Transportation

Navigating Greater Phoenix Transportation

Here you will find resources on the primary modes of transportation in Greater Phoenix, including how to get a driver’s license, public transportation options, routes and fares, and commonly used rideshare and taxi services.

Modes of Transportation

car driving from Monument Valley AZ

Personal Car

The majority Greater Phoenix residents own or lease a personal vehicle as a primary mode of transportation. On this page you will find information on getting a drivers license and registering a vehicle with the state of Arizona.

lightrail stop in downtown phoenix

Public Transportation

The Valley Metro Regional Public Transportation Authority (Valley Metro) is responsible for public transportation in and around the Phoenix metropolitan area and is in charge of all bus operations and all light rail operations in the Valley. View all ticket prices and options at valleymetro.org/fares and find additional information on routes and transportation options below.

Greater Phoenix freeway loops aerial view

Taxi/Rideshare

Rideshare and taxi options are readily available and affordable in Greater Phoenix. Well-known services in the area include Lyft, Uber, Yellow Cab, Totalride, Wingz, VIP taxi and Curb.

Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV)

The DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) is a government agency in charge of many aspects of vehicle administration. You go to DMV for vehicle registration, safety and emissions inspections, issuing driver’s licenses and ID cards, retaining driving records, title transfers, bills of sale, selling personalized license plates, and other services.

In Arizona, the DMV is called the Motor Vehicle Division (MVD), a group within the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT). Walk-ins are welcome but making an appointment before visiting the MVD office is recommended. You can find the closest MVD office and its address on ADOT’s official website: azdot.gov

Getting a Driver’s License

Drivers in the United States must have a valid driver’s license. A driver’s license in the United States allows you to drive anywhere in the country. If you live in Arizona, you must obtain an Arizona state driver’s license. To obtain your Arizona driver’s license, you must pass both a written knowledge test and a road test.

Driving Tests

Once you pass both the written and road test you will be given a temporary ID card. Within 15 days, you will receive your license in the mail.

Written Test

The written knowledge test may be taken at either an MVD office or authorized third-party location. Third-party offices may charge an additional fee. To practice, review the sample tests on ADOT’s website. The written test is offered in English, German, Vietnamese, Mandarin, Spanish, Arabic, Russian, Italian, French, Tagalog, and Korean.

Road Test

To be prepared for the road test, you must first complete some behind-the-wheel training. There are two approaches to doing this:

  1. Enroll in a state-approved driver ed course through your high school or a private driving school. Drivers Ed courses will provide 30 hours of classroom instruction and 6 hours of behind-the-wheel training.
  2. Have relatives, friends, or legal guardian teach you to drive (30 hours of behind the wheel training, 10 of which must be at night).

You must complete road test at an MVD office or a third-party authorized office. Authorized third-party providers (could be your driving school) frequently offer no-wait tests to walk-in customers but may charge a convenience fee. Schedule an appointment online if you want to take the road test at an MVD office. Bring a qualifying vehicle with license plates, proof of registration, and insurance to your road test.

Driving Test Exemptions

Foreign Applicants Applying for Driver’s License

There are four countries with reciprocity agreements for Arizona driving: Canada, Germany, South Korea, and Taiwan.

If you have a valid driver’s license from any of these countries, you will not need to take either the written or driving test in order to obtain your license. Learn more about foreign reciprocity on ADOT.

Required Documents

1) Proof of Identity

One of the following documents in required.

  • I-94 form with an unexpired foreign passport and an unexpired U.S. Visa 
  • Unexpired USCIS Employment Authorization Document 
  • Permanent Resident Card/Resident Alien Card, I-551 

2) Proof of Arizona Residency

Two of the following documents are required to confirm Arizona residency.

  • Job offers letter or I-20
  • Lease agreement
  • Mortgage statement
  • Bank Statement
  • Utility bill or online utility account

3) Social Security Number

Auto Insurance

Every motor vehicle operating on Arizona roads must be covered by liability insurance through a company authorized to do business in Arizona. The following are the minimum levels of financial responsibility:

  • Liability for bodily injury is $25,000 for one person and $50,000 for two or more people.
  • Property damage liability of $15,000

There are many different factors used to determine the cost of auto insurance such as: your age, driving record, car type and where you live.

You should check with various insurance companies to see if they provide coverage for international drivers. Obtaining multiple quotes will allow you to get the best coverage at the lowest cost. Big auto-insurance providers that service locally include Allstate, American Family, Farmers, GEICO, Liberty Mutual, Nationwide, Progressive, State Farm, Travelers, USAA.

 

Public Transportation

Public Bus Transport

Bus transport in Greater Phoenix exists in five modes: local, express, and RAPID commuter buses, neighborhood circulators and rural routes.

You can access regional route information and schedules through any of the following methods:

Light Rail

Valley Metro Rail runs from northwest Phoenix through Tempe to east Mesa with a total of 38 stations and goes across many attractions. Valley Metro Rail trains are quiet and air-conditioned, and they run 18-22 hours per day, seven days a week, with average station wait times ranging from 12 to 20 minutes. Taking the Valley Metro Rail system in Phoenix will cost you $2 one way or you can get an all-day pass for $4.

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