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Hello everyone,

I have read prior threads on the topic of driver's licenses ad nauseam as well as information on several DMV websites, but thus far I have been unable to find a solid answer.

To make a long story short, I will be immigrating from Canada (province of Ontario) to Arizona within the next couple of weeks. As with anyone in my spot, I plan on getting an Arizona driver's license.

What I am confused about is twofold:

1.) I have read conflicting information that upon going to exchange my license I may be required to do one or all of the following: written, practical/on road, and vision test. To muddy things up further, I have even read some people claim that none of these things were required. Anyone who was in my spot, what was the process for the state of Arizona?

2.) Once all the necessary requirements have been met, will I need to surrender my Ontario driver's license? Anecdotally on this forum I have seen people claim such things as: outright license surrender, clipping or hole punching your old license, or not having to do anything at all with your old license. Does anyone have any input for the state of Arizona?

Any input is welcomed! Thanks in advance!

Edited by Trenz

ROC - July 2017 CSC Filer (I-751 July 2017 Filers Spreadsheet)

  • 7/15/2017: I-751 Sent
  • 7/17/2017: I-751 Received
  • 7/18/2017: NOA1 Date
  • 7/20/2017: Cheque Cashed
  • 7/21/2017: NOA1 Received
  • 7/29/2017: Biometrics Received
  • 8/10/2017: Biometics Appointment Completed
  • 2/26/2018: Case Received at Local Office

 

July 2017 ROC Filers Posting Template:

Quote

Service Center: CSC/VSC
First 5 Digits from WAC/EAC Receipt #: E.g. WAC17290
NOA1 Date: E.g. July 15, 2017
Filed N-400?: Yes/No
Case Transferred?: Yes/No

     If yes, provide to what service center? On what date?: Yes/No; Transferred to NSC (Nebraska Service Center) on August 18, 2018

Approved?: Yes/No

     If yes, what was the date of your approval?: October 1, 2018

     If yes, did you have a RFE (Request for Evidence)? On what date?: Yes/No; September 1, 2018

     If yes, did you have an interview? On what date?: Yes/No; September 30, 2018

Any other information: E.g. Received my 18-month extension letter on XX; Issues cashing our check originally, etc.

 

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What is needed for a person from another country to drive in Arizona?

You may legally drive in Arizona using a valid driver license from another country. An international driving license or permit is not required, but it is recommended because it can be printed in English and used in conjunction with the driver license from the other country. If an international driving license or permit is used alone, it must be issued by a country other than the United States. Vehicle rental companies may have additional requirements.

However, Arizona law requires that you obtain an Arizona driver license (and vehicle registration) immediately if any one of the following applies to you:

  • You work in Arizona (other than for seasonal agricultural work).
  • You are registered to vote in Arizona.
  • You have place children in school without paying the tuition rate of a nonresident.
  • You have a business that has an office in Arizona that bases and operates vehicles in this state.
  • You have obtained 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 have remained in Arizona for a total of seven months or more during any calendar year, regardless of your permanent residence.

http://www.azdot.gov/mvd/faq/driver-services

Hope this helps - it's not terribly clear...

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What is needed for a person from another country to drive in Arizona?

You may legally drive in Arizona using a valid driver license from another country. An international driving license or permit is not required, but it is recommended because it can be printed in English and used in conjunction with the driver license from the other country. If an international driving license or permit is used alone, it must be issued by a country other than the United States. Vehicle rental companies may have additional requirements.

However, Arizona law requires that you obtain an Arizona driver license (and vehicle registration) immediately if any one of the following applies to you:

  • You work in Arizona (other than for seasonal agricultural work).
  • You are registered to vote in Arizona.
  • You have place children in school without paying the tuition rate of a nonresident.
  • You have a business that has an office in Arizona that bases and operates vehicles in this state.
  • You have obtained 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 have remained in Arizona for a total of seven months or more during any calendar year, regardless of your permanent residence.

http://www.azdot.gov/mvd/faq/driver-services

Hope this helps - it's not terribly clear...

Thanks for the reply! That is actually one of the websites I came across during my research and it at least pointed me in the right direction for the necessity of an Arizona driver's license. I gave the site another scope out and I can't seem to find anything on testing requirements or the like for a license exchange, alas. I will certainly keep looking!


