Arkansas, known as the “Natural State,” offers motorcycle enthusiasts an array of scenic landscapes, from the Ozark and Ouachita Mountains to the Mississippi Delta region.
As a motorcycle owner in Arkansas, it is important to know all insurance requirements before cruising around the state’s picturesque roads.
These requirements aim to protect riders and other parties involved in accidents or collisions by ensuring financial responsibility for damages and injuries.
Arkansas Motorcycle Insurance Requirements
To meet Arkansas’s motorcycle insurance requirements, your policy must include the following coverage limits:
- $25,000 bodily injury liability per person
- $50,000 bodily injury liability per accident
- $25,000 property damage liability
This is often referred to as a 25/50/25 plan.
However, you may consider purchasing additional coverage for extra protection and peace of mind.
Note: Motorcycle insurance requirements in Arkansas are documented by the Arkansas State Police and the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration. For updated information about motorcycle insurance requirements in AR, check with these sources.
Motorcycles & Two-Wheeled Vehicles Defined in Arkansas
In Arkansas, motorcycles and other two-wheeled vehicles are legally defined as follows:
- Motorcycle: A motor vehicle with a seat or saddle for the rider, designed to travel on not more than three wheels in contact with the ground, and weighing less than 1,000 pounds.
- Motor-driven cycle: A motor vehicle with a seat or saddle for the rider, designed to travel on not more than three wheels in contact with the ground, and weighing between 100 and 1,500 pounds.
- Motorized bicycle: A bicycle equipped with a helper motor that has a maximum piston displacement of 50 cubic centimeters or less, or is rated not more than 2 brake horsepower, and is not capable of propelling the vehicle at a speed greater than 30 miles per hour on level ground.
These definitions are provided by the Arkansas Code Title 27 – Transportation, Subtitle 1 – General Provisions, Chapter 20 – Motor Vehicle and Traffic Laws, Subchapter 1 – General Provisions, section 27-20-4.
Small vehicles in Arkansas & insurance
Included below are some smaller, non-car vehicles that require insurance in Arkansas.
- Motorcycles: All motorcycles, including those with three wheels or more, are required to have liability insurance coverage in Arkansas.
- All-terrain vehicles (ATVs): Any motorized vehicle designed for cross-country travel on natural terrain, including trails and open fields, requires insurance coverage if it is operated on public roads.
- Utility vehicles (UTVs): Any motorized vehicle designed for carrying out utility tasks or transporting people or goods requires insurance coverage if it is operated on public roads.
- Golf carts: Any motorized vehicle designed for use on a golf course or for recreational purposes and capable of transporting people or goods requires insurance coverage if it is operated on public roads.
According to Arkansas Code Title 23 – Public Utilities and Regulated Industries, Subtitle 3 – Insurance, Chapter 89 – Motor Vehicle Liability Insurance, Subchapter 2 – Liability Insurance Requirements, section 23-89-204, all motorcycles and off-road vehicles operated on public roads in Arkansas must have liability insurance coverage.
It is important to note that insurance requirements and coverage options may vary based on the type of vehicle and state laws, so it’s best to check with your insurance provider for specific details and requirements.
Common Arkansas Motorcycle Laws
Below are some common motorcycle laws to be cognizant of if operating your bike in AR.
- Lane splitting: Lane splitting, or riding between lanes of traffic, is not legal in Arkansas.
- Helmet use: All motorcycle riders and passengers in Arkansas are required by law to wear a helmet while riding. The helmet must meet certain safety standards set by the Department of Transportation.
- Exhaust: Arkansas law prohibits the use of modified or altered exhaust systems that increase noise levels beyond certain decibel limits.
- Eyewear: Riders are required to wear protective eyewear in Arkansas, unless their motorcycle has a windshield.
- Passenger: A passenger can only ride on a motorcycle if the bike is equipped with a passenger seat and footrest.
- Mirrors & lighting: Motorcycles must be equipped with at least one rearview mirror, and have proper lighting, including brake lights, tail lights, and turn signals.
- Turn signals: Arkansas law requires motorcycles to have working turn signals.
- Headlights: Motorcycles must have at least one working headlight, which must be used during daytime and nighttime hours.
- Seat & footrest: All motorcycles must have a seat for the rider, as well as a footrest.
