Valid proof of insurance is required to own and operate a car in Arkansas. Not complying can result in serious penalties, including fines of $1,000 or more and possible jail time.
Type of penalty
Third and subsequent offenses
|$50 to $250, unless proof of insurance is presented within 30 days||Mandatory $250–$500||Mandatory $500–$1,000|
|N/A||N/A||One year in jail or a combination of a fine and jail time|
|Registration suspension; possible vehicle impoundment|
|Proof of insurance; $100.00 reinstatement fee; towing and storage fees if impounded|
Penalties for driving uninsured in Arkansas
Arkansas requires motorists to have liability coverage of 25/50/25 minimum for every vehicle registered in their names .
You can be caught driving without insurance if you are stopped by a police officer and can't provide proof of your policy or if you're identified by the state’s insurance reporting system as not having insurance or having a policy lapse.
Caught uninsured on the road
If you are stopped for a traffic violation or involved in an accident, a law enforcement officer will verify your insurance coverage. If you can't show your auto insurance ID card or the policy itself, you'll be cited for failure to maintain insurance.
If you are caught driving without coverage for the first time, you can be charged with a fine of between $50 and $250. Your registration will also be suspended.
To restore your driving privileges, you will need to provide the Arkansas Office of Motor Vehicle (OMV) with proof of a new Arkansas auto insurance policy. This could be satisfied with an SR-22 certificate from your insurer. You will also have to pay the $100 reinstatement fee.
If you did have valid insurance at the time of the stop, you can provide proof to the court — usually within 30 days — and your fine will be reduced to $25 plus any required court costs. You will not have to pay to reinstate your registration.
A second violation of the insurance law will cost you no less than $250 and no more than $500 in fines. Like before, your registration will be suspended. The same reinstatement requirements mentioned above will apply.
Third and subsequent offenses
Breaking Arkansas’s insurance law for the third time makes you a habitual offender, and you'll face a fine that ranges from $500 to $1,000. You could also be imprisoned for one full year or get a combination of a fine and jail time.
Your registration will also be suspended, and you will not be allowed to begin the reinstatement process until you’ve completed your jail term.
In an accident
The steepest monetary consequences you can face when driving uninsured is if you’re in a collision. Arkansas is a fault-based state. If you are at fault for causing a crash and lack the protection of liability coverage, you will be deemed guilty of a Class A misdemeanor and have to pay for any personal injuries or property damage out of pocket.
Additionally, you'll face a traffic violation for not having insurance and be fined according to the number of times you've been convicted of that offense. Your registration will be suspended, and your car will be impounded. You'll be responsible for paying any towing and storage fees for that impoundment as well.
Verified uninsured on the database
The Arkansas OMV also has an online database where licensed insurance companies report the status of every auto policy purchased through them. This allows instant verification of car insurance.
IIf the database shows that your policy has lapsed, the OMV will send you a noncompliance notice. You will need to respond with proof of insurance within 30 days and pay a $100 fine. If you don't respond, your registration will be suspended.
You can only reclaim your driving privileges by submitting a valid insurance policy or having your insurer file an SR-22 form. Along with this, you will need to pay the $100 reinstatement fee.
Penalty for insurance lapse
|Registration suspension unless proof of insurance is presented within 30 days of noncompliance notice|
|Proof of minimum liability insurance coverage or SR-22; $100 reinstatement fee|
Reapplying for auto insurance in Arkansas
While all drivers in Arkansas must be insured, auto insurance companies do have the right to refuse coverage to those considered high-risk drivers. You may be labeled high risk when your driving record shows a major traffic violation, which includes an insurance lapse.
If you are having trouble finding a car insurance carrier, you may apply for insurance through the Arkansas Automobile Insurance Plan.