If you have recently purchased a vehicle through a dealership or a private seller, you will need to apply for a car registration. All vehicles in your possession must be registered in your name to be driven legally in your state. You cannot typically apply for a new vehicle registration online or by mail. You must visit a DMV office in person to register a car. To make sure that you are fully prepared for the process, download our informative digital guide. Our guide contains everything you need to know to register your vehicle with ease. You will also learn how to replace or renew your car registration, and how to change your name or address.

2. By Mail

Some states allow residents to register cars by mail. However, these applicants must meet certain eligibility requirements, such as temporarily residing out of state or having purchased the vehicle out of state. To obtain your new car registration by mail, you will need to send your completed application and all necessary documents (such as proof of ID, a bill of sale, an insurance card, etc.) to your local DMV office. You will also need to send in a check or money order for the full payment amount. Due to mailing and processing times, delays are common with the mail-in application method. It may take several weeks for you to receive your new car registration.

3. In Person at a DMV Office

In most instances, you will be required to get your car registration in person at a local DMV office. You must submit a filled-out application, proof of your identity, evidence of the car purchase and proof of auto insurance coverage for the vehicle. Additionally, you need to provide payment for all applicable fees, such as registration fees, titling fees and state taxes. Because many car owners are not sure which forms are required or which fees must be paid, application delays are common at the DMV. Additionally, any mistakes on DMV forms will add to your potential wait time for receiving your new registration.

Applying for a vehicle registration in Arkansas is a mandatory step for both new residents transferring out-of-state cars and existing residents who have acquired a new or used motor vehicle. You can get an AR DMV registration through the Office of Motor Vehicle (OMV) of the state Department of Finance and Administration (DFA). The state OMV processes car registration requests both through its numerous DFA offices and via its official online services platform.

To register a car, motorcycle, truck or other types of vehicles, you will be required to meet the car registration requirements in the state. Overall, these requirements vary to a certain degree depending on your circumstances and the type of vehicle you are registering. The application steps will also differ depending on several factors, including your chosen application method. To learn more about the auto registration procedures in Arkansas, continue reading below.

Arkansas Car Registration Requirements

Registering a car in Arkansas is a process that can be completed only by motorists who meet the applicable prerequisites. The following list outlines the standard vehicle registration requirements imposed by the state OMV:

  • You have acquired the minimum level of auto insurance coverage as required by state law.
  • You hold a vehicle ownership document, such as:
  • You have submitted your vehicle for an assessment through your local county assessor and you have obtained proof that you do not owe any personal property taxes.
  • You have submitted your car to a vehicle identification number (VIN) inspection, if required to do so.
  • You have collected the necessary paperwork and fee payments.

If you meet the abovementioned requirements to register your car in AR, you will have to submit your request within 30 days of purchasing your vehicle or moving to the state. Failure to abide by this statute may lead to certain fines and penalties.

Car Insurance Requirements for Registering a Car in Arkansas

Before initiating the process to get a vehicle registration in Arkansas, you must obtain the mandatory liability insurance coverage. The minimum amounts that you must obtain from an insurer licensed in the state are the following:

  • $25,000 for bodily injury or death of one individual
  • $50,000 for injuries and/or death of all persons in the accident
  • $25,000 for property damages

You will be required to submit proof of insurance when applying for a vehicle registration in AR, such as an insurance card. Overall, your insurance records will be updated on a monthly basis by your insurance provider. Failure to obtain and maintain the necessary coverage may lead to certain detrimental consequences. For instance, you will be unable to complete the vehicle registration renewal if your coverage lapses.

Vehicle Inspection/Smog Inspection/VIN Inspection Requirements in Arkansas

Arkansas vehicle registration applicants may not be required to submit their motor vehicles to various inspection procedures when getting their vehicle documents. However, depending on the car owner’s circumstances, certain specific car examinations may be necessary. For instance, if you are a new state resident registering a vehicle in AR for the first time, your motor vehicle may have to pass a VIN verification. On the other hand, this requirement applies only if you are not surrendering an out-of-state title and have not yet acquired an Arkansas driving license.

Registering a Vehicle in Arkansas

In order to get a new car registration in Arkansas, applicants will be required to submit certain paperwork and fee payments to the state OMV. Vehicle owners can either visit a local DFA office or use the department’s official online services portal. Note that the requirements to register your car may vary slightly depending on whether you are applying as a new state resident with an out-of-state car or an existing resident who has purchased a new or a used motor vehicle.

