How to Apply for Kansas Driver's License: Step-by-Step Guide (2019)

Learn what to expect, things you need, and how to get behind the wheel faster.
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On this page: Types of licenses How to apply Knowledge test Road test Replace or renew New residents

How Does It Work?

If you are a Kansas driver, or would like to become one, you will need a Kansas driver's license. To get the license you will need to pass the required tests and prove your lawful presence in the USA. To save you some time, here is a step by step guide that you will need to follow to get a driver's license in Kansas.

Get an instruction permit

Allows you to practice driving under supervision.

Get a Restricted License

Allows you to drive unsupervised with restrictions.

Get a Full (Adult) License

Allows you to drive with no restrictions.

Types of Driver's Licenses in Kansas

For each license type there's a corresponding type of instruction permit
Kansas Class C Driver's License
Class C (Non-Commercial)
It is required to operate common cars and vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating of less than 26,001 pounds. Read the KS Driving Handbook or take a free KS DMV practice test.
Kansas Class A/B Driver's License
Class A/B (Non- Commercial)
It is required to drive non-commercial vehicles with over 26,000 GVWR, e.g. RVs or vehicles registered as farm trucks. Read the KS Driving Handbook or take a free KS DMV practice test.
Kansas Class A/B/C License
Class A/B/C (Commercial)
You must have it to operate any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 pounds or more or a combination vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, as well as a vehicle designed to transport 16 or more passengers (including the driver) and any size vehicle which transports hazardous materials. Read the KS CDL Manual or take a free KS CDL General Knowledge Test.
Kansas Motorcycle Driver's License
Class M
Allows you to ride a moped or motorcycle with the engine capacity of over 130 cc. Read the KS Motorcycle Operator Manual or take a free KS Motorcycle Practice Test.

How to Apply for Your Class C Driver’s License

To apply for a Class C driver's license, you must pass the vision, written and driving examinations. This is your complete plan of action depending on your age:

How to Apply for Your KS Instruction Permit

Instruction permit is the first step of the Graduated Driver's License system that is established for teen (14-17 year old) drivers in Kansas. It will allow you to drive supervised at all times by a licensed driver not younger than 21. You may also apply for an instruction permit if you are older than 17, but it is not a requirement.

1APPLY IN PERSON

You can apply on a walk-in basis at any driver licensing office, however, if you apply in Mission, Olathe, Wyandotte, Andover, Wichita, Derby, Topeka and Manhattan, you can get in line online by using the Q-Flow system

2COMPETE THE APPLICATION FORM

If you are younger than 16, your application must be competed by your parent or guardian.

3BRING YOUR PARENT OR GUARDIAN

Your parent or guardian will be also required to give you the permission to get a license in writing.

4BRING DOCUMENTATION REQUIRED

You should verify your:

  • Identity
  • Social Security number
  • Kansas residency (2 documents)

Use this checklist to make sure you bring the correct documents.

5PASS A VISION TEST

Eyesight of at least 20/40 in one eye is required, with or without correction. Alternatively, you can provide an eye examination report by a licensed optometrist or ophthalmologist made not more than 90 days prior to application.

6PASS A KNOWLEDGE TEST

It includes written questions on Kansas traffic laws and road signs. Prepare online before you go.

If you took a driver education course at an approved program, you can bring your certificate of completion and the test will be waived. If unsure whether or not your program has been approved, contact the Department of Education at 785-296-8107 or the Kansas Division of Vehicles at 785-296-3963. Note that Internet courses are not approved for a driver's license.

7PAY THE FEES

  • $3.00 exam fee
  • $8.00 photo fee
  • $6.00 instruction permit fee

8HAVE YOUR PICTURE TAKEN

9GET YOUR INSTRUCTION PERMIT

If you are younger than 17, you will have to hold the permit and practice supervised driving for 1 year before you are able to apply for a restricted license.

If you are 17+, there is no minimum amount of time required for holding your instruction permit.

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How to Apply for Restricted Driver’s License

It is the second stage of the Graduated Driver's License System established in Kansas. You can apply for your restricted license at the age of 15, or for its less restricted version if you are 16 and fulfil all the requirements listed below. The restricted license allows you to drive supervised anywhere/anytime and drive unsupervised but with restrictions. No wireless communication devices while driving are allowed.

If you are between 15 and 16, you may get a restricted license and drive unsupervised to and from work and school over the most direct route. You may not transport any non-sibling minor passengers.

