Kentucky Permit Requirements

It is important to know the permit requirements when applying for a Kentucky learner permit with Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.  Make sure you have the met the prerequisites and that you have the necessary documents ready.

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet is responsible for giving driver's licenses and permits in the state. All residents under the age of 18 interested in driving in Kentucky must obtain a permit and go through the graduated licensing program before driving on their own. Finding out more about the process is important for new drivers in the state.

Requirements for a Kentucky Learner Permit

While some states let minors drive with an adult or guardian at a younger age, Kentucky requires that all drivers be at least 16 before applying for a permit.  There are specific documentation requirements to apply for a permit.

  • Kentucky requires that all drivers submit proof of name and date of birth.  This is usually in the form of an original birth certificate.
  • Drivers will also need to present proof of identity. This can include the driver's social security card. The state will not accept any photocopies of the original documents.
  • Drivers over the age of 18 typically need to submit proof of residency as well, including a rental agreement or a utility bill in that person's name.
  • If the driver is under the age of 18, a parent or guardian must sign the Driver License application form http://transportation.ky.gov/Driver-Licensing/Documents/Driver%20License%20-%20ID%20Card%20Application%20(TC%2094-30).pdf  prior to the driver applying for a permit.
  • Drivers under the age of 18 will also need a completed School Compliance Verification form, which can be obtained from the applicant’s high school.  This shows that the individual is currently enrolled in a Kentucky school and is in good standing, as dictated in Kentucky’s No Pass - No Drive law.

When applying for a driver's permit, individuals must also take a vision test.  

Kentucky Written Permit Test

Applicants also need to take a written knowledge test to assess understanding of traffic laws, procedures and highway signs.  It typically consists of 20 multiple choice questions with four possible answers. A passing grade on the Kentucky written test is a score of 80 percent or higher.  Anyone who fails the written permit test can retake the test the following day.  Those who pass the test will receive a driving permit.

Kentucky Graduated Licensing Program

After receiving a permit, the driver must follow several important steps and rules. Drivers can only operate a motor vehicle if someone over the age of 21 is in the front seat.  They should complete a Practice Driving Log and Verification Form http://transportation.ky.gov/Driver-Licensing/Documents/Practice%20Driving%20Log.PDF , which shows that they practiced driving for at least 60 hours with at least 10 of those hours occurring after dark.

After 180 days, drivers can apply for an Intermediate License, which allows the teen to drive unsupervised.  All drivers applying for an intermediate license must pass the driving skills test.  The state also restricts Intermediate drivers from transporting passengers under the age of 20, driving between the hours of midnight and 6 a.m. and from driving under the influence.  

After 180 days of driving on an Intermediate License without tickets of accidents, the driver can receive a Full Unrestricted License after completing the state-provided 4-hour Graduated Licensing Education Course.