ROC - July 2017 CSC Filer (I-751 July 2017 Filers Spreadsheet)

  • 7/15/2017: I-751 Sent
  • 7/17/2017: I-751 Received
  • 7/18/2017: NOA1 Date
  • 7/20/2017: Cheque Cashed
  • 7/21/2017: NOA1 Received
  • 7/29/2017: Biometrics Received
  • 8/10/2017: Biometics Appointment Completed
  • 2/26/2018: Case Received at Local Office

 

July 2017 ROC Filers Posting Template:

Quote

Service Center: CSC/VSC
First 5 Digits from WAC/EAC Receipt #: E.g. WAC17290
NOA1 Date: E.g. July 15, 2017
Filed N-400?: Yes/No
Case Transferred?: Yes/No

     If yes, provide to what service center? On what date?: Yes/No; Transferred to NSC (Nebraska Service Center) on August 18, 2018

Approved?: Yes/No

     If yes, what was the date of your approval?: October 1, 2018

     If yes, did you have a RFE (Request for Evidence)? On what date?: Yes/No; September 1, 2018

     If yes, did you have an interview? On what date?: Yes/No; September 30, 2018

Any other information: E.g. Received my 18-month extension letter on XX; Issues cashing our check originally, etc.

 

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Just wanted to throw this update out there for anyone else who may be wondering this (sorry for digging up an older thread):

From what I gather from this website (http://www.dmv.org/az-arizona/apply-license.php) it appears as though the following is true:

1.) You must surrender your out-of-state driver's license upon being issued a new AZ license.

2.) You must pass a vision exam.

3.) You may or may not have to complete both a written and/or on-road driving test. While not a steadfast rule, new residents tend to not have to do either. Discretion is given to the issuing agency on this.

4.) You must have a social security number and two pieces of ID from the following list: http://www.azdot.gov/docs/default-source/mvd-forms-pubs/96-0155.pdf?sfvrsn=2

I would also like to point out that this information is written based upon someone who is merely coming from out-of-state and not out-of-country, thus, all of this information may not be relevant if there is a special process for new immigrants. Once I have gone through the process myself, I will post back here.


ROC - July 2017 CSC Filer (I-751 July 2017 Filers Spreadsheet)

  • 7/15/2017: I-751 Sent
  • 7/17/2017: I-751 Received
  • 7/18/2017: NOA1 Date
  • 7/20/2017: Cheque Cashed
  • 7/21/2017: NOA1 Received
  • 7/29/2017: Biometrics Received
  • 8/10/2017: Biometics Appointment Completed
  • 2/26/2018: Case Received at Local Office

 

July 2017 ROC Filers Posting Template:

Quote

Service Center: CSC/VSC
First 5 Digits from WAC/EAC Receipt #: E.g. WAC17290
NOA1 Date: E.g. July 15, 2017
Filed N-400?: Yes/No
Case Transferred?: Yes/No

     If yes, provide to what service center? On what date?: Yes/No; Transferred to NSC (Nebraska Service Center) on August 18, 2018

Approved?: Yes/No

     If yes, what was the date of your approval?: October 1, 2018

     If yes, did you have a RFE (Request for Evidence)? On what date?: Yes/No; September 1, 2018

     If yes, did you have an interview? On what date?: Yes/No; September 30, 2018

Any other information: E.g. Received my 18-month extension letter on XX; Issues cashing our check originally, etc.

 

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Driving in Arizona - what's the deal?

The ADOT says: "You can use your out of country driver license in Arizona as long as you are not an Arizona resident. Otherwise you would need to apply for Arizona driver license. For a first time Arizona license you first must prove identity and authorized presence. Please go to the following website. http://www.azdot.gov/mvd/The go to Driver services and click on Identification requirements. That will give you the list so you will have the proper documents when you come in. On the same website you can get to the drivers manual in order to study. You will be required to take a vision, written and road test. Office locations are also on this website. Although if you have a valid German driver license you will not be required to take written or road test. 8/31/2015 2:20:22 PM"

But the question is, of course: When exactly will I be regarded an AZ "resident"? When I arrive I'm certainly not a resident of Germany anymore.

