Your inside guide to obtaining a learner’s permit


Olivia Dawson

Most students obtain their learner’s permits at the Department of Motor Vehicles office at Bowman Field. Photo by Peter Champelli.

For most students, sophomore year marks an important milestone in their high school careers: their 16th birthday. In Kentucky, students at the age of 16 are eligible to obtain their learner’s permit to begin practicing driving.

Many sophomores have already begun the graduated licensing process, including Emma Braden (10, HSU), who elected to get her permit on her birthday in October.

“I didn’t wait to get it because I was so excited to be driving,” she said.

Braden said that she passed the permit test on her first try with minimal preparation.

“I just used a website that had short practice tests and recycled questions,” she said. “Many of the questions were also on the real test.”

untitled-infographic (3) Other students have not yet turned 16, and may not reach the minimum age until the summer. In this case, students must still acquire the mandatory school compliance form.

“There’s someone in the building all summer so students can just come in and get it signed,” Ms. Krista Just, the administrative assistant of Manual’s guidance office, said. “It’s pretty simple and only takes about two minutes to complete.”

Students must meet several requirements for a counselor to sign off on their school compliance form, including passing at least six current school courses and having no more than eight unexcused absences.

Many students who don’t yet have their permits are still excited about the opportunity.

“I turn 16 later this month and I plan to get it on my birthday,” Ginny Reams (10, HSU) said. “A lot of my friends already have theirs, and I’m ready to have the opportunity. I can’t wait to be able to drive, even if it’s just with my mom in the car.”

Helpful resources for the graduated licensing process include the Kentucky Driver Manual and an official practice exam.