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Apply for Kentucky Learners Permit

Kentucky Driving Permit Application

Submitting an application for a Kentucky learners permit is the first step towards your driving license, no matter how old you are. Having a driving permit in possession gives you the opportunity to practice driving before you take the road test. The process of applying for a driver's permit in Kentucky is age-dependent, since teen permit applicants are required to meet graduated license requirements. The learner's permit application procedure will require you to take a written permit test, so you may want to read the permit handbook or take a prep course before filing your application.

Graduated License Requirements

Statistics tell us that teenage drivers are much more likely to be involved in a traffic accident than a regular average driver. On top of that, the same stats tell us that teens are also more likely to be injured in an accident, mostly because they disregard such basic safety precautions as wearing a seat belt. Other age-specific factors that contribute to these elevated crash rates have also been identified.

In order to counteract all these factors, a separate licensing procedure has been devised, the procedure that is known as Kentucky's graduate drivers license program. The program targets persons who choose to apply for a Kentucky driving license before reaching the age of 18 years and introduces a number of additional restrictions and requirements that need to be observed on top of the regular licensing procedures.

Permit Application - Under 18 Years of Age

The minimum age when you can apply for a learners permit in Kentucky is 16 years. You are not required to take any prep courses at this point, however if your school offers a certified Kentucky drivers education class, you should use this opportunity and take the course now. The reason why you should take the class now is because there is no better way to prepare for the permit exam than taking a driver education course. Of course, you can go the easy way and just read the DMV handbook, but then you will still have to take a pre-licensing course before you can get a drivers license.

Once you learned the rules, go ahead and visit a local County Clerk's office. This is where you file your application for drivers permit. You will need to fill in an application form, present proof of age and identity and have one of your parents co-sign the application form with you. You will not be issued with a learners permit in Kentucky without parental authorization.

When your paperwork is verified, you are directed to a local testing center, where you will take a vision exam and a learners permit test. Permit testing in Kentucky is administered by the State Police Department. Once you pass the tests, you can return to the County Clerk's office where you will be issued with a permit.

Although this is where the permit application process ends for you, you should still know the basic rules of operating under a drivers permit. Scroll down to the bottom of the page for those.

Applying for Drivers Permit - 18 Years of Age and Older

The procedure that you follow when you are applying for a learner's permit in Kentucky is very similar to that followed by teenagers, the main difference between you and younger applicants is that you do not need to observe restrictions that are imposed by the graduate license law.

Learning the driving rules is the first step of the process. You can either obtain a free copy of the Kentucky DMV permit manual and study the rules listed there or sign up for a drivers education program. Although taking a drivers ed class will probably cost you, don't dismiss this option too quickly. Drivers ed graduates have higher chances at passing the permit exam, plus taking the course may make you eligible for a car insurance discount, so you will end up saving money in a long run.

Once you know the rules, visit the County Clerk's Office, fill in the application for learner permit and present all of the required paperwork. If the paperwork is in order, you are directed to a local State Police testing site where you take a vision exam and a written permit test. Those who successfully pass the test can return to the County Clerk's office and receive a driving permit.

Testing Requirements

Every first time permit applicant in Kentucky is required to go through vision screening and to pass a drivers permit test that covers the state's driving rules, road signs and safe driving practices.

Vision Examination

Vision testing is mandatory for all Kentucky learners permit applicants. If you are renewing your learners permit, you do not have to take the test. The following minimum standards must be met before you can be issued with an instruction permit:

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 learners permit 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 driving permit or you may be denied any driving privileges.

Driver Permit Test

Testing usually makes people anxious and there are no exceptions here - most of the permit applicants are afraid to take their permit test, mostly out of the fear of failure. You cannot call this fear unfounded, especially if you look at the number of those who fail the exam for the first time, which is close to fifty percent. However, there is a very good explanation to such high failure rates - most people simply fail to study for the test.

If you want to pass your Kentucky permit test the first time you take it, you should invest considerable time into learning the rules of the road. This means not just glancing through the drivers handbook, but learning things and constantly testing this knowledge. You can do so with these practice permit test for Kentucky that covers the same topics as the real DMV permit exam, so it should give you a pretty good idea of how well you are prepared at any given moment.

Paperwork Required

When you are applying for a Kentucky learners permit, you are required to provide the following paperwork:

  • proof of name
  • proof of age
  • Social Security Number
  • proof of Kentucky residency

If you are under 18 years of age, a parent or legal guardian will need to come to the County Clerk's office with your and co-sign your application for learners permit. Parental authorization is a must for everyone who chooses to apply for a permit before their 18th birthday.

Operating Under a Permit

One thing you should not forget while operating under a learners permit is that it does not grant you full driving privileges and you are to observe all Kentucky permit restrictions until you pass the driving test and receive a driving license. Thus, you are not allowed to drive alone and must be accompanied by a person with a valid Kentucky driver's license at least 21 years of age whenever you are behind the wheel. If you are under 21 years of age, the permit needs to be held for at least 180 days before you can take the Kentucky driving test. Permit holders who are already 21 years of age or older need to hold the permit for at least 30 days before they can upgrade it to a drivers license.