What are Arkansas Public Traffic Records?
Arkansas public traffic records are official documents that contain a subject's driving records or traffic history in the state. Public traffic records are generated by different government agencies, and these records include traffic violations, traffic citations, accident reports, driver's license suspensions, fines, sentences, and other penalties.
In Arkansas, the agencies responsible for generating and maintaining these records include the state's courts, the Department of Transportation (ArDOT), the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV), and the Office of Driver Services, which is a division of the Department of Finance and Administration (DFA).
Are Traffic Records Public in Arkansas?
Yes, traffic records are public in Arkansas. According to the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), records generated and maintained by government agencies are public unless exempted by other state or federal statutes. The FOIA also mandates government agencies to make public records available to any inquiring party on request. Citizens may inspect or review copies of public records at any time within the agency's business hours.
Arkansas state laws and the Federal Driver's Privacy Protection Act (DPPA) protect private information on driving records. As such, the personal information contained in driving records in Arkansas are deemed confidential and restricted from public access. This information can only be released to a third party if the subject of the record signs a release that includes the person's name, date of birth, driver's license number, and the name of the person to whom the release is granted. Releases are effective for five (5) years unless the record owner files a withdrawal.
What Do Arkansas Traffic Records Contain?
Arkansas traffic records contain any information or documents that chronicle the subject's driving history in the state. The information contained in Arkansas traffic records include, but not limited to:
- First and last names
- Residential address
- Social security number
- Driver's license number
- Telephone number
- Traffic violation convictions
- Accident reports
Does a Citation Go on Your Record in Arkansas?
Yes, a citation can go on a person's record in Arkansas, depending on the type of citation or the offense for which the citation was issued. There are different types of traffic violations in Arkansas. The penalties and consequences for each traffic violation are determined by the nature and severity of the violation. Generally, traffic violations can be classified as civil and criminal violations and moving and non-moving violations.
Moving traffic violations occur when a vehicle is in motion or when the perpetrator is in a moving vehicle while non-moving traffic violations typically occur when a vehicle is stationary. Criminal traffic violations are misdemeanors or felony crimes, depending on the severity of the offense or the law's classification. In Arkansas, criminal traffic violations are punishable by imprisonment, while civil traffic violations only attract non-criminal penalties. A traffic violation can be a moving violation and a criminal offense. In the same way, a traffic violation can be a civil non-moving violation.
Citations issued for criminal or moving traffic violations go on an offender's record in Arkansas, since such offenses are considered more serious and involve a greater risk of injury, harm, death, or damage to another person's property. On the other hand, non-moving traffic violations, do not typically go on an offender's record but may be penalized by fines, probation, or community service.
Types of Traffic Citations in Arkansas
There are different types of traffic citations in Arkansas, including the following:
- Speeding tickets
- Parking tickets
- Moving violation tickets
- Red light tickets
Arkansas uses a point system to monitor road users and penalize traffic violations. The number of points assigned to a violation is indicated on the traffic citation along with ticket fees and plea options. Traffic citations also contain information about whether the offender is required to appear in court (mandatory court, trial, teen court, and bond hearing citations) or not.
Arkansas Traffic Citation Lookup
Persons interested in looking up traffic citations in Arkansas may visit the state's public Court Connect website. Requesting parties may look up traffic tickets by entering their names, date of birth, and case type in the required field. Interested persons may also look up Arkansas traffic citations using the state's online payment system. Inquiring parties may need to provide the citation number on the ticket they're looking up.
Another way to look up traffic citations in Arkansas is to contact the local court in the county where the case was first heard or the citation was issued. This may be the circuit court or local traffic courts. If a person loses their Arkansas traffic citation, they must contact the court as soon as possible to obtain information about the citation and perform necessary actions in response. Failure to respond to a traffic citation at the time stipulated by the courts may result in increased penalties, and in some cases, the court may issue a bench warrant for the defaulter's arrest.
How to Lookup my Arkansas Traffic Records
The Office of Driver Services, a division of the Department of Finance and Administration, is responsible for enforcing state laws regarding driver's licenses and ID cards. The office also maintains traffic violation and accident records for each driver with a license in the state. Driver Services also includes traffic violation convictions on driving records and updates the state's Drug and Alcohol database for drivers with commercial licenses. Another function of Driver Services is to assist the public and the courts with inquiries about driving records. Persons interested in looking up Arkansas traffic records may do so through the Office of Driver Services.
There are different types of driving or traffic records in Arkansas.
- Insurance record: this shows the subject's three-year traffic violation record. Interested parties may request this record by mail or in person at $8.50 per copy or online at $11.50.
