March 29, 2021


So amongst our errands for the day we had appointments at the ADOT Motor Vehicles Division office on the east side of Tucson. I’m always fascinated with Motor Vehicles offices such as these, so I was excited to see how the fine folks of Arizona handled things like issuing Driver Licenses and Motor Vehicle Registration.

A good deal of the paperwork can be completed online in their well designed web portal. This is where I took the opportunity to schedule appointments for our transactions. Surprisingly, the office was not particularly busy, so we breezed right through without an issue.

The friendly man at the front desk took our photos and engaged in pleasant chit chat. This is completely backward from anything I’ve experienced before; in both New York and Illinois they didn’t take your photo until you’ve been approved and you’ve paid your fees. Once we accomplished this, we were off to the desks, where we waiting in line for a few moments and then stepped forward when beckoned by the smiling faces behind the plexiglass. Earl took care of his license and the car registration; I just to take care of my license. No tests, not even an eye test this time. Show plenty of identification to prove who I am (I used my passport, my Illinois license, the official “change of address” mail from the USPS, and my Private Pilot Certificate). Answer some questions, get all of your documentation scanned, and off we go after $25.00. I received a temporary license.

Earl did the same, with differences in the paperwork, and then he quickly completed his car registration transaction. The only difference in this process is in Phoenix and Tucson you need to get an emissions test before you register your car. This seems a little out of order to me, but we accomplished this easily this past Saturday. I had seen the information on the website so that’s what probably kept the whole process simple.

We have a waterproof paper temporary license plate on the back of the car and for the first time in our car’s life it no longer has a front license plate bracket. ADOT issues random characters for license plate numbers now, hence the reason they send the license plate to you in the mail.

There are certain amount of feeling settled once you get all of your motor vehicle requirements registered to your new home state. I’m excited to no longer be driving around the area on Illinois plates. We probably still act like snowbirds but we no longer look the part.