Licensing & State Laws

Arizona’s multi-stage licensing process allows teens to gradually gain exposure to complex driving situations, easing them into driving over an extended period of time. The graduated instruction permit and graduated driver license are key steps.

Graduated Instruction Permit

At age 15 and 6 months, teens can apply for a graduated instruction permit in the state of Arizona. To do so, both teen and parent must visit their local driver exam office with two forms of identification.

Teens must pass a written driver’s knowledge test, pay a $7 fee and pass a vision test to receive a graduated instruction permit.

With a graduated instruction permit, teens may only drive with a licensed driver age 21 or older supervising and sitting in the front seat. Teens are required to practice driving for at least 30 hours, including 10 hours at night, while supervised before they’re allowed a graduated drivers license.

Graduated Driver License

When teens turn 16, have had a graduated instruction permit for at least six months and have completed 30 hours of practice driving, they can apply for this graduated driver license. Teens must bring two forms of ID and a $25 application fee to the DMV. The teens also must pass a behind-the-wheel driving test and provide proof of the 30 hours of practice driving. Legal guardians must accompany their teens to sign the application form, or their signature must be notarized on the form.

A teen with a graduated driver license is allowed to drive alone, but must follow certain restrictions. They may not drive between midnight and 5 a.m. (Some exceptions are granted.) They are also prohibited from driving with more than one non-family member passenger under age 18, unless a licensed parent or legal guardian is seated next to them in the vehicle. Teen drivers and all passengers are required to wear seat belts.

Unrestricted Graduated Driver License

If the teen driver has no outstanding extensions of the restricted driving period or suspension of driving privileges while completing the first six months of restricted driving, the teen may drive without restriction until eligible to apply for a Class D driver license at age 18. AAA encourages parents to maintain their own additional rules.

A parent-teen driving agreement can help you enforce licensing rules that the state and your family set. An agreement helps you and your teen understand the rules of the road and sends a clear message that driving is an earned privilege that your family takes seriously.

The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT), through its Motor Vehicle Department, is in charge of licensing for all drivers in Arizona. The ADOT conducts the written exam and road test needed to get a driver’s license. It also provides study materials to help your teen get ready for the exams.

Remind your teen that police can and will enforce all requirements on seat belt use, drinking and driving, and other laws. Breaking the law can lead to fines, license suspension and other penalties.

  • If stopped by the police, teens should present a valid license, vehicle registration and proof of insurance.
  • Whether stopped as a driver or passenger, teens should always cooperate and be respectful with law enforcement.
  • If in any kind of situation involving law enforcement, teens should talk to their parents about it, because this can create a learning experience.

 If your teen gets a ticket or is involved in a crash, it could lead to a court appearance. Judges deal seriously and directly with teen traffic violations. They can assess fines and suspend driving privileges for traffic offenses – even for a first offense, depending on the type of violation.