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How to get a Kentucky Driver's License

Kentucky Driver's License
  • Kentucky Driver's License Guidelines
  • How to Prepare for the Written Exam
  • Required ID and Paperwork

KY Driver's License Rules and Requirements

Find out the steps to get your KY drivers license, pass your DMV written test, replace your out-of-state license and the required paperwork to bring to the DMV office to get your driver's license.

All applicants need to be familiar with the Kentucky Driver's Manual. Think you know the material? Take our DMV practice test now and test your driving knowledge.

First Time Drivers

If this is your first driver's license, you will need to apply for a Kentucky learners permit which requires a written exam on traffic signs, motor vehicle laws and safe driving techniques.

Once you receive a valid learner's permit, you will then need to pass a road skills test and vision test to receive a KY intermediate drivers license.

Applicants under 18 must have held a learners permit for at least 180 days, complete a New Driver Education Program, and log 60 hours (10 of which must occur at night) of supervised driving time before taking the road skills test.

Prepare for the Written Test

All new drivers are encouraged to study for this driver education exam so you don't miss the opportunity to get your learners permit as soon as you reach the approved age. Online practice tests are available that provide real sample questions from the DMV Exam - Take the Kentucky DMV Practice Test now and test your driving knowledge.

New Kentucky Residents

New residents with an out-of-state license must obtain a Kentucky driver's license within 30 days of establishing a permanent residence in KY. When heading to the DMV, be sure to bring the license from your former state as you will be required to surrender it in order to obtain the new license.

There is no written exam or road skills testing required to change a valid out-of-state license to a KY driver's license, however you may need to pass the vision test.

If your out-of-state license is expired one year or more, you must provide a current driving record or clearance letter from the state you are transferring from or you must pass the written exam and vision test.

Out-of-State permit holders transferring to Kentucky must transfer their permit and be issued a Kentucky permit before applying for a Kentucky Driver License.

International Drivers

All non U.S. citizens may drive in the U.S. on their valid foreign license and International Permit for up to one year from the date of admission into the U.S. provided their home country is part of the Geneva Compact. Drivers from non Geneva Compact countries must obtain a Kentucky license within 30 days of establishing residency in Kentucky.

Required Paperwork for your Drivers License

Before you head to the Kentucky DMV Office, make sure you have all of the following required documents to get your driver's license:

Acceptable documents for the purpose of providing this information include, but may not be limited to, the following: (photo copies are not acceptable).

  • For full legal name and date of birth- Birth Certificate.
  • For Social Security number- Social Security card (laminated cards not accepted).
  • For proof of address- Utility bill, mortgage documents, rental agreements.

On the Road

Once your licensing requirements have been met, you will receive your new:

  • Restricted Driver's License (16 years to 17 years of age) expires 90 days after the 21st birthday.
  • Full Driver's License (18 years of age and older) valid for 4 years.

Remember... the safe operation of a vehicle requires practiced skill, knowledge, and a respectful understanding of the limitations imposed by the other drivers and the environment.

Kentucky Driver's License Resources

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