Kentucky Driving Test
Every first-time license applicant in Kentucky is required to pass a driving test administered by the State Police Department. You have to be no younger than 16 years of age and must have held a drivers permit for the required period before you can take the Kentucky drivers test. The road skills exam is a complete assessment of your driving ability: your control over the vehicle, your knowledge of driving rules and safe driving practices. There is only one way to pass the drivers license test in Kentucky the first time you take it and that is practice - practice as much time as you can before you go down to the DMV for your driving test appointment.
Driver's License Test Requirements
For most of the driver license applicants, taking the driving test is the final step of the application procedure, which means that you must meet certain requirements before scheduling your road test. Kentucky driver's test requirements are age dependent and if you wish to take the exam before your 18th birthday, you must follow Kentucky's graduate driver's license program. For your convenience, we have broken driving test requirements into a few sections, so you go straight to the information that applies to you.
Driving Test - Under 18 Years of Age
As already mentioned, licensing for teens is governed by the graduated license program and you must go through a number of intermediate steps. The first one is obtaining a Kentucky driving permit. You must be at least 16 years of age to be eligible for the permit and you will be required to pass a knowledge exam and submit to vision screening. Want to see what the written test is like? Go ahead and take this online practice drivers test for Kentucky, it covers the same topics as the real exam and should give you a fair idea of how you can do on the test at the State Police Department.
Once you receive your permit, you need to start practicing driving. You must be supervised by a person at least 21 years of age with a valid Kentucky drivers license whenever you are driving and you will need to accumulate no less than 60 hour of supervised driving practice, including 10 hours at nighttime. A parent or legal guardian will need to provide a confirmation that you have the required driving experience before you can take the drivers license test. Other Kentucky drivers permit restrictions apply to your permit, for example, you cannot drive between midnight and 6 a.m.
You will need to hold your permit for at least 180 days and satisfy the above requirements before you can schedule an appointment for the driving test in Kentucky, however the graduated license program does not end there. Those who pass the driver's test are issued with a restricted license and will need to follow all Kentucky intermediate license restrictions for some time. You will also be required to take a short 4 hour pre-licensing course before being granted with full driving privileges (those who already completed a DMV-approved Kentucky drivers education course do not need to take a pre-licensing course).
Road Skills Exam - 18 Years of Age and Older
Just like any other first time license applicant, you cannot take the drivers license test unless you have some kind of a document that allows you to be behind the wheel and that is why you must apply for a drivers permit first. The DMV will require you to take a vision test and the Kentucky permit test that covers the state driving rules and regulations. Those who pass the test are issued with a permit and can start their driving practice.
The amount of time that you need to practice for before you can take your Kentucky driving test depends on your age. If you are under 21 years of age, the DMV driving permit needs to be held for at least 180 days. Those who are at least 21 only need to wait 30 days before they can test for the drivers license.
Scheduling The Driving Test
Driver testing is administered by the Kentucky State Police Department and you may schedule a road skills exam with your local office. You can visit the office in person or give them a call and schedule an appointment over the phone.
Make sure to contact the office and reschedule an appointment as soon as you know that you cannot make it to the test. This way, your time slot may be used by someone else. Late rescheduling fees may apply, so rescheduling the test early enough may also save you a few bucks.
What to Expect / Things to Bring
Since the state does not offer any vehicles for you use during the test, you will need to provide your own vehicle for the test. Rentals are all right, however your name must appear on the rental contract. The vehicle that you use for the driving test must be registered, insured and be in good mechanical condition. The examiner will run a quick safety inspection of the vehicle before the road test begins, if the vehicle does not pass this safety examination, you will be denied the chance to take the exam.
The examiner will start the test by explaining what you are about to do. If you have any questions regarding the test, now is the time to ask them. Talking during the test is not encouraged, as it will distract both you and the examiner.
During the driving test, the examiner will not ask you to do anything illegal or trick you into making a mistake. The examiner is there to observe your driving skills, so just drive as you regularly would. Being overcautious and driving too slow will be considered as an error, since you may impede other traffic.
During the Kentucky driving test, the following skills are assessed:
- Starting the vehicle. Your familiarity with vehicle controls will be inspected at this point. The examiner will ask you to locate all vehicle controls without having to look for them. When you pull out of the parking lot, make sure to check for traffic in all directions.
- Stopping. You have to be able to stop smoothly, while maintaining full control of the vehicle. An emergency stop situation may be simulated, when you will be required to stop the vehicle as quickly as possible.
- Turn around. This may encompass a number of maneuvers. You have to be able to do a proper U-turn and a three-point turn.
- Starting and stopping up and downhill. Remember to turn your wheel in the correct direction while parking on hills. If you don't remember what is the right way to park on hills, check the Kentucky driving handbook for this information.
- Parallel parking. You have to be able to park the vehicle within 8 inches from the curb, with your vehicle parallel to the sidewalk. The wheels cannot touch the sidewalk. If you practice enough, this maneuver should not pose any difficulties.
- Speed. Maintaining appropriate speed is important. Don't try to drive too slowly as it impedes other traffic.
- General driving habits. The examiner will observe how you are behaving behind the wheel, how well you interact with other drivers on the road, whether you give the right of way whenever it's appropriate.
These are just a few things covers on the drivers test in Kentucky, the whole test takes approximately 30 minutes. There are a few easy ways to fail the driving test and that is disobeying instructions given to you by the examiner, breaking a traffic law or causing a traffic accident.
At the end of the road test, the examiner will provide you with a copy of the score sheet and explain to you any of the mistakes you may have made. If you fail the test, you need to wait at least seven days before retaking the exam. If you fail the driving test six times, you are required to wait six months before trying to pass the test again.
Those who successfully pass the road skills exam are directed to the Circuit Clerk's Office, where you can submit your test score and obtain a Kentucky drivers license. Please note that if you are under 18 years of age, you will only be issued with an intermediate license at this point.