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Got my AZ license

Here's the deal for Germans:

Went to Tucson AZdot, or MVD, whatever they call it here.

My I-94 is up, I'm married, applied for AOS, but only had NOA2 letter to show.

Girl talked to supervisor, and after 20 minutes sent me home to get original marriage license (only had copy, my bad).

Got a temporary paper license, card should be in mail within a week, they said it would be limited to a year.

Make sure to bring:

- Passport

- Marriage license, original!

- German DL

- Social Security Card, original!

- NOA2 letter

Passport is for identification, NOA2 is for legal presence, marriage license and Social Security is for name change.

For Germans, no exam, just the quick and dirty vision exam. Most other nationalities have to take written or road test.

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Got my AZ license

Here's the deal for Germans:

Went to Tucson AZdot, or MVD, whatever they call it here.

My I-94 is up, I'm married, applied for AOS, but only had NOA2 letter to show.

Girl talked to supervisor, and after 20 minutes sent me home to get original marriage license (only had copy, my bad).

Got a temporary paper license, card should be in mail within a week, they said it would be limited to a year.

Make sure to bring:

- Passport

- Marriage license, original!

- German DL

- Social Security Card, original!

- NOA2 letter

Passport is for identification, NOA2 is for legal presence, marriage license and Social Security is for name change.

For Germans, no exam, just the quick and dirty vision exam. Most other nationalities have to take written or road test.

Hey there,

My experience was similar, but just for the sake of completeness I want to make note of the differences for anyone reading this:

By the point I had applied initially for my license my I-94 was still valid (the 90 day initial period). Note to applicants: If you do not have your green card yet, your license will only be valid until the end of this visa. Once your green card has been obtained, go back to the MVD and they will extend the validity period for the 2 year period your green card is valid for.

Those coming from Canada, bring the following:

  1. Your I-94 (or other document, such as a green card, showing your legally allowed to be in the USA)
  2. Your Canadian driver's license
  3. Passport
  4. Social security card (original as noted above)
  5. One other piece of identification that you checked off in your online application form

I did not need to bring my marriage license or my NOA2 letter. Essentially, the MVD will list what pieces of ID are acceptable and you will check off these things in your online application.

When you get to the MVD, make note of two things:

  1. You will need to take an eye test - this is a relatively simple eye test that you are required to look into an Optics vision testing machine and I was asked to read out line 2 of 3. You must have at least 20/40 vision to pass.
  2. You must complete a written exam that all beginner Arizona drivers must take. You need to obtain 80% or 24/30 correct to pass. I highly recommend going to the MVD before hand and picking up the free booklet with the various Arizona laws and regulations. Remember, they use a non-metric system for measuring parking distances. This initially tripped me up as I am used to metres not feet for acceptable parking distances. Another great website that is chalk full of great tests to prepare you (and helped me pass!) can be found here.

D.Ba, I find it odd you did not have to write the exam as I was told at the Surprise AZ MVD that Canadians and Germans were two countries that had their licenses recognized in the USA but still had to complete a written test while foregoing the on-road exam.

One last thing I want to make note of. I was told that until you are a US citizen, upon each license renewal you must take an eye exam, even for permanent residents. I inquired about this as when I went to have my license extended upon receiving my green card I had to retake the eye test again. I will need to do this upon even subsequent renewal until I decide to accept citizenship.

Hope this helps someone out!

EDIT: One last thing, my Ontario driver's license was not destroyed or hole punched or confiscated as I worried. I was given this card back fully intact and was allowed to keep it.

