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The 5 Documents You Need to Have When Driving in Arizona

When you're driving there are probably a lot of things in arms reach: mints, chapstick, some old receipts. But what about documents? There's some paperwork everyone needs, but there's also some that are specific for the lucky few that call Arizona home.

When you're getting into your car, you might not consider what paperwork to keep in the glove compartment. It generally doesn't fall on the traditional wallet-cell phone-keys list.

But if you get stopped by police or involved in an accident, there are some documents you'll wish you had. Without them, you might find yourself in some legal trouble.

  1. License. Before you get behind the wheel you must have a valid license. That's the law in Arizona, and if police pull you over you're expected to be able to provide it to them. If you don't have it on you, the cop may follow you home so you can get it. That would be embarrassing, so just make sure it's on you at all times.

  2. Car registration. All states have car registration requirements, and the registration information allows police to check if the car you're driving is linked to a crime. You don't really need it outside the car so just keep it in the glove box. If you borrow a friend's car it's not a bad idea to double check that's where she keeps her registration too.

  3. Doctor's information. No matter how well you drive, something might happen and you may end up in a car accident. Hopefully you won't be hurt, but if you are it's good to have your doctor's number nearby so the hospital can easily get your medical records. This one isn't a legal requirement, but it is a good safety precaution.

  4. Immigration paperwork. Under Arizona law, police can ask you about your immigration status after you've been stopped or arrested for another purpose. A traffic stop is one of those times when you could be asked to prove your status. Keep a photocopy of your passport, Green Card, or visa near where you keep your registration so you can get going again quickly.

  5. Proof of insurance. Arizona law requires every driver to carry car insurance with a minimum coverage of $15,000 in bodily injury liability and $10,000 in property damage liability. Make sure your insurance meets those requirements and then keep a copy of the policy in your glove compartment. If an accident happens, the proof will make things easier when dealing with police.

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