Arkansas DMV Handbook and Regulations FAQ

If you’re getting ready to apply for your Arkansas driver’s license in the near future, then you’ll want to make sure you pick up and study a copy of the official Arkansas Driver’s Handbook. All of the questions you’ll see on your written knowledge test will be covered by the handbook. You may also want to study with a good practice test and read over the following FAQ to be even better prepared for the application process.
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How old do I need to be before I’m eligible to apply for an Arkansas driver’s permit?
Every state has its own age criteria when it comes to eligibility for driving privileges of any type. However in Arkansas, you are free to begin the application process for your learner’s permit once you turn 14 years old.
What documents do I need to show at the DMV when I apply for my Arkansas learner’s permit?
You will need to bring state-recognized documentation and paperwork that can prove all of the following:
  • Age and legal identity
  • Legal presence in the United States
  • Social security number (or proof of ineligibility for a social security number)
  • Residency in the state of Arkansas
Those under the age of 18 at the time of application will also need to prove that they’re enrolled in the Arkansas school system or proof of a GPA. If you are unsure as to whether or not one of the documents of proof you plan to bring will be considered acceptable, check with a representative from the DMV and make sure first. Otherwise, you risk having to return to the field office at a later date to start the process all over again.
If I’m an underage driver, do I need to bring my parents with me when I apply for my license?
You don’t have to have a parent or legal guardian bring you, but it’s probably a good idea. If you’re underage, your parent will need to sign your application to show consent. Having them bring you is the easiest way to make sure this happens.
Does Arkansas require people to pass a physical before they’ll be allowed to drive?
No. Some states require people to take a physical in order to prove they’re physically fit to drive, but Arkansas is not one of them. You will need to take and pass a vision test at the time you arrive to apply for your permit though, so make sure you’re wearing your contacts or eyeglasses
Is there a time restriction as far as when I can upgrade my permit to a license?
Yes. In addition to completing all of your supervised practice hours, you will need to hold your permit for a minimum of 6 months before you will be able to take your road test and get your license. You also must make sure you don’t receive any traffic violations during that time.
I’m new to Arkansas (or will be soon). What do I need to know about transferring my driving privileges from out of state?
In Arkansas, you are required by law to have your license transferred within 30 days of establishing residency. In order to do this, you must visit an Arkansas DMV field office and turn in your out-of-state license. You will also need to fill out an application and show all of the same documentation listed above that new license applicants would be expected to show.
If I’m transferring an out-of-state license, do I need to retake any of the associated tests?
Under most circumstances, someone that is merely transferring a valid out-of-state license won’t have to retake any of their initial tests. However, if your license has been expired for 31 days or longer, you will need to retake the vision exam and written exam, so make sure you’re familiar with the info in the Arkansas Driver’s Handbook if this is the case. The same goes for anyone that doesn’t actually have a physical copy of their license to turn over to the DMV. If your license has been expired for a year or more, you will need to retake your road test in addition to the written knowledge and vision tests.
Is there anyone that is allowed to drive in Arkansas but does not need an official Arkansas driver’s license?
Only full-time Arkansas state residents are required to hold Arkansas driver’s licenses in particular. However, if you are a member of the United States military or a military spouse, it’s fine to have an out-of-state license. The same goes for students that are simply attending a school or university in Arkansas.
Who is NOT eligible for an Arkansas state driver’s license?
As is the case with other states, some people will not be able to obtain driving privileges in Arkansas. These include:
  • Teenagers that have not successfully completed all steps of the Arkansas GDL program.
  • Anyone with a license from any state that is suspended, revoked, or canceled.
  • Drivers with pending moving violation judgments.
  • Anyone deemed unfit to drive because of mental illness, physical illness, or drug/alcohol abuse.
  • People that have been found to be at fault for serious traffic accidents or other serious violations within the past year.
  • People that are unable to provide proper proof of identification at the time they apply.
I’m ready to take my Arkansas road test and get my license. Do I need to make an appointment or can I just show up?
It’s highly recommended that you make an appointment to take your Arkansas road test, but you won’t be turned away if you don’t. Regardless of whether or not you have an appointment, it is suggested that you call ahead prior to arriving to make sure your appointment time hasn’t been changed for some reason.
I want a commercial driver’s license or a motorcycle license. What age do I need to be to qualify?
In Arkansas, you must be at least 18 to get a motorcycle license and at least 21 before you can get a commercial driver’s license. You must also successfully apply for these licenses separately from your original license.
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