How to Apply for a New Motorcycle License in Arkansas
An Arkansas motorcycle license will allow you to operate a motorbike on public roadways in the state. There are several types of motorbike license credentials available, some of which grant you full motorcycling privileges and others which are simply used to help you practice your skills.
First, drivers can obtain a class M license or get an endorsement on their regular class D license in order to operate a motorcycle with full privileges. Second, an MD or motor-driven cycle license is a credential with restricted privileges that will allow an operator to use bikes with an engine displacement of 250cc or less. Third, a motorized bicycle (MB) certificate may be granted to applicants who want to operate a motorbike with an engine displacement of 50cc or less. Below, learn all of the important details about these licenses and discover which classes and tests are required to obtain them.
What is an Arkansas motorcycle endorsement?
A motorcycle endorsement is not a separate credential, meaning that you will not get an additional driver’s license card when selecting this option. If you already have a class D license, which is required for operating a regular passenger vehicle, then you may choose to add an endorsement onto your existing credentials in order to drive a motorcycle as well. However, if you want to operate a motorcycle only, then you can choose to get a motorbike license rather than adding an endorsement onto a different class of license.
Motorcycle Permit Requirements in Arkansas
A motorcycle permit is available for first-time drivers who want to eventually get a license to operate a motorcycle. Arkansas utilizes a graduated driver license system, and getting an instruction permit is the first step towards receiving a license with full privileges. Motorcycle permits are used in order to practice driving a motorbike, while regular instruction permits allow a driver to practice operating a passenger vehicle before taking the next step in the licensing program.
The minimum motorcycle permit age in Arkansas is 14 years of age. It is important to note that the Department of Finance and Administration (DFA), which administers the Department of Motor Vehicles or DMV, requires all first-time drivers to obtain a permit before getting a license regardless of age.
Many people who apply for motorcycle permits in Arkansas are younger than 18 years of age. Therefore, it is important to note that the Arkansas State Police Department, which administers testing for the DMV, requires specific documentation for minors before testing can begin. All applicants younger than 18 years of age must provide:
- An original or certified birth certificate or, for non-citizens, a passport with a U.S. visa and valid I-94 form.
- A signature from a parent or legal guardian. Note that the adult must accompany the applicant to the DMV.
- Evidence of school enrollment or completion, which can be shown in the form of a school attendance form, a GED certificate, a high school diploma or a notice of intent to home school form issued for the current school year.
Arkansas Motorcycle Permit Rules and Restrictions
Motorcycle permits, unlike regular learner’s permits, do not require that you operate your vehicle with a licensed driver due to the fact that it can actually be less safe to drive a motorcycle with a passenger when you are inexperienced. There are few restrictions for motorcycle permits in Arkansas, but it is still important to remember other safety considerations as well. For example, you can stay safer by wearing high-visibility colors, only operating during daylight hours and riding under the supervision of another motorcyclist.
By law, you are required to wear a motorcycle helmet in Arkansas until you are 21 years of age. Likewise, all rider must have their bike registered and insured by the state’s motorcycle insurance requirements. Keep this in mind as you are preparing for your skills test and riding your motorcycle.
How to Get a Motorcycle Permit in Arkansas
The Arkansas DMV uses a universal application for motorcycle permits, licenses and other types of driving credentials. While applications can only be finalized in person, you can start the motorcycle license process ahead of time by pre-registering to get a license. The pre-registration form requires that you specify the type of license or permit you want as well as basic information about you such as your name and date of birth.
When it comes to motorbike license testing, remember that tests are administered by the Arkansas State Police. You can take your exams at any county location that is authorized to provide testing. If you are younger than 18 years of age, then be sure to bring your identification document, school enrollment verification and have a parent or guardian accompany you to sign your application.
Arkansas Motorcycle License Requirements
The minimum motorcycle license age in Arkansas is 16 years of age. No matter how old you are, you must first obtain a permit and hold this credential for at least six months before you are eligible for a license with full privileges. Next, you must pass a vision, knowledge and skills test at one of the DMV licensing locations that provides testing for motorcyclists. Note that if you have taken the appropriate training, then you may be able to waive the riding skills portion of the exam.
When applying for motorcycle licenses, the required documentation will vary depending on whether or not you are older than 18 years of age. If you are a minor, then you must provide the same three documents required of permit applicants, as described above. When applying for a motorcycle license as an adult, you will need to provide a combination of “primary” and “secondary” documents. Examples of a primary document include:
- A U.S. birth certificate or certificate of birth abroad.
