least 100 feet in advance.



Hazard Light Information



Hazard light use is permitted to warn other drivers of the presence of a vehicular traffic hazard requiring the exercise of unusual care in approaching, overtaking or passing, including disabled or parked vehicles.



Funeral Procession Right-of-Way Laws



  • A funeral procession escort vehicle may direct the procession to proceed through an intersection or make any necessary movements without regard to any traffic control signals.
  • All other vehicles and pedestrians, except emergency vehicles, must yield the right of way to funeral processions.
  • Vehicles in the procession must exercise due care.


School Bus Laws



Requirements

  • Vehicles are required to stop unless the bus is on a different roadway or controlled access highway, or stopped in a loading zone where pedestrians are not permitted to enter the roadway.

Penalties

  • Failure to stop and remain stopped when required will result in a minimum fine of $250 for the first violation.


Bicyclist Passing Distance



A 3-foot minimum passing distance is required.



Motorcycle Laws



Licensing

  • Operators age 15 and 6 months and older may be issued a motorcycle instruction permit. First time drivers must pass both a driver license and a motorcycle operator written test. Current instruction permit or license holders need only take the motorcycle operator written test.
  • Applicants must be at least 16 years of age to apply for a motorcycle license or endorsement.
  • 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 riding practice.

Protective Gear

  • All motorcycle operators under 18 years of age must wear a protective helmet.
  • All operators must wear protective glasses, goggles, or a transparent face shield unless the motorcycle is equipped with a transparent windshield.

Headlights

  • Not required in daytime.

Sharing the Road

  • Two motorcycles may travel side-by-side in a single lane.
  • Lane splitting is not authorized.


Using the Shoulder to Pass



You may not drive off the roadway to pass on the right.



Passing Laws



Do Not Pass:

  • When approaching, or upon, a hill or curve;
  • When approaching within 100 feet of or traversing any intersection or railroad grade crossing;
  • When in a no passing zone;
  • When approaching within 100 feet of any bridge, viaduct, or tunnel.

When Being Passed:

  • Give way to the right in favor of the overtaking vehicle;
  • The overtaking vehicle may signal by honking its horn or blinking its headlamps if at night;
  • Do not increase the speed of your vehicle until completely passed by the overtaking vehicle.


Speed Limits



  • 15 mph approaching a school crossing;
  • 25 mph in a business or residential district;
  • 65 mph in other locations, which includes interstate highways outside of urban areas with a population of 50,000 or more;
  • 75 mph on an individual interstate system highway outside an urbanized area with a population of 50,000 or more, or on all of the interstate system highways.


Safety Belt and Child Safety Seat Laws



Safety Belts

  • Occupants who are age 8 or older in the front seat, and occupants who are ages 8 - 15 in all seats, must wear safety belts.
  • Police may not stop vehicles solely for belt law violations.
  • The fine for a first offense is $10.

Child Seats

  • Children age 4 and younger; and children 5 - 7 who are 57 inches or shorter must be in a child seat.
  • Children 5 - 7 who are taller than 57 inches must be restrained, and may use an adult safety belt.
  • Police may stop vehicles solely for child seat law violations.
  • The fine for a first offense is $50.


Emergency Vehicle Laws



Move Over

When you see any stationary or parked vehicle displaying alternately flashing lights or warning lights, you must do the following:

  • On a highway with at least four lanes, two of which are proceeding in the same direction as the approaching vehicle, make a lane change into a lane not adjacent to the vehicle, if it is safe to do so.
  • If changing lanes would be impossible or unsafe, proceed with due caution and reduce the speed of the vehicle, maintaining a safe speed for road conditions.

Following

  • Do not follow a fire apparatus traveling in response to a fire alarm closer than 500 feet, or drive into or park within the block where the fire apparatus has stopped in answer to a fire alarm.
  • Maintain a distance of at least 300 feet behind any police vehicle involved in an emergency, until the police vehicle moves to the lane closest to the right hand edge or curb of the roadway.

Collision Procedures

Stop

  • Stop at the scene or as close as possible without obstructing traffic more than necessary, and remain at the scene until all requirements are fulfilled.

Provide Information

Provide the following information to any other person involved in the accident, or to any police officer at the scene of the crash:

  • Driver's name and address;
  • Vehicle registration number;
  • Show driver's license upon request.

Render assistance

  • Provide assistance to any injured person, including transporting them or making arrangements for transportation to a hospital or doctor, if necessary or requested.

Notify authorities

  • If the crash resulted in injury or death, drivers involved must notify the local police department, county sheriff, or state highway patrol immediately.

Unattended vehicle or property

  • If you have collided with a vehicle that is unattended, locate and notify the operator or owner of the driver's name and address and the owner's name and address. If you are unable to do so, leave a written notice providing this information.
  • If you have collided with other unattended property on or adjacent to a highway, locate and notify the owner of the driver's name and address, the vehicle registration number, and show your driver's license if requested.


Fix your ticket now