Kentucky DMV Learner's Permit FAQ

  • Applying for Your KY License
  • Preparing for the KY Permit Test
  • Taking the KY Permit Test
  • Preparing for the KY Driving Test
  • Taking the KY Driving Test
  • Renewing Your KY License
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Applying for Your KY License: Frequently Asked Questions

What are the age requirements for getting started?

Kentucky’s Graduated Driver’s License Program (GDL) sets the following requirements for drivers under the age of 18:

  • 16 years old – Learner’s Permit
  • At least 180 days later – Provisional License
  • At least 360 days later – Full unrestricted license

What documents am I required to bring with me when applying for a license in Kentucky?

  • Completed Learner’s Permit application signed by a parent or guardian
  • School Compliance Verification form from your school
  • An original or certified birth certificate
  • Social Security Card
  • Proof of Kentucky residency
  • $10 permit fee

Here is a list of documents that are accepted by the state of Kentucky to prove residency and identity.

Where do I file my KY driver’s license application?

All driver’s licenses and identification cards are issued at the Circuit Court Clerk’s office in the county of residence.

How can I contact my local office?

Do I have to take a Driver’s Ed Course?

Yes, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet requires teen drivers to complete a driver’s education course or a graduated licensing program (GLP) course in order to receive their unrestricted Kentucky driver’s license.

What if I am new to Kentucky?

Those moving into Kentucky have 30 days to transfer an out-of-state license to a Kentucky license. To obtain a KY license you need to be at least 16 years old and a US citizen or permanent resident. If under 18, you will need to submit identification and present a school compliance verification form. You will also need to complete a GLP course, if you haven’t already completed an equivalent course.

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Preparing for the KY Permit Test: Frequently Asked Questions

What subjects are commonly covered on the written test?

The Kentucky written test will cover state traffic laws, road signs and safe driving rules and tips. For example, you may see questions on such subjects as:

  • A flashing yellow light means slow down and look for others
  • At railroad crossings, drivers must stop if lights are flashing or gates or lowered and then only proceed forward when the lights stop flashing or the gates rise

How is the test formatted?

The Kentucky test is presented in multiple choice format.

Are there a lot of “trick” questions on the written test?

The questions on the Kentucky written test are not designed to trick you but rather thoroughly test your knowledge of the state’s driving rules and regulations, which are essential to know for safe driving. If you study your driver’s manual carefully you should not be surprised by any questions on the test.

How many questions are on the test and how many do I need to answer correctly to pass?

The test contains 30 questions on the rules of the road and 10 questions on road signs. You must answer at least 24 of the rules of the road questions correctly and at least 8 of the road sign questions correctly to pass.

What are the best ways to prepare for the written test?

First, you should study every page of your Kentucky Driver’s Manual. The test questions will be drawn from this handbook so become as familiar with it as possible. Another way to test your knowledge and identify areas that you may need to study more is to take practice tests online. Take a practice test now.

Where can I get a free Kentucky Driver’s Manual to study?

This website offers free copies of the manual to visitors.

How can I improve my odds for passing the first time I take the test?

To improve your odds put in the study time. There are no shortcuts. Read and study the driver’s manual and become familiar with Kentucky’s rules of the road. You should also take online practice tests to assess your knowledge and direct your studies so that you are spending your time learning what you don’t know instead of going over things that you already have a good understanding of. You can take a practice test here.

What should I do the night before the test?

Try to get plenty of rest. Taking the written test is stressful but if you study enough you should feel confident about how you are going to do. The night before the test you may want to review the driver’s manual and take a practice test or two. Then go to bed early and be sure to give yourself plenty of time the next day to get to your test. The last thing you want is to be feeling rushed and stressed when you sit down to take the test. Instead you should be calm and confident.

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Taking the KY Permit Test: Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to make an appointment to take the written test?

If the local office accepts appointments, it is recommended that you make one.

Where do I take the written test?

At the Circuit Court Clerk’s office in your county of residence.

What do I need to bring when I sit for the written test?

  • Completed Learner’s Permit application signed by a parent or guardian
  • School Compliance Verification form from your school
  • An original or certified birth certificate
  • Social Security Card
  • Proof of Kentucky residency
  • $10 permit fee

Here is a list of documents that are accepted by the state of Kentucky to prove residency and identity.

Who should accompany me to the written test?

You should be accompanied by a parent or guardian, who will need to give their consent for you to receive your permit or license.

Do I need to pay a fee to take the written test?

Yes, you will need to pay a permit fee of $10.

What should I expect when I sit for the written test?

The test will consist of 30 rules of the road questions and 10 questions on road signs. You can miss a maximum of six rules of the road questions and 2 road sign questions and still pass. The test does not have a time limit so you can proceed at your own pace. When taking the test you cannot refer to any notes or the state driver’s manual. Want to get more familiar with the test format? Here is a practice test formatted like the real Kentucky test.

What happens after I pass the written test?

You will receive your Kentucky Learner’s Permit which will allow you to being supervised driving practice.

What happens if I fail the written test?

You can retake the test the next available testing session.

How many times can I retake the written test?

You are allowed to take the test six times. If you fail all six times you will have to wait six months to take the test again.

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Preparing for the KY Driving Test: Frequently Asked Questions

I’ve passed the written permit test, what are the next steps?

You must now complete at least 60 hours of driving practice accompanied by a licensed driver age 21 or older. In addition, at least 10 of the 60 hours should be completed at night.

How long after getting my Learner’s Permit can I apply for a license?

You can apply for a provisional license after you have held your Learner’s Permit for 180 days and have completed the 60 hours of supervised driving practice (with 10 hours coming at night).

