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KY Driver Testing Manual

KY Motorcycle Manual

Commercial Driver's License (CDL) MANUAL AND PAYMENT OPTIONS
Call 800-542-5990 to schedule a CDL Skills Test

ONLINE CDL SKILLS RETEST PAYMENT

ONLINE HAZMAT FINGERPRINT PAYMENT

NOTICE TO ALL APPLICANTS WHO PLAN TO TAKE THE WRITTEN DRIVER TEST:

The Kentucky State Police reminds parents and teenagers that the only approved or endorsed material to prepare for the Kentucky driver license exam is located on our website at www.kentuckystatepolice.org under the Driver Testing tab or by viewing it through the official KSP mobile app, ‘kspolice’. All Driver Testing materials can be viewed and printed through the Kentucky State Police website and mobile app free of charge.

Graduated License Course

Kentucky has Graduated Licensing laws in place to improve traffic safety and reduce traffic accidents, injuries and fatalities by controlling a young driver’s exposure and progressively moving the driver into more difficult driving experiences prior to full licensure. Drivers whose permits were issued under the age of 18 are required to complete a driver education program before moving to the full, unrestricted licensing phase. Before you are eligible to obtain a full, unrestricted license, you must complete a driver training program.

Acceptable methods of completing the course are as follows: 

CLASSROOM

The classroom version is offered free of charge to KY drivers.

Alive at 25 is taught only by current and former law enforcement officers across Kentucky that bring unique perspectives and experiences that affords their participants the greatest of opportunities for learning and understanding.  Knowing what it’s like to tell someone that their loved one has been killed or seriously injured in a car crash or able to express their sincere desire for young drivers to better understand and avoid the life changing emotional, criminal, and civil consequences of poor decision making, lends itself to the success of the course.  

aliveat25.us/ky/find-a-course

ONLINE

Graduated License Eligibility

You can check your course eligibility here. https://drive.ky.gov/driver-licensing/Pages/Graduated-Driver-Licensing-Program.aspx

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Do I have to test in the county I live?

  • Applicants must test at the location designated for their county of residence. Check the location guide Location Guide for your designated testing site.  Once the testing site has been determined, click here and follow the instructions to make an appointment at your designated testing site.

What information should I study for the permit test?

  • The only approved source material for the written/permit test is the Kentucky Driver Manual. Access the Kentucky Driver Manual  online or by viewing it through the official KSP mobile app, ‘kspolice’.  All driver testing materials can be viewed and downloaded free of charge.

I will have to take time off from work in order to accompany my child to the road test. Can someone else accompany my child to the test so I do not have to take off from work?

  • Yes, anyone who is 21 years old or older and holds a valid driver’s license can accompany the child.  NOTE:  Kentucky law requires that a licensed driver 21 years of age or older must occupy the passenger at all times when a permit holder is operating a vehicle.

I have trouble reading. Can the Kentucky State Police administer the written test for me orally? If so, do I need to make an appointment for an oral test?

  • The written/permit test can be administered orally. Depending on the location, a regular testing appointment will suffice, but applicants will need a special appointment in other locations.  Please contact your testing site for guidance on their procedures.

I know you are supposed to use your turn signals at least 100 feet before a turn, but it is hard for me to estimate how far that is.

  • If you line up 6 to 7 cars bumper-to-bumper, it equals approximately 100 feet. As you approach a turn, pretend those cars are parked at the side of the road, and activate your turn signal no later than the back of that line of cars.

How do I take the written permit test if I am deaf or hard hearing?

  • Contact your testing site to make an appointment. The examiner will contact the Commission of Deaf and Hard Hearing, at 800-372-2907, and schedule a date and time for you to test with an interpreter.

Can I use the parallel park assist during my road test?

  • The applicant must complete this maneuver without assistance.

Can I use the back up camera during my road test?

  • Yes. However, the applicant should not be completely reliant upon this technology.  The American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA) offers some valuable guidance on this topic:
    • Rear cameras are safety critical technologies. Safety critical technologies are permissible because they may prevent or reduce the severity of a crash, and are not simply features of convenience.
    • Applicants should not become complacent and/or dependent solely upon a rear camera. Instead, incorporate use of the rear camera into executing backing maneuvers.
    • Applicants are still required to demonstrate all necessary behaviors (for example checking mirrors, checking over the shoulder, etc.) for safely monitoring and maneuvering a vehicle during backing maneuvers.

