Kansas Learner's Permit and Driver’s License

GDL requirements

Full Privilege Minimum Age
16, 6 months
Learner Stage: Minimum Age (Years/Months)
Learner Stage: Minimum Duration (Months)
12 months
Intermediate Stage: Minimum Age (Years/Months)
Intermediate Stage: Nighttime Driving Restriction
9 PM to 5 AM
Intermediate Stage: Passenger Restrictions (Except Family, Unless Noted)
No more than 1 passenger younger than 1

How to Get a Kansas Driver’s License

The Kansas Graduated Driver License program, or GDL, will give you time to learn how to drive in a controlled way. There are three stages to this program, from no Kansas license to a full license.

Completing the Kansas GDL takes about a year and a half. Finish a driver training course or pass a written test for an instruction permit. Then, 25 hours of supervised driving for a restricted license, 25 hours for a less restricted license at 16. Six more months, and turn 17 for a full license.

The steps below have the details you’ll need to know in order to get your full, unrestricted Kansas license.

Get Your Kansas Instruction Permit

You can start the process to get your license at 14. To get ready for driving, you can download the Kansas Driving Handbook and start reading through it. At your local Kansas Department of Revenue location, you’ll need to fill out an application, bring in proof of identity, and pay a fee of $10 by debit card or check.

Before being issued your KS instruction permit, you’ll have to pass a vision screening and a written knowledge test, which will cover the rules of the road and types of traffic signs. You will need to get at least 80% in order to pass.. If you have already completed a Kansas approved driver training program, you can show your certificate of completion instead of taking the written test. Consider working through some practice exams before you take it.

If you fail, you must wait at least one day to take another test. You can take the test up to four times within six months before your application would be closed and you would have to start the process over again. There is a mandatory six-month waiting period from the date of the last failed test.

You will be given an official paper which is your Kansas instruction permit. You’ll need to have that with you every time you’re behind the wheel.

You have to have your Kansas instruction permit for at least 1 year before you can apply for a restricted license. During that time, you’ll need to have 25 hours driving practice during the learning phase, 25 hours before age of 16 with 10 of those 50 hours being at night. There are also limits to your permit and they are:

  • Licensed adult in front seat at all times – minimum age 21
  • Wireless restriction: No use of wireless communication devices except to report illegal activity or to summons medical or emergency help
  • Passenger restriction: No

This is the point also where you’ll need to get driving instruction.  Although driver education is not a requirement for licensure, it’s always a good idea to take it to become the best and safest driver you can be.

When you’re ready to enroll in driver education, find a driving school to get started.

Once you’ve completed the required amount of instruction, you can apply for your Kansas restricted driver’s license.

Get Your Kansas Restricted License

Receiving your Kansas restricted license requires that you’ve completed certain requirements. Those are reaching the age of 16 years old.

Driving Skills Test: You will be required to pass a driving test with a KDR evaluator who will make sure you can perform basic driving tasks safely.

Once you’re ready, you can schedule a driving skills exam at your nearest Kansas Department of Revenue branch. Before you take the test, you should check out the Top 10 Automatic Fails on Driver Tests, so you’ll know what not to do on test day.

If you fail this test, you can retake it the next working day. Much like the written test, you have four chances to pass the driving test. After the fourth failure, you would have to wait a minimum of six months to try again.

Vision Test: You will need to take a vision test. If you need glasses be sure you’re wearing them.

The application fee for your Kansas restricted license is $31.

Your Kansas restricted license will be mailed to you and will have your photograph on it. They take your picture the day you pass your driving skills test. This license will come with the following restrictions:

  • No use of wireless communication devices except to report illegal activity or to summons medical or emergency help
  • No more than one non-sibling passenger under the age of 18

As you continue to learn how to operate a motor vehicle in different conditions, there are certain hours when you won’t be able to drive. You can drive under the following conditions:

  • Anywhere from 5am to 9pm; anytime going to or from work; anytime going to or from authorized school activities; directly to or from any religious worship service held by a religious organization; anytime/anywhere with licensed adult – minimum age 21

Get Your Kansas Unrestricted Full License

At a certain point, the state feels that you’ve been able to receive enough supervised driving experience that you can go out on your own. Therefore, once you reach 17 and have had your restricted license for 6 months, you can get your full Kansas license.

This means that previous restrictions are lifted. However, you will not receive an updated Kansas license until that one expires. After you renew your license, you will receive your full, unrestricted license in the mail.

Whether you’ve just finished your Kansas graduated licensing process, or are just starting out, you might also want to consider a telematic companion application to better understand your driving habits, and how to improve them.

The best option is the DriverZ Virtual Coach. Download it today to sharpen your S.P.I.D.E.R.Senses™ to build the driving skills that will keep you safe for a lifetime, track your supervised driving hours, and access bespoke driver training based on your specific needs.

Frequently asked questions

Here are answers to some common questions you might have as you start out on your KS licensing journey.

Can I drive with an out-of-state instructional permit in Kansas?

It depends on what part of Kansas you’ll be traveling through. You would want to contact the local Kansas Highway Patrol in that area.

Can I replace a lost or stolen learner’s permit?

You can replace a lost or stolen learner’s permit by visiting your nearest Kansas Department of Revenue branch and presenting identification documents and proof of your current address. You will need to pay a replacement fee of $16.

Kansas Department of Revenue inforation

For comprehensive information on everything related to the Kansas graduated licensing program, visit the Kansas Department of Revenue. You can also call 785-296-3671 Monday – Friday between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Prepare for your license journey by reviewing the Kasnas Driving Handbook, and taking a few practice tests