How to Apply for an Arkansas Car Registration Online

If you are wondering how to register a car in Arkansas, note that the most convenient method of submitting your request via the department’s online services platform. Note that you can either complete a partial pre-registration process by preparing your documentation for the office visit, or you can submit the full request from any computer with an internet access. The steps to get a car registration online without making an office visit are outlined below.

  1. Access the state’s official portal and navigate to the corresponding registration service.
  2. Answer the initial questions regarding your state residency, vehicle type and model year, as well as whether or not you are transferring or applying for license plates.
  3. Provide detailed information about your car, choose your plate use and confirm your personal property assessment and insurance coverage.
  4. Submit personal information and vehicle ownership paperwork.
  5. Pay the applicable licensing fees when prompted to do so.
  6. Save a copy of the confirmation page for your records.

Once you pay the AR car registration cost, you will receive an official email regarding your title status. The state OMV will then manufacture and mail your plates and registration card. Your title certificate, on the other hand, will arrive at a later date.

Note: You can obtain an AR vehicle registration online only for passenger cars, including pickup trucks, motorhomes and vans.

How to Apply for an Arkansas Car Registration in Person

If you are unable to complete the Arkansas vehicle registration procedure via the internet or choose to pay the sales tax and licensing fees in person, you can always apply via a nearby revenue office. If you are getting your car registration in person, complete these steps:

  • Visit a state revenue office.
  • Fill out the “Vehicle Registration Application” form.
  • Complete the “Vehicle Bill of Sale/Odometer Disclosure Statement” form, if required to do so.
  • Furnish the car ownership document, such as its title or manufacturer’s certificate of origin.
  • Provide lien release forms or lien agreements, if applicable.
  • Submit proofs of vehicle insurance and paid taxes.
  • Furnish any additional paperwork that applies under your circumstances.
  • Pay the applicable licensing fees.

Once an OMV agent processes your AR auto registration request, you will receive your registration documents and license plates.

How to Register a Car in Arkansas as a New Resident

When registering a vehicle in Arkansas, new state residents will be required to follow slightly different application steps. If you would like to obtain a new auto registration after moving to the state, you can use one of the application methods described in previous sections. As a new resident, you will first have to obtain the corresponding insurance coverage before transferring your out-of-state documents. If you do not have an out-of-state title and an Arkansas driving license, your vehicle will also have to pass a VIN inspection. You can then proceed with the standard AR vehicle registration process, as outlined previously.

Vehicle Registration for Military Members in Arkansas

Obtaining an Arkansas OMV registration as a non-resident military member stationed in the state is not a mandatory step. Active duty personnel stationed within the state will generally be able to operate their out-of-state vehicles with a registration issued by the DMV in their state of residency. However, members of the military can still apply for a new car registration in AR. This group of drivers will then be exempted from paying state taxes.

Arkansas License Plates

After registering your vehicle in Arkansas, the state OMV will issue you license plates either over the counter or by mail, depending on your chosen application method. If you apply for an auto registration online, for instance, the department will mail you your registration card and tags as soon as it manufactures them.

Note that the processing times may vary depending on the plate type you choose. Thus, if you order personalized and/or specialty license plates, you will likely be required to furnish an additional application form and wait for a longer period of time.

Note: If you have a valid car registration on another vehicle, you can transfer its plates to your new motor vehicle.

Arkansas Car Registration Fees

The state OMV must first verify the payment of the Arkansas car registration fees before processing any requests for registration documents and plates. The total costs will vary depending on the circumstances surrounding the applicant and the type and weight of his or her motor vehicle. A sample of the various car registration costs is provided in the following list:

  • Passenger vehicles and motorhomes weighing less than 3,001 pounds: $17 registration fee and a $2.50 decal fee
  • Passenger vehicle and motorhomes between 3,001 and 4,500 pounds: $25 and a $2.50 decal fee
  • Passenger vehicle and motorhomes weighing more than 4,500 pounds: $30 and a $2.50 decal fee

Note: If you are getting a special and/or a personalized license plate, you will most likely have to pay additional special and/or personalization fees.

Last updated on Wednesday, February 13 2019.

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