Licensing & State Laws
Even though your teen is now licensed and driving alone, Arkansas’ multi-stage licensing process is still at work.
At age 14, teens may apply for a learner’s permit in the state of Arkansas. To do so, both teen and parent must visit their local driver exam office and bring a state-certified copy of the teen’s birth certificate, proof of enrollment in school and proof of grade point average of at least 2.0. Teens must pass a written driver’s knowledge test and a vision test to receive a learner’s permit.
With a learner’s permit, teens may only drive with a licensed driver age 21 or older supervising and sitting in the front seat. The learner’s permit lets teens practice driving with an experienced adult driver. Teens must maintain the learner’s permit until their 16th birthday before they may advance on to the intermediate stage.
When teens turn 16, have held a learner’s permit for at least 6 months and have been crash- and conviction-free for 6 months, they qualify for the intermediate license. When you go with your teen to your local driver exam office to take the driving test, bring the same documentation as required for the learner’s permit: birth certificate, proof of enrollment in school and proof of a minimum 2.0 GPA. If teens are under 18 but have graduated from high school, they will need to show proof of their graduation.
With an intermediate license, teens are allowed to drive without a parent, but must follow certain rules to help keep them safe. Arkansas does not allow teens with intermediate licenses to drive between 11 p.m. and 4 a.m.—some of the riskiest driving hours for all drivers and especially teens – unless accompanied by a licensed driver 21 years of age or older. Arkansas teens also may not drive with more than one non-family passenger under age 21 unless accompanied by a licensed driver 21 or older. Teen drivers and all of their passengers are required to wear safety belts.
At age 18, teens are eligible for a full unrestricted license provided that in the last year they have not been at fault in a serious crash or been convicted of a serious traffic violation.
A parent-teen driving agreement can help you enforce the licensing rules that the state and your family set. An agreement helps you and your teen understand the rules of the road and sends a clear message that driving is an earned privilege that your family takes seriously.
The Arkansas State Police conducts the written exam and road test for the learner’s permit and intermediate license. The Arkansas State Police and Office of Driver Services provide study materials to help teens get ready for the exams.
The Office of Driver Services keeps track of license status and can suspend a license if the license holder gets too many tickets, doesn’t keep insurance on the car or commits other violations.
- Your teen should expect to present a valid license, vehicle registration and proof of car insurance.
- Explain to your teen that it is important to always cooperate and be respectful when speaking with law enforcement.
- Make sure your teen understands the importance of talking to you about any encounters with law enforcement, because it can create a learning experience.
- Suspended driving privileges
- Attorney’s fees
- Court costs
- Insurance premium increases