Road test

How to Pass Your Kentucky Road Test: The Ultimate Guide

Zutobi
by Zutobi · Updated May 06, 2021

While getting your Kentucky license is an exciting moment in your life, you’re probably nervous about what comes before: the road skills test. It’s quite normal for new drivers to worry about taking their test, but just about anyone can pass it if they prepare properly. 

In this guide, we will go through everything you need to know about passing the Kentucky road test as a first-time driver.

Kentucky Road Test Requirements 

Kentucky has a graduated driver’s license program for drivers under the age of 18 designed to slowly introduce new drivers to the road. You’ll take your road skills test once you’ve completed the permit phase and are ready to move on to the restricted license. 

Checklist

Here’s a checklist of requirements you need to do before you’re allowed to take the road test in Kentucky:

  • You’ve successfully obtained your learner’s permit.
    • You’ve reached the age of 16.
    • If you’re under 18, you’ve gotten permission from a parent or guardian, who have signed your permit application.
    • You’ve brought the correct documents to a licensing office and passed the knowledge and vision tests.
  • You’ve followed all the driving restrictions for permit holders.
  • You’ve practiced driving for at least 60 hours under adult supervision and recorded your driving hours on the Practice Driving Log
  • You haven’t committed any moving violations for at least 180 days. 
  • You’ve held your permit for at least 180 days if you’re under 21, and at least 30 days if you’re over 21. 

If you’re over the age of 18, you are not required to complete the graduated driver licensing program. However, you will still be required to obtain a permit and pass the vision, knowledge, and road test before getting your full license. 

How to Schedule Your Road Skills Test 

The road testing is done by the Kentucky State Police. Find a convenient location and schedule your test once you’re ready. 

On the Day of Your Kentucky Road Test

As the day of your road test approaches, make sure you’re preparing for it by practicing driving, checking that your vehicle is ready, and collecting the documents you’ll need to bring to the licensing office. 

What Documents Should You Bring?

Here is a checklist of documents you must bring on the day of your Kentucky road test, otherwise you will not be allowed to take it

  • Your social security card.
  • Your birth certificate.
  • No Pass/No Drive form.
  • Your valid Kentucky learner’s permit. 
  • Proof of registration and insurance for your vehicle (more on this below).

Drivers under the age of 18 will also need:

  • Completed school compliance verification form.
  • A parent or guardian to sign your application and accompany you to the driver’s licensing office. 

Vehicle Requirements for the Kentucky Road Test

You’ll need to provide the testing vehicle, so it should be one that you are familiar with and have driven before. You should make sure that your vehicle is properly registered and insured. You must have a valid and current license plate securely attached to your vehicle.

Also, you’ll need to bring one of the following documents to the licensing office as proof of insurance:

  • A current insurance policy for your vehicle, or…
  • A current in-writing insurance binder from your insurance agent, or…
  • A proof of insurance card from your insurance company.

Second, you’ll want to make sure that your vehicle itself is working properly. Check out the following:

  • Brakes: You should have two separate braking systems (your normal foot brake and your parking/emergency brake) that both function properly. 
  • Lights: Your vehicle should have working headlights, taillights, and brake lights that are bright enough to be seen from the proper distances. Additionally, you must have working turn signals. 
  • Windshield; The windshield should be unobstructed and must have working windshield wipers. 
  • Horn: Your car horn must function properly.
  • Exhaust system: You should have a muffler that correctly reduces noise, etc. 
  • Rearview mirror: Your mirror should be attached properly and adjusted to the proper position.
  • Seat belts: All passengers should wear a properly fastened safety belt. 

What’s Tested on the Road Skills Test in Kentucky?

Before you begin the driving section of the road test, your examiner will conduct a vehicle check. During this part, you must demonstrate that you know how to use the controls on your vehicle. Make sure that you know how to use the following:

  • Headlights, both high and low beams.
  • Brake lights.
  • Turn signals and hazard lights.
  • Emergency/parking brake.
  • Car horn.
  • Windshield wipers.

If your vehicle passes the vehicle check, you’ll begin the test itself. Your examiner will ride in the front passenger seat of your vehicle and give you instructions. You’ll be required to drive in a number of traffic situations and to perform a number of driving maneuvers. To pass your road test, you’ll need to show that you have control over your vehicle. 

Here are some driving test tips you should keep in mind to show the examiner that you’re a responsible driver: 

  • Stop properly: Stop your vehicle smoothly, make complete stops at stop signs, stop before the stop line, etc. You should also know how to safely make a quick emergency stop. 
  • Back your vehicle: When backing, check over your right shoulder so that you can see out of the back window. Keep an eye out for any other vehicles, pedestrians, or obstacles.
  • Park on a hill:  Activate your turn signal as you leave the main flow of traffic. Use your parking brake and turn your wheels in the correct direction. Remember to signal before leaving your parking spot. 
  • Parallel park: Use the correct method for parallel parking and position your vehicle correctly at the right distance from the curb and other vehicles. Don’t bump the curb/sidewalk, other vehicles, or boundary markers.
  • Use intersections: Know how to navigate intersections legally and safely, obeying all signs/signals and correctly communicating with other drivers. 
  • Follow the speed limit: Watch out for speed limit signs and obey them.
  • Turn properly: When turning, turn from the correct lane and use your turn signal. Reduce your speed when approaching a turn and turn into the proper lane. 
  • Understand and use right-of-way: Take and yield the right-of-way in the correct circumstances.
  • Stay in your lane: Keep your vehicle in the center of your lane and only change lanes when you need to. 

What if You Fail the Test?

To pass the road test in Kentucky, you’ll need to get a score of at least 80%. Small errors will cause you to lose points, so making too many small mistakes may result in a road test failure. Additionally, you could automatically fail if you:

  • Are involved in an accident.
  • Violate a traffic law.
  • Commit any dangerous act.
  • Twice ignore your examiner’s instructions. 

If you fail the road test, you’ll have to wait a week before you’ll be allowed to take it again. Use that time to study using the Driver’s Manual and to practice driving.

That’s It!

That’s everything you need to know about passing the Kentucky road test. We hope this guide has helped you out, and that you now feel comfortable with the steps moving forward. If you need any help studying for your upcoming exams, then Zutobi is the perfect study guide with online practice tests, a summarized handbook, and practical driving tips that will help you immensely during the actual road exam.

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