Getting your license the first time can be overwhelming. Here at Zutobi we cut down on the fluff to make everything easier to understand and navigate.
In this article, we’ll go over all you need to know about getting your Kentucky driver’s license.
The NP/ND, also known as statute 159.051, is a law passed by the state of Kentucky in 2007. It requires drivers under 18 to:
If a driver under 18 does not meet these educational requirements, they will have their driving privileges revoked. They can not have their driving privileges reinstated until they become compliant OR turn 18, whichever comes first.
All schools, including homeschool programs, are required to report to the Division of Driver Licensing as soon as you fail to meet these terms and when you are back in compliance. You can find an FAQ about NP/ND here.
There are three steps to getting your driver’s license in Kentucky.
Every first-time license applicant is required to start with a permit. To apply for a permit:
If you would like to know more about this part of the licensing process, we recommend that you read our in-depth Kentucky learner’s permit guide.
To progress from a permit to an intermediate driver’s license, you will need to:
Once you fulfill the requirements to move onto the next stage, contact your Circuit Clerk of Courts Office for available road skills testing days. You will need to plan those days in advance according to their schedule. Some also require an appointment before a test will be administered.
A licensed driver must accompany you to the testing site to drive you and the vehicle to and from the location. You must provide your own vehicle for the test, and it must satisfy the following requirements:
If your vehicle is deemed unsafe to drive, the test will be canceled until you can provide a safety compliant vehicle.
The Kentucky road test will consist of a 15-20 minute drive, where the examiner will watch you navigate normal driving conditions like parallel parking, merging with traffic, and safe driving tactics at an intersection.
If you fail the driving skills test, you are required by law to wait at least seven days before you can retake it.
If you are under 18, you will be eligible to progress to this stage once all your criteria in the permit phase are met. Drivers over 18 can skip this stage straight to the unrestricted license phase.
Once you pass the driving skills test, a Kentucky State police Officer will place an intermediate sticker on your permit.
You must take an approved 4-hour driver safety course before you can progress to a full unrestricted license. You have the option to take the class on-site or online. Increase your chances of passing your course with Zutobi’s practice tests and online study program!
While in this phase, you can drive without supervision. However, the following restrictions are still in place for intermediate license holders:
If you are under 18 and fulfill all the criteria for your permit and intermediate license phases, you can apply for your unrestricted driver’s license.
If you are over 18, you will take your driving skills test as outlined further up in this article, and you will be issued your unrestricted license.
All drivers will be subject to the point system.
If you’re under 21, your license will be marked to show you are under the “zero tolerance law” for drinking and driving. In other words, you will be penalized for a DUI if you are caught with more than .02% alcohol in your system.
If you are over 21, you will no longer fall under the zero-tolerance law. However, you will still need to follow Kentucky laws about driving under the influence. For people over 21, Kentucky DUI penalties begin when your blood alcohol level is over .08%.
That’s it! These are all the steps to getting a driver’s license in Kentucky. Make sure you pass your tests and learn all the things you need to be a safe driver. Check out our summarized manual and practice tests today to start your journey – join over 250,000 monthly users!
The Kentucky Points System is a system designed to track drivers who receive traffic, parking, or driving violations. More serious violations are equated to more points, and these go onto your record. If you acquire too many points, you could be required to take driver safety courses or have your driving privileges suspended/revoked.
A full overview of the point values for each violation can be found here.
A REAL-ID adds a special symbol to the driver’s license. It allows you to use the driver’s license as valid identification for accessing federal land or proving your identity at international checkpoints like airports. While they are not yet required, they will become mandatory on October 26, 2021.
A standard license is printed “Not for Federal Identification.” If you plan to fly, enter a government building, or visit a military establishment, you will need to carry extra proof of identification with you on top of your license.
You need a driver’s license if you plan on driving on Kentucky public roadways.
You do NOT need a driver’s license if you:
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