Your First-Time Arizona Drivers License Guide

by Jim Thompson | Last Updated: April 2, 2021

If you’re looking to get your Arizona drivers license, we’re here to help. Welcome to our step-by-step guide to get you off of your couch and out onto the road. We know you have a lot of questions, so let’s get going.

Steps to Getting Your Arizona License

No matter your age, getting your license can be an exciting, scary, and confusing time, sometimes all at the same time. First off, let’s clear up some ADOT (Arizona Department of Transportation) terms. In some cases, it seems they’ve gone out of their way to make it confusing.

See? I told you they made it confusing!

Who Must Take Arizona Drivers Ed?

Arizona is one of the few states with no drivers ed requirement. However, it’s probably not a bad idea for anyone to take a drivers ed course before getting their first license.

The Path to an Arizona License in a Nutshell

The quick and dirty looks like this:

Now let’s take a look at what it’ll take to get those four steps done.

Step 1—Take Drivers Ed

Even though Arizona doesn’t require drivers ed, it’s not a bad idea for any first time driver to take it anyway. An Arizona drivers ed course teaches things kike:

Arizona drivers ed can be completed at your high school (if it is offered) or at a state certified driving school. Here are some tips on how to choose the best school for you.

Step 2—Getting Your Class G Permit

If you are 15 years and 6 months old, you can apply for your Class G Permit so you can begin your practice driving.

The Path to an Arizona License in a Nutshell

The quick and dirty looks like this:

Now let’s take a look at what it’ll take to get those four steps done.

Step 1—Take Drivers Ed

A Arizona drivers ed course is comprised of:

The classroom portion teaches topics like:

At the end of your course, you will receive your “Blue Certificate.” Hold on to it! You’ll need it when you apply for your license.

BTWIf you passed drivers ed in another state, your out-of-state course and/or driver license must be approved by the Department of Education

Step 2—Getting Your Permit

Once you have completed drivers ed, you can apply for your Level One Learner Permit.

Application for a permit will happen at your local DMV office

When you arrive, be sure to have the following:

Check out the DMV list of acceptable documents to see exactly what you should bring. 

Now it’s time for your written permit test

The test will include questions about:

The test is available in English, German, Vietnamese, Mandarin, Spanish, Arabic, Russian, Italian, French, Tagalog, and Korean.

To pass the 30-question multiple-choice test, you’ll need to score 80%. Here are some suggestions on how to prepare.

Another way to give yourself a leg up on passing the permit test is to consider one (or more) of the following:

A permit practice test has everything the “real” test does, except the pressure. That’s because practice tests feature questions taken from actual DMV exams. It’s like seeing all the answers before the test even begins! Don’t head to the DMV without a dress rehearsal, you want to pass the first time.

You can find permit practice tests (both paid and free versions) all over the internet, including on the AZDOT website.

BTW—There’s a good chance that you might qualify to take your permit test at home, so check out how you might take it that way.

What If Your Test Didn’t Go Like You Planned?

What if you get to the testing center and, despite all your best preparation, your nerves get the best of you, and you wind up failing the test? First, don’t panic. Nearly 1 out of 3 test-takers fail on their first attempt.

Another Note—If you’re new to Arizona and started this whole license dance somewhere else, here are some tips that might help,

Step 3—30 Hours of Practice Driving

In the first six months of having your permit you’ll have to complete 30 hours of practice driving, and at least 10 of those will need to happen after dark. Remember, you have to hold your permit for six months before applying for your Class G license. There’s no reason not to rack up WAAAY more than 30 hours of practice.

There are restrictions you must follow during these first six months. You must be accompanied at all times by a licensed driver who is:

While you might be nervous at first, do your best to enjoy this time and always pay close attention to what’s going on around you. You never know the kinds of things, good and bad, that you might learn from the drivers around you. Take time to learn all you can from the licensed driver who is with you.

Also, do yourself the favor of driving in as many conditions as you can, places like:

It’s better if you don’t see these things for the first time on your own. 

Step 4—Pass a Road Test

Finally, the last hurdle, your road test. It’s all good. You got this.

You can attempt your driving test the first time six months after receiving your permit. It wouldn’t hurt to take a quick peek at this checklist and this flyer before scheduling your road test appointment.

There are seven steps to the road test/license application process.

  1. Sign in to your AZMVDNow.gov account, fill out the driver license application form and upload the required documents
  2. While you’re there, schedule your road test appointment
  3. When you arrive, be sure you have…
    1. Your permit
    2. The license plate number of the vehicle you intend to use for the test (must be currently registered and insured)
    3. A parent or legal guardian
  4. Have a photo taken
  5. Review application with MVD Specialist
  6. Make your payment
  7. Buckle up and take your test 

During the test, you will be observed (and graded) on your ability to:

Did you pass? Congratulations! You’re the proud owner of a shiny new Class G license.

A Final Note

Any licensed driver will tell you that you will never face a driving situation as complicated, nerve-wracking, and time-consuming as getting your license. By no means should you let your guard down once you’re behind the wheel but, rest assured. You’ll never face anything on the road that will compare with the process it took to get you your license.

Good luck as you work your way through this. Can’t wait to see you out on the road!

A Final Final Note

If you’ve made it this far, may we suggest you bookmark this page? You’ll probably be coming back to it often as you work your way through this!