Kentucky Transportation Cabinet-Division of Driver Licensing

Map of USA with Kentucky highlighted in light blueGetting a driver’s license in Kentucky is only slightly more complicated now than it was in the 90s, before the graduated driver program was put into place. Previously, minors would first get a Permit, then their License; under the graduated driver program, minors are required to fulfill a step in the middle, which grants the Intermediate License.

Phase 1-Permit

Any minor 16 or older may apply for a Permit. Prior to heading off to the Kentucky Division of Driver Licensing Office, he or she needs to prepare. First, individuals must bring the necessary identifying documents, including their social security card, birth certificate, and proof of Kentucky residence. The last requirement can be fulfilled with a utility bill, mortgage documents, deed, or property tax bill, etc.

In addition, minors must have their parent or guardian sign the application. Their signature essentially affirms they will take financial responsibility for the minor when he or she drives. Finally, anyone under 18 will also need to bring a School Compliance Verification Form. Students must be in good standing to gain driving privileges. These forms can be found at your school.

Once these documents are gathered together, the minor must also be prepared for the knowledge test, which requires sufficient understanding of the driving laws and procedures in Kentucky. If taking a driver education course with a school, the relevant information will be covered in the course. Students must simply follow the directions of the instructor. Students who opt not to take a driver education course with a school will need to read the Driver Manual.

Next, find a Kentucky driver license issuance location near you; ask the parent who plans on signing the application to go with you. Once there, officials will verify your documentation and administer the written test. They will also give a vision test before issuing your Permit. Once finished, you can drive under the supervision of licensed adults.

Phase 2-Intermediate License Period

During the Permit phase, minors must keep a detailed record of when they drive and under what conditions. Prior to receiving their Intermediate License, minors must complete at least 60 hours of driving under supervision, with 10 hours of the 60 occurring during night conditions. The Driver License Issuance Office should have given them the necessary Practice Driving Log and Verification Form when they received the Permit.

After 180 days of driving with a Permit, minors will be able to go back to the License Issuance Office for their Intermediate License. In order to be issued the Intermediate License, a state official will administer the driving test. Some locations require appointments to take the driving test, so call ahead of time. You will need to bring the Driving Log with you, as well as the Permit, and proof of liability insurance for the vehicle in which you intend to be tested. You will be able to drive without supervision, though with certain restrictions that will be explained in the office.

After 180 days, if no accidents have occurred, you will be able to go back to obtain your unrestricted license.

Driver Education

If you want a full, unrestricted license before you turn 18, you will need to complete a driver education course. The course must be completed between the initial Permit period and the final step of the graduated driver program. After a minor completes his or her written test for the Permit, he or she will be contacted by the Transportation Cabinet’s Division of Driver Licensing. The Division will provide information regarding the state-run course on driver safety. This course requires four hours of the driver’s time and it is free of charge. This course is also unnecessary for drivers who completed a driver’s education course with their high school.