Kentucky Graduated Driver’s Licensing Program

Kentucky Graduated Driver’s Licensing Program

About 79 drivers under the age of 21 were involved in fatal accidents in 2014. While this number is high, it is significantly less than the 163 young drivers who were involved in fatal crashes in 2005. At least part of the reason for this decrease is the state’s implementation of the three-stage driving program for new drivers. It is designed to allow teens the extra time they need to develop safe and defensive driving behaviors before heading out on the road unsupervised.

You can apply for your learner’s permit when you are 16 years old. You will use this permit for at least six months while you acquire at least 60 hours of driving experience while being supervised by a licensed driver over 21 years old or while you are completing a state-approved driver’s education course. At least 10 hours of experience must be gained at night.

When you turn age 16 years and six months old, you are eligible for an intermediate license. If you have not already done so, you must complete drive education while you have this restricted license. You are also required to complete a four-hour driving safety class while you have this license.

You will use this license to gain additional experience until you are 17 when you receive full driving privileges.

While you are driving on a restricted license, you may not have more than one unrelated passenger under the age of 20 in your car at one time, unless your driving supervisor is with you. You are also not permitted to drive between the hours of midnight and 6 a.m. unless it is for work, school, church or an emergency.

Be aware: new driver applicants and those who already hold a learner’s permit or intermediate license will not be eligible for a license or will have their license revoked if they –

  • Are academically deficient
  • Have 9 or more unexcused absences from school
  • Have withdrawn or dropped out of school

As a new driver, it is your responsibility to ensure all passengers are secured in child safety restraints or adult seat belts. And remember, in Kentucky, it is illegal for drivers to talk on a mobile phone while driving if they are under the age of 18, and texting is illegal for all drivers.

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