arizona driving information
Arizona is known for severe dust storms, also known as haboobs, and snow birds, also known as tourists. But these aren't the only things that make driving in Arizona unique. Read on to find out more about driving in Arizona.
Arizona driving stats, facts, and laws
Number of licensed drivers: 4,403,000
Registered vehicles: 4,358,000
Licensing and registration authority: Arizona Department of Transportation
Total crashes: 106,177
Average cost of property damage after a car accident: $8,364
Most common driver violation: speeding too fast for conditions
Most common type of collision: rear-end
Arizona driving record points
Convictions for moving violations can add penalty points to a driving record. Points range from 2 to 8, depending on the severity of the violation.
Most minor violations result in 2 points, while driving over a gore area (the space between a roadway and an entrance or exit ramp) will tack on 3 points. A reckless driving conviction is considered more severe and adds 8 points to a driving record.
If you rack up 8 or more points on your driving record within a 12-month span, you may be required to attend driving school or your license could be suspended.
Arizona's school bus drivers are banned from all cell phone use while driving.
Any driver with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or higher is considered over the limit. Even with a BAC below 0.08 percent, a driver could still be convicted of a DUI.
Penalties for a conviction may include:
- 8 driving record points
- 10 days in jail
- $1,250 minimum fine
- Mandatory community service
- Mandatory ignition interlock device
Penalties for extreme DUIs, which typically involve a BAC of 0.15 percent, are more severe.
Reporting accidents in Arizona
Any accident resulting in injury must be reported to the police.
If the other driver doesn't provide insurance info, you can get the police report and submit an Insurance Information Request form (PDF) to obtain the driver's insurance info.
Out-of-state accidents and your car insurance
If you have Arizona's minimum coverage limits and get into an accident in another state that requires higher minimum limits, your policy may stretch to cover the higher amount required.
Moving to Arizona
If you're moving to Arizona and have an out-of-state drivers license, you'll have to pass a vision test and pay a fee to obtain an Arizona drivers license. No written or road test is needed.
You'll also have to get insurance and register your car as soon as you become an Arizona resident.
If you're an enrolled student from outside of Arizona with 7 or more semester hours, you aren't required to have an Arizona drivers license or registration.
And if you're visiting from another country, you won't need an international driving license or permit to legally drive in Arizona (although it is recommended). Your country-issued drivers license will do just fine.
Drivers in the military
If you're an Arizona resident stationed elsewhere on active duty, you can renew your registration online, by phone, or through the mail. If your car is in a state that requires emissions testing, you can apply for an out-of-state emissions exemption.
You might also qualify for the Special Military Exemption, meaning you can renew your vehicle registration without paying any fees.
When it comes to car thefts in Arizona, Phoenix is a hotspot. According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), the capital city saw 13,132 car thefts in a single year. Tucson was a distant second with 3,586.
10 most stolen cars of 2011 in Arizona
- 1994 Honda Accord
- 2005 Chevrolet Pickup (full size)
- 1995 Honda Civic
- 2004 Ford Pickup (full size)
- 2005 Dodge Pickup (full size)
- 1994 Nissan Sentra
- 1991 Toyota Camry
- 1997 Nissan Altmia
- 1996 Nissan Maxima
- 2000 Chevrolet Pickup (small size)
Young driver requirements
Graduated permit requirements
- Minimum permit age: 15 years, 6 months
- Tests: written and vision
- A licensed driver (21 years old or older) must be seated in the front seat next to the permitted young driver at all times
Graduated drivers license requirements
- Minimum age: 16 years old
- Time with permit: 6 months
- Training: completion of an approved Arizona driver education program or 30 practice hours with parent/guardian (20 day hours; 10 night hours)
- Nighttime driving restrictions: midnight to 5 a.m. (except in special cases)
- Passenger restrictions: only one passenger under the age of 18 during first 6 months unless it's a sibling
- Nighttime and passenger restrictions lifted: 6 months after obtaining graduated license
Getting a drivers license
Once you turn 18, you can convert your graduated license into a full-fledged Class D license. This lets you drive without any restrictions.
Minors and underage drinking
Minors (under the age of 21) with any BAC level above zero may lose driving privileges.
Arizona car insurance
Just like this page but filled with info on Arizona car insurance.
The Arizona Department of Transportation
This official site can help with your licensing and vehicle registration needs.