Bought a brand new car?
Or, maybe you recently transferred to Arkansas.
Whatever the case, make sure your vehicle is registered in the state.
But how do you register your vehicle in Arkansas?
How do you renew your registration?
What are the vehicle standards in the state?
Our 2023 guide will walk you through the Arkansas vehicle laws. This will answer all these questions and more.
We’ve got a lot of ground to cover, so let’s begin right away!
Arkansas Vehicle Registration
In Arkansas, the Office of Motor Vehicles (OMV) handles vehicle registration.
Now, regardless of whether you’re the proud owner of a new car or you recently transferred from another state, you are required to register your vehicle within 30 days.
You can either complete the process in person or online.
Before we get to the actual steps on how to register, let’s begin by looking at the documents you need to submit. It’s vital to have all these prepared so you won’t encounter any delays.
What to Prepare
See if you can check off all the necessary paperwork on this list:
- Proof of ownership
- If it’s a brand new purchase, you need the Manufacturer’s Certificate of Origin (MCO) signed over to you.
- If you purchased it from a private third party, you must show the vehicle title, which you and the seller signed.
- A signed copy of the lien agreement
- A filled out Application Form. It covers your application for registering and titling.
- A filled out Vehicle Bill of Sale (Odometer Disclosure Statement).
- You need an Odometer Disclosure Statement on the reverse side of the title application for a car that’s less than 10 years old and was registered in another state or previously owned.
- Proof of Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) if you purchased your car out of state and have a Salvage title. It also applies if its title is similar, such as a Junk or Dismantled title.
- Proof of assessment (or at least listed) from your county within the current year.
- Proof of personal property tax payment
- Proof of Arkansas car insurance
How to Register
- Go to your local Arkansas OMV revenue office.
- Ensure you have all the necessary documents with you. It’s best to put them all in one folder to make submission easier.
- Pay for the registration fee. The amount depends on your vehicle. You can find the rates in the section below.
- Wait for your receipt and vehicle registration.
We’ve got good news for those with busy schedules — online registration is now possible!
Yes, you can complete the entire process from the comfort of your home.
What to Prepare
Here are the required documents for online registration:
- Primary documents
o Arkansas Title
o Bill of Sale
o Manufacturer Statement of Origin
o Out-of-State Title
- Your insurance card
- A federal odometer statement
- Your Personal Property Tax Number (PPAN). You can get this from your county assessor.
- A copy of your lien agreement or security contract
- Proof of County Tax Assessment for the current year
- Proof of tax payment
How to Register
Here’s how to register online:
- Ensure you have all the necessary documents ready.
- Go to the online registration site and read the reminders before you begin.
- Fill out the online form with the required information.
- Pay your registration fees online. The amount varies depending on your vehicle. Check out the next section to determine how much you have to pay.
- Once you’ve completed the online application, you will receive an email regarding your title’s status.
- The OMV sends your registration documents after all your documents have been received and processed. You’ll receive it through the mail along with your license plate.
Vehicle Registration Fees
Whether registering your car in person or online, you must pay the corresponding fee before they process your application.
For passenger cars, your vehicle’s weight determines your registration fee:
- 3,000 pounds or less: $17
- Between 3,001 and 4,500 pounds: $25
- More than 4.500 pounds: $30
For motorcycles, displacement determines the amount:
- Less than 250 ccs: $3
- 250 cc and above: $7
For vans and trucks, you need to pay $21.
Arkansas Vehicle Registration Renewal
Your vehicle’s registration must be current for you to drive legally in Arkansas.
The OMV will send a renewal notice before it expires. It includes your renewal date, fees, and requirements.
However, whether or not you receive it, you need to ensure you don’t let your registration expire. You can check with your local DMV to know the expiration date. Another way is to check online.
Now, before going through the renewal process, ensure you’ve had your vehicle assessed and paid your personal property taxes. You can do both through mydmv.arkansas.gov.
When you’re ready, you can renew your car’s registration through these channels — in person, through the mail, by phone, or online.
Renew In Person
- Go to your local DMV or Revenue Office.
- Show your valid Arkansas driver’s license.
- Present your renewal notice.
- Pay the renewal fees. It will be the same amount as when you first registered your car.
Online renewal is an excellent alternative to registering in person. Here are the steps:
- Go to the ARSTAR website.
- Enter the renewal ID number and verification code, which you’ll find in your renewal notice. If you don’t have it, you can use these instead:
- Last four digits of your VIN
- License plate number
- Zip Code
- Follow the prompts on the screen and enter the necessary information.
- Pay the required renewal fee.
Renew Through Mail
Here is how to renew through the mail:
- Put your renewal notice in an envelope and include a check or money order for your renewal fee.
- Send it to this address:
Office of Motor Vehicle
P.O. Box 3153
Little Rock, AR 72203
Renewing through the mail is slower. You’ll receive your documents in a week or two, depending on when it’s processed.
Renew by Phone
Here’s how to renew by phone:
- Call (800) 941.2580.
- File your vehicle information.
- Pay the corresponding renewal fee.
It’ll take about a week to receive your updated documents if you renew by phone.
Penalties for Non-Registration of Your Vehicle in Arkansas
Keeping your car registered is a must, especially since there are consequences if you don’t complete it within the 30 days that the state requires.
If you don’t complete the process before then, you’ll have to pay the following fees:
- Late registration: $3 every 10 days past your 30-day period.
- Late payment of sales tax: Amounts to 10% of whatever sales tax you owe.
You also need to ensure your vehicle tags are up to date. Otherwise, you’ll be charged fines, and the OMV can impound your car until you show proof of registration.
Required Equipment for Your Vehicle in Arkansas
You’re not only required to have your vehicle registered.
You also need to ensure that it has the required equipment to keep everyone safe.
Let’s take a quick look at these.
Your mirrors help you detect objects, so it’s best to adjust them before you start driving.
Position your rearview mirror to see the entire rear window without moving your head. The side mirrors help you see vehicles on the other lanes coming up behind you.
If a mirror gets damaged and obstructs your view, make sure you replace these.
Make sure all your lights are working. These include signal lights, brake lights, headlights, and tail lights. Except for the brake light, you can check these by turning them on and stepping out of the car.
For brake lights, it’s best to ask for another person’s help. Have him sit in the driver’s seat and step on the brake while you check your car’s rear.
Windshield and Wipers
Your windshield mustn’t have any cracks — these make it fragile and more likely to break in a collision. If you notice one, get it replaced immediately.
Ideally, replace your wiper blades every six months to a year. A clear sign is when visibility doesn’t improve when you use it. Squeaking, smearing, and steaking are typical signs that your wipers need replacing.
Your tires must have the correct pressure and tread, which improves traction when you’re on the road. An effective way to avoid tire failure is to regularly check it for cuts, slashes, and other irregularities.
Your horn should always be in working condition. It acts as a warning to others in dangerous situations.
Properly maintained engines are more likely to turn over without a fuss and consume less fuel. It also gives the appropriate power while you’re driving.
Ensure the various internal systems of your car are working. These include the following:
- Braking System
- Steering System
- Suspension System
- Exhaust System
All these keep you and other drivers safe on the road.
The Wrap Up
And there you have it! The vehicle laws in Arkansas that you have to keep in mind.
Remember, register your car within 30 days to avoid any penalties. You can do it in person or online.
You also need to renew your registration. Otherwise, you’ll end up operating an unregistered car.
But most of all, make sure your vehicle is roadworthy at all times.