How to Get a Life Insurance License in Arkansas

Written by: Mary Gerardine

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How to Get a Life Insurance License in Arkansas

Getting your Arkansas life insurance license is the first step towards becoming a life insurance agent in the state.

The Arkansas Department of Insurance requires you to complete a five-step process to become a life insurance agent in Arkansas — from taking the life insurance exam to applying for a license.

These steps will take a few weeks to complete so we recommend you bookmark this page so you can use it as a reference throughout the process.

How to Get Your Arkansas Life Insurance License

  1. Complete an Arkansas Insurance Pre-license Course (Kaplan Education Company – $149+)
  2. Take the Arkansas Life Insurance Licensing Exam (PSI Exams – $50 exam fee)
  3. Get a Background Check (Arkansas Insurance Department’s Criminal Background Check online portal – $24)
  4. Complete an Arkansas Life Insurance License Application (National Insurance Producer Registry (NIPR) – $15 application fee + $5.60 transaction fee)
  5. Watch for Your Application Results

Steps to Get an Arkansas Life Insurance License

Obtaining your Arkansas life insurance license isn’t difficult. Just follow these five steps to start your journey toward becoming a life insurance agent. Once you earn this license, check out our guide on how to get your Arkansas property and casualty (P&C) license as well.

Step 1: Complete an Arkansas Insurance Pre-license Course

Before you take the Arkansas life insurance licensing exam, it’s important to make time to acquire the knowledge you’ll need to pass this exam on your first attempt. Completing a pre-license education course will equip you with the necessary information and tools you’ll need to prepare for your exam.

Arkansas requires a minimum of 20 hours of pre-license education for all applicants for a life line of authority. You are required to complete a course of instruction, which includes:

  • Introduction to Insurance: 1 hour
  • State Insurance Laws and Rules (Classroom hours only): 5 hours
  • Life Insurance Basics: 5 hours
  • Life Insurance Policies, Policy Options, and Policy Provisions: 5 hours
  • Annuity Contracts: 3 hours
  • Ethics (Classroom hour only): 1 hour

Arkansas requires applicants to have a certificate of completion of prelicensing education before they may take the licensing exam. 

A pre-license education course provides very specific industry knowledge that will be tested during the exam. There is very little information on the test that could be considered “common sense”. Pre-license education courses are self-paced and include study materials like practice exams and flashcards.

Beyond helping you effectively prepare for and pass the life insurance licensing exam on your first try, taking a pre-license education course also will give you a solid understanding of your duties as a life insurance agent.

Recommended Course

Over 81% of our readers use Kaplan’s online courses — which come with a 93% pass rate — when preparing for their insurance license exam(s). For comprehensive study packages, StateRequirement recommends:

4.7 out of 5 starsKaplan Education Company

Step 2: Take the Arkansas Life Insurance Licensing Exam

After you complete a prep course and your own independent studying, it’s time to take the Arkansas life insurance exam.

Arkansas uses PSI Exams as its official testing service for delivering licensure exams. To apply and register for your Arkansas insurance exam, you must do the following:

  • Visit the National Insurance Producer Registry (NIPR) to complete and submit your Arkansas insurance exam application
  • Once the NIPR reviews your application, you’ll receive an email containing your eligibility and exam registration information
  • If you’re eligible to take the exam, follow the instructions and schedule your exam

The Arkansas life insurance exam outline contains a total of 80 scored questions that includes two sections: general and state-specific. The general section deals with basic life insurance product knowledge. The state section covers insurance concepts and terms, rules, regulations, and practices specific to Arkansas.

You’re allowed 150 minutes to complete the examThe Arkansas life insurance exam fee is $50, which you must pay at the time of reservation by credit card, debit card, or voucher. The exam is a proctored test, meaning an official proctor will closely monitor you in a controlled environment.

If you happen to fail the Arkansas life insurance exam, you must make a new exam reservation. You can take the exam up to three times within 90 days of the date the NIPR issues your original exam permit. If you don’t pass the exam after three attempts, you’ll have to wait four weeks to retake the exam again.

