Kentucky Driver’s License Requirements

To apply for a Kentucky driver’s license, you must provide proof of identity and residency, as well as a Social Security number.
Written by Holden Easterbrook
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
Updated on Jan 19, 2023
To receive a Kentucky driver’s license, you must hold a driver’s permit for 180 days if you’re younger than 21 and 30 days if you are older. Afterward, you will need to schedule an appointment with the Kentucky State Police License Examiner to take a vision, written, and road test.
A driver’s license can seem like a ticket to freedom and independence, but getting one can be a headache if you don’t understand the process. That’s why the
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has compiled everything you need to know about Kentucky’s driver’s license requirements. (We'll also tell you how to score big savings on your
Kentucky car insurance costs
down below.)

What are the requirements for a driver’s license in Kentucky?

Kentucky requires all new drivers to hold a driver’s permit before applying for a full driver’s license. Drivers younger than 21 must hold their permit for 180 days before they can apply for a full license, and drivers over 21 must hold their permit for at least 30 days.
Once they've held their permit for the required period, new drivers can apply for a full license through their local Circuit Clerk’s office. To complete their application, potential drivers will need:
  • An original or certified copy of their birth certificate
  • Their Social Security card
  • Proof of Kentucky residence—utility bill, mortgage documents, etc.
Laminated documents or copies of original documents will not be accepted.
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What are the requirements for young drivers? 

Kentucky residents that are 16 or 17 years old can apply for an intermediate license as a step towards their full driver’s license.
Besides the approval of their parents, young drivers will also need to:
Hold their
learner’s permit
for 180 days
  • Complete a driving log with their parents/guardian. The log must have a minimum of 60 hours of practice driving, with 10 hours of night driving
  • Print and sign an eligibility letter, then submit it to the Kentucky State Police License Examiner
  • Take a driving skills test
Once a young driver has received their intermediate license, they will need to hold it for 180 days or until they turn 18, whichever comes first. After that, they can apply for a full driver’s license.

What are the requirements for out-of-state drivers? 

After moving to Kentucky, you have 30 days to obtain a Kentucky driver’s license.
To successfully apply for a Kentucky license, you’ll need to have:
  • Your out-of-state driver’s license
  • Your Social Security card
  • An original or certified copy of your birth certificate
  • Fee payment of $20
Additionally, if you are under the age of 18, you’ll need a School Compliance Verification Form signed by your school. This is part of Kentucky’s No Pass/No Drive law to encourage students to apply themselves in the classroom.
You are exempt from the license transfer requirements if you are a full-time college student or an active member of the military or dependant of active military personnel.

How to get a driver’s license in Kentucky

After holding your driver’s permit for the required time, you’ll need to submit your eligibility letter to the Kentucky State Police License Examiner. From there, you’ll need to schedule a test date and time to prove that you are capable of driving a car safely and understand the rules of the road.

Vision test

The first test you’ll be required to take is a vision test.
Kentucky has a minimum vision requirement of 20/40 in at least one eye. While you can take this test with the aid of glasses or contacts, you will be required to wear them while operating a vehicle afterward.

Knowledge exam

After the vision test, you will take a written knowledge test.
This test is composed of 40 questions based on information in the Kentucky Driver’s Manual, which details the meaning of different road signs and various traffic laws. To pass the test you will need a score of 80% or higher.
To avoid having to take the test more than once, it’s recommended to take a free practice test online.

Road test

The final part of the driver’s license examination is a driving test.
It’s important to note that you will need to supply your own vehicle for this portion of the exam and show proof of insurance.
During this test, an examiner will ride with you to see how well you handle the vehicle and if you follow the traffic laws.
Once you’ve completed your examination, you’ll return to the Circuit Clerk’s office, where you will be issued your driver’s license and pay a fee of $20.

How to save money on car insurance in Kentucky

Getting your driver’s license is a big moment in life, so be sure to celebrate. However, don’t think that your work is done. There’s a lot that goes into owning a car besides holding a driver’s license—like routine maintenance, inspections, and getting it properly insured. Thankfully, the
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