Kentucky Learner’s Permit: A First-Time Teen Driver Guide

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Kentucky has miles of wonderful roadways to explore the state’s scenic beauty. Before teens can get on the road, they’ll need to apply and pass the state’s graduated licensing program requirements.  The Kentucky DMV has resources to help prepare teens for the written and driving portions of the test. Teens should begin studying for their learner’s permit by being familiar with traffic signs, signals, laws, and regulations.

Once they are able to demonstrate an understanding of required safety measures, they can take their written exam at a local Kentucky driver licensing office. Once they pass the written exam, teens will be issued a learner’s permit.

Licensing begins with the learner’s permit.

The GDL program begins at age 16 with a learner’s permit. The program’s following stage is receiving an intermediate (provisional) license. Finally, an unrestricted license becomes available.

This program helps new drivers ease into driving through testing and practice.

You will visit a KY DMV with each application type.

Follow along to learn what items are needed when applying. And teens will take steps to earn their learner’s permit in Kentucky.

Applying for a Kentucky Learner’s Permit

Gather your documents and:

  1. Go to the DMV
  2. Complete a Driver License – ID Card Application (TC 94-30)
    1. Signed by a parent or guardian
  3. Show proof of identification and residency
  4. Submit a School Compliance form
  5. Complete a written knowledge test
    1. Passing grade: 80%
  6. Pay your registration fee

Anyone under 18 will take a driver’s education course after they’ve completed their permit application.

Driving restrictions apply for permit holders:

  • Must be accompanied by a licensed driver over 21
  • No driving between 12 AM to 6 AM (besides emergency, school, and work)
  • Only allowed 1 (unrelated) passenger under 20 years old

An intermediate license is available after 60 hours of practice driving (with 10 hours at night). You are always expected to follow road rules and be accompanied by a licensed adult (21+) if under 18.

Congratulations! You’re one step closer to getting a license!

Next, Getting a Provisional License in Kentucky

Teens meeting their learner’s permit requirements and respecting the rules of the road can upgrade to a provisional license. This license gives them more freedom on the road.

When you’re ready, see our Kentucky Provisional License Guide.


Now that you know the requirements for a learner’s permit in Kentucky, your teen can get started on the road to driving independence. Be sure to follow all rules and regulations carefully—safety on the roads is key!