Does Arkansas Require Front License Plates?

Arkansas only requires a rear license plate for most vehicles—just make sure it’s displayed correctly. Read more here!
Written by Macy Fouse
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
Updated on Oct 18, 2022
Arkansas only requires one license plate. The Arkansas Department of Revenue (DOR) requires most cars to display a valid
Arkansas license plate
on the back of the car. 
Arkansas likes to keep it simple, especially when it comes to license plate laws. If you’re new to the state, you may be relieved to find out that Arkansas doesn’t require a front license plate like other states—but that doesn’t mean there aren’t other rules to follow.
Here with all the answers you need about license plate requirements in Arkansas is everyone’s favorite
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Does Arkansas require front license plates?

Nope—Arkansas does not have a front license plate requirement. Rear plates have been required since 1944.
According to
Section 27-14-716
of the Arkansas Code, if you’re only issued one license plate, it must be attached to the rear. Trucks of one-ton capacity or larger can choose to display the license plate on the front or rear of the vehicle. 
This law also dictates that your license plate must be securely fastened horizontally to the vehicle in a way that prevents it from swinging. It must be at least 12 inches from the ground, clearly visible, and free from foreign materials. 
Any type of cover—like a
large license plate frame
or bike rack—that obscures the license plate, makes it difficult to read, or reduces the reflectivity of the plate is illegal. These rules go for personalized license plates and special plates, too, like college plates or military plates. 


Arkansas drivers only need a rear license plate in almost every case. While Arkansas law does not specify when a vehicle may be issued with two license plates, it does state that if you are issued two license plates, you must attach one to the front and one to the rear. If the DMV provides you with two plates, you should assume you need to display both of them. 

What is the penalty for a license plate violation in Arkansas?

The license plate laws in Arkansas are pretty straightforward, but improper display of a license plate is a primary offense in the state. That means you can be pulled over for a license plate violation without any other reason. 
While Arkansas doesn’t list specific fine amounts for violations, you can probably expect a fine of up to $120. However, license plate infractions are considered non-moving violations, so they aren’t likely to affect your car insurance rates. 

Which US states do not require a front license plate?

Thirty-one US states require a front license plate in addition to the rear plate, so Arkansas is in the minority. Here are the 19 states that do not require a front license plate: 
  • Alabama
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Indiana
  • Kansas 
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Michigan
  • Mississippi
  • New Mexico
  • North Carolina
  • Oklahoma 
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • West Virginia

Which states have the highest rate of car theft?

Having two license plates helps law enforcement track and identify car thefts. 
Arkansas as a whole doesn’t have very high rates of car theft, which could contribute to the state not requiring a front license plate. 
Even with low theft rates across the state, some Arkansas cities can’t say the same. In fact, for cities with the highest theft rates across the entire US, Pine Bluff ranked number 29. Little Rock, North Little Rock, and Conway also have higher theft rates. Cities with higher theft rates tend to have higher insurance costs, too—
Little Rock’s car insurance
rates are some of the highest in the state!
Arkansans may not have a front license plate to keep their vehicles safe, but there are plenty of other ways to keep your car safe. As a bonus, adding extra anti-theft devices to your car could lower your insurance rates! 

How to find cheap car insurance in Arkansas

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