Arkansas Drivers License

How to Get Your Arkansas Driver’s License in 2021

Zutobi
by Zutobi · Updated Sep 30, 2021

Getting a driver’s license in the state of Arkansas is fairly straightforward, but requires a couple of steps that must be completed correctly. Compared to other states, Arkansas imposes a bit less stringent measures on student drivers looking to gain their licenses.

Do I Need a Driver’s License or ID?

Anyone who operates a motor vehicle on public roads in Arkansas is required to have a valid state driver’s license. If you just moved to the area, you must obtain a license:

  • Within 30 days of becoming a resident
  • If you are a non-resident residing in Arkansas for over six months

Arkansas Driver’s License Requirements

Driver’s license requirements will vary depending on your age. However, Arkansas does not require any new drivers to complete driver’s education, or complete supervised driving after passing the written exam. 

Despite this, we strongly suggest you consider these options to further assist your knowledge of driving and preparation for the road exam. This will allow you to gain comfort and familiarity behind the road. The more time you spend practicing before the driving test, the better!

Before you apply for a license, you need to check to make sure you have the following requirements:

  • If you are under 21, you need to work through the graduated driver’s license program (GDL) based on your age before you qualify. 
  • If you are under 18, you must submit proof that you graduated or are currently attending school.
  • If you are under 18, you must submit proof of parental consent. Your parents or guardians must also agree to financial responsibility for your driving.
  • You must be able to submit proof of name, birthdate, and residency
  • First-time applicants must start with a learner’s permit, then progress to your age-specific tier in the Graduated Driver’s Licence Program.
  • You must pass a vision, written, and skills test
  • You must complete the requirements for your permit.
  • You must be in the US legally
  • You must not have any suspensions or license revocation on your record for at least a year.
  • You may not have any pending judgments on traffic violations on your record

What is the Graduated Driver’s License Program?

The Graduated Driver’s License program, or GDL, was developed in 2001 for younger drivers to gain more experience driving before they receive an unrestricted license. Driver’s education is not mandatory in the GDL program, but it provides essential information that will help you pass your written and driving skills tests the first time.

How to Get an Arkansas Driver’s License

Teens are eligible to apply for driver’s licenses as young as 14. However, younger student drivers are subject to a couple of additional requirements when compared to their older counterparts.

Arkansas has four license stages based on your age.

#1 – Instruction Permit 

If you’re applying for a license for the first time at the age of 14 or 15, you will be required to first obtain and hold an instruction permit.  You will receive it after passing your written test and it will be valid for one year from the year of issuance and cannot be renewed. After 30 days, you will be allowed to take the road test in order to receive your actual learner’s license.

The written exam consists of 25 questions, and you have to get 20 questions right to pass. To ensure you come prepared for your written test, test your knowledge with our up-to-date practice tests or popular Arkansas prep course.

#2 – Learner’s License (Ages 14-16)

The Arkansas learner’s license works similarly to the permit, but it indicates the driver has passed the driving skills test and driven for at least six months without a traffic incident. The skills test consists of the vehicle inspection, vehicle knowledge, and a 10-20 minute drive.

After you have your learner license, you must still drive supervised by an instructor or licensed adult over the age of 21. You are also prohibited from all communication devices while driving, including hands-free devices.

If you would like to read more about the permit and learner license phase, we recommend that you read our in-depth teen guide here.

#3 – Arkansas Intermediate License (Ages 16-18) 

If you have a learner’s license, you can apply once you turn 16. Otherwise, you need to be at least 16 AND complete your six months with a permit. In addition, you can not have a major driving violation or fault for an accident on your record to graduate to this stage.

With an intermediate driver’s license, you will have a set time period that you need to continue driving with a licensed adult age 21 or older. The date you can start driving unsupervised will be on the back of your license.

Intermediate License Restrictions

The state of Arkansas allows you to drive unsupervised with an intermediate license. But you will need to abide by the following restrictions:

  • You may not have more than one non-relative under the age of 18 in the vehicle when you drive unsupervised.
  • You can not drive unsupervised between the hours of 11 pm and 4 am except for religious activity, a school event, your job, or an emergency. You will need to provide proof that you need to travel during these hours if you are pulled over.
  • Use of a cellphone is still prohibited while driving except in an emergency.

Will You Need an Intermediate License If You’re Over 18?

If you’re over 18 when applying for your Arkansas driver’s license, you will receive an intermediate license as well. However, applicants over 18 will only be required to hold the intermediate license for 30 days before becoming eligible to sit for the road exam.

#4 – Class D Driver’s License (Ages 18+)

To apply for your unrestricted Arkansas driver’s license, you must complete your permit driving time, pass a written and skill test, and go at least 12 months with no major violations on your driving record.

If you have an intermediate license, you will be able to turn it in as proof of taking your written and skills test. Otherwise, you will need to complete your tests during the application process.

Already have a license? Read our guide on license renewal!

That’s It!

That’s everything you need to know about getting your driver’s license in Arkansas. We hope this guide has helped you out and that you now feel comfortable with the steps moving forward. If you need any help studying for your upcoming knowledge or driving exams, then Zutobi is the perfect study resource with a summarized handbook, Arkansas permit practice tests, and a gamified experience. 

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