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Arkansas New Resident Guide

Welcome to Arkansas! As a new driver to this state you will need to be aware of our unique traffic laws and regulations. Here's what you need to keep in mind while driving in Arkansas. Some of these rules may be the same as what you're already used to, but others will be drastically different!

Licensing and Residency Requirements



  • New residents must obtain a license within 30 days of becoming a resident.
  • Within 30 days of becoming a resident, an owner shall obtain a motor vehicle registration; nonresidents physically present in Arkansas for 6 months shall also obtain motor vehicle registration.
  • You have 30 calendar days after becoming a resident to register your vehicle in Arkansas. Applications can be made in any state revenue office.


Graduated Licensing Program



Learner's License

Requirements

  • Must be at least 14 years of age;
  • Pass written test;
  • Pass road test;
  • Pass vision exam;
  • No serious accidents or serious traffic convictions in most recent six months.

Privileges and Restrictions

  • All passengers must have seat belts on at all times.
  • Shall not use a cellular telephone or other interactive wireless communication device while driving except for an emergency purpose.
  • The driver must be accompanied by a licensed driver 21 years of age or older.
  • Expires on the licensee's 16th birthday, after which they may apply for an intermediate license.

Intermediate License

Requirements

  • Must be at least 16 years of age.
  • If the applicant for an intermediate license has an accident or serious traffic conviction within the most recent six months, he/she must retain the learner's license until such time that their record is clear of such accidents or traffic convictions for a six-month period. In this case, the re-issued learner's license will have an expiration date equal to the end of six months from the conviction or accident date. If, on that expiration date, no further accidents or serious violations have occurred, an intermediate license will be issued.
  • Pass written test, road test, and vision exam if not already passed.

Privileges and Restrictions

  • All passengers must have seat belts attached at all times.
  • Prohibited from operating a motor vehicle with more than one unrelated minor passenger unless accompanied by a licensed driver 21 years of age or older.
  • Prohibited from operating a motor vehicle between the hours of 11:00 pm and 4:00 am unless the licensee is: accompanied by a person 21 years of age or older; driving to or from a school activity, church-related activity, or job; or driving because of an emergency.
  • Shall not use a cellular telephone or other interactive wireless communication device while driving except for an emergency purpose.
  • Any person under the age 18 must hold a restriction of an adult in the car for a minimum of six months. If the licensee has satisfied the six-month adult restriction, the intermediate license allows the licensee to drive alone.

Regular License

Requirements

  • Issued to a person at age 18 when the intermediate license expires;
  • Must have a record without any serious accidents or serious traffic convictions within the most recent 12 months.

Privileges and Restrictions

  • Drivers 18-21 may only use hands-free wireless telephones while operating a motor vehicle.

Exceptions

Age restrictions do not apply to a person 16 years of age or older if such person is (A) married, (B) possesses a high school diploma, (C) has successfully completed a General Education Development test, or (D) is enlisted in the United States Military.



Violation Point Counts

The amount of points that go against your driver's license for specific types of violations.



14 Point Violations

  • CMV DUI control substance.
  • CMV refuse test.
  • DUI .02 or more.
  • DWI .04 or more.
  • DWI .10 or more.
  • DWI.
  • Refuse intox test.

8 Point Violations

  • Leave the scene of an accident.
  • Passing stopped school bus.
  • Racing.
  • Reckless driving CMV.
  • Speeding 31 or more.
  • Evading arrest with a motor vehicle.

6 Point Violations

  • CMV leaving scene.
  • Speeding 15 or more CMV.

5 Point Violations

  • Speeding 11-14.
  • Speeding 15-20.

4 Point Violations

  • Speeding 21-30.

3 Point Violations

  • Failure to obey traffic signal.
  • Failure to report traffic accident.
  • Failure to signal.
  • Failure to yield.
  • Failure to stop and render aid.
  • Following too close.
  • Following too close CMV.
  • Going wrong way.
  • Hazardous driving.
  • Impeding traffic.
  • Improper backing.
  • Improper lane change CMV.
  • Improper entrance/exit (avoid intersection).
  • Improper towing.
  • Improper turn.
  • Inattention.
  • Other violations.
  • Passing on wrong side.
  • Prohibited pass.
  • Ran off the road.
  • Speeding 0-10.
  • Speeding 0-14 CMV.
  • Unsafe driving.

Point Counts at Which License is Suspended:

  • 10-13 points - A warning letter is issued telling the driver to be careful;
  • 14 or more points - A notice is sent to the licensee advising them of a proposed suspension action and advising them that they may have a hearing to discuss the proposed action.
  • 14 to 17 points - License may be suspended for three months.
  • 18 to 23 points - License may be suspended for six months.
  • 24 or more points - License may be suspended for one year.
  • A hearing is automatically scheduled and they are subject to the Hearing officer's discretion, which ranges from no action, probation, restriction or suspension. If the licensee fails to attend hearing, the licensee is automatically suspended.


