Driver License, ID Card, & General Information
Location of Issuance
All Kentucky Driver Licenses and Identification cards are issued in the Circuit Court Clerk's office in the Kentucky County of residence.
 
National Driver Register
All states use the National Driver Register to determine if a driver's driving privilege is suspended in any other state prior to a license being issued. If a driver is suspended in another state a license will not be issued until that suspension is no longer in effect. Kentucky is a member of the Driver License Compact and the Nonresident Violator's Compact.
 
Out-of-State Permit Holders
  • A valid permit holder from another state must be at least 16 years of age to drive in Kentucky.
  • Must be accompanied by a licensed adult at least 21 years of age.
  • Driving is restricted between 12 midnight and 6:00 a.m. for those drivers who are under age 18.
  • Out-of-State permit holders transferring to Kentucky must transfer their permit and be issued a Kentucky permit before applying for a Kentucky Driver License.
Requirements for Obtaining a Permit/License
  • An individual must be at least 16 years of age to apply for a permit/license.
  • All new applicants must complete the required written, vision and skills tests administered by the Kentucky State Police before obtaining a permit/license
  • If the applicant is under the age of 18, a parent or legal guardian must sign the Driver License/Identification Card application form. This form is available in Adobe PDF format here.
  • If the applicant is under the age of 18, a School Compliance Verification form from the student's school district must be presented. (reference No Pass/No Drive Law- KRS 159.051).
Kentucky state law requires an application for a driver's license to contain the following:
  1. Applicant's full legal name.
  2. Applicant's date of birth.
  3. Applicant's Social Security number.
  4. Proof of the applicant's Kentucky residency.
Acceptable documents for the purpose of providing this information include, but may not be limited to, the following: (photo copies are not acceptable).
  • For full legal name and date of birth- Birth Certificate.
  • For Social Security number- Social Security card (laminated cards not accepted).
  • For proof of address- Utility bill, mortgage documents, rental agreements.
For further information, please contact your local Circuit Clerk's office.
 
Requirements for Social Security Number and Birth Certificate Verification
  • The name on your driver license should be your legal name, if not you will need to take a copy of your birth certificate or a legal document showing your name change to the clerk's office to have your driver license information corrected.
  • If your social security card does not contain your legal name you will need to go to your local Social Security Administration field office to have your information updated in the Federal Social Security Administration database.
  • If your driver license has your new married name, but your social security card does not, you will need to go to your local Social Security Administration field office to have a social security card issued with your new last name.
Testing
  • New drivers must pass a vision, written and skills test to be issued a driver license.
  • No tests are required for persons transferring to Kentucky. with valid driving privileges, except persons transferring from foreign countries. 
  • No testing is required for persons suspended less than one year.
  • Eye and written tests are required for drivers suspended for more than one year.
  • Any driver suspended or expired for more than five (5) years will start as a new driver.
  • All driver testing is performed by the Kentucky State Police on scheduled days at circuit clerks offices. (Call for an appointment)
 
Available Testing Languages for Written Permit Test
​Albanian ​Arabic ​Bosnian ​Cambodian ​Chinese ​Croatian
​English ​French ​German​ ​Indian (Hindi) ​Japanese ​Korean
​Laotian ​Persian ​Polish ​Romanian ​Russian ​Somali
​Spanish ​Thai ​Turkish ​Vietnamese
 
Driver License Renewal
  • A driver license must be renewed in the circuit clerks office in the Kentucky County of residence.
  • A Kentucky operator's license is valid for four years.
  • Age 21 and older, the license expires 31 days after the birth date.
  • Under age 21, the license expires 90 days after the 21st birthday.
  • Age 21 and over may renew a valid driver license up to six months prior to the expiration date.
  • If the license is expired for more than one year, a vision and written test will be required.
Renewal or Duplicate by mail
Kentucky Law permits only military personnel to be issued a Class D driver license by mail. All other drivers must appear in the clerk's office for license issuance.
 
