How to Get a State ID Card in Arkansas

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If you don’t have a driver’s license, whether because of age, disability or choice, you may still need a document that shows proof of identification. In Arkansas, as in many states, you can get a state identification card that is sufficient for those times when you need to prove your identity, such as flying on a plane. To obtain an Arkansas ID card, you will need to prove your identity to the state and pay a small fee. If you are getting a state REAL ID, you will need to provide even more documentation to prove your identity.

Why You Need an Arkansas ID Card

With a valid driver’s license, you always have a way to prove your identity. In those situations where you don’t meet the Arkansas driver’s license requirements, you can get an Arkansas ID instead.

An Arkansas ID card looks similar to a driver’s license but does not grant the holder permission to operate a motor vehicle. State ID cards are used solely to prove a person’s identity and age in situations that may warrant it, such as when purchasing an item that requires the buyer to be over a certain age.

Types of Arkansas ID Cards

Arkansas issues several different ID cards, depending on your needs:

  • ID for people over 21 who don’t meet the Arkansas driver’s license requirements.
  • ID for veterans with an honorable discharge.
  • ID for people ages 5 to 20 who don’t meet the Arkansas driver’s license requirements.

Each of these Arkansas ID cards looks slightly different. The first two state ID cards are situated horizontally, while the ID for those under 21 is situated vertically. All of these cards are used for identification purposes only.

What’s Included on an Arkansas ID Card?

An Arkansas ID card contains information that proves your identity. In addition to a photograph and your signature, the state ID card includes your:

  • Issued state identification number.
  • Date of birth.
  • Full name.
  • Current address.
  • Date of issuance and expiration date.
  • Sex, height and eye color.
  • Option to be an organ donor.

A veteran’s ID also includes the word “veteran," and the ID for those under 21 includes the dates on which the person will turn 18 and 21.

Is Arkansas REAL ID Compliant?

The U.S. government requires those planning to fly domestically or enter a federal building to have a REAL ID by fall of 2020 in order to be in compliance with the Federal REAL ID Act of 2005. The act aims to make state-issued ID cards more secure as a way to help combat terrorism and identity fraud. While you may still use a regular state ID after 2020, you will need to show additional forms of identification any time you fly or go to a federal facility.

The state of Arkansas began moving to REAL ID cards in the summer of 2018 that provide additional security features, but also require additional paperwork to obtain. An Arkansas REAL ID features a gold star in the upper right corner that lets people know the ID meets federal requirements.

You can be issued either a REAL ID or a regular state ID, but not both. A REAL ID is not a substitute for a passport, which is still needed for international travel. You can also update your driver’s license to a REAL driver’s license when you need to renew your Arkansas driver’s license.

Read More: Arkansas Real Estate Laws

What Documents Do I Need for a State ID?

You'll need to furnish several documents to a local state revenue office in order to get a new state ID or a driver’s license. To get an Arkansas state ID card, you'll need a valid Social Security number or an affidavit indicating you don’t have a valid SSN. Valid proof of an SSN includes a Social Security card, tax forms or pay stubs with your name and full SSN. The name associated with your SSN must be the same name for which you’re applying for a state ID.

Under the federal REAL ID requirements, you must also show proof that you legally live in the United States and show proof of your identity. These documents are required both for a REAL ID or a REAL Arkansas driver’s license replacement.

Documents that prove you legally live in the U.S. include:

  • A valid U.S. passport.
  • A U.S. birth certificate.
  • An employment authorization card.
  • Certificate of naturalization or citizenship.
  • A U.S. visa with a valid foreign passport.

Documents that prove your identity include:

  • A valid out-of-state driver’s license or ID.
  • Vehicle registration and title.
  • Armed Forces discharge papers.
  • Health insurance card.
  • Marriage certificate or license.
  • Pilot’s license.
  • Bureau of Indian Affairs card.
  • Sealed court order.

Do I Need to Show Proof of Residency?

To get a state ID in Arkansas, you must also show two proofs of residency that establish that you live in the state and are eligible for a state ID. These documents must contain your physical address and your name.

Acceptable proofs of residency include:

  • Paycheck stub issued within the past six months.
  • Utility bill issued within the past six months.
  • Bank account statement.
  • Rental agreement or property deed for Arkansas property.
  • Current state or federal tax return.
  • Certified school transcript or record.
  • College enrollment documentation.

If you have proof of residency that is listed under a different name due to marriage, divorce or some other circumstance, you must also show the document that makes the name change legally valid, such as a marriage license, divorce decree or a court order.

How Much Does a State ID Cost in Arkansas?

The fee for a state ID in Arkansas is the same for a regular state ID or a REAL ID. The fee for either ID card is $5. This fee must be paid when the card is issued and also upon renewal.

If you recently renewed your regular state ID, you can convert it to an Arkansas REAL ID for an additional $5, along with the required documentation. The fee for renewing your REAL ID is also $5.

When Do Arkansas State IDs Expire?

Typically, Arkansas state IDs expire every four years, whether they are regular or REAL IDs. Seniors aged 60 and older can select either a four-year REAL ID card or a lifetime regular ID card. ID cards for children ages 13 and younger expire every two years.

Where to Get an Arkansas State ID Card

You must apply for a state ID or a REAL ID, and a REAL Arkansas driver’s license replacement at an Arkansas state revenue office. These offices are located throughout the state. You can find a directory of Arkansas state revenue offices on the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration website.

Before you head to a state revenue office, be sure to gather all of the required paperwork and documentation. Doing so will expedite the process of applying for and getting a state ID. Without it, you may have to make another trip.

Only a handful of revenue offices in Arkansas issue REAL IDs, so if you want to get one, make sure to go to a revenue office that you know issues REAL IDs.