Are you a Driver in Arizona? What you need to know.

In Arizona, just like every other state in America, there are specific requirements or rules that all drivers in Arizona need to follow. But, in order to abide by these requirements (ahem, avoid any fines or tickets ), you first must know what the rules are. When I don’t know something, the first thing I usually do is head straight to Google. But these days, it seems like Google has either too much information, or even worse, the wrong information. We want to make it simple for you. Read below for everything you need to know if you’re a driver in Arizona.

What to know BEFORE you start driving in Arizona.

If you’re a resident, or soon-to-be resident, of Arizona, there is no “grace period” for obtaining the necessary documentation needed to be a driver in Arizona. Here’s what you will need to do before legally driving in Arizona:

  • Obtain a valid Arizona Driver’s License
  • Register your vehicle with the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) Motor Vehicle Division (MVD)
      • You will need a car title, and possibly an emission test compliance form (depending on the age of the vehicle), to complete the registration process

What to know about Auto Insurance Coverage in Arizona.

Arizona requires auto insurance coverage on every single motor vehicle operating within the state. Don’t forget this step! If you ever get pulled over by a police officer, they will always ask you for proof of car insurance. Your car insurance needs to at least meet the minimum coverage levels for:

  • Bodily Injury Liability Coverage (minimum $25k per person and $50k per accident)
  • Property Damage Liability Coverage (minimum $15k)
  • Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury Coverage (minimum $25k per person and $50k per accident)
  • Underinsured Motorist Bodily Injury Coverage (minimum $25k per person and $50k per accident)

Remember, these are just the minimum requirements. It will never hurt to purchase a higher-coverage auto insurance policy for better protection – which includes windshield repair and windshield replacement to be covered without requiring you to meet your deductible first! And if you’ve driven in Arizona for any amount of time, you probably know how common windshield damage in Arizona is!

Other random (and not so random) facts about driving in Arizona.

  • Laws on children and child safety seats (aka car seats and booster seats) are based on age and height, not weight.
      • Any child 4 years old and under needs to be in a car seat.
      • Any child under the age of 2 must be in a rear-facing car seat.
      • However, it’s recommended to keep kids rear-facing for as long as possible for safety reasons (as long as they have not maxed out on the height/weight requirements).
        • Please refer to your car seat manufacturer’s website for specific parameters on this.
      • Children between the ages of 5-7 who are 4 feet, 9 inches or shorter, must be in a booster seat.
      • Although not technically a law, most vehicle manufacturers recommend that all children younger than 13 years should be in the rear seat of the car.
    • The Arizona limit for Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) is currently a blood-alcohol content of 0.08% or higher.
  • However, a police officer can cite you with any amount of alcohol in your system if he or she believes you are driving impaired, referred to as Driving Under the Influence (DUI).
  • Arizona is the 48th state to ban cell phone use by anyone who is operating a motor vehicle.
      • Under this law, using some hands-free devices are allowed, as long as it does not impair your driving abilities.
    • Speaking of driving abilities, if you are speeding AND doing something other than driving (ex: eating, putting on lipstick, looking for something in the passenger seat, and yes, also using a hands-free cellular device), you can get cited for “distracted driving”.
    • Keep it simple. We know that our license plate holder should not cover any part of the license plate number, but not everyone knows that it should not cover up the name of the state as well.
  • If you are driving a motorcycle and are 18 years or younger, you are required to wear a helmet.
  • If you are driving a motorcycle and are over the age of 18, you should wear a helmet, but are not required to by law.
      • There are no state-wide laws about smoking in the car while children are inside; however, the City of Tempe does not allow smoking in vehicles with passengers under the age of 18.
      • Although not technically a law, there is an unwritten rule that if you are driving over the speed limit by less than 9 mph, you will likely not be pulled over for speeding. 
      • If you are driving in a Safety Corridor (sections of highways and roads that are known for higher percentages of motor vehicle accidents), there is “zero-tolerance” on any form of speeding, even 1 mph over the speed limit! You’ll commonly encounter Safety Corridors on the I-10, I-40, and US 60. 
      • If there is an accident or car pulled off to the side of the road, you must abide by the “Move Over Law” – seems like common sense, but you know how that goes! If you are unable to physically move your car over, you are required to slow down to at least 10 mph under the speed limit.
      • The Arizona Department of Public Safety provides FREE access to Roadside Motorist Assistance (RMA). If you are a stranded motorist or see someone stopped on a highway, please call 911 and a Motorist Assistant (aka non-law enforcement agent) will be dispatched to your location.
      • There are no highway tolls in Arizona.

    So, if this list tells you anything, it’s that there are a lot of things you need to know if you drive in Arizona. While some of the above are only strongly recommended, others are required by law to keep you safe. Auto Glass 2020 wants to keep you and your loved ones safe too! If you have a chipped or cracked windshield, these are the next steps! Call us today at (480) 283-7751 or get a quote here! – we’ll help you with all your windshield needs!