Tip

Check out our in-depth insurance exam guide for tips to help you pass on the first attempt.

The best way to understand if you are prepared for the test is to take a Life Insurance Practice Exam.

Step 3: Get a Background Check

After you take the Arkansas life insurance exam, you must get a fingerprint-based background check from the Arkansas Insurance Department’s Criminal Background Check online portal. You’ll submit your background check and fees directly to the Arkansas State PoliceThe fee for the background check is $24. 

Once you complete your background check, you’ll receive a receipt. Keep the original receipt for your records and attach a copy to the license application you send to the Arkansas Insurance Department.

Step 4: Complete an Arkansas Life Insurance License Application

Once you pass the life insurance exam and complete the background check, you can apply for your Arkansas life insurance license. The application fee is $15plus the NIPR’s $5.60 transaction fee.

The Arkansas Insurance Department will issue a life insurance license to individuals who are at least 18 years old and have passed the proper licensing exam. You should submit your completed license application within 12 months of passing the exam.

To apply for a life insurance license in Arkansas, make sure you comply with the insurance licensing requirements as defined under the Arkansas Industry Regulations.

Send any questions or supporting documents to insurance.license@arkansas.gov.

Step 5: Watch for Your Application Results

After you complete the previous four steps, the Arkansas Insurance Department will review your application and background check. It reviews filings in the order it receives them, and this process usually takes one or more business days from the date you submit your application.

You can print your license from the NIPR website. There’s no charge to create an account or print a license. You can also manage and search for your license by using the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) State Based Systems (SBS) Arkansas Lookup tool.

Congratulations!

You’re now ready to get started as a life insurance agent in Arkansas.

Next Steps After Securing Your Arkansas Life Insurance License

Once you complete the above steps and have your Arkansas life insurance license, here’s what you should pursue next.

Get Your FINRA Securities Licenses

Overview

Individuals planning to market and sell market-based life insurance products also must obtain the proper securities licenses. As a securities license holder, you can offer securities as part of your services. That’ll make you a credible authority in addressing all of your clients’ financial needs.

SIE Exam

To obtain these licenses, you’ll first need to take and pass the Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) exam. Professionals in the securities industry are required to take the SIE and a series of examinations administered by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA)

The SIE exam ensures every life insurance professional has a basic understanding of securities. While taking the SIE exam isn’t a requirement for all insurance professionals, those who don’t obtain at least one securities license limit their ability to work with clients. With a securities license, you can give your clients the option to invest in securities-related products as part of their life insurance plans.

Tip

To help you start preparing for the SIE exam, check out our full guide on How to Pass the SIE Exam.

Obtaining a license to sell securities also requires sponsorship from a firm, company, or organization regulated by FINRA. The sponsor will pay the testing fees required for your SIE exams and submit your personal information to FINRA’s Central Registration Depository (CRD). The Series 6 and Series 7 licenses require a FINRA exam sponsorship before you can take the exam. The exam for a Series 63 license doesn’t require any sponsoring entity. 

Once you get your securities license(s), FINRA will list you as a “registered representative.” By achieving the securities licensee designation, you’ll become a highly sought-after professional and set yourself up for a successful career in the insurance industry.

Series 6, 7, and 63 Licenses

Some of the most common securities licenses for insurance agents include the Series 6, 7, and 63 licenses because they allow licensees to sell almost every type of individual security.

The Series 6 (Investment Company and Variable Contracts Products Representative) Securities License is the primary license sought by insurance sales professionals and financial advisors, allowing them to sell grouped securities related to insurance products. 

Series 6 works together with Series 63 because they are the two partner licenses required to sell insurance policies tied to investments. The North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) oversees regulation of the Series 63 (Uniform Securities Agent State Law) license.

The Series 7 license allows you to buy and sell securities (e.g., stocks, bonds, and mutual funds) as part of an investment plan for your clients. To get a Series 7 license, you will first need to register as a new candidate with FINRA and pass the Series 7 exam. The Series 7 exam is commonly known as the General Securities Representative Qualification Exam, but is sometimes referred to as the “Series 7 Top-Off Exam.”

