We contacted the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to see if your Arizona photo radar ticket would be placed on your CA driving record and assessed points. You are likely aware that both states are part of the drivers license compact (DLC) so that if you are convicted (found guilty) of the photo radar ticket in Arizona their courts will report this to the California DMV.
California places out of state tickets on your CA driving record and assigns points. We were not certain if a photo radar ticket would apply but the representative we spoke to at the CA DMV stated that yes, they do see this type of ticket as a moving violation conviction that is acceptable to be placed on your CA motor vehicle record and assigned 1 point.
As for Arizona in accordance with Arizona Administrative Code R17-4-404, the Driver Point System, the Motor Vehicle Division assesses points for each conviction reported to them by the Court. Each red light conviction is assigned two points and each speed conviction is assigned three points.
In AZ you may avoid points to your driving record from photo enforcement convictions by attending traffic school. If you are eligible to attend the NTSI Defensive Driving Program, you may be able to attend traffic school and avoid points being assessed against your license. So as a CA driver you may see if this is possible and would help you at all with your CA license.
An interesting fact is that in Scottsdale, Arizona one of their new photo enforcement vendors, ATS, is promoting legislation that would remove license demerit points from photo tickets issued in the state. The change is designed to increase the number of citations issued, reduce the cost of taking photographs and eliminate a number of due process protections that come with criminal citations.
When there is no need to match the driver in a speed camera photograph to the registered owner, the revenue from citations is expected to up 40 percent or more for both the camera vendor and any Arizona city operating photo radar or red light cameras. Scottsdale city officials supposedly oppose the idea.
Whether or not you receive demerit points in Arizona it is not likely to affect you as a California resident, unless you drive a lot in AZ and could receive too many points there and get your license suspended for a high point total. Even if Arizona did not assess points any more for photo radar tickets, if your home state does assign points for out of state moving violations (such as California does) then you will get the points in your licensing state, just not in Arizona.