Military Personnel Only
  • Kentucky residents currently serving in the United States military who are stationed or assigned to a base or other location outside the boundaries of the Commonwealth may renew a Class D operator's license by mail. Contact the circuit clerk's office in the Kentucky County of residence for an application and instructions.
  • If a Kentucky resident has been serving in the United States military and has allowed their operator's license to expire, they shall, within ninety (90) days of returning to the Commonwealth, be permitted to renew their license without having to take a written test or road test.
  • A Kentucky resident serving in the United States military who does not renew their expired license within ninety (90) days of returning to the Commonwealth shall be required to comply with all procedures of renewing a license that has expired.
Out-of-State Drivers Transferring to Kentucky
  • Persons moving into Kentucky have 30 days to obtain a Kentucky driver's license.
  • To obtain a Kentucky Driver License you must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident of this country.
  • You must be at least 16 years of age to transfer your driving permit or license to Kentucky.
  • If under age 18, must present a School Compliance Verification Form signed by the out-of-state school (No Pass/No Drive Law - KRS 159.051 effective 08-01-07). This form can be obtained from the student's school district of residence.
  • All Kentucky Driver Licenses are issued in the Circuit Court Clerk's Office in the Kentucky County of residence.
  • Proof of Kentucky residency is required. Proof includes, but not limited to, a deed or property tax bill, utility agreement or utility bill, or rental housing agreement.
  • Your valid out-of-state license and non-laminated Social Security card must be presented to the Clerk. You may also be required to present a birth certificate. If the name on your valid out of state license does not match the name on your birth certificate, you may be required to present a marriage certificate or a court ordered name change.
  • If your out-of-state license is valid when you transfer to Kentucky, you will not be required to test.  If your out of state license has expired, you will be required to take the written and eye tests.
  • If your out-of-state license is expired one year or more, you must provide a current driving record or clearance letter from the state you are transferring from.
  • Out-of-State permit holders transferring to Kentucky must transfer their permit and be issued a Kentucky permit before applying for a Kentucky Driver License.
  • The type of license you apply for will determine the cost.
College Students
A college student may drive on their valid out-of-state license and is not required to transfer that license to Kentucky if:
  • They are a citizen of the United States;
  • They are enrolled as a full-time or part-time student at a university, college, or technical college located in Kentucky; and
  • They must have a student identification card from the university, college, or technical college located in Kentucky in their immediate possession at all times when driving in Kentucky.
Name or Address Change
  • Anytime you change a name or address you must get a duplicate license at your Circuit Court Clerk's office within 10 days.
  • The cost of a duplicate is $12.00.
  • Proof of residency in Kentucky is required. Acceptable documents for proof of Kentucky residence are Utility Bill or Agreement, Mortgage Documents, Postmarked Letter with Driver's Name and Current Address, Deed or Property Tax Bill, or a Rental Housing Agreement.  PO Box is not accepted, must have the physical address.
  • Proof of a name change is required. (Birth Certificate, Name Change Court Order, Marriage License, Divorce Decree, or other legal document)
  • Social Security card is not acceptable as proof of name or address change. However, you must provide a new Social Security card with your new name to prove you have updated your name with the Social Security Administration.
Identification Card (ID)
  • An ID card must be obtained at the Circuit Court Clerk's Office in your county of residence.
  • An ID card may be obtained for a person age 15 and over.
  • Birth Certificate and Social Security Card (photocopies not accepted) and proof of residency are required.
  • The cost of the ID is $12.00 and valid for four years.
Child ID Card is issued to applicants under 15.
Non US Citizen applying for a Kentucky Driver's License - ID Card
 
 
Lost Driver License, Permit or Identification Cards
When drivers physically lose their driver license, permit or identification card; they need to report to the Circuit Clerk office in their county of residence to request issuance of a new card.  Drivers will need to provide their birth certificate, Social Security card and proof of legal address.
 
 
Driver License Fees

License Reinstatement Fee
  • A $40.00 reinstatement/re-licensing fee may be required any time your driving privilege is suspended.
  • The fee may be paid at the Circuit Court Clerk's office or any Driver Licensing Regional Field Office.
  • A certified check or money order must be made payable to the "Kentucky State Treasurer".
License Class Type
Class Co​de Class ​Description​
A​ CDL, Class A ​
B​ CDL, Class B​
C​ CDL, Class C​
D​
Operators, Class D​​
This class of license includes passenger cars, station wagons, pickup trucks, utility vehicles, and most panel trucks. This type and class of license is valid for any single motor vehicle, and a trailer, with weights not greater than 26,000 pounds, designed to carry less than 16 passengers (including the driver) and not placarded for the purpose of transporting hazardous materials.​
E​ Moped Only, Class E​
M​ ​Motorcycle, Class M
Restriction Codes
Class Code Class Description​
F​ Farm related services
I​ ​Intrastate Only
J​ Except Class A & B Bus
K​ ​No air brakes​
L​
Except Class A Bus
O ​Except Tractor Trailer
Z​ ​Except Intractiy
0​ Valid KY Only​
1​ Corrective lenses​
2​ ​Power brakes
3​ ​Automatic transmission
4​ Daylight only​
5​ ​Power steering
6​ ​Hand accelerator
7​ ​Hand brake
8​ ​Other
9​ ​Ignition interlock
Code 8 is a miscellaneous restriction assigned by the license examiner.
 
Driving History Record/Clearance Letter
Every driver in Kentucky has a driving history record. The record contains identifying information, any licenses that have been issued to you, any traffic conviction information, and any administrative entries regarding your driving privileges. The Driving History Record also serves as a clearance letter for individuals needing to prove driving status in Kentucky. The Division of Driver Licensing maintains your record for five years. Five year driving records are available to law enforcement, courts, other official uses. The Division of Driver Licensing sells three year driving records to the public and third party requesters. Personal information such as address, social security number, and description are not part of the three year record that is for public use. A copy of your 3 year driving record may be obtained on-line at https://dhr.ky.gov/DHRWeb/. The cost is $5.00. This option will e-mail the requested driving record within seconds of the request. A driving record can be obtained by mail from the Division of Driver Licensing in Frankfort at:
 
Kentucky Transportation Cabinet
Division of Driver Licensing
Attn: Driver History Records/Fees Section
200 Mero Street
Frankfort, KY 40622
 
A copy of your driving record may also be obtained in person at any of its Driver Licensing Regional Field Offices. The cost of a driving record is $3.00.
 
Child Restraint Law
Kentucky's "child restraint law" requires every child less than 40 inches in height to be secured in a federally approved car seat. This is a primary law.

Seat Belt Law
Kentucky has adopted a seat belt law. All persons in the vehicle must be secured in a seat belt. A violation of this law is a "primary offense" and could be fined for each violation in the vehicle.