Kansas Learner’s Permit: A New Driver Guide

The Kansas Department of Revenue oversees the state’s graduated licensing program.

The program helps first-time drivers learn driving basics through testing, behind-the-wheel practice, and real-world experience under the supervision of a licensed adult.

Kansas’s GDL program begins at 14 years old with a learner’s permit.

In this guide, you’ll learn the hassle-free, step-by-step process in applying for a permit in Kansas including the forms, fees, and requirements needed from your local DMV.

Getting a Learner’s Permit in Kansas

Let’s begin with a brief overview of the Kansas learner’s permit stage:

  • The graduated licensing program begins at age 14
  • Driver’s education isn’t required but can let you skip testing
  • Out-of-state teens cannot transfer their learner’s permit

Here is what you should know about getting a learner’s permit…

Applying for Your Learner’s Permit

Those 14 and 15 will need their parent’s permission before applying, here are the steps:

  1. Visit a local KS DMV office (find one here)
  2. Show proof of ID & residency
  3. Pass the tests:
    1. Vision
    2. Written
  4. Pay the fees:
    1. Permit: $31
    2. Photo: $8
    3. Testing: $3

You may skip the written test if you have a letter of completion from a driver’s education course.

About the Written Test

You will take a knowledge test during the application. This test examines your ability to acknowledge and answer road safety questions. We recommend reviewing your KS driver’s manual or use online practice tests from approved third-parties to improve your passing chances.

Pass these requirements and you can drive with a qualified parent, guardian, or driving trainer. This will let you gain the valuable behind-the-wheel experience needed when upgrading to a provisional.

Behind-the-Wheel Requirements

Kansas requires 25-hours of driving practice before getting a restricted license. The 1-year gap between learner’s and restricted license gives you plenty of time to get this experience. Else, consider a driver’s ed course if you’re having trouble securing this experience.

Driving Restrictions

Your driving restrictions with a Kansas learner’s permit includes:

  • Supervised driver (21+)
  • Only the supervised driver can sit in the passenger seat
  • Do not text or use a phone while driving (besides emergency)

Given you pass the requirements, wait the year, and get your behind-the-wheel experience – you can move forward into getting a restricted driver’s license (see below).

Upgrading a Permit into a Restricted License

The next stage of the graduated licensing program involves upgrading the learner’s permit into a provisional (restricted) license. This license gives greater driving freedom but still does not have the full opportunity given with an adult/unrestricted license.

In fact, the state has two types: restricted and “less” restricted.

Want to know how to upgrade? See our Kansas Intermediate Licensing Guide for the step-by-step process in getting them.