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Apply for Kentucky Drivers License

Kentucky Drivers License Application

Obtaining a drivers license is probably one of the most anticipated experiences for teenagers, however the application process may seem somewhat complicated at first. We have to agree that applying for a Kentucky drivers license may be an overwhelming affair, especially if you have never been licensed before. All these tests that need to be taken, rules that need to be followed and requirements that must be met - enough to make anyone's head spin. To confuse things even more, teen and adults license applicants have to follow different licensing steps. We hope that our instructions will make the process of obtaining a driving license in Kentucky a little easier for you.

Drivers License Application - Under 18 Years of Age

The main reason why teen drivers have to meet a number of additional requirements when applying for a driving license is the fact that teen drivers are about four times more likely to be involved in a traffic accident than an average drivers. A number of factors are at play here and most of them have already been identified by studies that were conducted by the DMV. Measures that are taken to counteract these factors are known as Kentucky's graduated driving license program. The program covers everyone who chooses to apply for a driving license before the 18th birthday and it sets quite a few additional requirements. If you are nearing your 18th birthday, our advice is that you wait and apply for a license after your birthday.

You can enter the program at the age of 16 years, since this is the minimum age when you can obtain a drivers permit in Kentucky. Visit a local Clerk's County office, file your application and present all of the required paperwork. When the paperwork is verified, you can take a vision exam and a knowledge test at a local State Police testing site. Those who successfully pass the exams are issued with a driving permit.

The permit needs to be held for at least 180 days and you need to accumulate not less than 60 hours of supervised driving time during this period. During the permit holding phase, you cannot drive alone and must be accompanied by a licensed driver at least 21 years of age whenever you are behind the wheel. Other Kentucky permit restrictions apply, make sure you know what they are.

When all of the above requirements are met, you are good to schedule your drivers test and obtain your first drivers license. Keep in mind - this is just an intermediate drivers license and although it allows you to start driving alone, don't assume that you have unrestricted driving privileges just yet. The nighttime driving ban, passenger restrictions and no cell phones - these are just some of the Kentucky intermediate license restrictions. You must also complete a pre-licensing course through a local driving school or the Transportation Cabinet during this stage (if you have already completed a Kentucky drivers education course approved by the DMV, you are not required to take a pre-licensing course).

Applying for Driving License - 18 Years of Age and Older

Applying for a driver's license in Kentucky is much easier when you are at least 18 years of age (it is even easier when you are 21 years of age, but we won't make you wait this long). You start just like teens do - by learning the state driving rules and road signs. The DMV provides a free and easy way to do - the Kentucky drivers license manual. The book can be downloaded from the DMV website, no charge at all.

When you know your way around the manual, it's time to tale the next step and apply for Kentucky learner permit. Visit the County Clerk's Office where you can file the paperwork, then take a vision exam and the knowledge test at a local State Police site and you have that drivers permit in your hands.

Those who are under 21 years of age will need to hold the permit for at least 180 days prior to applying for a drivers license. For everyone else, the holding period is 30 days. Use this time to practice driving as much as possible (keep in mind that you cannot drive alone and must have a supervising driver 21 years of age or older accompany you whenever you are practicing).

The final steps of the application process is taking a driving test. Passing the test should not be a problem for those who practiced enough, after all, the test is just a way for you to show the DMV that you can be a safe and responsible driver. Take the drivers license test with the State Police, then pick up your Kentucky drivers license at the County Clerk's office.

Required Tests

Every first time driver's license applicant in Kentucky is required to go through vision screening, take a knowledge exam on driving rules and pass the road test. Failure to pass any of these exams will result in denial of driving privileges.

Vision Screening

Vision testing is mandatory for all Kentucky driving license applicants. If you are renewing your driver's license, you do not have to take the test. The following minimum standards must be met:

visual acuity 20/40

Those who usually wear glasses or contact lenses should also wear them while taking the test. A restriction will be placed onto your driver's license and you will have to wear glasses whenever you operate a vehicle.

If you are unable to meet these minimum requirements, you will be referred to an eye care specialist who will complete a report for the DMV. Depending on this report, you may either be issued with a restricted driver license or you may be denied any driving privileges.

DMV Permit Test

The knowledge test is based on the information put forth in the drivers handbook and it covers the state's driving rules, road signs and safe driving techniques. The test consists of multiple choice questions and you need to get a score of at least 80% in order to pass. Even though the knowledge exam isn't particularly hard, almost half of the first time license applicants fail this exam, largely because they do not prepare for it at all. General knowledge of driving rules does not cut it and if you want to pass the drivers permit test in Kentucky the first time you take it, make sure you spend sufficient time learning the rules.

Not sure if you know the rules well enough to be able to pass the exam? Go ahead and take this Kentucky practice drivers test. It covers the same rules as the real knowledge exam and should give you a fair idea of your current level of preparation.

Driver License Test

Taking the driving test is the final step in the drivers license application process and it's the ultimate assessment of your driving skills. Despite the common misconception that during the drivers license test, the examiner will only observe how well you can control the vehicle, your knowledge of driving rules and safe driving practices will also be evaluated. What this means is that it might not be a bad idea to go ahead and review that drivers handbook prior to scheduling your Kentucky drivers license test with the State Police.

Keep in mind that even though the drivers test is administered by the State Police, licensing is conducted by the County Clerk's Office, so once you pass the road test, you have to go to a local County Clerk's Office, when you will receive your Kentucky drivers license.