When driving a State of Arkansas registered vehicle, insurance is required. The following minimum coverage is required in Arkansas:

  • Auto Insurance policy with limits of at least 25/50/25 – meaning:
    • Liability coverage
    • $25,000 of bodily injury to another person
    • $50,000 of bodily injuries to all other persons
    • $25,000 of injury to or destruction of property of others in any one accident
  • Although comprehensive and collision insurance are not required by the state of Arkansas, many drivers choose to purchase one or both in order to cover any expenses they may accumulate from an accident.

Alternative Options to Insurance:

Self Insurance Certificates are available in Arkansas if the following requirements are met:
A.C.A 27-19-107

  • You must have at least 26 registered vehicles in your name
  • You must qualify by application through the Arkansas Office of Motor Vehicle
    • Office of Motor Vehicle
    • Ragland Building
    • 1900 W. 7th St., Ste. 1100
    • Little Rock, AR 72201

In Arkansas, you have the option to use a cash deposit instead of insurance if the following requirements are met:

  • Cash deposit of at least $75,000 A.C.A 27-19-717
  • Cash deposits must be made with the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles

Required Proof of Insurance in Arkansas

  • Insurance Card provided by Insurance company including all of the following:
    A.C.A. 23-89-213

    • Name, address, phone number, and National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ code number of Insurance Company
    • Name and phone number of the issuing agent (if available)
    • Insurance Policy Number
    • Effective Date/Expiration Date of Policy
    • Accurate description of year, make/model and vehicle identification number of insured vehicle
    • Name and address of insured driver
    • Designated excluded driver(s) (if anyone is excluded from coverage under the policy)
  • Self Insurance certificates are issued by the state and must include the following:
    • Certificate Number issued by Department of Licensing
    • Effective Date of Certificate
    • Accurate description of year, make/model, and vehicle identification number of insured vehicle
    • Name of driver covered by certificate
  • Certificate of Deposit
    • Certificate number issued by Commissioner of Motor Vehicles
    • Name of driver covered by certificate of deposit

Arkansas Office of Motor Vehicles

http://www.dfa.arkansas.gov/offices/motorVehicle
Office of Motor Vehicle Commissioner
Ragland Building
1900 W. 7th St., Ste. 1100

Little Rock, AR 72201
501-682-4692

Obtaining a Driver’s License

Here are the requirements to obtain your instruction permit:

  • Be at least 14 years old
  • Pass the knowledge test (based on the Arkansas Driver License Study Guide)
  • Pass the vision test
  • Consent from a parent or legal guardian (if under the age of 18)
  • Provide proof of a 2.0 or higher grade-point average
  • If not enrolled in school, provide your high-school diploma, GED certificate, or a form of completion from your school

Here are the requirements to obtain your learner permit:

  • Be between 14 and 16 years old
  • Have an instruction permit
  • No traffic violations within the last 6 months
  • Pass the knowledge test (based on the Arkansas Driver License Study Guide)
  • Pass the vision test
  • Pass the driving test
  • Consent from a parent or legal guardian (if under the age of 18)
  • Provide proof of a 2.0 or higher grade-point average
  • If not enrolled in school, provide your high-school diploma, GED certificate, or a form of completion from your school

Here are the requirements to obtain your intermediate license for residents under the age of 18:

  • Be at least 16 years old
  • Have an instruction or learner permit
  • No traffic violations within the last 6 months
  • Pass the knowledge test (based on the Arkansas Driver License Study Guide)
  • Pass the vision test
  • Pass the driving test
  • Consent from a parent or legal guardian (if under the age of 18)
  • Provide proof of a 2.0 or higher grade-point average
  • If not enrolled in school, provide your high-school diploma, GED certificate, or a form of completion from your school

Here are the requirements to obtain your first license for residents over the age of 18:

  • Pass vision test
  • Pass written test
  • Pass driving test (you must wait at least 30 days after passing the written test before you can take the driving test)

The following documents are required for application:

  • Two forms of identity (acceptable forms)
  • Proof of legal residency
  • $20 license fee (subject to change)
  • Contact the Arkansas Office of Driver Services at 501-682-7060 to determine what forms of payment are accepted at your local office

Completing Driver Education

The State of Arkansas does not require you to take a driver education course, although it is recommended in order to become familiar with the driving rules, traffic laws, and vehicle operation.

When a person reaches the age of 14, they may enroll in a driver education course. To be eligible, a student must have an instruction permit, issued by the State of Arkansas (required for the driving portion).

The Arkansas Department of Career Education oversees the driver education programs. Each course consists of 30 hours of classroom instruction and 6 hours of driving instruction. A detailed description of the content of a driver education course can be found here.