If you are between 16 and 17, you may get a less restricted license and drive anywhere between 5am and 9 pm and anytime going to and from work and authorized school or religious activities. You may transport no more than one non-sibling passenger under the age of 18.

  1. HOLD YOUR INSTRUCTION PERMIT FOR AT LEAST ONE YEAR

    During this time log at least 25 driving hours (if you are 15) and at least 50 driving hours with 10 hours at night (if you are 16). Submit the affidavit to the driver licensing office.

  2. COMPLETE APPROVED DRIVER EDUCATION (IF YOUNGER THAN 16)

    The driver education program you chose must be offered through a local, accredited school district and approved by the Department of Education. If unsure whether your program has been approved, contact the Department of Education at 785-296-8107 or the Kansas Division of Vehicles at 785-296-3963. Note that Internet courses are not approved for licensing purposes.

  3. APPLY IN PERSON

    You can apply on a walk-in basis at any driver licensing office, however, if you apply in Mission, Olathe, Wyandotte, Andover, Wichita, Derby, Topeka and Manhattan, you can get in line online by using the Q-Flow system.

  4. BRING DOCUMENTATION REQUIRED

    You should verify your:

    • Identity
    • Social Security number
    • Kansas residency (2 documents)

    Use this checklist to make sure you bring the correct documents.

  5. OBTAIN YOUR PARENT OR GUARDIAN PERMISSION (IF YOUNGER THAN 17)

    Your parent or guardian will be required to give you the permission to get a license in writing in front of a driver licensing office employee.

  6. PASS A VISION TEST

    Eyesight of at least 20/40 in one eye is required, with or without correction. Alternatively, you can provide an eye examination report by a licensed optometrist or ophthalmologist made not more than 90 days prior to application.

  7. PASS THE KNOWLEDGE TEST

    It includes written questions on Kansas traffic laws and road signs. Prepare online before you go.

    Alternatively, bring in the DE-99 completion slip from driver's education.

  8. PASS THE DRIVING TEST

    You will drive over a test route that may have a variety of traffic situations. Alternatively, bring in the DE-99 completion slip from driver's education.

  9. PAY THE FEES
    • $20.00 license fee
    • $8.00 photo fee
    • $3.00 exam fee

  10. HAVE YOUR PICTURE TAKEN AND GET THE LICENSE

    Your driver's license will be valid until your 21st birthday. It is not necessary to return to a driver license office before that to have the restriction removed. The computer will be updated to remove the age restriction when all criteria to remove the restriction have been met.

When you turn 16, you will move to less restricted privileges if your 50 hour affidavit has been turned in, and you maintain a satisfactory driving record.

You are required to hold a less restricted license for 6 months or until age 17, whichever occurs first. If you have complied with all laws, the restrictions will no longer apply after that.

How to Apply for Your Full (Unrestricted) Driver’s License

You may apply for you full license at the age of 17. You don't have to obtain an instruction permit, but you can if you want to practice supervised driving.

First timer? Start with Step 1.

Instruction permit holder? Start with Step 5.

1APPLY IN PERSON

You can apply on a walk-in basis at any driver licensing office, however, if you apply in Mission, Olathe, Wyandotte, Andover, Wichita, Derby, Topeka and Manhattan, you can get in line online by using the Q-Flow system.

2BRING DOCUMENTATION REQUIRED

You should verify your

  • Identity
  • Social Security number
  • Kansas residency (2 documents)

Use this checklist to make sure you bring the correct documents.

3PASS A VISION TEST

Eyesight of at least 20/40 in one eye is required, with or without correction. Alternatively, you can provide an eye examination report by a licensed optometrist or ophthalmologist made not more than 90 days prior to application.

4PASS THE KNOWLEDGE TEST

It includes written questions on Kansas traffic laws and road signs. Prepare online before you go.

Alternatively, bring in the DE-99 completion slip from driver's education.

5SUBMIT AN AFFIDAVIT (IF YOUNGER THAN 18)

Your parent or guardian is required to sign a 50 hour affidavit, 10 of these driving hours should be at night.

6PASS THE DRIVING TEST

You will drive over a test route that may have a variety of traffic situations. Alternatively, bring in the DE-99 completion slip from driver’s education.

7PAY THE FEES

  • $18.00 license fee ( 21+)
  • $20.00 license fee (under 21)
  • $8.00 photo fee
  • $3.00 exam fee

8HAVE YOUR PICTURE TAKEN

9GET YOUR UNRESTRICTED LICENSE

Your new license will be valid for 4 or 6 years, or until your 21-st birthday.

Kansas Knowledge Exam aka Written Test

You can take this test at a driving licensing office on a walk-in basis or get in line online by using the Q-Flow system if you apply in Mission, Olathe, Wyandotte, Andover, Wichita, Derby, Topeka and Manhattan.

Take a free practice test
What does the test consist of?
You will answer 25 multiple choice questions about Kansas traffic laws and identify road signs by their shape, color, or the symbol appearing on them. All the required information can be found in Kansas Driving Handbook. You are required to answer 20 of these questions correctly and get at least 80% to pass the test.
How to prepare for the test?
Study Kansas Driving Handbook and take free practice tests available here. When you feel comfortable with your score, you are ready! You can also download our free DMV Genie app to study on the go. Get it on the App Store or on Google Play.
How long does the test take?
It’s not timed, but candidates usually spend 15-20 minutes to complete the exam.
What common mistakes should I avoid?
The most common mistake comes from not knowing enough information out of the handbook. This happens when people study solely with practice tests. Make sure you read the handbook first. Another problem is rushing through questions. Take your time and remember what you have studied.
Can I use the driver's handbook when I take the actual test?
Nice try, but there will be no handbooks available during the knowledge test.
What happens if you fail the test?
You can retake it the next business day after paying the $1.50 fee or study more and retake it on a later date. You are given 4 opportunities to pass the knowledge exam. If you fail to pass the 4th time, you will be required to wait 6 months before starting the process again.

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Driving Test

Step-by-Step Guide
What to expect during KS driving test
Road Test FAQ

This exam will test your basic skills in operating a motor vehicle. It consists of 3 parts: a pre-trip vehicle safety inspection test, basic vehicle control skills test and road test. You are required to bring a car with valid registration and insurance.

Pre-trip Vehicle Inspection

You are required to show that the vehicle you brought for the test is safe to drive. You may have to walk around the car, point to each item and explain to the examiner what you are checking and why. You will not have to open the hood or crawl under the car.

External inspection

Demonstrate the following:

  1. Vehicle walk around to make sure there are no children, animals and other debris around the vehicle before entering.
  2. No leaks - look for puddles on the ground under the engine and around the transmission and fuel tank area.
  3. Tires are properly inflated, with adequate tread depth and in good condition.
  4. Headlights, taillights and brake lights are operational.
  5. Turn signals are operational.

Internal inspection

Show that the following features are in good condition:

  1. Seats and safety belts
  2. Windows and windshield (clear with no damage)
  3. Doors and mirrors
  4. Wipers and washers
  5. Heater/Air Conditioner/Defroster ( be ready to explain how they work)
  6. Horn
  7. Indicator lights
  8. There's enough fuel
Basic Control Skills Test

You may be asked to perform two or more of the following maneuvers off-street or on-street:

  1. Forward two-point turnabout
  2. Reverse two-point turnabout
  3. Three-point turnabout
  4. Left-side parallel park
  5. Right-side parallel park

While performing these maneuvers limit the following common errors:

  • It is when you stop and reverse direction to get a better position. Stopping without changing direction does not count as a reversal.
  • Touching or crossing over an exercise boundary line or cone with any part of your vehicle, other than the vehicle's mirrors.
  • Failure to use or improper use of your turn signal
  • Not using your head for traffic checks
  • Failure to maneuver the car into the final position described by the examiner

Don't hesitate to ask your examiner all the questions you have if you are not sure what is required.

Road Test

    You will follow the directions of the examiner. The examiner will not trick you or ask to do anything illegal. Your job is to drive safely. Your examiner will be scoring your general driving behavior and evaluate the following maneuvers:

    • Making turns
    • Passing intersections
    • Changing lanes
    • Following all speed limits
    • Merging and driving on the expressway
    • Maintaining proper lane positioning
    • Checking mirrors and blind spots
    • Identifying traffic signs
    • Using brakes properly
    • Keeping both hands on the wheel
    • Checking traffic and mirrors regularly.
    • Proper stopping at a stop line or crosswalk or gap
Critical Errors

    You will fail automatically if you commit one of the following errors during your road test:

    • Not wearing a seat belt
    • Receiving a traffic citation for a moving violation
    • Not yielding to pedestrians or other roadway users
    • Involvement in an avoidable crash or if your vehicle has physical contact with other vehicles, objects or pedestrians
    • Committing any unsafe act
    • Another driver is forced to take evasive actions to prevent a crash
    • Putting your vehicle over sidewalks or curbs unnecessarily
    • Your examiner has to take control of your vehicle
End of the Test
At the end of the test, your examiner will show you the results of each part of your driving test and provide recommendations for possible improvement. You have 4 attempts to pass your driving test. If you fail your 4th attempt, you will have to wait another six months to retry.

How to Renew Your Driver’s License in Kansas

  • At least 30 days prior to the expiration of your license, the Division of Vehicles will mail you a notice to the address on file. You can renew your license up to one year in advance unless you are less than 21 years of age. If you are turning 21, you can't renew before your birthday, but should do it as soon as possible after your 21st birthday (you have 45 days to do it).

    Plan of Action:

    1. Apply at any full-service DMV office or county treasurer location on a walk-in basis or get in line online by using the Q-Flow system if you apply in Mission, Olathe, Wyandotte, Andover, Wichita, Derby, Topekaand Manhattan.
    2. Provide the proof of the following:
      1. Your identity (bring your expiring license)
      2. Social Security number
      3. Kansas residency and your principal residence address (could be the renewal card you received in the mail if it shows your principal address)

      Use this checklist for more ideas for selecting documents.

    3. Pass a vision exam.
    4. Pay the fee of $26 for a 6 year license. An additional $1.00 will be charged if your license has expired.
    5. Have your picture taken.

    If the driver license has been expired for more than 1 year, you will also have to take the written and driving examinations.

    Note that a driver's license examiner may also require any applicant to pass a written or driving skills test if they suspect the applicant is unable to exercise ordinary and reasonable control of a vehicle.

  • You may renew your license by mail only if

    1. You are out of state when your license expires, but you are a Kansas resident. (e.g., military, dependents of military, missionaries or college students)
    2. Your expiring license photo is in the driver's licensing office database.
    3. You are a US citizen or can provide lawful presence documents along with application.

    Plan of action:

    1. Fill in and print form DEMI-1.
    2. Prepare the fee of $26 (for 6 year license) by money order, check or major credit card. Make checks payable to KDOR and mail it to the address below.
    3. Prepare supporting documents (follow the instructions on form DEMI-1.)
    4. Email the form and any scanned documents to KDOR_DEMI1@KS.GOV.

      Or mail the form and copies of documents together with your payment to:

      Kansas Department of Revenue

      P.O. Box 2188 Topeka

      KS 66601-2188

    Note that if you are turning 21 the year you are requesting a renewal, your request until your 21st birthday cannot be processed.

  • Kansas driver’s license offices do not provide online renewals at this time.

New Residents: How to Get a Kansas Driver's License

If you hold an out-of-state driver’s license, you are required to transfer it to a Kansas Driver’s License within 90 days of moving to Kansas.
Out-of-state license Foreign license
Not sure if you are a Kansas resident?
Are you a Kansas resident?
You are considered a Kansas resident if you have made Kansas your permanent home, accepted a job offer, got a house or pay state income taxes.
Residing temporarily?
Are you visiting Connecticut

Good news! If either of the following applies to you, you do not require to transfer your out-of-state driver's license.

  • You are in the military
  • You are a full time college student or a visitor and have a current driver's license from your home state or country.
  • You are an alien (foreign tourists, teachers or business people who are here for up to one year and who hold valid immigration documents).

I’ve Got a Valid Out-of-State License

Moving from another US state? Welcome to Kansas!
Moving from another state?

You must transfer your driver's license on a walk-in basis at a driver's license office convenient for you or get in line online by using the Q-Flow system if you apply in Mission, Olathe, Wyandotte, Andover, Wichita, Derby, Topeka and Manhattan.

Plan of Action
  1. Bring documentation to verify the following:
    • Your identity
    • Social Security number
    • Kansas residency (2 documents)

    Use this checklist to make sure you bring the correct documents.

  2. Submit your current driver's license which is not canceled, suspended, or revoked in any state.
  3. Pass a vision examination.
  4. Have your picture taken.
  5. Pay the fee of $ 26.00 for a 6 year license.

If your out-of-state license expired less than a year ago, you will also have to take a written test.

If your out-of-state license expired more than a year ago, you will have to pass both written and driving tests.

driver's license in Kansas

I've Got a Valid Foreign License

Moving from another country? Welcome to Kansas!

The procedure for transferring your foreign driver's license is similar to applying for a new license in Kansas. Please follow the steps in our guide to apply for a full driver's license.

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