Can I drive anywhere in Kentucky with my Learner’s Permit?

Yes, you can drive on any public road or street in Kentucky as long as you are accompanied by a supervising driver who is at least 21 years old.

Should I practice driving solely during the day?

No, you should also drive at night. You will need to log a total of at least 10 hours of night driving to be eligible to receive your provisional license.

Does anyone have to be in the car with me when I’m driving with my Learner’s Permit?

Yes, you must be accompanied by a licensed driver age 21 or older.

What should I do if I have a lost Kentucky Learner’s Permit?

To replace a lost Learner’s Permit, you should go to your County Circuit Clerk’s office and apply for a replacement. You will need to bring identification documents and pay a replacement fee.

How can I be sure I’m prepared to ace the driving test?

Learn Kentucky’s traffic laws and rules of the road and be sure to apply them during your supervised driving practice. You should also work on common vehicle maneuvers like parking, stopping and turning. Finally, listen to your driving supervisor and put his or her tips into practice. Never think that you know it all, instead be open to criticism and suggestions so that you can become the best driver possible.

Are there particular driving maneuvers I should practice?

You should be sure to practice parking, turning, stopping, changing lanes, driving in traffic, driving defensively and more.

How can I simulate the driving test?

The Kentucky driver’s manual indicates that the state driving test will consist of stops, backing up, turning the car around, stopping and starting on a hill, parallel parking, intersection approaches, clutch use (if vehicle is so equipped), speed, turns, lane use, right-of-way use and overall vehicle control.

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Taking the KY Driving Test: Frequently Asked Questions

How do I schedule my driving test?

Check with your examiner or local Circuit Court Clerk for test availability.

Where do I take the driving test?

At the Circuit Court Clerk’s office in the county you reside.

What should I bring to the driving test?

  • A valid Kentucky Learner’s Permit that has been held for at least 180 days
  • Compliance Verification form from your school
  • An original or certified birth certificate
  • Social Security Card
  • A licensed driver to accompany you to and from the testing site
  • A vehicle with proof of insurance and registration

To take the test you must have also met all requirements of the state’s graduated license program, including 60 hours of supervised driving practice (with 10 of those hours at night).

Who should bring me to the driving test?

A licensed parent or legal guardian should bring you.

What will I be asked to do on the driving test?

You will be asked to complete a series of maneuvers on a course which may include stopping, turning and parking. You will also be asked to drive in traffic where you will need to display good defensive driving skills, such as checking your mirrors, signaling and not following too closely.

What are the most common reasons new drivers fail the driving test?

Any collision, traffic violation or dangerous act during the test results in automatic failure. Also, failure to follow an examiner’s instructions two times during the test results in automatic failure.

What are five mistakes I should be sure to avoid when taking the driving test?

  • Not coming to a complete stop
  • Overcorrecting on a turn
  • Failing to check mirrors when making a lane change
  • Going over the posted speed limit
  • Striking a cone or going over the line when parking

What happens if I fail the driving test?

You can retake the test.

How soon can I retake the test if I failed?

You must wait seven days to retake the test. It is recommended that you use that time to practice.

I’ve passed the road test, now what?

You will receive your restricted license.

What restrictions come with a Kentucky license?

Drivers under the age of 18 cannot drive between midnight and 6 a.m. except for an emergency or school or work-related activities. Also, drivers under 18 cannot drive with more than one passenger who is unrelated and under 20 years old.

What are the insurance requirements for drivers in KY?

Kentucky requires all drivers to carry auto insurance. The bare minimum coverage allowed by law is: $25,000 bodily injury per person per accident; $50,000 bodily injury for all persons per accident; $10,000 property damage liability; and $10,000 personal injury protection.

Kentucky is a no-fault state, which means your insurance will pay your injury claims up to a specified limit, regardless of who caused the accident. Failure to carry insurance can result in severe penalties that may include monetary fines and jail time.

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Renewing Your KY License: Frequently Asked Questions

What if I need to renew my license or replace a lost/stolen license?

Kentucky driver’s licenses are valid for a period of four years. If you are 21 or older, your license expires 31 days after your birthday. If you are under 21, your license expires 90 days after your 21st birthday.

There is a $20 renewal fee.

To replace a lost or stolen license, you must go to your County Circuit Clerk’s office and apply for a replacement. You will need to bring identification documents and pay a $12 replacement fee.

Where can I renew my Kentucky driver’s license?

You must renew your Kentucky driver’s license in person at your local Circuit Court Clerk’s office. You cannot renew your license online or by mail.

Will I be required to take a vision test when renewing my license?

If you are license has been expired for over a year, you will be required to take the vision and written tests. Also, most senior drivers (age 70 or older) are required to take a vision test when renewing their license.

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s vision standard is 20/60 or better in at least one eye. Also, a vertical field of 25 degrees above and below fixation and a horizontal field of 35 degrees to either side are required.


The Kentucky DMV Test — What You Need to Know

Getting your learner’s permit is unlike any other moment in life. It grants you access to the open road and the freedom that comes with it.  But before you can enjoy the benefits of your learners permit, the state requires you to pass the Kentucky permit test.

The permit test is a multiple-choice test administered by Kentucky’s Transportation Cabinet. You’ll face questions about the rules of the road, traffic and road signs, and traffic laws specific to your state.

Increase Your Confidence With KY DMV Practice Tests

Will you fail the written test? Most people do. In fact, statistics reveal that 50% of people fail the exam every year.  Here you will find valuable study resources, including our sample interactive Kentucky practice permit test. You’ll also find a copy of the official Kentucky drivers manual.  Your all-in-one learner’s permit test solution is right here.