Teen Driver’s Licenses in Arkansas
In order to get a first-time driver’s license in Arkansas and hit the roads on your own, you’ll need to meet some requirements set by the state’s Department of Finance and Administration (DFA) Office of Driver Services division.
If you are 18 years old or older and you’re looking to get your first AR driver’s license, please visit our page dedicated to applying for an adult driver’s license in Arkansas.
New to Arkansas?
If you currently possess an out-of-state driver’s license, you may exchange it for an Arkansas one at any revenue office, as long as you meet the age requirements to drive in the state. You will be issued the appropriate type of license by the State Revenue Office.
- If your license is current or expired for 31 days or less, you will not need to retake the written and vision exams.
- If your license has been expired for more than 31 days, you will be required to take the written and vision tests upon application, but not the driving test.
- If your license has been expired for over 1 year, you’ll need to take all three exams: the written, vision, and driving tests.
You’ll need to provide:
- Your out-of-state driver’s license.
- Proof of legal presence in the U.S. (U.S. birth certificate, valid U.S. passport, INS photo document).
- An additional 2 documents proving your identity.
- Your Social Security number, or an affidavit stating you do not have a SSN.
You may also be asked to pass a vision test.
About the Arkansas GDL Program
Along with most other states in the nation, Arkansas has implemented a graduated driver’s licensing (GDL) program that requires first-time teen drivers to meet certain milestones before achieving full driving independence.
In Arkansas, the GDL program consist of obtaining a:
- Learner’s license (AKA learner’s permit).
- Intermediate driver’s license.
- Full (unrestricted) driver’s license.
Please note that a Driver’s Education course is NOT REQUIRED as part of the Arkansas GDL or driver licensing process. However, it IS an essential component of making sure you are completely prepared to drive safely and responsibly once you hit the road. Check out our Arkansas Driver’s Ed page for details.
AR Teen License Age Requirements
- 14 years old: eligible for learner’s license.
- 16 years old: eligible for intermediate driver’s license.
- 18 years old: eligible for regular driver’s license.
These age restrictions do not apply if you are at least 16 years old AND you:
- Are married.
- Have earned a high school diploma or a GED.
- Are an active duty member of the U.S. military.
If you fall into any of these categories, you may apply for your full driver’s license right away.
Arkansas Learner’s License
You are eligible to apply for a learner’s license in Arkansas at 14 years old. Learner’s permit tests are administered by the Arkansas State Police; therefore, you will need to visit an ASP testing site to take your exams and earn your learner's license.
Bring your parent or guardian and:
- Submit your:
- Birth certificate.
- Proof of school enrollment with at least a 2.0 GPA (grade point average).
- If you have already graduated high school, submit proof of graduation.
- Proof of legal presence in the U.S. (U.S. birth certificate, U.S. passport, Naturalization Certificate).
- Proof of identity (must contain full name and date of birth).
- Social Security number, or an affidavit stating you do not have a SSN.
- Pass the written exam.
- The State Police provides several different study guides to use before you apply.
- Pass the vision exam.
- Pass the behind-the-wheel driving test.
- Pay the $20 Class D learner license fee.
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.
You must also be at least 16 years old before applying, so if you obtained your learner’s permit at 14 years old, you’ll need to wait until you are 16 years old before obtaining your next license.
Learner’s License Driving Restrictions
With your learner’s license, you must drive under the following conditions:
- You may only drive while accompanied by a licensed driver at least 21 years old.
- You and your passengers must wear seat belts at all times.
- You may not use a cell phone or wireless communication device at ANY POINT while driving, unless you need to report an emergency.
AR Intermediate Driver’s License
Once you are 16 years old and have held your learner’s license for at least 6 months without any accidents or violations, you may apply for your Arkansas intermediate driver’s license. This license will be valid until you turn 18 years old and receive your full driver’s license.
To apply, go to your local revenue office and:
- Submit your current AR learner’s license.
- Provide additional proof of identity and legal presence in the U.S. (birth certificate, valid U.S. passport, Naturalization Certificate).
- Provide your Social Security number, or an affidavit confirming that you do not have a SSN.
- Pay the $20 Class D intermediate driver’s license fee.
You will also be required to sign a statement acknowledging the driving restrictions imposed on your intermediate license (listed below).
AR Intermediate License Driving Restrictions
With the AR intermediate driver’s license, all drivers under 18 years old must adhere to the following:
- For the first 6 months, you must drive with an adult in the vehicle.
- This restriction ends either after the 6 months are up, or when you turn 18 years old; whichever occurs first. Then you may drive alone.
- You may NOT drive between 11 p.m. and 4 a.m.
- Exceptions are when accompanied by an adult at least 21 years old, or when driving to or from work, school, church, or because of an emergency.
- All passengers must wear a seat belt at all times.
- You may never drive while using a cell phone or wireless communication device, unless it is for emergency purposes.
- You may ONLY carry 1 passenger that is a minor unrelated to you; otherwise, you must also have a licensed adult at least 21 years old in the vehicle.
You must also maintain a clean driving record for at least 12 months before applying for your full driver’s license.
Arkansas Full Driver’s License
Once your intermediate driver’s license expires when you turn 18 years old, and you’ve been conviction- and accident-free for at least 12 months, you may apply for your full, unrestricted Arkansas driver’s license.
Go to your local State Revenue Office with:
- Your intermediate Arkansas driver’s license.
- Additional proof of identity and legal presence in the U.S. (birth certificate, valid U.S. passport, Certificate of Naturalization).
- Your Social Security number, or an affidavit stating that you do not have a SSN.
- Payment for the $20 driver’s license fee.
With your full license, you may drive without any passenger or curfew restrictions. All drivers under 21 years old may only use a wireless hands-free communication device.
AR Teen Motorcycle License
At 14 years old, you may obtain a motor-driven cycle license in Arkansas. A motor-driven cycle is defined as a vehicle with an engine under 250 cc. This license expires when you turn 16 years old and costs $4.
A motorcycle license may be obtained at 16 years old for a fee of $12. It will be valid for 4 years. If you’ve already obtained a driver’s license, you may add a motorcycle endorsement to it for $10.
For details on obtaining a motorcycle license in Arkansas, please visit our AR Motorcycle License page.
Teen Auto Insurance in Arkansas
While you don’t need to provide proof of insurance in order to obtain your learner’s permit or driver’s license, you will need to carry proper liability insurance in order to legally drive.
Usually, with your learner’s permit, you will be covered under the insurance of your supervising driver. If their policy does not cover you, consider having someone else supervise you, or asking them to add additional coverage to their policy.
Once you have your intermediate license, you will need to obtain your own auto insurance. You may either obtain your own policy, or have your parent/guardian add you to theirs. Because teen drivers are more expensive to insure, look for opportunities to obtain insurance discounts (such as getting good grades, having multiple policies, etc.).
For details and tips, please visit our page on Car Insurance in Arkansas. You may also use any of the following helpful resources:
Teen Guide to Car Insurance.
Buying Car Insurance for Teens.
Auto Insurance Discounts.
Arkansas Insurance Center.