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  • Drivers Permits in Arkansas

    Getting Your Arkansas Driver's Permit

    Did you know that car crashes are the leading cause of death among American teens? It’s true; according the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, driving accidents account for nearly 1/3 of all teens 16-19 years old.

    In an effort to reduce this toll, Arkansas has initiated a Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) program in which teens must achieve certain age- and experience-related milestones prior to getting their driver’s license.

    Your first step on your path to your Arkansas driver’s license is to obtain your learner’s license.

    If necessary, you can contact the Office of Motor Vehicle (OMV) at (501) 682-7059.

    AR Permit Requirements & Exemptions

    In Arkansas, there are different stages in the permit and licensing process, all of which are based upon your age:

    • 14 years old: Eligible for learner’s license.
    • 16 years old: Eligible for intermediate license.
    • 18 years old: Eligible for unrestricted driver’s license.

    These restrictions do not apply if you are at least 16 years old and you:

    • Are married and considered “head of household.”
    • Have earned a high school diploma or a GED.
      OR
    • Are an active duty member of the U.S. military.

    At the time of this writing, a Driver’s Education course is not required as part of the Arkansas GDL. However, a Driver’s Ed course is an invaluable way to help you become a smarter, safer, and more confident driver. For more information about Arkansas driver’s education, please refer to our Driver’s Ed in Arkansas page.

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    New to Arkansas?

    Unfortunately, if you’re new to Arkansas and you have a learner’s permit from your previous state, your permit will not transfer. In order to get your Arkansas learner’s license, you’ll need to complete the steps below.

    Apply for an AR Learner’s License

    To get your learner’s license in the state of Arkansas, you must be at least 14 years old. Testing is administered by the Arkansas State Police (ASP); you will need to visit an ASP testing site and provide the required documents mentioned below.

    • A completed Application for Driver’s License/Permit. Applications will be provided at the ASP testing site.
    • Proof of verifiable Social Security number (e.g. original Social Security card, W-2 form, paystub showing your name and SSN).
      • If you do not have a SSN, you must sign an affidavit stating so.
    • Proof of legal presence (e.g. U.S. passport, U.S. birth certificate, U.S. visa and I-94 form).
    • Proof of identity with your full name and date of birth displayed. The state provides a full list of acceptable proofs; you may use:
      • 2 primary documents.
        OR
      • 1 primary document and 1 secondary document.

    If you’re under 18 years old you’ll also need to provide proof of enrollment in school with at least a 2.0 GPA.

    In addition to passing the written exam (see “Taking the Written Permit Exam” below), you’ll need to pass a vision exam and pay the necessary fee. Contact the ASP testing site for information on specific fees.

    Taking the AR Written Permit Exam

    Once you have all the required documents in hand, it’s time to head to an Arkansas State Police testing site to take your written test. It’s always a good idea to make an appointment.

    The written test will be comprised of written questions about Arkansas road signs, traffic laws, and rules of safe driving that can be found in the Arkansas Driver’s License Study Guide.

    Learner’s License Driving Restrictions

    With your learner’s license in hand, you can now drive, but there are a few restrictions:

    • You must be accompanied by a licensed driver 21 years old or older.
    • All passengers must always wear seat belts.
    • You are not allowed to use a cellular telephone or wireless communication device while driving except to report an emergency.

    Behind-the-Wheel Driving Requirements

    Currently Arkansas does not have any behind-the-wheel supervised driving requirements. Most states require between 30 and 40 hours, with at least 10 hours at night. Though not currently required, it’s highly recommended that you complete these hours either with your supervising driver or with at a commercial driving school.

    Replacing Your Arkansas Learner’s License

    If your learner’s license is lost or stolen, you can get a new one by bringing the documents mentioned above to any State Revenue Office. You will also have to pay a $10 replacement fee. For more information, please refer to our Replacing a Lost License page.

    Your Next Step: Get Your Intermediate License

    Your next step in the Arkansas GDL process is to get your intermediate license. You must hold your learner’s permit for a minimum of 6 months without any traffic violations or accidents before you’re eligible to apply for an intermediate license.

    For more information, please refer to our Teen Driver’s License page.

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