Can I take the road test in a car that has temporary tags?

  • As long as the tag matches the testing vehicle and is valid at the time of the test.

Can I use a rental car to take my road test?

  • Rental cars are typically not permitted for operator road tests. However, rental cars may be used for testing as long as the applicant provides a rental agreement with the applicant listed as the renter.  The rental agreement must show that the applicant is insured and the vehicle must meet all other requirements.

If I pass a motorcycle safety course, do I still have to take the motorcycle road test?

  • Applicants for a motorcycle driver’s license shall be exempted from the licensing skill test if they present satisfactory evidence of successful completion of an approved rider training course that includes a similar test of skill.
  • For more information regarding rider training school courses, please visit www.ride.ky.gov or contact the Kentucky Motorcycle Rider Education Program at (502) 564-1568.

What documents do I need to bring with me the first time for my permit test?

  • The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) website, drive.ky.gov, contains a wealth of information about the licensing process. Confidently identify which documents you need to bring by utilizing the KYTC IDOCUMENT GUIDE and you can also download a printable list of all acceptable documents from their website.

Do I need a Commercial Driver License (CDL)?

  • You will need a CDL if:
    • You will need a Class A CDL to operate any combination of vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 26,001 pounds or more, provided the GVWR of the vehicle(s) being towed is more than 10.000 pounds.
  • You will need a Class B CDL to operate:
    • Any straight truck with two or more axles and a GVWR of 26,001 pounds or more; or
    • Any vehicle with two or more axles and a GVWR of 26.001 pounds or more, pulling a vehicle with a GVWR of 10,000 pounds or less; or
    • A single-vehicle designed to transport 16 or more passengers (including the driver) if the GVWR is 26,001 pounds or more.
  • You will need a Class C CDL to operate:
    • Any vehicle with a GVWR of fewer than 26,001 pounds transporting hazardous materials for which placarding is required; or
    • A single-vehicle designed to transport 16 or more passengers (including the driver) if the GVWR is less than 26,001 pounds.
  • For more information, please visit the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet website Commercial Driver’s License (CDL).

What are the steps for obtaining a CDL permit and license?

  • The Kentucky State Police (KSP) is exclusively responsible for conducting all testing of CDL permit and license applicants. Applicants must complete several steps before testing with KSP for a CDL permit or license.  The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) regulates all other components of the licensing process, so please visit the KYTC website Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) for a complete overview of the steps for obtaining a CDL permit or license.
  • CDL Written/Permit Test: Schedule CDL permit and other knowledge tests by utilizing our online scheduling tool. Click Here to make an appointment.
  • CDL Skills Test: Call (800) 542-5990 to schedule a CDL Skills Test.

What offenses could result in disqualification or loss of commercial driving privileges?

  • If a commercial operator license/permit holder is convicted of any alcohol- or drug-related driving offense, an automatic suspension of the commercial status is one year regardless if the driver is cited in a commercial vehicle or non-commercial vehicle.
  • Visit drive.ky.gov for an extensive list of violations that could result in the loss of commercial driving privileges for time periods ranging from 24 hours to life.

Are there any exemptions from the CDL requirements based on my job or the type of vehicle I am driving?

  • The following groups are exempt from the CDL requirements, provided they meet all the criteria:
    • Drivers of vehicles that are used exclusively in farm-to-market agricultural transportation, operated in private carriage, owned and/or operated by the farmer or his employees, and used within the Commonwealth of Kentucky or one-hundred-fifty (150) highway miles of the point of origin if crossing state lines.
    • Drivers of firefighting and other emergency equipment.
    • Drivers of military vehicles if those persons are military personnel in uniform, operating the vehicles in pursuit of a military purpose, and properly licensed by the military.
    • Drivers of vehicles that are designed as temporary living quarters for recreational, camping, or travel use, and operate on their own motor power or are mounted on or drawn by another vehicle.

If I have a farm tag, do I still need to have a licensed CDL driver with me when I take the road test?

  • Taking the CDL road test is a non-farm related event.  You will need to have a licensed driver with you when you arrive for your test.  Failure to do so will result in cancelation of your test.

