Riders are required to obtain a Kentucky motorcycle license if they would like to operate their motorbike legally on public roads within the state. Applying for a motorbike driving license is a process that can be completed through the state Division of Driver Licensing (DDL) of the state Transportation Cabinet (TC). However, prior to applying for a license, riders will be required to hold a learner’s permit for a certain amount of time.

The state DDL issues both stand-alone KY bike licenses and endorsements on existing driver’s licenses. With a valid motorcycle credential, you can operate two- or three-wheeled motorcycles and mopeds. Find out more about getting your motorcycle license in KY by reading the following sections.

Motorcycle License Requirements in Kentucky

Prior to applying for a motorbike license in Kentucky, riders must ensure they meet the applicable motorcycle license requirements, which will vary to a certain degree depending on the applicant’s age. For example, to be licensed as a minor, applicants will need documented parental permission. According to the KY motorbike license requirements, applicants must:

  • Be at least 18 years of age or hold a valid Kentucky driver’s license.
  • Be mentally and physically fit to operate a motorcycle.
  • Have the theoretical and practical skills necessary to ride a bike.
  • Have held a motorcycle permit for the requisite amount of time.
  • Provide a school verification form and parental permission if under 18 years old.

Note: While adult riders are required to hold the bike permit for at least 30 days before applying for a full license, minor applicants must practice riding with their permit for at least 180 days.

When getting a motorcycle license in KY, you will have to submit the full set of identification documents only if you do not have a valid license to drive. In these cases, you will need to provide proof of identity, lawful U.S. presence, Social Security Number and state residency. For the full list of acceptable identification paperwork, contact your county clerk’s office.

If you are replacing a motorcycle license from out-of-state with a KY license, you will be required to submit the full set of identification documents as well as pass the applicable tests depending on the validity of your out-of-state credential.

Kentucky Motorcycle License Training Courses

To qualify for a Kentucky motorbike driving license, applicants are not required to complete a motorcycle safety course. However, for purposes of preparing applicants for a full bike license, the state DDL still offers the option to enroll in a driver’s education and safety course designed by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF). When applying for a KY motorcycle drivers license, graduates of an approved MSF course will also be exempted from taking the skills exam. The state-approved course provider is the Kentucky Motorcycle Program (KMP), which is operated by the Kentucky Traffic Safety Institute and funded by the state DDL. The KMP offers a basic 16- to 18-hour course for novice riders and an Experienced Rider Course (ERC) for advanced motorcyclists.

Note: Motorcycle license applicants younger than 18 years of age can enroll in a KMP course free of charge.

Kentucky Motorcycle License Tests

When applying for a motorcycle license in Kentucky, motorcyclists must pass several licensing tests. During the initial phase of the application process, riders will have to pass a vision screening and a written test when applying for their motorcycle permit. While the eye test is administered to determine the applicant’s visual acuity, the written exam will check the rider’s theoretical knowledge of safe riding practices and road rules and regulations. To finalize the application, riders will be required to schedule and take the skills test, which will examine their preparedness to execute various maneuvers with a motorcycle.

Note: Graduates from a state-approved motorcycle safety course will not be required to complete a bike skills test.

The Kentucky Motorcycle License Application Process

Riders can get a motorcycle license in Kentucky by submitting their request in person through their circuit court clerk’s office. The application process for a license for a motorcycle is comprised of two main phases and applicants will be required to make at least two separate office visits. The first step when applying is submitting the paperwork necessary for a learner’s permit. To obtain the permit, riders will have to pass the initial vision and written exams, submit the applicable supporting paperwork and pay the permit fee. After holding the bike permit for the required amount of time, which varies depending on the applicant’s age, riders can schedule and take the skills exam or complete a basic rider’s safety course. Kentucky motorcycle license applicants can make their second office visit to finalize the application process after obtaining the course completion certificate or proof of a passed on-cycle exam.

Note: You will be issued either a driver’s license with a motorcycle endorsement or a motorcycle-only restricted license, depending on whether or not you hold a valid driving license.

Kentucky Motorcycle License Fees

To finalize the application process for a license, riders will be required to arrange payment for the current motorcycle license cost. The total fee for a new KY motorcycle driver’s license will include both a $6 fee for the permit and a one-time payment for the full license. Motorcycle-only licenses are available at the cost of $24, whereas a combined driver’s license and bike endorsement license costs $30. For additional information regarding the KY motorcycle license costs that apply under your circumstances, contact your county clerk’s site.

Last updated on Friday, September 28 2018.

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