Driver’s License Suspension vs. Revocation in Arizona

In Arizona is there a difference between your driver’s license being suspended vs. revoked? What is the difference between a driver’s license suspension and a revocation?

In Arizona, it is important to understand that driving is a privilege governed by the State through the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) Motor Vehicles Division (MVD). Driving is not a right. Arizona courts hear both civil and criminal matters involving crimes and violations that may affect your driving record. Your driving record in turn may then affect the status of your license leading to suspension or revocation.


In Arizona, a driver’s license suspension is the temporary removal of your license or privilege to drive. This is an action taken by Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) Motor Vehicles Division (MVD) after a review of your driving record also referred to as your Motor Vehicle Record (MVR). If your license is suspended, then it must be reinstated before you can legally drive. A driver’s license suspension will remain in effect until the prescribed time period of the suspension is served and you make an application for reinstatement and pay the applicable reinstatement fee.


Re-establishing your ability to drive after a revocation is more difficult than a suspension. In Arizona, a driver’s license revocation is the complete removal of your license or privilege to drive. Your license will remain revoked until you apply for a new license. As part of the application for a new license, you must submit and pass an investigation into your driving record. All outstanding obligations must be satisfied in order to qualify for re-instatement of your privilege to drive.

Suspension vs. Revocation

A license suspension is for a definite period of time. With a suspension, once the suspension period has elapsed, your license is eligible for re-instatement. During your suspension period you may be eligible for restricted privileges. A license revocation on the other hand is the complete removal of your license. After a revocation, you must apply for a new license and during the revocation you are not eligible for restricted privileges.