Our Frankfort central office location processes Non-U.S. Citizen applications (blue forms) Monday through Friday 8:00 am to 3:30 pm.
Goal: Verify legal status in the U.S. and documentation authenticity/information prior to applying for a Kentucky driver's license.
Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services
  • KRS 186.412 requires all non U.S. citizens wishing to apply for a Kentucky driver's license or ID card to make application to a Division of Driver Licensing regio​nal office​. This excludes permanent residents. Once the Division of Driver Licensing approves the application, the license/ID card will be issued from the Circuit Court Clerk's office in the county where the applicant resides.
  • "Permanent Residents" or "Resident Aliens" may go directly to the Circuit Court Clerk's office for licensing. They must present their Permanent Resident card or I-551 with photo issued by BCIS.
  • Non U.S. citizens with B1/B2 "Visitor" or WT status will not be approved for a Kentucky license or ID card. All non U.S. citizens may drive in the U.S. on their valid foreign license and International Permit for up to one year from the date of admission into the U.S. provided their home country is part of the Foreign License Reciprocity. Drivers from non-Foreign License Reciprocity Countries​ must obtain a Kentucky license within 30 days of establishing residency in Kentucky.
Required Documentation
  • A non U.S. citizen must present all of his or her USCIS documents to Driver Licensing personnel, such as Visa with I-94, Employment Authorization Card (I-688A or I688B or I-766) or I-94 with stamped picture. College students must also present an I-20 form completed by university, along with a letter from the Universities Registrars Office, stating enrolled full-time and in good standing. J-1 exchange visitors must have form DS2019.
  • Applicants on work related Visa (excluding Employment Authorization Cards) must show proof of employment within the last 30 days (i.e., payroll check, verification on company letterhead). The spouse of someone with a work status visa (if in the U.S. on a dependent Visa) must show spouses Visa, I-94 and proof of employment.
  • Non U.S. citizens must also provide either a social security card, or ineligibility letter from the Social Security Administration. Please note, ITIN's will no longer be accepted in lieu of a social secuity card or ineligibility letter. 
Residency Requirements
  • All non U.S. citizens must also provide proof of residency in Kentucky. Kentucky law defines "residency" as a person who has established Kentucky as his or her state of domicile. Proof of residency shall include, but not be limited to, a deed or property tax bill, utility agreement or utility bill or housing agreement.
  • All non U.S. citizens applying for a first time Kentucky license, with the exception of permanent residents, are required to take the written, vision and road tests. This includes transfer driver's holding a valid license from another state or country. Driver's holding a valid out of state license, or a valid license from a Geneva Compact country, will not be required to hold a permit. Non U.S. citizens already licensed in Kentucky are not required to retest but they must be approved by Division of Driver Licensing.
  • ​Available Testing Languages for Written Permit Test
​Albanian ​Arabic ​Bosnian ​Cambodian ​Chinese ​Croatian
​English ​French ​German​ ​Japanese ​Korean
​Laotian ​Persian ​Polish ​Romanian ​Russian ​Somali
​Spanish ​Thai ​Turkish ​​Vietnamese
License Expiration
  • A license or ID card issued to a non U.S. citizen will be issued to expire with their BCIS documents. Exceptions to this are "Special Status Individuals" (Asylee, Refugee, Paroled in Public Interest, or K-1). These individuals will receive a 4 year license or I. D. If the persons BCIS documents are issued for an indefinite period of time, but the person is not considered a "Special Status", the license or ID will be valid for a 2 year period.
Fraudulent Documents
  • A person presenting false information regarding citizenship, residency or immigration status under KRS 186.570 will be denied or suspended and prosecuted. 

Foreign Tourists

Foreign Tourists from any Geneva Compact countries who vist the United States as bona fide tourists can drive legally while using their valid domestic driver license for a period not to exceed one year from the date of arrival.  The foreign license, if not in English, must be accompanied by an International Driving Permit obtained from the driver's home country.  This arrangement applies to driving either personal or rental cars.  Bona fide tourists from Geneva Compact countries can also legally drive their own private cars bearing valid license plates/registration tags issued in their native country for a period not to exceed one year from the date of arrival.

If the visiting tourist accepts a job or attends school in the United States, he then loses tourist status and must obtain a state driver license and plates in accordance with the regulations in effect in the state where residence is chosen.  If the tourist is here for only two or three months as a visitor to factories for purposes of overseeing or learning, he is not required to have a Kentucky driver license

Motorists from Geneva Compact countries, with the exception of those from Canada or Mexico, are required to exhibit the International Distinguished Sign on the rear exterior of their private vehicle.  This standardized sign, oval in shape, is comprised of one to three black capital letters on a white background and indicates where the vehicle is registered.  This sign must be obtained in the motorist's home country.


Please read all instructions.