Kentucky driver license renewal

Kentucky Driver’s License Renewal: A Complete Guide

Zutobi
by Zutobi · Updated Jul 05, 2021

License renewals can be confusing, but there’s no need to worry! We consolidate accurate and up-to-date information into one place. This guide goes over everything you need to know about renewing your Kentucky driver’s license.

When Do I Need to Renew My Kentucky Driver’s License?

A standard Kentucky license is valid for eight years when you first get one, and then they are renewed every four years after that. If you are under 21, your license expires 90 days after your birthday. If you are 21 or older, your license expires 31 days after your birthday.

If your license has been expired for more than a year, you will be required to take a vision and written test.

What is the License Grace Period in Kentucky?

Since July, 2020, Kentucky no longer gives 90-day extensions or grace periods to expired driver’s licenses. Driving without a valid license is a Class B misdemeanor that can result in fines up to $250 and up to 90 days in jail.

Kentucky Driver’s License Renewal Options

Kentucky is dealing with the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic by instituting a remote renewal program that allows drivers to renew their licenses remotely through June 30, 2021. At this time, a license cannot be renewed online.

Renewing by mail was implemented to allow people to renew their licenses during COVID-19. The process and availability may change once COVID restrictions are lifted.

How to Renew By Mail-In

If you do not need to change your name, address, signature, or other credentials, you may qualify to renew your license by mail. However, you must renew in person if you need to take a written or driving test.

Here is how to do it:

  1. You’ll need to fill out this form if you live in Fayette, Franklin or Woodford counties. Everyone else should fill out this form instead. 
  1. You can pay with a check or mail order. Money orders should be made payable to the local office.
  1. Use the appropriate mailing or dropbox addresses for your local circuit court or any Driver’s Licensing Regional Office. You can use the dropdown menu on this page to find an office near you.

    Kentucky is transitioning its driver’s licensing services to Regional Offices. Make sure your local circuit court still offers the service before you send off your application to avoid extra delays.

Important note: Make sure to do this several weeks before your license expires! You will not receive a temporary paper license while you wait for the new license to come in the mail.

How to Renew in Person

If you need to take a test or change any information on your license, you will need to renew in person. It is a fairly straightforward process, and if you have any questions, the staff will be able to help you. 

Follow these steps to renew your Kentucky driver’s license in person: 

  1. Call ahead and schedule an appointment to renew your driver’s license. You can find all the contact information for your local office here. 
  2. If your license has been expired for over a year, you will be required to retake the written and vision tests. 
  3. If required, pass your driver’s exam.
  4. Pass a vision test
  5. Pay the required fees and receive a temporary paper license. Your new license will arrive at your provided address in a few weeks. 

Kentucky Driver’s License Renewal Fees

A standard Kentucky license four-year renewal is $21.50, and an eight-year REAL ID is $48. You can find a full range of prices for motorcycles, duplicates, and more here.

Do I Need a REAL-ID?

Starting Oct 1, 2021, a standard driver’s license will not qualify as your federal id. You will not be able to board a plane, visit a military base, or enter certain government buildings on your standard license. If you do not need access to these locations OR you have another federally approved id, you can get by on your standard license.

That’s It

That’s everything you need to know about renewing your driver’s license in Kentucky, make sure to do so well before your license expires to avoid unnecessary complications. If you need help studying for renewal exams, then Zutobi is the perfect study resource with state-of-the-art Kentucky refresher exams.

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