Arkansas (AR) Diving Laws

By submitting your email you agree to receive communication from Forty Meters. We promise not to spam you, and you have the ability to unsubscribe at any time.
Arkansas (AR) Diving Laws

Can you go scuba diving in Arkansas?

Yes you can! Arkansas has absolutely no rules or restrictions on whether or not people are allowed to scuba dive there.

Arkansas is one of a handful of states that actually have no laws prohibiting the sport of diving.

Is it safe to say that Arkansas is an ideal place for Scuba Diving?

You wouldn’t be mistaken in thinking Arkansas should be atop every diver’s destination list, but unfortunately legislators haven’t caught up yet, and some counties still enforce antiquated swimming in the Arkansas River.

Additionally, Arkansas has its own set of laws and restrictions that you should be aware of before diving into Arkansas waterways. Some lakes are privately owned and require permission to dive, many fishing areas prohibit diving on them for various reasons, and general water safety will apply anywhere you decide to dive.


Experience and certifications

Arkansas has no specific requirement for entry-level divers, but scuba diving licenses are available and are recommended. The state does not have a certification or training exam to obtain your Scuba Diving License. The license allows you to dive in Arkansas as well as anywhere else you can show proof of having a diver’s card and/or the stamp on your log book (C-card).

If you do plan on visiting this state, it is highly recommended that you check with locals before entering their waters without checking first.


Diver-Down Flag Rules Arkansas Law

We spoke too soon – Arkansas does have one law for divers and State Statute requires a Diver-Down Flag to be displayed at all times. Arkansas does not set a minimum visibility depth for the diver’s flag, so it may be displayed if conditions dictate. Arkansas also has no requirements on how frequently it should be replaced or even what kind of flag is acceptable.



You must dive within the natural boundaries of Arkansas waterways. Diving in rivers or lakes isn’t prohibited, but remember that diving is a recreational activity and rules do apply (such as being aware of general water safety laws).



Arkansas has no rules specific to snorkeling. The state does ask that you be a safe swimmer and are capable of swimming one hundred yards continuously, but this is not an acceptable test for diving.


Wreck Diving

Arkansas has no specific rules or regulations for wreck diving. The state does have laws prohibiting the removal of historic and archaeological artifacts from state lands. It also prohibits any entry into caves, so it is recommended that you inspect your target before planning your dive.