- Endorsement: To legally operate a motorcycle in Arkansas, you must have a Class M motorcycle endorsement on your driver’s license.
- Handlebars: Handlebars cannot be higher than shoulder height on the rider when seated on the motorcycle.
Additional Coverage for Motorcyclists in AR
Arkansas motorcyclists may want to consider additional insurance coverage beyond the state’s minimum requirements, such as:
- Collision Coverage: This type of coverage can help cover the cost of repairs or replacement if your motorcycle is damaged or totaled in an accident.
- Comprehensive Coverage: This type of coverage can help cover the cost of repairs or replacement if your motorcycle is stolen or damaged by factors such as weather, fire, or vandalism.
- Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage: This coverage can help protect you if you’re involved in an accident with a driver who doesn’t have insurance or doesn’t have enough insurance to cover the damages.
- Medical Payments Coverage: This coverage can help cover medical expenses for you or your passengers in the event of an accident.
- Roadside Assistance Coverage: This coverage can provide assistance if your motorcycle breaks down while you’re on the road, including services such as towing, fuel delivery, and battery jump-starts.
- Custom Parts and Equipment Coverage: If you have customized your motorcycle with aftermarket parts or accessories, this coverage can help cover the cost of repairs or replacement if they are damaged or stolen.
Proof of Insurance & Penalties
In Arkansas, all motorists, including motorcyclists, are required to carry proof of insurance while operating their vehicle.
This proof of insurance should be presented when requested by a law enforcement officer during a traffic stop or after an accident.
Penalties for failing to provide proof of insurance can include:
- First Offense: Fine of up to $250, community service, and license suspension for up to 90 days.
- Second Offense: Fine of up to $500, community service, and license suspension for up to six months.
- Third and Subsequent Offenses: Fine of up to $1,000, community service, and license suspension for up to one year.
In addition to the penalties for failing to provide proof of insurance, motorcyclists who are involved in an accident without insurance coverage may face significant financial and legal consequences.
FAQs: Motorcycle Insurance in Arkansas
Below are some questions that are commonly asked about motorcycle insurance & laws in Arkansas.
What are the penalties for riding without motorcycle insurance in Arkansas?
If you ride without required insurance in Arkansas, you can end up with fines, suspension of your driver’s license, and possibly impoundment of your motorcycle.
If you are involved in an accident and lack adequate insurance, you may face massive legal and/or financial repercussions.
Do you need to wear a helmet while riding a motorcycle in Arkansas?
Arkansas law requires all riders and passengers under 21 years old to wear a helmet for their safety.
Riders over 21 may choose not to wear a helmet but must carry additional medical coverage on their insurance policies.
Helmet wearing is strongly encouraged for riders of all ages.
Are there any unique considerations for insuring a motorcycle in Arkansas?
Arkansas’s diverse climate and the increased likelihood of encountering wildlife on the road may make comprehensive and collision coverage worth considering.
These coverage options help with the costs of repairing or replacing your motorcycle due to weather-related damage or a collision with an animal.
Do I need to register my motorcycle in Arkansas?
Yep. All motorcycles must be registered with the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration.
You’ll need to provide proof of insurance during the registration process.
What factors affect motorcycle insurance rates in Arkansas?
Several factors can influence your insurance premiums (costs) in Arkansas, including:
- Age & sex
- Driving history
- Type of motorcycle operated
- Location (within AR)
- Frequency of riding
Generally speaking, young riders who live in cities with a lot of other vehicles tend to have the highest insurance rates.
Can you still ride my motorcycle without required insurance in Arkansas?
No, it is illegal to operate a motorcycle without the proper insurance coverage in Arkansas.
As was mentioned, operating a motorcycle without insurance can lead to fines, license suspension, and impoundment of the bike.
Is lane splitting legal in Arkansas?
Lane splitting, or riding between lanes of traffic, is illegal in Arkansas.
Motorcyclists must follow the same traffic rules as other vehicles on the road.
How to find quality insurance in Arkansas for your bike
Our website has a tool that allows you to find insurers in your area with the click of a button.
Simply enter your Zip Code – and the tool will generate a list of the top providers in your area with excellent coverage in Arkansas.
These providers are familiar with the state’s insurance requirements and can help you decide whether additional coverage is a smart choice based on your personal needs.