- Commercial record: some traffic information stays longer than three (3) years on commercial records. In Arkansas, commercial records are often used for employment purposes. Interested parties may request commercial records by mail or in person at $10 per copy or online at $13.
- History record: this record contains driving information from when the subject received a driver's license, which is the entirety of the subject's driving history. Interested parties may only request history records by mail or in person at driving records counters.
Driver Services makes traffic records available online through the Department of Motor Vehicles in person at any Arkansas Revenue Office, by mail through the Department of Finance and Administration, and in person at any driving records counter. To use the DMV's online driver record request system, interested parties must have the following information:
- Driver's first and last names
- Arkansas driver's license number
- Social security number (last five (5) digits)
- Arkansas driver's license issue date
- A valid credit card (Discover, Mastercard, or Visa)
Interested parties may also look up traffic records on the Commercial Driver Alcohol and Drug Testing Database, although registration is required to access this database. Requesting parties must also provide a signed release from the record subject to access information on this database.
Arkansas traffic case records may also be available from third-party websites since they are considered public records. Unlike government sources or websites, third-party websites do not have geographical limitations. Hence, interested parties may access these websites from anywhere in the world. However, some third-party websites may require registration or subscription to access traffic records.
Arkansas Traffic Violations
A traffic violation in Arkansas is any act that violates the state's traffic laws. This can include speeding, running a red light, or failing to yield to pedestrians. Depending on the severity of the offense, a traffic violation can result in a fine, points being added to the offenders driving record, or a license suspension. A traffic violation may also lead to criminal charges being filed in some cases. Arkansas traffic violation laws are outlined in the state's Code of Arkansas.
If cited for a traffic violation in Arkansas, the offender will typically have to appear in court to face the charges. Depending on the circumstances, the motorist may also be required to pay a fine or participate in community service. If convicted of a traffic violation, points will be added to the offenders driving record. These points can lead to increased insurance rates and may eventually result in their license being suspended.
Arkansas License Plate Lookup
In Arkansas, license plates can be used to identify the owner of a vehicle. This is especially helpful for tracking down traffic offenders or checking the registration status of a car. Hence, license plates are a vital part of Arkansas traffic records.
To look up Arkansas license plates, interested persons can visit the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration website. The website has a search engine that allows requestors to look up license plates by name or plate number. The requesting party can also order a copy of a vehicle's registration history from the website. This can help verify that a car is registered and insured or the number of accidents the car has been in.
Alternatively, interested persons can directly contact the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration. The department can be reached by phone at (501) 682-2350.
How to View Traffic Case Records for Free in Arkansas
Interested parties may look up Arkansas traffic records online through the state's AOC Court Connect or in person at the Court Clerk's office. The Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) makes the Court Connect website available to the public, providing case information from the Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, District Court, and Circuit Courts through it.
The case information available on Court Connect is recorded from actual court documents, court orders, judgments, and liens. Requesting parties may search the Court Connect for records by person, judgment, case information, case filing date search, or docket filing date search.
Interested parties may also view traffic case records for free by visiting the court clerk in the county where the case was first heard. Court clerks are record custodians and county recorders; they maintain court case records and make them available to the public on request.
How Long do Traffic Offenses Remain on a Public Record in Arkansas
Traffic offenses remain on the driver's record for three (3) to five (5) years, depending on the nature or severity of the offense. After the required waiting period, drivers may petition the court to expunge or seal records of traffic offenses. Sealing or expungement removes traffic offenses from public records and makes them available to only authorized persons.
How to Remove Traffic Records from Public Websites in Arkansas
The easiest way to remove traffic records from public websites in Arkansas is to petition the court to seal or expunge the record. Sealed or expunged records are no longer accessible to unauthorized parties. Arkansas laws allow interested parties to petition the court for sealing or expungement three (3) to five (5) years after sentence requirements are complete.
Once the court expunges or seals the traffic records, the driver or subject record may then contact public websites through their attorneys to have the traffic records removed. Some third-party websites aggregate traffic records from databases that the government makes available to the public. Many of these third-party websites have opt-out procedures. Interested persons may follow these procedures to remove their traffic records from the websites.
Do Motoring Offenses Affect Criminal Records in Arkansas?
Yes, motoring offenses affect criminal records in Arkansas. As earlier established, there are different types of motoring offenses. Some are offense are criminal, and some civil. In Arkansas, criminal motoring offenses are more likely to affect a person's criminal record. This is because, criminal motoring offenses are treated or penalized as both motoring and criminal offenses, and this means that criminal motoring offenses also appear on or affect the offender's criminal records.