Kentucky drivers license transfer

How to Transfer Your Driver’s License to Kentucky: A Complete Guide

Zutobi
by Zutobi · Updated Nov 18, 2021

In Kentucky, you have 30 days to complete your license transfer after establishing residency in the state. Whether you need to drive to work or just for a weekend trip to Mammoth Cave National Park, a license is a necessity. 

We will go through everything you need to know about the process in this article. 

Requirements When Transferring Your License to Kentucky

Requirements may vary slightly depending on where your previous license was issued. If you have a license from another U.S. state, the following requirements apply. 

  • You must be a permanent resident or U.S. citizen. 
  • You must be at least 16 years old. 
  • If you’re transferring an out-of-state permit, you’ll be required to get a KY permit before getting your license. 
  • If you’re under 18, you’ll need a School Compliance Verification Form from your school.

Testing Requirements 

In Kentucky, testing requirements vary based on license status. 

  • If you have a valid out-of-state license, you won’t be required to take any tests. 
  • If your license has been expired for more than a year, you’ll have to pass the written knowledge test and the vision test.
  • If your license has not been expired for more than a year, but you cannot present it, you’ll need a DHR or clearance letter from your old state. 
  • If you’ve never been licensed before, you’ll have to complete the entire licensing process and pass the vision, knowledge, and road tests. 


We provide state-of-the-art courses to help you quickly prepare for any exam you may come across using practice tests, a summarized handbook, and much more. Even if you don’t need to take any knowledge exams, we recommend that you learn the specific traffic laws for your new state as it will save you a lot of headaches (and maybe even tickets) in the future. 

What if You’re From Another Country?

Drivers from foreign countries may need to present additional documents, complete other requirements, and take tests at the driver licensing office. 

  • If you hold a valid license from a foreign reciprocity country, you’ll only have to take the knowledge and vision tests.
  • If you hold a license from any other country or you are unlicensed, you’ll have to take the knowledge, vision, and road tests. 

How Quickly Do You Need to Transfer Your Driver’s License to Kentucky?

If you’ve become a resident, you’ll have to transfer your out-of-state license to Kentucky within 30 days of moving. After the 30-day period, your license will become invalid and you won’t be able to drive legally.

Are There Any Exceptions?

Exceptions include students and military personnel. 

Students may drive using their out-of-state license as long as they are U.S. citizens, are enrolled either full-time or part-time at a university or college, and carry a student identification card at all times. 

What to Bring to the Driver Licensing Office 

You will need a number of identification documents when heading to the driver licensing office for your license transfer. Note that these documents must be unaltered originals — photocopies or original documents changed in any way will not be accepted. You should consider bringing multiple documents for each requirement to ensure that you’ll have at least one that’s acceptable. 

Bring the following documents:

  • Proof of identity (such as a birth certificate).
  • Proof of social security number (such as a social security card).
  • Proof of KY residency.
  • Your out-of-state driver’s license or a clearance letter. 

In addition, minors need:

  • Parent Guardian Form.
  • Custody Verification, if applicable.
  • School Verification Form, if applicable.

Additional documents may be required for out-of-country drivers and those with medical conditions. 

How to Complete the Process of Transferring Your License 

When you’re ready, find a driver licensing office near you. Schedule an appointment if necessary, gather the documents you’ll need, and prepare for the tests you’ll have to take. Head to the driver licensing office, present your documents, take any tests. Once you pay the required fees, you’ll receive your brand-new license!

That’s It!

That’s everything you need to know about transferring your driver’s license to Kentucky. We hope this guide helped you out and cleared up any confusion or concerns you might have had. If you’d like to prepare for a knowledge or road test, but don’t have the time or patience to study the driver’s manual, you’ve come to the right place.

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