It is recommended that you research any driver-training program that you enroll in. You want to make sure they meet the following standards:

  • Instructors are licensed and have certificates from the State of Arkansas
  • They are approved by the State of Arkansas
  • Check if they have received any disciplinary action for violations
  • Make sure there are enough instructors to meet student needs

Knowing the Rules of the Road

The State of Arkansas provides their rules of the road online. Carefully obey these rules to quality for the lowest possible car insurance rates
A.C.A. 27-51

  • Speed limits — A.C.A. 27-51 Subchapter 2
  • Driving, overtaking, and passing — A.C.A. 27-51 Subchapter 3
  • Turning, stopping, and signaling — A.C.A. 27-51 Subchapter 4
  • Intersections — A.C.A. 27-51 Subchapter 5
  • Stops and yielding — A.C.A. 27-51 Subchapter 6
  • Railroad gate crossing — A.C.A. 27-51 Subchapter 7
  • Streetcars — A.C.A. 27-51 Subchapter 8
  • Emergency vehicles — A.C.A. 27-51 Subchapter 9
  • School buses — A.C.A. 27-51 Subchapter 10
  • Church buses — A.C.A. 27-51 Subchapter 11
  • Pedestrians — A.C.A. 27-51 Subchapter 12
  • Stopping, standing, or parking — A.C.A. 27-51 Subchapter 13
  • Miscellaneous rules — A.C.A. 27-51 Subchapter 14
  • Using handheld devices while driving — A.C.A. 27-51 Subchapter 15
  • Distractions — A.C.A. 27-51 Subchapter 16

The Arkansas Driver License Study Guide provides a list and description of the rules of the road.

Generally, the residents of Arkansas fall into one of three insurance coverage markets: the preferred market, which is reserved for low-risk drivers with good driving records, offers the lowest premiums; the standard market, which includes the average driver with a fair driving record; and the non-standard market, available for less-experienced drivers and those with multiple traffic violations or accidents, as well as those who have at least one drunk driving offense, offers the highest premiums.

Know Your Rates

Auto insurance rates are calculated by taking all of the licensed drivers in the household, even if they are not related to you by blood, such as permanent roommates and spouses into consideration. The base rate that is used to evaluate all drivers is then adjusted according to several factors, including:

  • Age. Statistics indicate that drivers under the age of 25 are considered a higher risk than those between 25 and 65 years old because younger drivers are involved in more accidents. For this reason, insurance companies will charge households with drivers under the age of 25 more for insurance due to the increased chance of risk. In Arkansas, 18-year-olds are typically offered the highest rates, while 65 and older are typically offered the lowest.
  • Gender. Statistical evidence shows that men under the age of 25 are involved in more accidents than women under the age of 25. Therefore, male drivers typically have to pay higher insurance rates than female drivers.
  • Marital status. According to statistics, married couples tend to have far fewer accidents than those who are single, so, when shopping around, married couples may be offered a lower insurance rate.
  • Driving record and claims history. The number of traffic violations, accidents, tickets, and insurance claims you have on your driving record, helps to determine your risk factor. For this reason, a poor driving record results in higher insurance rates.
  • Make, model, and year of the vehicle. The more expensive and high-performance vehicles generally cost the driver more to insure due to the fact that those vehicles are more likely to be stolen.
  • Credit history. Insurance companies look at your credit history is to determine the likelihood that you will make your payments. In Arkansas, credit history cannot be the single determining factor for your rate, but it can be one of the factors. Therefore, the better your credit score, the less your insurance rate will likely be.
  • Geographical area. The crime rate in your area can affect your insurance rate. A high crime rate typically results in higher insurance rates for the area. Likewise, those who live in an area that experiences regular traffic collisions will experience a higher insurance rate as well, as drivers living there will be more likely to damage their vehicles than those living in less hazardous areas.

Lower Your Rates

An insurance agent or broker will be able to let you know exactly what your insurance plan will cover for the price you are paying to help you get the best price for the best coverage. Shop around and talk to different companies. Remember to make sure that the company is permitted to do business in Arkansas before you purchase a plan from them. If you are suspicious about any insurance company, call the Arkansas Insurance Department Commissioner Jay Bradford at 1-800-282-9134. to verify if any actions have been taken against that company. In addition, if an agent or company attempts to sell ERISA or union plans, contact the Office of the Insurance Commissioner to report the activity.

Ask an insurance agent or broker about discounts that a company may offer but not advertise, such as the College Graduate Discount, the Defensive Driver Discount, and discounts for drivers with a history of accident-free driving.

Also, pay close attention to your other insurance plans. Some plans, such as medical insurance, can overlap in coverage areas with your auto insurance plans.

