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Arizona DOT isn't penalizing drivers for not updating license photo

State law requires ADOT to inform drivers to update their license photo every 12 years even if it's not expired, but ADOT isn't penalizing those who don't.
Credit: KPNX

PHOENIX — Hundreds of thousands of people across Arizona received letters and emails recently telling them they needed their Arizona driver license photo updated if they received their license before 2007.  

But the problem was a lot people who received their license just a few years ago also got that letter—and that has prompted a lot of questions from viewers across the Valley.

12 News talked to the state Department of Transportation to find out what the rules really are and whether there are any penalties if you decide not to retake your license photo. 

RELATED: Do you need to update your Arizona driver's license?

Spokesman Douglas Nick has been fielding questions from across the state about this email and letter sent out in early June, telling Arizona residents their driver license photo needs to be retaken if it was issued before 2007. 

Nick says the primary reason you need to do it—well, it’s the law in Arizona—but there’s also a safety component. 

“The message from MVD is basically to remind people," Nick said. 

"The law does say you need to get your photo updated. So if you haven’t done that and your license is 12 years old or more, please come into MVD or a certain authorized third party and get your photo updated," he added. 

"It is a good idea from a safety perspective to make sure, if it is needed, that you look like your photo ID. That’s a good thing."

Nick says if you decide not to get your license photo updated, you won’t be penalized. 

But if you decide to get a new photo, you can kill two birds with one stone.  

"It’s also a chance for you to consider getting the Travel ID because in October of 2020, in order to get through federal checkpoints and federal buildings and TSA checkpoints at the airport, you’re going to need federally acceptable identification, and the Travel ID is that," said Nick.

"So it’s a good time. As long as you’re getting that photo update, you might as well get your Travel ID."