Insurance Requirements



It is unlawful for any person to operate a motor vehicle within this state unless the vehicle is insured with the minimum amount of liability coverage:

  • $25,000 for bodily injury or death of 1 person in 1 accident;
  • $50,000 for bodily injury or death of 2 or more persons in 1 accident;
  • $25,000 for injury to or destruction of property of others in 1 accident.

All other types of insurance are voluntary unless required by a lienholder.


Headlight Laws



You must dim your headlights from high to low beam when you are within 500 feet of an oncoming vehicle or within 200 feet of a vehicle traveling ahead of you.

You must use your headlights:

  • A 1/2 hour after sunset and a 1/2 hour before sunrise;
  • Anytime you cannot see a person or object clearly within 500 feet;
  • Anytime your wipers are in use.

There is no specific law allowing or prohibiting headlight flashing.



Implied Consent Laws



Criminal

Persons Under 21

  • First offense - Not less than $100 or more than $500;
  • Second offense - Not less than $200 or more than $1,000 and not less than 30 days community service;
  • Third or subsequent offense - Not less than $500 or more than $2,000 and not less than 60 days community service.

Administrative

Persons Under 21

  • First Refusal - Suspension - 90 days.
  • Second Refusal - Suspension - 1 year.
  • Third or Subsequent Refusal - Revocation until the person reaches 21 or for 3 years whichever is longer.

Persons 21 and over

  • First Refusal - Suspension - 180 days.
  • Second Refusal (within 5 years) - Suspension - 2 years.
  • Third Refusal (within 5 years) - Revocation - 3 years.
  • Fourth or Subsequent Refusal (within 5 years) - Revocation - For Life.


DUI Penalties



First Offense

  • 24 hours - 1 year imprisonment;
  • Community service may be ordered in lieu of jail;
  • $150 -$1,000 fine;
  • Alcohol education and treatment mandatory, in addition to other sanctions;
  • Ignition interlock may be imposed by Office of Driver Services;
  • 6 month license suspension.

Second Offense (within 5 years)

  • 7 days - 1 year imprisonment;
  • Community service may be ordered in lieu of jail, no fewer than 30 days;
  • $400 - $3,000 fine;
  • Alcohol education and treatment mandatory, in addition to other sanctions;
  • Ignition interlock may be imposed by Office of Driver Services;
  • 24 month license suspension.

Third Offense (within 5 years of 1st offense)

  • 90 days - 1 year imprisonment;
  • Community service may be ordered in lieu of jail, no fewer than 90 days;
  • $900 - $5,000 fine;
  • Alcohol education and treatment mandatory, in addition to other sanctions;
  • Ignition interlock may be imposed by Office of Driver Services;
  • 30 month license suspension.

Fourth Offense (within 5 years of 1st offense) (Felony)

  • 1 - 6 years imprisonment;
  • Community service may be ordered in lieu of jail, no fewer than 90 days;
  • $900 - $5,000 fine;
  • Alcohol education and treatment mandatory, in addition to other sanctions;
  • Ignition interlock may be imposed by Office of Driver Services;
  • 4 year license revocation.

Fifth or Subsequent Offense (within 5 years of 1st offense) (Felony)

  • 2 - 10 years imprisonment;
  • Community service may be ordered in lieu of jail, not less than 2 years;
  • $900 - $5,000 fine;
  • Alcohol education and treatment mandatory, in addition to other sanctions.

Child Endangerment - If person under 16 is passenger

First Offense

  • 7 days - 1 year imprisonment;
  • Community service may be ordered in lieu of jail.

Second Offense (within 5 years)

  • 30 days - 1 year imprisonment;
  • Community service may be ordered in lieu of jail, no fewer than 60 days.

Third Offense (within 5 years of 1st offense)

  • 120 days - 1 year imprisonment;
  • Community service may be ordered in lieu of jail, no fewer than 120 days.

Fourth Offense (within 5 years of 1st offense) (Felony)

  • 2-6 years imprisonment;
  • Community service may be ordered in lieu of jail, no fewer than 2 years.

Fifth or Subsequent Offense (within 5 years of 1st offense) (Felony)

  • 3 - 10 years imprisonment;
  • Community service may be ordered in lieu of jail, no fewer than 3 years.


Open Container Law



The Open Container Law prohibits possession of an open alcoholic beverage container in the passenger area of any motor vehicle, by any occupant of the vehicle, on any public highway or right of way, whether or not the vehicle is in motion.



Red Light Violation Fines



Specific fine amounts not listed in state code.



Construction Zone Penalties



Moving traffic violations when workers are present are subject to two times the original fine.



Turn Signal Information



Signal your intention to turn or change lanes at least 100 feet in advance.



Hazard Light Information



Hazard light use is only permitted to indicate the presence of a vehicular traffic hazard requiring unusual care in approaching, overtaking, or passing.



Funeral Procession Right-of-Way Laws



Arkansas has no state laws regarding funeral processions.



School Bus Laws



Requirements

  • Vehicles are required to stop unless the bus is on a separate roadway of a highway divided by a 20-foot strip.

