All persons who are licensed to drive in Arizona must maintain a current mailing address with the Arizona MVD. In addition to that if someone is from out of state and has been here, maybe for example on a vacation and got a traffic ticket, they also should have their mailing address on record with the Arizona MVD even though they’re not licensed here.
The reason is the MVD will on occasion have to send out notices that have legal significance by law. What the motor vehicle department (MVD) is responsible for doing is mailing it to the address that they have on record for that person or that they got from the person, and that is it for these notices. There is no requirement that the person actually receive the notice and the practice now is that the post office does not forward these to a new address (if somebody has given the post office a change of address).
The actions in the notice will go into effect even though the person never physically received the notice as long as it was mailed to the address the motor vehicle department (MVD) has on record. This can be very important if someone has for example a DUI case pending because they may very well get notices about such things as the interlock device, traffic survival school or a proposed license suspension and those actions will go into effect as indicated in the notice, whether the person gets the notice or not.
So as a practical matter somebody can have their license suspended and not even realize it because they moved and did not give the MVD a new mailing address. This could be a real problem if the license gets suspended because you can be driving on a suspended license not even realizing it. If you didn’t get the notice and were in jurisdiction such as Scottsdale or Paradise Valley, where the police have the cameras on the cars and can run plates as you’re driving, and if the vehicle registered to you and your license is suspended you will get stopped, your vehicle will be impounded for 30 days and you will be arrested and charged with driving on a suspended license.
So it is very important to make sure that your mailing address is current with the Arizona MVD.
If you are not licensed in Arizona but nevertheless may be subject to traffic violations here, for example, if you are here for a holiday and got a speeding ticket or even a DUI, it is also important you maintain a current mailing address with the Arizona MVD because the notices will be mailed out to the address that they have. If it’s an address they got from the police when you got the citation and if that’s not a correct address, then you won’t get the notices and they will go into effect anyway. The suspension of the privilege to drive here in Arizona may very well lead to a suspension of the driver’s license in the person’s home state, so even if the person is not licensed here in Arizona it is important to maintain a current mailing address with the MVD.
For more information on how to do a change of address, at the bottom of the transcript of this podcast there is a link to a website the Arizona MVD has for changes of address. The easy way to do it would be on the website, however, if you are licensed out of state you cannot do it online, but can by calling 602-255-0072.
So that is today’s podcast, making sure your address is current with the Arizona MVD
If you have any questions please call me.
Arizona MVD website for Change of Address: