How to Get A Driver’s License in Kansas (A Complete 2024 Guide)

How to Get A Driver’s License in Kansas (A Complete Guide)

Can’t wait to start driving

Here’s some good news — while you need to be at least 16 in most states to start the process, you don’t have to wait that long in Kansas. Here, you can apply once you celebrate your 14th birthday. 

Sounds great, right?

But wait — there’s better news! 

We’re going to show you all the steps on how to get a driver’s license in Kansas. This way, you won’t be confused about where to begin, what to do, and all that. 

We bet you can’t wait to start — and neither can we…

So let’s begin!

Kansas Driver’s License Requirements

Yes, you’ll need to invest a lot of time and effort to get your Kansas driver’s license. However, we’re sure you’ll do great if you take it one step at a time.

Now, in Kansas, teens have to go through a Graduated Driver’s License (GDL) program. This means you won’t get all your driving privileges immediately. You’ll have to go through stages. 

And here is a list of the stages you need to go through: 

  • Instruction permit
  • Restricted license
  • Unrestricted license

Let’s show you how to go through each stage. 

How to Get an Instruction Permit in Kansas

First things first, you need to get your instruction permit. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Gather the following documents:
    • One document proving your identity. It must have your birthday, complete name, and lawful status as a U.S. citizen (or presence as a non-U.S. citizen)
    • Two documents proving your Kansas residency. It must show your name and residential address
    • One document showing your Social Security Number. Non-U.S. citizens on a non-work status do NOT need to present this

Click here to see a list of all acceptable IDs for your license permit.

  1. Take the written test online through Kansas’ KnowTo Drive Online Testing. If you want to take it in person, schedule a written exam appointment online at your preferred driver’s license office. 

NOTE: You don’t need to take a written exam if you completed an approved driver’s education course. You can submit your certificate of completion when you get to the office. 

  1. Visit the office on your schedule. Your parent or legal guardian must accompany you if you’re younger than 16. They will need to grant permission for you to get an instruction permit.
  1. Complete an application form and present it along with the necessary documents and your passing score (if you’ve taken the written exam online)
  1. Pass a vision test.
  1. Pass the written exam. Again, this step can be taken online or waived if you present a certificate of completion from an approved driver’s education course. 
  1. Pay the appropriate fees:
    • Issuance fee for a regular instruction permit: $2.00
    • Photo fee: $8.00
    • Written exam fee if taken online: $11.50
  1. Have your photo taken.
  1. Receive your instruction permit.

Now that you have an instruction permit, you can use it to practice driving — it’ll come in handy when you’re ready for your restricted license.

However, keep the following things in mind:

  • A licensed adult (21 or older) must always be in the front passenger seat when you’re behind the wheel.
  • You cannot use any wireless communication device while driving. The only exceptions are if you’re reporting illegal activity or if it’s an emergency.

How to Get a Restricted License in Kansas

Once you have held your instruction permit for one year, you can already apply for a restricted Kansas driver’s license. 

However, if you want a less restricted license, you can wait until you turn 16 years old. 

That said, here are the steps to get a restricted license in Kansas:

  1. Complete a state-approved driver’s education program if you’re 15 years old (unless you already completed it).

NOTE: Although several schools offer a driver’s ed course online, the state of Kansas will not accept it. You can only take driver’s ed from a local, accredited school district. It must also be a DOE-approved program.

  1. Complete the required driving hours. These vary depending on your age:
    • If you’re between 15 and 16, you only need to complete 25 hours
    • If you’re between 16 and 17, you must complete 50 hours of driving, with 10 hours done at night. 
  1. Make an appointment for your driving exam online. An approved driver’s education can waive this step. So even though 16-year-olds are not required to take driver’s ed, they can do so to avoid this step. 
  1. On the day of your visit, present the following documents:
    • Proof of identity, residency, and Social Security Number. Click here for acceptable IDs.
    • Your learner’s permit
    • A completed Teen Driving Affidavit Log confirming your driving hours (regardless of whether you completed 25 or 50 hours)
    • Certificate of completion of a driver’s education (if applicable) 
  1. If 15 years old, have a parent or legal guardian present and confirm in writing that you can get your driver’s license.
  1. Pass a vision test.
  1. Pass the driving test. Remember, an approved driver’s education can waive this step. But if you need to undergo it, bring your own vehicle.
  1. Pay the necessary fees:
    • License issuance fee: $20.00
    • Drive test fee: $3.00
    • Photo fee: $8.00
  1. Have your photo taken.
  1. Get your restricted or less restricted license.

As the name implies, you don’t have complete driving privileges yet. So it’s important to remember your limitations.

Here are the restrictions for 15-year-old licensees:

  • You can only drive on the following occasions:
  • You’re going to and from school or work.
  • You’re attending a religious gathering.
  • A licensed adult (who’s at least 21) is accompanying you.
  • You must only use the most accessible route to your destination.
  • You cannot use any communication device (even if it’s wireless) except to report illegal activity or if you’re in an emergency.
  • None of your passengers can be under 18 years old.

All these will apply until you turn 16 and submit the affidavit for 50 driving hours.

And here are the lesser restrictions for 16-year-old licensees:

  • You can only drive unsupervised between 5 am to 9 pm. All other times, a licensed adult must be with you.
  • You can only go to and from the following:
  • Work
  • School-sanctioned activities
  • Religious gatherings
  • You can only use a wireless device while driving during an emergency. You can also use one to report illegal activity.
  • You cannot have more than one passenger under 18 unless it’s a sibling.

All these will apply until you turn 17 years old.

How to Get an Unrestricted Driver’s License in Kansas

You’re nearly there! 

Now, if you’re holding a restricted license and you’ve turned 17 years old, the DOR lifts all restrictions. 

You are now a fully licensed driver in Kansas.


But what if you are already over 17 years old and are just getting your first license? 

Well, if this situation applies to you, you can go straight to an unrestricted license. And here is how to do that:

  1. Schedule an appointment for a written and driving test. For the written test, you can take it online at Kansas’ KnowTo Drive Online Testing

NOTE: though not required, you can take an approved driver’s education course to waive these tests. Just make sure to present your certificate of completion at the office. 

  1. When at the office, fill out an application form and submit the following documents:
    • Proof of identity (1)
    • Proof of Kansas residency (2)
    • Proof of Social Security Number (1)
    • If below 18 years old, a completed affidavit confirming you’ve completed 50 driving hours (40 during the day, 10 at night) 

You can find acceptable IDs here. 

  1. Pass a vision test.
  1. Pass a written exam. If taken online, present your passing score at the office.  
  1. Pass the driving test. Remember to bring your own vehicle. 
  1. Pay the necessary fees:
    • License issuance fee: $20 (if below 21 years old), $18 (if 21 and older), and $12 (if 64 and above)
    • Test fee: $3
    • Photo fee: $8
  1. Have your photo taken
  1. Get your unrestricted license.

And there you have it — you will be a fully licensed driver in no time. 


Need more information? Then let’s check out the frequently asked questions about how to get a driver’s license in Kansas.

What is on the Kansas driving test?

The Kansas driving test consists of 2 parts. 

First, the examiner will ask you to show your vehicle’s lights, turn signals, and horn. You will also show that your car’s in good working condition. What’s more, the examiner may ask you to demonstrate some hand signals.

Next, you’ll undergo the driving portion, which lasts around 15 minutes. Your examiner will ask you to demonstrate several maneuvers, including:

  • Reverse 2-point parking
  • Observing right-of-way and yielding if necessary
  • Doing quick stops safely
  • Backing up
  • Signaling and turning
  • Passing properly
  • Maintaining a safe distance between you and the car ahead of you

How many questions are on the Kansas permit test? 

The written test has 25 multiple-choice questions. You will have to get 20 correct to pass. 

To prepare, you can study the Kansas DMV Handbook. You should especially prepare for questions revolving around road signs and Kansas traffic regulations. 

Is driver’s ed required in Kansas?

Yes, but only if you are between 15 and 16 years old. That said, no matter your age, you can still take an approved driver’s ed to waive the written and driving test. 

Can I get a Kansas driver’s license online?

Today, Kansas makes it a lot easier to get your driver’s license by offering a lot of online services. And now, you can even take the written exam online through the KnowTo Drive Online Testing. Plus, you can schedule appointments online.

Of course, you will still be required to visit a driver’s license office to get your license, pay the fees, go through the vision and driving test, etc. 

Can you get your license at 18 without a permit in Kansas?

Yes, you can. However, you must submit the necessary documents, pass all required tests (vision, written, and driving), and pay the fees.

How long does it take to get your license in Kansas?

Applicants older than 17 may get their licenses sooner — after all, they don’t need to get a permit or complete a driver’s education course. 

However, if you’re starting at 14, the earliest you can get a restricted license is after a year (assuming you completed driver’s ed and the required driving hours during this time). But you’ll only get an unrestricted one once you turn 17 — so that can take 2 or 3 years, depending on when you began the process.

The Wrap Up

And that was your complete 2024 guide on how to get a driver’s license in Kansas. 

Don’t let the length of the guide overwhelm you. Remember, you just need to get through it one phase at a time.

The good news is you have all the requirements and the steps you need in one place. So whether you’re applying for a permit, getting your restricted license, or earning an unrestricted one, you now know what you need to do.

And if ever you get a little lost, you can always come back and check what step is next. 

Good luck!

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