Picking an Insurance Agent/Broker

Insurance agents work for insurance companies and sell policies for commission. Insurance brokers do not work for insurance companies. Brokers work with individual clients, assessing their needs and finding the insurance company and options to fit each client. Brokers also receive commission for the sales they make from different insurance companies.

Make sure that the insurance agent or broker that you use is licensed with the Arkansas Insurance Department. In addition, you can request information about agents, brokers, and companies from the Arkansas Insurance Department Consumer Services Division.

The Arkansas Insurance Department also provides consumers with an online auto insurance cost comparison. You may also use it to enter your information and compare insurance company prices based on each company’s yearly filing with the Department. You can also access the Arkansas Insurance Department Automobile Insurance Guide.

If you have had issues with an insurance company agent, or broker, file a complaint online. The Department will investigate the matter and get back to you if any formal disciplinary actions will take place. You can request information about your claim, your policy, and much more.

Arkansas Insurance Department
Consumer Services Division
http://www.insurance.arkansas.gov/Consumers/divpage.htm
1200 West Third Street
Little Rock, AR 72201-1904
insurance.consumers@arkansas.gov
800-852-5494

After an Accident

Accidents happen to just about everyone eventually. If you have been involved in a collision, you must immediately notify the Arkansas State Patrol, city police, or county sheriff. If you or someone else is injured, you may request emergency medical services at that time. All drivers involved in the accident should stay at the scene of the collision until released by a police officer. To make the process easier, assess the situation and be prepared to provide responding law enforcement members with a thorough account of the events leading up to the collision. Also take down information such as the names of the police officers and witnesses you spoke with for your own accident report. In addition, if the accident involved property or vehicle damage of more than $1000, or if there is an injury or loss of life involved, an accident report SR-1 must be filed with the Office of Driver Services within 30 days of the accident. Failure to report the accident or to report incorrect information could lead to the suspension of your driver license or driving permit.

Arkansas Insurance Department Consumer Services Division offers advice on what to do in case of an accident.

In addition, you must also report the accident to your insurance company as soon as possible. Be sure to closely following your particular company’s procedures for filing a claim. If your collision involved another driver or multiple drivers, you must obtain their name, address, phone number, insurance information, driver’s license number, and the make and model of the car they were driving during the collision. You should also provide the other driver(s) with your information. Also, be prepared to report the extent of the damage to both cars, how the accident happened, what occurred during the accident, and the names and contact information of any witnesses at the scene. Any police report filed must also be copied and sent to your insurance company. The insurance report is required to be forwarded to the Office of Driver Services within 50 days of the accident. This should be done by your insurance company.

When all of your information has been received, your insurance company will investigate your claim within 30 days and pay your claim within 15 days after settlement papers are signed. If your claim is delayed, the insurance company must notify you every 30 days until it is processed. In the event that your claim is denied, your insurance company will notify you in writing.

Your insurance company may also seek subrogation, which typically happens when someone else was at fault for an accident you were in. Your insurance will cover the costs of any medical or repair bills you had, but your insurance will then reach out to the at-fault driver’s insurance company for compensation. During this process, you should provide your insurance company with full cooperation to ensure that this process goes smoothly. If you intend to settle with the at-fault driver or their insurance company, be sure to notify your insurance company.

Insurance for High-Risk Drivers

Your driving record may prevent you from receiving the insurance coverage, especially if you have a lengthy history of accidents, tickets, or drunk driving. However, Arkansas makes it possible for just about every driver to find insurance opportunities by offering the Arkansas Automobile Insurance Plan. This plan is specifically for drivers in Arkansas who cannot find coverage due to their driving records.

You may also be asked to provide a SR-22 form from the Department of Finance Administration if you are caught driving without proof of insurance, cause an accident without insurance, are caught driving under the influence, have a high number of traffic violations and tickets within a short time span, or have had your license suspended or revoked. Your insurance company should do this for you, but not all companies provide this service. Therefore, it is best to make sure that the insurance company you choose provides an SR-22 form for you if you should ever need one.

Additional Help

The Arkansas Insurance Department Consumer Services Division offers assistance to anyone shopping for insurance. They will answer questions about insurance, look into complaints with specific agencies, agents, or brokers, as well as educate consumers on insurance information, laws, and procedures. You can email them at insurance.consumers@arkansas.gov, or contact them by phone at 800-852-5494.

Online resources include:

  • Arkansas Insurance Department Automobile Insurance Guide
  • Arkansas Insurance Department Consumer Services Division – File a Complaint
  • The Arkansas Insurance Department – Auto Insurance Cost Comparison