The 10 Most Common Ways to Get a Suspended License in Arizona

From traffic tickets to failure to pay child support, these are the top 10 reasons your Arizona driver’s license could get suspended.
Written by Sarah Gray
Reviewed by Amy Bobinger
Driving on a suspended
driver’s license
is a Class One misdemeanor that could land both you and your car in the slammer—plus lead to a bad
driving record
and high
car insurance
costs once you’re able to drive again.
  • In the state of Arizona, a license suspension occurs for a set period of time, while a revocation can be permanent.
  • Failure to pay fines, keep up with child support, or appear in court are grounds for license suspension.
  • Your license can also be suspended for traffic violations like refusing a breathalyzer, running a red light, committing a hit-and-run, attempting to use a fake license, or being convicted of a vehicular felony.

A license suspension is temporary

Despite often being used interchangeably, there’s actually quite a bit of difference between getting your license suspended and having it revoked.:
  • License suspension: A temporary loss of your license for a set period of time
  • License revocation: A termination of your driving privileges that, unless certain criteria are met, can be permanent
Having your license reinstated after a suspension period is often as simple as paying a reinstatement fee. However, getting a revoked license reinstated is a complicated process that can sometimes take years to complete.

What can your license be suspended for in Arizona?

Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT)
Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) can suspend your license for a variety of reasons, and is required to do so for some criminal convictions. 
Keep in mind: If you're classified as a high-risk driver in Arizona, the DMV will mandate your insurance provider to submit an
certificate on your behalf.
Here are the top 10 reasons you could get a driver’s license suspension or revocation in the Grand Canyon State:

1. Failure to pay court fines

If you fail to pay court fines or fees, even if they’re completely unrelated to a traffic violation, you could have your license suspended until those fees have been paid.

2. Failure to appear in traffic court

When you sign a traffic ticket in Arizona, you’re making a promise to appear in court. If you break that promise by not showing up to your court date, your license could be suspended. 

3. Running red lights

If law enforcement catches you running a red light in Arizona, you’ll be sent to Traffic Survival School—and you’re required to attend following each offense. If you don’t complete your course after any given offense, your license will be suspended until you do. 

4. Failing or refusing a chemical test

If a police officer pulls you over and you fail or refuse to submit to a chemical test, your license could be suspended or revoked. Failing to submit to a urine, blood, or breath test is a violation of Arizona’s implied consent law, and driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08% or higher violates
Arizona DUI laws
Did you know? You may be required to install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle to reinstate your driving privileges after driving under the influence. This device functions like a breathalyzer and will prevent your vehicle from starting if you’ve been drinking.

5. Accumulating too many points on your license

Like many states, Arizona relies on a points system to keep track of a driver’s moving infractions, like speeding tickets. If you accumulate eight or more
driver’s license points
on your driving record in a 12-month period, your license can be suspended for up to a year. 

6. Failure to pay child support

If you have the financial ability to pay child support and you choose not to, Arizona’s Department of Economic Security can have your driver’s license suspended until you do. And that doesn’t just mean you’ll need to start making payments to reinstate your driving privileges—it means you have to pay what you owe in arrears. 

7. Aggressive driving or leaving the scene of an accident

Arizona, reckless driving
can lead to having your license suspended for up to a year, but that’s nothing compared to what happens if you’re caught after a hit-and-run. If you leave the scene of an accident—whether you caused it or not—penalties could include a revocation period of up to a decade!
MORE: Arizona hit-and-run

8. Committing a felony involving a motor vehicle

If you’re convicted of vehicular homicide, your license will absolutely be revoked, but this isn’t the only felony that can result in license revocation. According to Arizona law, committing any type of felony in which a motor vehicle is used will result in license revocation.

9. Altering your Arizona driver’s license or having a fake one

If it’s discovered that you’ve altered your Arizona driver’s license in any way, or you’re discovered with a fake one, your license could be suspended.

10. Violating Arizona car insurance laws

Arizona minimum car insurance laws
require drivers to demonstrate financial responsibility by purchasing a car insurance policy that covers at least:
If you’re caught
driving with no car insurance
, or with a policy that doesn’t provide adequate coverage, your license could be suspended for up to a year. 

What happens if you’re caught driving on a suspended license in Arizona?

ARS 28-3473
of the Arizona Revised Statutes, driving on a suspended license is defined as a Class One misdemeanor. That means you’ll face criminal charges if you drive on a suspended license in Arizona. 
While there are no mandatory fines or jail time associated with driving without a license, being convicted of a Class One Misdemeanor carries the potential for:
  • Up to 180 days in jail
  • Up to 3 years probation
  • Up to $4,574 in fines and surcharges
You’re unlikely to get jail time the first time you receive a criminal license charge—but subsequent offenses, a lengthy driving record, or previous convictions will likely lead to at least some time in jail and thousands of dollars in fines.
Compare auto insurance policies
No spam or unwanted phone calls · No long forms
Find insurance savings


While there are no mandatory fines or jail time, driving on a suspended license in Arizona is a criminal offense that could land you in jail for up to 6 months.
The length of your license suspension or revocation depends on the circumstances that led to it, but they will be clearly outlined on the suspension notice you receive from the Arizona MVD. Suspensions could be for as little as 30 days or as long as 10 years, and revocations could result in a permanent loss of driving privileges.
Are you overpaying for car insurance?
Compare quotes and find out in 45 seconds.
Try Jerry

Easiest way to compare and buy car insurance

No long forms
No spam or unwanted phone calls
Quotes from top insurance companies
Find insurance savings