Motorcycle Laws in Arkansas

Motorcycle Laws in Arkansas

Motorcycles are the preferred transportation for millions of people across the country, and a hobby for countless others.

Arkansas offers scenic, winding roadways for riders to enjoy and motorcyclists flock to the state en masse to attend rallies and other motorcycle events.

To operate a motorcycle in the state, riders must adhere to specific Arkansas motorcycle laws to keep themselves and other vehicles on the road safe.

In this blog, we’ll go over the motorcycle laws in Arkansas, what is required to wear and ride, and other rules for motorcyclists.

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Arkansas Motorcycle Laws: What is Legally Required for Motorcyclists in Arkansas?

There are a few laws in Arkansas riders are required to follow in order to safely own and operate a motorcycle.

These motorcycle laws are non-negotiable, and if broken, riders can face serious consequences.

Motorcycle License Laws in Arkansas

To operate a motorcycle in the state of Arkansas, riders are required to possess a motorcycle license.

It is required, however, to obtain a motorcycle instruction permit.

To obtain an learner’s permit, applicants must do the following:

  • Pass a written exam or knowledge test
  • Pass a vision exam
  • Pass a road test
  • Prove identity, residency and that you’re legally allowed to operate a motorcycle
  • Pay any applicable fees ($40 for applications, may differ for transferring license from other states)

It is also required to obtain a motorcycle endorsement to secure a license in Arkansas.

Endorsements are obtained by passing the written test or road test and demonstrates that you have the minimum skill required to operate a motorcycle on the road.

Arkansas motorcycle licenses are classified according to the age of the driver.

Two classes of motorcycle licenses exist in Arkansas:

  1. Class M License: Issued to drivers aged 16 years and older. There is a $40 fee to secure a Class M License, and it expires after 8 years.
  2. Class MD License: Issued to drivers aged 14 and 15 years old, permitting licensees to drive motorcycles displacing 250 CC with no passengers.  The Class MD License expires one month after the licensee’s 16th birthday.

A license is required to drive any motor driven cycles in Arkansas, and three-wheeled motorcycles or vehicles with sidecars require a separate endorsement.

Helmet Laws in Arkansas

Any person under the age of 21 is required to wear a helmet when operating a motorcycle in Arkansas.

Drivers over the age of 21 are not required to wear helmets, but are encouraged to do so.

Wearing a motorcycle helmet drastically improves the chances of surviving a dangerous accident.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motorcycle helmets have saved over 25,000 lives from 2002 to 2017.

Other than helmets, motorcyclists are required by Arkansas state law to wear eye protection when operating their vehicle.

Eye protection is extremely important in keeping motorcyclists safe.

Passenger Laws in Arkansas

In the state of Arkansas, no more than one passenger besides the driver is allowed on a motorcycle.

Motorcycles with two passengers must have an actual passenger seat to be legally allowed on the road.

Passengers must be over the age of 8 years old.

License Plates in Arkansas

Motorcycles in Arkansas are required to have a rear license plate/registration plate.

The registration plates must be kept horizontal, clean and legible at all times.

If a motorcyclist is caught without an official license plate, they may be face misdemeanor charges.

Insurance Coverage for Motorcycle Riders

Riding a motorcycle comes with the inherent risk for accidents.

Though some motorcyclists are responsible for accidents, many can be blamed on the actions of other drivers.

Insurance coverage is required for all motor vehicle drivers.

The minimum insurance coverage requirements for motorcyclists in Arkansas are as follows:

  • $25,000 for bodily injury or death to one person.
  • $50,000 for bodily injury or death to two or more persons.
  • $25,000 for property damage or destruction.

Driving a motorcycle without insurance coverage is illegal and risky.

Always make sure that you’re covered as both a driver and a passenger.

On-the-Road Laws for Motorcyclists in Arkansas

Apart from the licensing, protective gear and insurance requirements for motorcyclists in Arkansas, there are many laws regarding how motorcyclists are to behave on the road.

Headlight, Taillight and Equipment Requirements

Motorcycle laws in Arkansas require functioning headlights.

Headlights are crucial for both the drivers of motorcycles and other vehicles on the road in terms of visibility.

Modulating headlights (headlights that adjust to sunlight and emit less power during daytime) are allowed.

Daytime headlights are required for all motorcyclists in Arkansas.

Turn signals are not required on motorcycles in the state.

A functioning brake light is however required by law, as are rearview mirrors.

License Plates in Arkansas

Motorcycles in Arkansas are required to have a rear license plate/registration plate.

The registration plates must be kept horizontal, clean and legible at all times.

If a motorcyclist is caught without an official license plate, they may be face misdemeanor charges.

Functioning Exhaust System

Every motorcycle on the highway should be equipped with a muffler or exhaust system similar to one installed during manufacturing.

The exhaust should be in good working condition and prevent excessive noise and smoke screens.

Muffler cut-outs are prohibited in Arkansas on any motor vehicle.

Arkansas Lane Laws for Motorcycles: Is Lane Splitting Legal in Arkansas?

Motorcycle laws in Arkansas state that no more than two motorcyclists are allowed to share a lane of traffic.

This means that two motorcyclists are able to ride side-by-side one another.

Lane splitting, or riding between lanes of traffic and in between cars, is not mentioned in Arkansas law.

This means that by fact of omission, lane splitting is legal in Arkansas.

Recommendations for Motorcyclists in Arkansas

Other than following the Arkansas motorcycle laws and regulations, our attorneys recommend that motorcycle riders do the following:

  • Follow the posted speed limits
  • Wear a DOT approved motorcycle helmet
  • Wear eye protection that keeps you 100% covered, such as a full face shield.
  • Make sure your passenger wears a motorcycle helmet
  • Carry a first-aid kit and repair kit on your bike

Injured in a Motorcycle Accident? Contact the NWA Motorcycle Accident Attorneys

Being in a motorcycle accident can result in serious bodily injury and even death.

No matter if a rider follows all motorcycle laws and regulations, and wears all protective gear, they are still at risk of an accident from the negligence of other drivers.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident at no fault of their own, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit.

Contact the Northwest Arkansas (NWA) Motorcycle Accident Attorneys for a free consultation and a discussion about your legal options.


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