How To Get A Motorcycle License In Kentucky

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As a motorcyclist, you need to understand the importance of motorcycle licenses. You must have a valid driver’s license before getting on your bike.

In the United States, most states require drivers to have a license valid for motorcycles and cars. This makes sense because riding a motorcycle requires different skills than driving a car.

The main thing that people need to know is that license application processes are different from state to state. One common question is how to get a motorcycle license in Kentucky.

You must meet some requirements, pass tests, pay fees, and then wait for the license. This process may indeed look simple enough. But trust me when I say it is not if you don’t read this article.

I will not be wasting any of your time and jumping straight to the content! The process can get a bit tedious, and this article will help clear up everything there is to know about getting a motorcycle license in Kentucky.

Motorcycle License Requirements In Kentucky

Learn if you will have to take a motorcycle safety course in Kentucky or not

The first step to getting a motorcycle license in Kentucky is to be aware of the requirements that must be met.

These requirements determine if you are eligible for a license or not. Let’s take a look.

Knowing Your Age

Kentucky has a similar age requirement as many other states in the US. It has divided applicants into two groups, underage and adults.

Both need to follow slightly different processes, so you must be sure which one you fall into. Let’s check what requirements these age groups have to follow.

Age Under 18

The first age group is for those under the legal age limit which is between 16 and 18 years old. For people in this age group to apply for a motorcycle license, they need to have a driver’s license from the state of Kentucky.

That is not all. Alongside all the important documents to be submitted and tests to be passed, they also need their legal guardian’s consent.

If you are under 18 and want to get a motorcycle license, you also need to earn a motorcycle permit. This can be received after providing complete proof that you are indeed a resident of the state of Kentucky.

The documents required are:

  • Proof of residency.
  • Legal name.
  • Date of birth.
  • Social security number.

Other documents can also be used, which can help establish that you are a state resident. Tests must also be completed, so officials can know that you are fully knowledgeable of what happens on the road.

Age 18 And Above

People who have entered the legal age limit don’t need to submit a guardian consent letter. They have reached an age at which they can make their own decisions. So, they don’t need any confirmation or backing.

Getting a motorcycle license for people above 18 is roughly the same as for minors. The first step is to earn a motorcycle permit.

This can be done by submitting documents, passing knowledge and vision tests, and providing proof of residency. The permit should be held for at least a month before people of this age group can apply for a license.

Types Of Motorcycle Licenses

Kentucky motorcycle licenses are divided into two categories: permits and licenses.


Permits are required to ride in Kentucky, and you must hold your permit for a certain amount of time before you can get your license.

The requirements for obtaining a permit are the same for all age groups, except minors must also submit a guardian consent form.


After the recommended time interval for motorcycles has been completed, then comes the time to be issued a license. There is no difference in the types of licenses in Kentucky.

This means that only one license allows people to ride all two and three-wheeled motorcycles. This is great news, and it also means that you don’t have to research which license will be more suitable for you.

How To Apply For Your Kentucky Motorcycle License

The section you have all been waiting for is finally here. If you were confused about getting a motorcycle license in Kentucky, now everything will be crystal clear.

Let’s closely examine all the steps required to apply for a motorcycle license.

Step 1: Get A Motorcycle Permit

As with most states, Kentucky requires people to get a motorcycle permit before earning their motorcycle license.

A motorcycle permit needs to be earned, and the process is not too difficult. The steps have been listed for this particular part of the licensing process above.

Step 2: Testing For Your Motorcycle License

Getting a permit is easy but not an exactly straightforward process. You need to pass tests, make sure you submit all documents, and then finally pay all the required fees. I will be taking a brief look at each of them.

1. Motorcycle Written Test

  • The first step is to clear a written knowledge exam. You can consult the Kentucky motorcycle manual, which has all the necessary information.
  • You can also visit various websites online, which will help you understand the difficulty level of the state’s tests.
  • The test has 30 questions, which is the most compared to any other states I have seen. You need to answer at least 24 correctly to pass.
  • Make sure you prepare hard so you don’t get stumped on the easy part of the license application process.

2. Motorcycle Road Test

  • The motorcycle road or skills test has been designed for the DMV officials to assess just how good you can ride.
  • You will be asked to respond to different situations and then judged on your performance.
  • As an alternative, you can also complete a motorcycle education course. You need to present a certificate, allowing you to skip the skills test altogether.
  • The course will clarify everything about riding a motorcycle, and I suggest going this route, especially if you are a beginner.

Step 3: Pay All Required Fees

If you apply for a motorcycle permit, you must pay $18. This is compulsory, as getting a motorcycle permit is the first step to getting a motorcycle license in Kentucky.

Next up is the motorcycle license fees. You need to pay $48 to get your license. This included all testing and photo fees, so there is no need to pay anything separately.

So, all in all, people need to pay a total of $60 to get a motorcycle license in Kentucky.

This includes everything. It is a bit steeper than in some other states, but that is what you need to pay to get your license in the state.

Step 4: Wait Patiently

You don’t need to visit the DMV office to collect your newly printed license. It will be delivered to you via mail within a month.

During that time, it is recommended that you hold tight. As you still don’t have a license, you are still not authorized to ride on the state’s roads even though you passed the tests.

Ways To Get A Motorcycle Endorsement In KY

Kentucky clearly states that a person riding a motorcycle needs a license or an endorsement to operate one in the state. The steps to get one are the same as a normal license.

Step 1: Provision Of Documents

You need to submit all important documents and information. The first one is proof of residency. If you don’t have an official document that states that, a utility bill with your name will be enough.

Next up, you must submit your full legal name, social security number, and date of birth.

Step 2: Pass A Motorcycle Knowledge Test

The knowledge test is easy, but only if you study for it. There are 30 questions, out of which 24 need to be answered.

Step 3: Take A Safety Course

You can take a safety course authorized by the state, which covers the basic and advanced methods of riding a motorcycle.

Alternatively, a skills test can also be taken. This will allow officials to assess how good your riding skills are.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. How Long Will It Take To Get A Motorcycle License In Kentucky?

The process can take a few months, but when it comes to getting the license in your hand, you can expect to get it within a month.

The state will print it and then mail it to your provided residential address. If it does not reach you for some reason, then you need to contact the nearest DMV office.

Q2. How Much Will It Cost To Get A Motorcycle License In Kentucky?

The total cost of getting a motorcycle license in Kentucky is $60. This included all sorts of fees, such as photo ID and test fees. If you want a breakdown, $18 is for the permit application, and $48 is for the actual license.

Q3. Should I Have A License To Ride A Motorcycle In Kentucky?

If the state did not require a license, then why would it have one to issue in the first place? To answer your question, yes, a license is mandatory in Kentucky.

If caught, you could get into serious trouble and may also have to pay a fine that could be much costlier than the license fee itself.

You may also be interested in my article: Kentucky Motorcycle Helmet Laws


Congratulations! You’re on your way to ride a motorcycle in Kentucky. You’ve learned how to get a motorcycle license in Kentucky, and now it’s time to put what you’ve learned into practice.

I advise you to practice driving with a friend or family member to get used to communicating with them about your surroundings and road conditions.

Many online resources can help you prepare for the tests—I recommend taking advantage of them! I hope your license application process is smooth, so you can get yours in no time!

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