How to Get a Life Insurance License in Arkansas

Written by: Mary Gerardine

Last updated:

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 – $25)
  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

Life Insurance License Arkansas

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

Doing a pre-licensing education course dramatically increases your chance of passing your exam on your first attempt, which can end up saving you both time and money in the long run. For pre-licensing education, 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 130 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 exam. The 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 Police. The fee for the background check is $25. 

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.

Steps After Securing Your Arkansas Life Insurance License

Once you complete the above steps and have your Arkansas life insurance license, there are a few steps you’ll need to take in order to a) excel as an insurance agent, and b) maintain your life insurance license.

Let’s take a brief look at these below.

Obtain All Relevant Securities Licenses

If you’re planning on selling advanced life insurance products, you’ll likely need to pass the Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) exam and obtain the relevant securities licenses (e.g., Series 6, 7, and 63).

For more information on this step, you can have a look at our in-depth Securities Licensing overview.

Choose a Means of Selling

You’ll have to decide whether you’d prefer working as a captive agent employed by one company, or running your own business as an independent agent.

If you’re just starting out, you’ll likely benefit from working as a captive agent, but this will ultimately depend on your personal aspirations and opportunities.

Develop Your Marketing Approach

To succeed as an insurance agent, you’ll need to adopt a marketing approach that’s effective for you.

We recommend finding and sticking to a niche, as well organizing all client appointments for the start of your week. This is because this can improve your overall client conversions.

Keep Your License Valid

In Arkansas, you must take 24 hours of continuing education (CE) credits every two years to renew your insurance license and keep it 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).

You must also 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.

For a more in-depth look at each one of these steps, check out our Steps After Getting Your Insurance License 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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