How long is my DOT Medical Card valid?

  • Two (2) years. However, please note the following exceptions:
    • A doctor can make it valid for a lesser period of time if you have a medical condition that the doctor determines should be monitored sooner than every two years; and
    • A school bus endorsement limits the medical card validity to one (1) year.

How many times can I take my written CDL test?

  • As many times as you need, but only once per day.

Do I need to provide my own vehicle for a CDL road skills test?

  • Yes. Kentucky State Police does not provide applicants with a vehicle to use for the road skills test.

Does the weight on the vehicle license plate determine whether the driver needs a CDL to operate it?

  • No. The weight on the license plate is not the weight that determines if you need a CDL.  The weight used to determine the need for a CDL is the GVWR or Gross Vehicle Weight Rating.  The manufacturer of the vehicle or trailer determines the GVWR.
    • GVWR and GCWR are normally determined by checking the vehicle manufacturer’s identification plate, usually located inside of the driver’s side door or on the header board or tongue of the trailer.
    • For buses, the plate may be located inside of the passenger door or to the left of the driver’s seat.
    • If your vehicle does not have a VIN plate or sticker, or another verifiable method of obtaining GVWR, you may not be able to test with that vehicle.

Do I need a CDL if the vehicle has Air Brakes?

  • Air Brakes do not determine whether a CDL is required to operate a vehicle. The GVWR of a vehicle determines whether a CDL is required to operate the vehicle.

As a CDL permit holder, can I drive a vehicle that requires a CDL by myself?

  • No. A CDL licensed driver who is at least 21 years of age and who holds the CDL you are attempting to obtain, must accompany you while driving a vehicle that requires a CDL.
    • If you have a Class A CDL permit, your passenger must have a Class A CDL.
    • If you have a Class B CDL permit, your passenger must have a Class B CDL.
    • If you have a Class C CDL permit, your passenger must have a Class C CDL.
    • Your passenger may have a higher class CDL than you are attempting to obtain, but not a CDL of a lower class.
    • If the vehicle you are driving requires an endorsement such as school bus or passenger endorsement, then your licensed driver must have those endorsements also.

Why am I required to have a background check to transport hazardous materials?

  • The USA PATRIOT Act requires all drivers who transport hazardous material to undergo a security threat assessment. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) developed the Hazmat Threat Assessment Program to implement this requirement.

How often do I have to complete the TSA Security Threat Assessment?

  • The security threat assessment must be completed every five (5) years. The Division of Driver Licensing will send an applicant currently holding a CDL Hazardous Materials Endorsement a notification letter approximately 60 days before the expiration of the security threat assessment.  This notification will advise the applicant to initiate and complete the fingerprint-based criminal background check before the expiration date.

How do I schedule an appointment for the TSA Security Threat Assessment (fingerprinting/background)?

  • To make an appointment or check the status of a security threat assessment, applicants may contact KSP Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. by calling (888) 655-9655. If the applicant does not currently hold a CDL, they must obtain a CDL permit before contacting KSP to set up an appointment to be fingerprinted.

What is the fee for the fingerprint-based criminal background?

  • The cost for the fingerprint-based criminal background check will be $115.00 paid by certified check, cashier’s check, or money order. The check should be made out to the Kentucky State Treasurer and given to the examiner when the fingerprints are taken.  You can also pay online before the appointment with a debit/credit card at ONLINE HAZMAT FINGERPRINT PAYMENT.  This fee is for the fingerprint-based criminal background check only.  This is not a fee for the Hazardous Material Endorsement.

What is the renewal process for CDL hazmat endorsement holders?

  • All CDL hazmat endorsement holders will be required to take the written hazmat knowledge test and vision test at the time of renewal of the Commercial license unless it has been less than two (2) years from the last test date. The testing fee is $5.00.  Upon successful completion of the test, the license will be issued with the hazmat endorsement.

If I already have a CDL with hazmat endorsement in another state, am I able to transfer it to Kentucky?

  • Yes, but all commercial drivers transferring to Kentucky with a hazmat endorsement will be required to take the hazmat knowledge and vision tests.  The testing fee is $5.00.  For additional information, please visit drive.ky.gov

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