Keeping your address current with MVD
It is 100 percent, absolutely, no questions asked, your responsibility to ensure that MVD has your most current address. If you move, fail to change your address and, as a result, do not receive your mail and later discover you are suspended, you are completely out of luck. It is not a defense that you did not receive notification from MVD if that failure resulted from an outdated address. If you have any doubt that your address is current with MVD, stop reading and check your address on the website now: www.servicearizona.com. There is no charge for the service.
Keep in mind that if MVD did have the current address and failed to notify, you could have a possible defense to a felony DUI if the factual basis for the felony is that your license was suspended at the time of the DUI.
Scary story: Failure to update your address with MVD can result in a felony DUI conviction.
Joe was new to Arizona and loved to drive fast. Upon his arrival, Joe used his friend Dan’s address to establish Arizona residency and obtain an Arizona driver license. Joe lived with Dan until his new home was ready. Joe moved into his new home but failed to update his address with MVD. In the meantime, Joe got a speeding ticket, which he forgot to pay.
You guessed it. Joe got stopped for, charged with, and convicted of felony DUI. This would have been a misdemeanor DUI with a day in jail, but because Joe’s license was suspended for failure to pay the speeding ticket, Joe was charged with aggravated (felony) DUI. This resulted in four months in the Department of Corrections and revocation of his driver license.
Joe argued, pleaded, and begged the judge, “Have mercy on me, your honor. I had no idea my license was suspended. Had I known, I would’ve paid the darn ticket.”
To which the judge replied, “Sir, under Arizona law it is your responsibility to keep MVD apprised of your current mailing address. I am sorry, Joe, but committing a DUI while your license is suspended, revoked, or canceled is a class IV felony in Arizona.”
Judge: “Bailiff, next case on docket.”