Edited by Trenz

ROC - July 2017 CSC Filer (I-751 July 2017 Filers Spreadsheet)

  • 7/15/2017: I-751 Sent
  • 7/17/2017: I-751 Received
  • 7/18/2017: NOA1 Date
  • 7/20/2017: Cheque Cashed
  • 7/21/2017: NOA1 Received
  • 7/29/2017: Biometrics Received
  • 8/10/2017: Biometics Appointment Completed
  • 2/26/2018: Case Received at Local Office

 

July 2017 ROC Filers Posting Template:

Quote

Service Center: CSC/VSC
First 5 Digits from WAC/EAC Receipt #: E.g. WAC17290
NOA1 Date: E.g. July 15, 2017
Filed N-400?: Yes/No
Case Transferred?: Yes/No

     If yes, provide to what service center? On what date?: Yes/No; Transferred to NSC (Nebraska Service Center) on August 18, 2018

Approved?: Yes/No

     If yes, what was the date of your approval?: October 1, 2018

     If yes, did you have a RFE (Request for Evidence)? On what date?: Yes/No; September 1, 2018

     If yes, did you have an interview? On what date?: Yes/No; September 30, 2018

Any other information: E.g. Received my 18-month extension letter on XX; Issues cashing our check originally, etc.

 

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The official site on German, Taiwanese and Canadian drivers licenses in Arizona:

https://www.azdot.gov/mvd/driver-services/Tests_Manuals/foreign-reciprocity\

Foreign Reciprocity

Driver license applicants who have a current/valid driver license from one of the countries listed below may not be required to take a road skills or a written test.

Country Road Test Written Test

Canada Waive Required

Germany Waive Waive

Taiwan Waive Waive

When I checked a while ago, only Canada and Germany were listed, Taiwan seems new. I wouldn't have thought there are many Taiwanese in Arizona, but who knows.

My German license was also not touched, other than photocopied. I was worrying about that too, because I would like to use my German license once I am back in Germany.

The marriage license was only needed because I changed my name on marriage, and the Social Security Card is the only document in that name, and that is not a primary form of identity. My debit card is in my maiden name because the bank only changes the name once you have the driver license.

Edited by D.Ba

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The official site on German, Taiwanese and Canadian drivers licenses in Arizona:

https://www.azdot.gov/mvd/driver-services/Tests_Manuals/foreign-reciprocity\

Foreign Reciprocity

Driver license applicants who have a current/valid driver license from one of the countries listed below may not be required to take a road skills or a written test.

Country Road Test Written Test

Canada Waive Required

Germany Waive Waive

Taiwan Waive Waive

When I checked a while ago, only Canada and Germany were listed, Taiwan seems new. I wouldn't have thought there are many Taiwanese in Arizona, but who knows.

My German license was also not touched, other than photocopied. I was worrying about that too, because I would like to use my German license once I am back in Germany.

The marriage license was only needed because I changed my name on marriage, and the Social Security Card is the only document in that name, and that is not a primary form of identity. My debit card is in my maiden name because the bank only changes the name once you have the driver license.

Excellent additional information here. There must have been some type of misunderstanding at the MVD in regards to the written portion of the application, at least what was told to me. This surely would be a big benefit to any new German immigrants.

Suffice to say, I think we are fortunate to come from two countries that at the very least recognize our driving credentials!


ROC - July 2017 CSC Filer (I-751 July 2017 Filers Spreadsheet)

  • 7/15/2017: I-751 Sent
  • 7/17/2017: I-751 Received
  • 7/18/2017: NOA1 Date
  • 7/20/2017: Cheque Cashed
  • 7/21/2017: NOA1 Received
  • 7/29/2017: Biometrics Received
  • 8/10/2017: Biometics Appointment Completed
  • 2/26/2018: Case Received at Local Office

 

July 2017 ROC Filers Posting Template:

Quote

Service Center: CSC/VSC
First 5 Digits from WAC/EAC Receipt #: E.g. WAC17290
NOA1 Date: E.g. July 15, 2017
Filed N-400?: Yes/No
Case Transferred?: Yes/No

     If yes, provide to what service center? On what date?: Yes/No; Transferred to NSC (Nebraska Service Center) on August 18, 2018

Approved?: Yes/No

     If yes, what was the date of your approval?: October 1, 2018

     If yes, did you have a RFE (Request for Evidence)? On what date?: Yes/No; September 1, 2018

     If yes, did you have an interview? On what date?: Yes/No; September 30, 2018

Any other information: E.g. Received my 18-month extension letter on XX; Issues cashing our check originally, etc.

 

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Hard to believe the two years on my current drivers license are up (in two weeks). Back to the MVD. Yay!
It will be interesting to see what they make of the extension letter. Probably don't get too many of those. Of course, the license will again only be for a year...

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