GDL Steps to Obtaining a License
Step 1 - Permit Phase

  • You must be 16 years of age to take the written knowledge test and a vision test (Driving Manuals can be obtained online if you click here).
  • You will need your social security card, an original or certified birth certificate and proof of residence. Acceptable documents for proof of Kentucky residence, are a 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. A PO Box is not acceptable; it must be the physical address.
  • For persons under 18, a parent or guardian must sign the application, taking financial responsibility for the applicant. A legal guardian must have a certified copy of guardianship papers.​
  • If under age 18, must present a School Compliance Verification Form issued by their school. (No Pass / No Drive Law -KRS 159.051 effective 8/1/2007)

If You Pass the Permit Test:

  • ​​An “Under 21” distinctive permit will be issued.
  • 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.
  • You may drive only when accompanied in the front passenger seat by a licensed driver who is age 21 or older.
  • Permit drivers under the age of 18 must complete a minimum of 60 hours of practice driving, 10 of which must occur at night. (Practice Driving Log and Verification Form).​
  • Permit holders under the age of 18 are not allowed to drive between the hours of 12 midnight and 6:00 am, unless the driver can demonstrate a good cause for driving such as emergencies, school or work related activities.
  • Permit holders under the age of 18 receiving a moving traffic violation conviction under KRS 186, 189, 189A. will have to restart the 180 Permit License waiting period.
  • Permit holders under 18 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).
  • Drivers who receive a permit before 18 years of age must complete one of the following New Driver Education Programs before being eligible to apply for a full unrestricted license:
    • Graduated License 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.
    • Online Graduated Licensing Course at   http://teen.idrivesafely.com/Kentucky/ . 
  • 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.
If You Do Not Pass the Permit Test:
  • ​You may try again the next available testing day.
  • Applicants can take the written test a total of six (6) times. If you fail the written test six (6) times, you must wait six (6) months before trying again.

Step 2 - Intermediate License Phase


  • ​After holding the permit for 180 days you may apply for an Intermediate License and take the driving skills test.
  • Testing times and locations are available from the Circuit Clerk’s Office in your county of residence. An appointment may be necessary.
  • The motor vehicle you use for testing must be properly registered and proof of liability insurance is required.
  • The driver’s Parent/Guardian must certify the driver has completed 60 hours of practice driving, 10 of which must occur at night. For Practice Driving Log and Verification Form go to https://eligibility.gdl.kytc.ky.gov.
If You Pass the Skills Test: 
  • Permit holders under age 18, after successfully completing the road test the Kentucky State Police driving examiner will place an “Intermediate License” sticker on the drivers permit license.
  • Permit holders 18 and older, after successfully completing the road test, will be eligible for the full unrestricted license provided the Driver Education Program has been completed.
  • Intermediate license for a minimum of 180 days.
  • Intermediate License holders 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).
  • Intermediate License holders receiving a moving traffic conviction under KRS 186, 189, 189A. will have to restart the 180 Intermediate License waiting period.
  • Intermediate License holders shall not operate a motor vehicle at any time with more than 1 unrelated person under 20 years of age in the vehicle.
  • Intermediate license holders must complete one of the following New Driver Education Programs before moving to the full unrestricted licensing phase:
    • Graduated Licensing Course (Free course provided by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet in the drivers home county)
    • High School Drivers Education Course.
    • 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.
If You Do Not Pass the Skills Test:
  • You must wait one week before taking the test again.
  • If you fail the road test six (6) times, you must wait six (6) months before another test will be given. You will then have only two (2) attempts to pass the test.

Step 3 - Full Unrestricted License Phase


  • Intermediate license holders under 18 years of age who have completed the new driver education program and held the intermediate license for 180 days may apply for a full unrestricted license.
  • ​Permit or Intermediate license holders 18 or older who have completed the new driver education program and held the permit for 180 days may apply for a full unrestricted license.
  • You will need to print and take a Graduated Licensing Eligibility letter when applying for a full unrestricted license.  Go to https://eligibility.gdl.kytc.ky.gov.
  • An “Under 21” distinctive license will be issued.
  • 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.