Getting a driver’s license is an exciting event for teenagers and an important part of making Arkansas your permanent residence. Here is what you need to know before you get your driver’s license in Arkansas.
For New Residents:
A new resident must get an Arkansas driver license at a local revenue office within 30 days of moving to Arkansas. No driver examination is required if you surrender a valid license from another state or one that is not expired more than 31 days. An eyesight exam is required for all licensees.
Applying for Initial License:
You must show proof of legal presence in the United States. Acceptable documents include a valid U.S. Birth Certificate, a U.S. Visa, a photo document from DHS, a photo Military/Military Dependent ID, a U.S. Passport or a Naturalization Certificate. If the name on the document is different from your current married name (for example, if it is your maiden name), you must provide a document linking the two names (your marriage certificate). Two forms of ID must be presented.
A non-commercial license costs $20 and is issued for a four year period. A commercial license cost $42. To replace a lost license or make a change, there is a $10 fee.
Drivers Under 18:
New drivers receive an instruction permit that is good for 6 months. That permit can be extended by another 6 months. New drivers must have 6 months of restricted driving experience before they can get an unrestricted license.
Persons less than 18 must provide proof of high school enrollment, graduation or GED prior to taking any driver license exam. If they are still in school, they must show proof of at least a C grade-point average.
In Arkansas, young adults can be issued a learner’s license when they are 14-16. An intermediate license is issued for those 16-18. In order to move up to an intermediate license, new drivers must not have incurred any accidents or serious traffic violations in the most recent six months. In order to move up to a Class D license, they must have no accidents or serious violations within the most recent 12 months. Learn more about license classes and see photos of the classes.
You can get a photo ID for $5 if you do not have a driver’s license. You must have the proof of residence documents listed above in “Applying for Initial License” to get a photo ID. Learn more about license classes and see photos of the classes.
Beginning October 3, 2016, you will have two options when applying for or renewing a driver’s license or identification card:
- You may choose the new Arkansas Voluntary Enhanced Security DL or ID. This new card will be compliant with the Federal “REAL ID Act of 2005,” and will provide enhanced security from fraud and identity theft. The new card will cost the same as a regular DL or ID card. The new card will also contain a gold star shown on the upper right corner.
- You may choose to renew your regular DL or ID cards, which are not compliant with the Federal “REAL ID Act of 2005.” The non-compliant cards will be marked, “Not for Federal Identification,” (see photo below).
Links, DMV Locations and New Driver Testing:
The DMV has a pretty cool app to help new drivers pass their written test. It is available on iTunes.
Testing facilities are noted. Otherwise, these facilities will just allow you to renew your license. You can also renew your tags online and at Wal-Mart.
Little Rock Locations
1900 W. Seventh St, 501-682-4692
3 State Police Plaza Drive, 501-682-0410
9108 N. Rodney Parham Road, 501-324-9243
One State Police Plaza, 501-618-8252 [testing facility]
North Little Rock Locations
2655-A Pike Ave, 501-324-9246
6929 JFK, Space 22, Indian Hills Shopping Center, 501-835-6904
550 Edgewood Drive Suite 580, 501-851-7688.
4 Crestview Plaza, 501-982-5942
You can renew your tags online at ARstar.com.
Motor-Driven Cycle License:
Motor-driven cycle license for cycles more than 50 cubic centimeters up to and including 250 cubic centimeters can be obtained at 14 years of age. A four-year license is required at the age of 16. These licenses are $4. Adults can get a motorcycle endorsement on their driver license for $10. You must pass a vision test, a written test and a practical test, and supply the same information as above in “Obtaining Your Initial License.”
Not wearing a seatbelt is a primary offense in Arkansas, which means you can be pulled over for it. Arkansas law requires the driver and front seat passengers to wear a seatbelt. Children under 6 are required to ride in an appropriate safety seat. Children under 15 are required to be belted, no matter where they are in the care.
In addition, all passengers riding in the car driven by a person under the age of 18 must wear a seatbelt.
Distracted driving is a primary offense in Arkansas, which means you can be pulled over for it. Text messaging while driving is a ticketable offense in Arkansas for all drivers.
For drivers under 18, operating any cell phone device while driving is ticketable. Drivers 18-20 can use hands-free devices but are prohibited from using a handheld wireless device while driving unless it is an emergency.
Drivers over the age of 20 can use handheld devices, except for commercial bus drivers. Commercial drivers are not allowed to use handheld devices unless it is an emergency.
Driving Under the Influence
Arkansas has strict DUI laws that can result in immediate suspension. Teens caught driving with any level of blood alcohol will not be tolerated.