Get a Job in the Insurance Field

Once you earn your license, you can start applying for jobs in the insurance field. With a life insurance license, you can provide advice and recommend insurance products to clients, sell life insurance policies that pay a beneficiary upon an insured person’s death, and sell annuities that pay a set income at retirement.

Find life insurance job postings on our Insurance Jobs Board.

When applying for an insurance-related job, potential employers will request your license number and National Producer Number (NPN).

Complete Continuing Education and Renew Your License

In Arkansas, you must take 24 hours of continuing education (CE) credits every two years to maintain your license in good standing. You must complete at least three hours of ethics training. To find your CE requirements, visit the NIPR’s Review Continuing Education (CE) Requirements tool and choose Arkansas as the licensing state. You must also pay a $20 CE filing fee to the Arkansas Insurance Department.

If you have a non-resident license and have a good standing in your home state, you don’t need to take CE courses in Arkansas. You can’t renew your license until you complete your continuing education hours and pay any outstanding fines. The late fees for CE course completion in Arkansas range from $25 (for 0-30 days late) to $150 (for 91-365 days late).

In Arkansas, you also must renew and manage your life insurance license every two years. Your CE hours are due on or before the expiration date of your license. The renewal fee is $90 and the late fee is $140.

Learn how to renew your license with our Arkansas Insurance License Renewal guide.

Arkansas Department of Insurance Contact Information

Mailing Address

Arkansas Insurance Department
1 Commerce Way
Little Rock, AR 72202

Phone: Licensing (501) 371-2750 

Email: insurance.license@arkansas.gov

Website: https://www.insurance.arkansas.gov/

License Search: Arkansas Insurance License Lookup

Arkansas Life Insurance License FAQ

How much does it cost to get a life insurance license in Arkansas?

Obtaining an Arkansas insurance license involves fees for pre-license education courses (starts at $149), state licensing exam via PSI Exams ($50), fingerprint-based background check via the Arkansas Insurance Department’s Criminal Background Check online portal ($24), and the application process via NIPR ($15 + $5.60 transaction charge).

How long does it take to process a life insurance license application in Arkansas?

In Arkansas, processing a life insurance producer license can take one or more business days from the date you submit your application. This timeframe includes the completion of all required steps: completing pre-licensing education, passing the insurance exams, background checks, and filing of application.

Can I get a temporary life insurance agent license in Arkansas?

Yes. Arkansas provides a 180-day, temporary life insurance license. You must complete a producer application and a Criminal Background Form. See the instructions for Emergency Temporary License (under Producer). The application fee is $35 made payable to the Arkansas Insurance Department.

Do I need to get my securities license on top of a life insurance license in Arkansas?

Probably. Having a securities license expands your options beyond basic life insurance products, allowing you to provide clients with retirement and life insurance plans tied to the securities market. However, you’ll need FINRA accreditation to obtain this license.

What can I sell with a life insurance license in Arkansas?

If you have a life insurance license in Arkansas, you can offer two types of products to your clients. First, you can sell life insurance policies that pay a designated beneficiary when the insured person dies. Second, you can also sell annuities that pay a set income at retirement.

How much can you make with a life insurance license in Arkansas?

According to ZipRecruiter, the average annual pay for a life insurance agent in Arkansas is $67,607 as of November 2023. This is equivalent to $32.50 per hour or $1,300 per week. The salary range varies from $14,884 to $119,902 depending on skill level, location and experience.

What are the limitations of an Arkansas life insurance license?

An Arkansas life insurance license allows selling life insurance policies, annuities, and retirement plans. However, to sell other types of insurance, like personal lines or health insurance, you need multiple licenses (e.g., the combined life and health insurance license). By obtaining a securities license, you can offer securities, including stocks and bonds, in addition to life insurance products.

How hard is it to get a life insurance license in Arkansas?

Getting a life insurance license in Arkansas is quite simple! You need to complete 20 hours of pre-license education, pass the life exam, get a background check, and apply for your license. For the combined life and health, you may need to pass the health exam as well.

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