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Obtaining an instruction permit is generally the first step that a beginner driver takes toward becoming a fully licensed driver in Arkansas. Arkansas follows a Graduated Drivers License Program since July 1, 2002. You are eligible to apply for an instruction permit if you are at least 14 years old and:
- you have never been licensed to operate a vehicle, or
- you are a new resident of Arkansas who has been licensed in another state, but your driver's license has expired for more than six months
HOW TO OBTAIN AN ORIGINAL INSTRUCTION PERMIT
- Download a copy of the Arkansas Driver's Manual, or get a hard copy by visiting a local Office of State Revenue Administration.
- If you are under 18 years of age, you must obtain parental consent to get an Instruction Permit.
- You must take proof of school enrollment or graduation with a Grade Point Average of at least 2.0 and be accompanied by your parent or legal guardian. You will also need to take along a form filled in by your school or district office that you fulfill the necessary school requirements.
- Visit your local state revenue office to submit the application. You must bring with you:
- The required forms duly filled in and signed by the parent or guardian who will take legal and financial responsibility for you.
- Proof of identity, age and Arkansas residency, as per proof of identity. If you have changed your name, you must bring documents that support and clearly indicate your current name.
- Check or money order for the proof of identity.
- You will be given a written knowledge test and an eye screening as well as a driver's license road test at the Driver License Center. If you pass these tests, you will be issued an instruction permit, which is valid for 6 months and can be renewed for another 6 months provided you have not had any significant accident, violation or conviction on your record over the previous six-month period.
- Drivers with an instruction permit must ensure that the vehicle has adequate seat belts to accommodate all passengers in the vehicle.
When driving with an instruction permit you must be accompanied by a licensed driver age of 21 or older. This person must sit beside you.
THE LEARNER'S LICENSE
If you are between 14 and 16 years of age, and you possess a valid Instruction Permit having completed the driving tests, you can get a restricted Learner's License, provided you have not had any significant accident, violation or conviction on your record over the previous six-month period. The leaner's license in Arkansas includes the following restrictions:
- When driving with a learner's license you must be accompanied by a licensed driver age of 21 or older. This person must sit beside you.
- Drivers with a learner's license must ensure that the vehicle has adequate seat belts to accommodate all passengers in the vehicle.
THE INTERMEDIATE LICENSE
On your 16th birthday, you qualify for an intermediate license if you do not have any significant accident, violation or conviction on your record over the previous six-month period. Otherwise the learner's permit will be reissued and you will have to wait for six months with a clear record before you move to the next stage. An intermediate license holder who has a serious accident or violation may be reverted to an instruction permit and be restored to the intermediate level only after six months of safe driving. The intermediate driver's license in Arkansas includes the following restrictions:
- During the first six months on an intermediate license, a driver between 17 and 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
- Drivers with an intermediate license must ensure that the vehicle has adequate seat belts to accommodate all passengers in the vehicle.
THE REGULAR UNRESTICTED LICENSE
A full, unrestricted license may be issued when you turn 18 years old. An intermediate driver's license may be changed to a regular, non-commercial driver's license, provided you meet all of the following requirements:
- You have held an intermediate driver's license for at least one year.
- You have not been convicted of any violation of the Vehicle Code.
- You have not been in any accident in which you were partially or fully responsible.
- You have successfully completed a driver training course approved by the Arkansas Office of Motor Vehicles.
- For more information, see our Beginner Drivers section.
- See also Applying for a Drivers License.
- See also Driver's Education, Driving Schools and Practice Tests.
- Learn more about Arkansas's Licensing Requirements for Young Drivers.
- Bear in mind that in order to drive legally in the state of Arkansas, you must have valid auto insurance. See our Auto Insurance section for more information, or to obtain a competitive quote on car insurance.