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Last updated: November 20, 2023

Arkansas Car Insurance Laws

What insurance you need — and what happens if you don’t get it

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If you’re one of Arkansas’ more than 2 million licensed drivers, it’s time for a lesson on car insurance coverage. To drive in this state, you are only required to carry bodily injury and property damage liability coverage with limits of 25/5/25, but we recommend buying more coverage with higher limits. If you’re involved in an accident that’s your fault, you’ll thank us later.

Car Insurance Laws in Arkansas

Here are the most important laws you need to know before insuring your car in Arkansas.

Minimum Liability Coverage

Arkansas requires liability insurance only, which covers the property damages and medical costs of people outside of your vehicle:

  • Bodily injury liability coverage: $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident
  • Property damage liability coverage: $25,0001

Penalties for Driving Without Insurance

If you’re caught and convicted of driving without insurance in Arkansas, you’ll be issued a traffic violation and a $25 fine if you had insurance and simply lacked proof at the time you were pulled over. However, if you didn’t have insurance at all, the state will impound your vehicle, revoke your license plate and suspend your registration 10 days after the revocation. During this period, you can buy insurance, but you’ll still need to pay a $20 registration and license plate reinstatement fee, plus the following penalties:

  • First offense: Fee of $50 to $250
  • Second offense: Fee of $350 to $500 fee
  • Third or subsequent offenses: Fee of $500 to $1,000, up to one year in jail or both2

Make sure to carry proof of insurance every time you drive in Arkansas.

No-Fault Insurance System

Due to Arkansas’ no-fault system, the at-fault party in an accident is responsible for all of the injuries and property damages they cause. The victim can sue in a civil suit if they were less than 50 percent at fault, in line with the state’s modified comparative negligence law.


In Arkansas, the law says car insurance agents and brokers must offer you two potential discounts when you’re buying a policy. The first is a discount for college graduates. The second is a discount for senior drivers, age 55 and older, who complete defensive driving courses successfully that the Office of Driver Services has approved.


In this state, you’ll need insurance to register your car, so make sure to bring proof of insurance, a primary document such as a bill of sale and a Federal Odometer Statement with you to the DMV.3

Cancellation and Nonrenewal

Car insurance companies may choose to cancel your policy midterm or not renew it when the term ends. However, legally, they must notify you 20 days before the cancellation goes into effect, giving you time to find alternative coverage. If the insurer is canceling your policy due to unpaid premiums, that notice period is cut to 10 days. For nonrenewals, the window is 30 days prior to your expiration date.

Supplemental Car Insurance

While Arkansas doesn’t require the following coverages, we recommend you buy them as part of full coverage car insurance:

  • Personal injury protection: Arkansas doesn’t require personal injury protection (PIP), but if you needed compensation for your and your passengers’ medical expenses, it could kick in regardless of who caused the accident. PIP also includes reimbursements for any lost wages or child care you had to pay for due to a car accident.
  • Collision insurance: Collision insurance pays for your property damage in collisions regardless of fault.
  • Comprehensive coverage: If your car is vandalized, stolen or damaged by inclement weather, comprehensive coverage would pay to repair or replace it.
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage: Not everyone in Arkansas has car insurance, even though the state requires it. Nearly one in five drivers in Arkansas lacks car insurance, according to the Insurance Research Council.4 If you get into an accident with someone who lacks insurance or whose limits don’t cover the entirety of your losses, uninsured motorist or underinsured motorist coverage could pay for your damages and medical costs.


Not sure where to start? Check out our top recommendations for the best auto insurance in Arkansas.

How Much Car Insurance Costs in Arkansas

As of 2020, the last time such data was released, car insurance in Arkansas cost an average of $879 a year, which is 16 percent lower than the national average. However, if you only buy the minimum coverage the state requires, which is liability coverage, that cost goes down even further to $468 a year. That said, we recommend adding collision and comprehensive coverage, which would cost an additional $366 and $245 a year on average in Arkansas, respectively.5

Factors That Affect Rates

In Arkansas, there’s no law preventing insurance companies from determining your premiums based on the following factors:

  • Credit score
  • Sex
  • Marital status
  • ZIP code
  • Driving history
  • Vehicle

People with bad credit, poor driving histories, men and unmarried people will have the highest rates.

Required Motor Vehicle Inspections

Are you moving from another state to Arkansas? You have 30 days after becoming an official Arkansas resident to register your car in your new home state, a process that requires a vehicle inspection. Apply at any state revenue office location.

Another instance in which you’d need to get your car inspected is if you have to renew your title tag and have an out-of-state salvage title. You can get your vehicle inspected by:

  • A certified law enforcement officer of any city/county in Arkansas
  • Arkansas State Police or designee

Texting and Driving Laws

Texting and driving is a particularly dangerous form of distracted driving, which is why, in Arkansas, it’s illegal for drivers of all ages to text and drive. This law is under primary enforcement, which means police officers can pull you over for texting and driving on its own. No other offense is required.6


In Arkansas, there were 19 fatal car crashes involving a distracted driver in 2021, according to the most recent data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does insurance follow the car or the driver in Arkansas?

Insurance follows the car in Arkansas, not the driver. If someone borrows your car with permission and gets into an accident, they will be covered under your insurance policy.

Is Arkansas a no-pay, no-play state?

No, Arkansas is not a no-pay, no-play state, which means that someone with no car insurance can still benefit from someone else’s car insurance policy if that party caused an accident.

What happens if you have no insurance but the other driver was at fault in Arkansas?

If you have no insurance but the other driver was at fault in Arkansas, you can still get compensated via their property damage and bodily injury liability coverage.

What is Arkansas Code 27-22-104?

Arkansas Code 27-22-104 states that anyone operating a motor vehicle in the state must have $25,000 of bodily injury coverage per person and $50,000 per accident, plus $25,000 of property damage liability. It also states that people must carry proof of liability coverage when driving or be fined $25, along with other penalties.


  1. Consumers FAQ. Arkansas Insurance Department. (2023).

  2. 2010 Arkansas Code Title 27 – Transportation. JUSTIA. (2023).

  3. myDMV Home Page. (2023).

  4. One in Eight Drivers Uninsured. Insurance Research Council. (2021, Mar 22).

  5. 2019/2020 Auto Insurance Database Report. National Association of Insurance Commissioners. (2023, Jan).

  6. State Cellphone Use While Driving Laws. National Conference of State Legislatures. (2023).