- A U.S. passport or passport card.
- A foreign passport with a valid visa and accompanying I-94 certificate.
- An INS Certificate of Naturalization, Citizenship Certificate or Permanent Resident Card.
- An employment authorization card.
Secondary documents for the motorbike license process include a state ID card, school ID, vehicle title or registration documents, a marriage certificate, a court order or other similar paperwork that shows your identity. To satisfy the documentation requirement, you can either provide two primary documents or one primary and one secondary document.
How to Get a Motorcycle License in Arkansas
When asking, “How long does it take to get a motorcycle license in Arkansas?” remember that you must hold your permit for a minimum of six months regardless of your age. Once this period is over, you can complete the necessary exams at a State Police-authorized office. Getting your motorcycle license credentials will require submitting an application, which can be started online using the pre-registration process.
Next, you will have to pass a motorcycle knowledge test, a vision screening and a skills exam. In the event you do not already have driving credentials of any kind, you will also need to pass a general driving knowledge exam.
If you have a regular class D license, then your motorcycle driving privileges will be indicated with an endorsement. When you are only applying for a motorbike license without additional driving permissions, you will receive a separate credential.
Getting an Arkansas Motorcycle License as a New Resident
If you have a motorcycling license or endorsement from a different state, then you can transfer your credentials to the Arkansas DMV without taking any tests as long as your license is current. If your out-of-state license expired more than 31 days ago, then you should be prepared to take a written test and vision screening. However, if your license has been expired for more than a year, then you must take a skills test in addition to the vision and knowledge tests.
Required Motorcycle Classes in Arkansas
Taking a motorcycle class in AR is optional, but you may find that a course is highly beneficial as it can make you a better rider. As an added benefit, completing a Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) approved classes will give you a certificate. This document can be presented at the DMV in order to waive your skills test if you return it to a State Police licensing examiner within 90 days of completing the course.
Arkansas DMV Motorcycle Test Details
For most types of motorcycle license credentials, vision, written and skills tests are required. These tests are all administered by the Arkansas State Police at various locations throughout the state, with at least one testing location per county. Note that the State Police Department does not provide your actual license. Therefore, once you have completed the tests required for your license or permit, you must visit an Arkansas Revenue Office to receive your credentials.
Motorcycle Written Test
Before a motorbike permit or license can be issued, you must pass a knowledge test specific to riding a motorcycle. If you do not have a regular driver’s license, then remember that you must pass a general driving knowledge test as well.
The State Police Department provides a motorbike endorsement study guide that you will want to read through before taking any knowledge exams, as it contains important information that you will be tested on. Likewise, you can review the information in the motorcycle rider’s handbook. Motorcycle knowledge tests are required before you can get a Class M and Class MD license in addition to an MV certificate or a permit.
Motorcycle Road Test
Upon completion of your knowledge tests, you will need to take an on-bike test if you are getting a Class M license or Class MD license only. Skills tests involve demonstrating your abilities to safely maneuver your bike through various different exercises. Remember, this motorcycle license test is mandatory unless you complete an MSF-approved safety course and submit your certificate of completion to the State Police Department within 90 days.
Do you need a motorcycle license to drive a scooter in Arkansas?
While a full motorcycle license is not needed, a motorized bicycle or MB certificate is required for drivers between 14 and 16 years of age who want to operate a scooter or bike with an engine displacement of 50cc or less. Getting the MB certificate requires passing a general driving knowledge test, a motorbike written test, a riding skills test and a vision exam.
These certificates expire on a driver’s 16th birthday. However, applying for a regular driver’s license, which can be obtained starting at 16 years of age, automatically allows a driver to use motorized bicycles or scooters with an engine displacement of 50cc or less.
Arkansas Motorcycle License Cost
A full motorcycle license costs $40 whether getting your first license or renewing motorcycle credentials. You should also be prepared to pay a fee when obtaining your permit, but note that the cost will vary depending on the type of credential you get. Anytime you take a test administered by the State Highway Patrol, such as permit tests or road skills exams, you will be charged a $5 as well.
If you have moved to Arkansas from a different state and already have a motorbike license, then you will need to pay a $5 transfer fee in addition to the cost of getting a new license.