Back in my day you turned 16, got your learner’s permit, and received a driver’s license 30 days later. Those days are long gone as Kentucky, like many other states, have taken the necessary steps to make sure teen drivers are better prepared to hit the open road on their own. Kentucky now has a multi-step processes for teens to gradually earn their driver’s license in a more complex driving training outline.
Once a teen turns 16, they can apply for a learner’s permit. In addition to the required identification documents, obtaining a permit requires a vision screening, passing a knowledge test, and a form from their high school. Once they have the learner’s permit they may only drive with an over 21 licensed driver. They are required to practice at least 60 hours, including 50 hours at night with a parent or legal guardian.
Once a teenager turns 16 ½, and has completed all the practice hours required with their learner’s permit, they are eligible to test for their intermediate license. This is a driving test administered by the Kentucky Department of Motor Vehicles. Those with an intermediate license are now permitted to drive alone. They are not allowed to drive between midnight and 6 a.m. They may not drive with more than one passenger, unless the passengers are family, unless an adult is seated next to them. If you have an intermediate license and you get a ticket you get demoted back to a learner’s permit and must wait 180 days before getting your intermediate license back.
Once your teen reaches the age of 17, and have held their intermediate license for 6 months, they are eligible for a full license. They are also required to have taken a driver education course. If they opt not to take a driver education course they will have to wait until the age of 18 to receive their full license. While at this point there are no further restrictions, parents are encouraged to have their own rules with consequences. Young drivers need to understand not only the rules of the road, but also take them seriously for their safety and the safety of those around them.