Apply for a License (Under 18) in Arkansas
COVID-19 Effects on Licensing Services
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, offices may have restricted hours or be closed entirely. Follow the DFA's updates for the latest information.
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) 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.
REAL IDs in Arkansas
The Arkansas DFA now issues both federally-compliant REAL ID driver’s licenses as well as non-compliant licenses. A REAL ID license allows you to use your license as approved identification for activities such as boarding an airplane or entry into federal and military buildings. As of October 1, 2021, ONLY the federally-approved license will be accepted for such activities.
You can choose to apply for a REAL ID or a non-compliant ID—details are outlined below.
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 driver's 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 DMV written test, vision exam, and driving test.
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.
The written test is comprised of material taken from the Arkansas Driver Manual. Studying this manual will help you pass the written test. If you want to ensure passing on your first attempt, we suggest using an online practice test from our certified partner.
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.
What are the AR Teen License Age Requirements
- 14 years old: eligible for learner's license.
- 16 years old: eligible for provisional license.
- 18 years old: eligible for regular driver's license.
These age restrictions may not apply if 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.
How to Apply for an Arkansas Learner's Permit
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 DMV written test and driving test and earn your learner's permit.
Bring your parent or guardian to sign your forms, and:
- Submit your:
- Birth certificate.
- Proof of school enrollment with at least a 2.0 GPA (grade point average) OR proof of graduation.
- Pass the DMV 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 $40 Class D learner license fee.
If you are 14 to 18 years old 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.
Learner's Permit 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.
How to Get an AR Intermediate License
Once you are 16 years old and have held your learner's permit 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, visit your local revenue office and:
- Submit your current AR learner's permit.
- Provide additional proof of identity and legal presence in the U.S.:
- If you want a REAL ID-compliant license, you'll need:
- 1 document proving your legal presence.
- 1 document proving your Social Security number.
- 1 document proving your identity from the secondary list.
- 2 documents proving your Arkansas residency.
- The DFA provides a complete guide to the documents you can bring as proof.
- If you want a non-compliant license, you'll need EITHER:
- 2 documents from the primary identity list; OR
- 1 document from the primary list and 1 document from the secondary list.
- Check out the DFA's guide to eligible documents for help.
- If you want a REAL ID-compliant license, you'll need:
- Pay the $40 Class D intermediate driver's license fee.
You will also be required to sign a statement acknowledging the driving restrictions imposed on your provisional license (listed below).
AR Intermediate License Driving Restrictions
With the AR intermediate, or provisional 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.
As you are behind the wheel, remember to keep all your attention on the road. You can learn all about the dangers of driving distracted by visiting the Distracted Driving section of our website.
How to Get an Arkansas Full Driver's License
Once your provisional 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. Driver Services gives you until 30 days after turning 18 years old to apply for your full license.
Go to your local State Revenue Office with:
- Your intermediate Arkansas driver's license.
- Additional proof of identity and legal presence, if required (see lists above).
- Your Social Security number, or an affidavit stating that you do not have a SSN.
- Payment for the $40 driver's license fee.
With your full driver's 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.
Follow our driver's license checklist to track you progress towards your full Arkansas driver's license.
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.