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Graduated Licensing


FACT: Teenage drivers are disproportionately involved in crashes. This problem has been recognized for decades and Kentucky has implemented a Graduated Licensing Program to help reduce teenage crashes consequences they cause.

The Kentucky Graduated Licensing Program has three phases: permit, intermediate license phase and full unrestricted driver license phase. The Graduated Licensing Program requirements are listed below. Please visit the Kentucky Transportation web site for more forms, tips and tools for the Kentucky Graduated Licensing Program.

Permit Phase

  • Graduated LicensingApplicants must be at least 16 years of age to apply for a driving permit.
  • A parent or guardian must sign the permit application for applicants under the age of 18, taking responsibility for the applicant.
  • Applicant must successfully pass the written permit examination and the vision test to be issued a permit.
  • Applicants under the age of 21 must hold the driving permit for a minimum of 180 days. Applicants over the age of 21 must hold the driving permit for a minimum of 30 days.
  • Permit holders must drive with licensed driver over 21 years old accompanying them in the front passenger seat. (Must complete a minimum of 60 hours of practice driving, 10 of which must occur at night.)
  • Permit holders under the age of 18 are not allowed to drive between the hours of 12 midnight and 6 a.m. unless the driver can demonstrate a good cause for driving such as emergencies, school or work related activities.
  • Drivers receiving a moving traffic violation conviction under KRS 186, 189, 189A. will have to restart the 180 day Permit waiting period.
  • Permit holders shall not operate a motor vehicle at any time with more than 1 unrelated person under 20 years of age in the vehicle.
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is prohibited. All drivers under the age of 21 are subject to “zero alcohol tolerance” (Defined as .02 Blood Alcohol Concentration).
  • All drivers are subject to Kentucky’s point system. A driver under the age of 18 who accumulates more than 6 points, or a driver age 18 and over who accumulates 12 points, may have their driving privilege suspended.
  • No serious moving violations for those under the age of 18.
  • Buckle up, it’s the law! Everyone in the vehicle must wear a seatbelt at all times.

Intermediate License Phase

  • When applying for an intermediate license, the driver’s parent/guardian must certify the driver has completed 60 hours of practice driving, 10 of which must occur at night.
  • Drivers who receive a permit before 18 years of age who have successfully completed the permit phase must pass the driving skills test to be issued an intermediate license. After successfully completing the road test, the Kentucky State Police driving examiner will place an “Intermediate License” sticker on the drivers permit.
  • Drivers who receive a permit when 18 years of age or older do not have to complete the intermediate license phase and may apply for a full unrestricted driver license.
  • Intermediate license holders under the age of 18 are not allowed to drive between the hours of 12 midnight and 6 a.m., unless the driver can demonstrate a good cause for driving, such as emergencies, school or work related activities.
  • Passenger restriction – limit 1 unrelated person under 20 years of age (secondary offense)
  • Drivers receiving a moving traffic conviction under KRS 186, 189, 189A. will have to restart the 180 day intermediate license waiting period.
  • Intermediate license holders must complete one of the following new driver education programs before moving to the next licensing phase:
    • Graduated licensing course (Free 4 hour course provided by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet in the drivers home county)
    • High school drivers education Course or a similar course offered by a Kentucky Community College, Vocational School or Job Corps.
    • Private driver training course at a division of driver license-approved driver training school.
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is prohibited. All drivers under the age of 21 are subject to “zero alcohol tolerance” (Defined as .02 Blood Alcohol Concentration).
  • A driver under the age of 18 who accumulates more than 6 points may have their driving privilege suspended.
  • No serious moving violations for those under the age of 18.
  • Buckle up, it’s the law! Everyone in the vehicle must wear a seatbelt at all times.

Full Unrestricted Driver License Phase

  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is prohibited.
  • All drivers under the age of 21 are subject to “zero alcohol tolerance” (Defined as .02 Blood Alcohol Concentration).
  • All drivers are subject to Kentucky’s point system. A driver under the age of 18 who accumulates more than 6 points, or a driver age 18 and over who accumulates 12 points may have their driving privilege suspended.
  • Buckle up, it’s the law! Everyone in the vehicle must wear a seatbelt at all times.

Courtesy of Kentucky Division of Driver Licensing

For more information please visit the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.


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