Penalties

  • Failure to stop and remain stopped when required will result in a $250 - $1,000 fine, 90 days imprisonment, or both. The court shall suspend the person's driver's license for 21 days to 1 year. The court may also order up to 400 hours of community service.


Bicyclist Passing Distance



A 3-foot minimum passing distance is required.



Motorcycle Laws



Licensing

  • Licenses are required for motorcycles:
    • Minimum age is 16.
    • Certificate is issued by state police.
    • Title and registration are required.
    • Written and road tests are required.
  • Ages 14 and older may use motor-driven cycle (engine between 50 cc and 250 cc) or motor-driven bicycle (engine up to 50 cc).
  • Ages 10 and older may use a motorized bicycle but only on private property and within a municipality with a population of ten thousand (10,000) or more.

Protective Gear

  • Goggles or face shield is required. Safety helmet is required for riders under 21.

Headlights

  • Driver is required to display lighted lamps at all times though, between sunrise and sunset, may operate either a continuous or pulsating beam.

Sharing the Road

  • Lane splitting is not addressed in state law.
  • Motorcycles traveling side-by-side in a single lane is not addressed in state law.


Using the Shoulder to Pass



You may not drive off the roadway to pass on the right.



Passing Laws



Do Not Pass:

  • When approaching or upon a hill or curve;
  • When approaching within 100 feet of or traversing any intersection or railroad grade crossing;
  • When approaching within 100 feet of any bridge, viaduct, or tunnel.

When Being Passed:

  • Yield to the right in favor of the overtaking vehicle;
  • Do not increase the speed of your vehicle until completely passed by the overtaking vehicle.


Speed Limits



  • Controlled-Access Highways - The maximum speed is determined through engineering and traffic studies and, for trucks with a 1 1/2 ton or more capacity, shall be established at 10 mph below that established for automobiles.
  • 30 mph in urban districts;
  • 50 mph for trucks with a capacity of 1 1/2 or more in other locations (except controlled-access highways);
  • 60 mph for other vehicles in other locations (except controlled-access highways);
  • 30 mph for any vehicle which is over width, over length, over height or the gross load of which is in excess of 64,000 lbs., excluding the front axle, even if operated under a special permit.


Safety Belt and Child Safety Seat Laws



Safety Belts

  • Occupants who are age 15 or older in the front seat must wear safety belts.
  • Police may stop vehicles solely for belt law violations.
  • The fine for a first offense is $25.
  • Arkansas rewards belt use by reducing moving violation fines by $10 if a law enforcement officer notes that the driver is compliant with the belt use law.

Child Seats

  • Children 5 years and younger and less than 60 pounds must be in a child seat.
  • Children 6 through 14 years or more than 60 pounds must be restrained, and may use an adult safety belt.
  • Police may stop vehicles solely for child seat law violations.
  • The fine for a first offense is $100.


Emergency Vehicle Laws



Move Over

When you see any of these vehicles displaying flashing lights while stopped on or adjacent to the roadway:

  • Emergency response vehicle;
  • Law enforcement vehicle;
  • Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department or contractor vehicle;
  • Utility company vehicle;
  • Vehicle used in a towing operation.

You must do the following:

  • If it is safe and possible to change lanes:
    • Move to the farthest possible lane or position from the authorized vehicle;
    • Remain in that lane or position until you pass the authorized vehicle; and
    • Otherwise exercise due caution.
  • If it is unsafe or not possible to change lanes,
    • Reduce the motor vehicle's speed;
    • Exercise due caution;
    • Maintain a reduced speed appropriate to the street, road, or highway and the conditions through the area where the vehicle is stopped or parked

Following

Do not follow a fire apparatus traveling in response to a fire alarm closer than 500 feet, or drive into or park within the block where the fire apparatus has stopped in answer to a fire alarm.

Collision Procedures

Stop

  • Stop at the scene or as close as possible without obstructing traffic more than necessary, and remain at the scene until all requirements are fulfilled;
  • If law enforcement has been contacted for assistance, remain at the scene for a reasonable time (no less than 30 minutes) so as to be present when they arrive, unless it is necessary to leave the scene to provide required assistance to any injured person.

Provide Information

Provide the following information to any other person involved in the accident, or to any police officer at the scene of the crash:

  • Driver's name and address;
  • Vehicle registration number;
  • Show driver's license upon request.

Render assistance

  • Provide assistance to any injured person, including transporting them or making arrangements for transportation to a hospital or doctor, if necessary or requested.

Move vehicle

  • You must move your vehicle off the roadway unless the vehicle is disabled or someone is injured.

Notify authorities

  • If the crash resulted in injury, death, or total property damage of $1,000 or more, drivers involved must notify the nearest law enforcement agency immediately.

Unattended vehicle or property

  • If you have collided with a vehicle that is unattended, locate and notify the operator or owner of the driver's name and address and the owner's name and address. If you are unable to do so, leave a written notice providing this information and a statement of the circumstances.
  • If you have collided with other unattended property on or adjacent to a highway, locate and notify the owner of the driver's name and address, the vehicle registration number, and show your driver's license if requested.


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