With over 600,000 acres of lakes and almost 10,000 miles of rivers and streams, Arkansas attracts sportsmen from all over the United States for its worldclass fishing. From fishing to hiking, the Ozarks and the Oachita mountain ranges offer popular destinations for tourists all year long. The “Natural State” lives up to its nickname with naturally preserved scenic views all across the land. Drivers can visit natural hot springs, snow-capped mountains, raging rivers and even a diamond mine in this Southern state. To keep these drivers protected, CheapCarInsurance.net has organized all the useful car insurance information in this one, compact list.
LAWS & REGULATIONS
With so many different attractions, Arkansas, like insurance regulations, can be overwhelming. Following is a list of the most important details to remember about Arkansas’ driving laws.
Minimum Requirements for Car Insurance in Arkansas
- All drivers in Arkansas must be covered by a minimum liability insurance according to the State Insurance Department.
- Arkansas Liability Coverage minimums include:
- $25,000 for single-person bodily injury or death coverage.
- $50,000 for multiple-person bodily injury or death coverage.
- $25,000 for property-damage liability coverage.
- Failure to provide proof of insurance can result in suspension of registration and/or drivers license.
New Driver Licensing Requirements
All drivers in Arkansas are required to have a valid drivers license by passing the required tests.
- Vision Test. The Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration states that applicants must pass the vision test with a visual accuity of 20/40 for a regular license and an accuity of 20/50 for a restricted license.
- Written Test. Every applicant has access to the Arkansas Driver License Study Guide which must be read in order to successfully pass the written test. The Arkansas State Police administer the test based on the information included in this study guide.
- Road Test. The road test is administered by the Arkansas State Police. The vehicle used for the test must be properly insured and registered and in safe working order. If the test administrator observes any unsafe behavior, the applicant can be automatically failed. The test evaluates the applicant’s ability in the following areas:
- Familiarity with vehicle controls
- Maintianing control of the vehicle
- Obeying all traffic laws, signs, speed limits, traffic lights, etc.
- Being aware of surrounding vehicles and traffic
- Proper adjustment to special driver situations such as construction or school zones
- Pay a License Fee. Applicants must pay a $20 fee for a regular (class D) driver license.
- Drivers Under the Age of 18. Applicants between the ages of 14 and under 18 can obtain a restricted license. The Arkansas Driver License Study Guide states that new drivers must obtain a graduated license by applying for an instruction permit. This permit allows an applicant to drive a vehicle only with another licensed driver who is age 21 or older.
If under 16 years of age, the applicant must pass the vision, knowledge and skills tests to be eligible for the Learner’s License. Applicants under the age of 18 must provide proof of school enrollment with a GPA of at least 2.00. The applicants must also be accompanied to the testing site by a parent or legal guardian.
Restrictions on a Learner’s License (ages 14-16) include:
- Seat belts must be worn by all passengers at all times.
- The driver shall not use, unless in case of emergency, any cell phone or other wireless communication device.
- A licensed driver who is 21 years of age or older must accompany the driver.
- BAC limit: .08 Arkansas state law requires a law enforcement officer to issue an Official Driver’s License Receipt and a Notice of Suspension/Revocation of Driving Privileges to a driver upon being stopped for suspicion of DUI/DWI. The driver is informed he/she must request a hearing withing 7 days; however, their license is not immediately suspended or revoked. If at the hearing the driver is determined to have been DUI/DWI, the following penalties can be enforced:
- First Offense: License suspension of 6 months for DWI and/or 180 days for a Refusal to Test.
- Second Offense within 5 Years: License suspension of 2 years.
- Third Offense within 5 Years: License suspension of 30 months.
- A permanent license revocation occurs after the fourth offense in 5 years. Prior to re-instatement, the driver must pay a $150 fee per offense and complete an approved drug and alcohol treatment plan.
- In each offense, it is optional for the court to require an ignition interlock system for a required amount of time. The court does not stipulate or limit fees that may be assessed for the violator.
Texting & Driving Laws
According to Distraction.gov, Arkansas has banned handheld devices for drivers between the ages of 18 and 20. All bus drivers and novice drivers are banned from using either handheld or hands-free devices. Texting is banned for all drivers.
It’s hard to find such culture as one finds in the Arkansas town of Little Rock. Such an example would be the standing law that prohibits one from walking their cow down Main Street after 1 p.m. on Sunday. To spread the high standards of culture, Arkansas has declared it illegal to mispronounce the state’s name, exploit a bear or own a dangerous cat. Also, since one may get hungry while driving through the state, it is illegal to suddenly start or stop one’s vehicle while at a McDonald’s restaurant in Little Rock!
Average Car Insurance Premiums
NAIC.org indicates that although Arkansas’ insurance premiums have been below the national average for many years, its premiums as a percentage of income have been above the average for nearly the same number of years. Currently, the premiums as a percentage of income is above the national average by less than 1 percent.
Drunk Driving Fatalities
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration revealed that Arkansas’ drunk driving fatalities showed a sharp decline between 2011 to 2013. That changed in 2014 when accidents soared about 3 percent. Still, the state remains below the national average.
Teen Drinking and Driving
Arkansas teens have surpassed the national average in percentage of drinking and driving. The Center for Disease Control records Arkansas at nearly 1 percent higher than the national average.
Vehicular Theft in Arkansas
The national average for car thefts is reported by the FBI as almost 215, while Arkansas comes in much lower. The state continues to experience a downward trend in thefts.
State Department of Insurance
Department of Transportation
Department of Motor Vehicles
Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration
Office of Motor Vehicles
1900 W. 7th St., Ste. 1100
Little Rock, AR 72201