Applying for a New License (Drivers 18+) in Kansas
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Whether you're applying for your first driver's license or a new resident trying to trade in your out-of-state driver's license, the task will be easier if you know what to expect. The Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV), a branch of the Kansas Department of Revenue, offers the following license types:
- Class C, which lets you drive regular passenger vehicles, farm trucks, and volunteer fire department trucks, as well as tow a vehicle as long the gross weight rating (GCWR) of both is less than 26,001 pounds.
- Noncommercial Class A and B (see below).
A Class A license allows you to drive any combination of vehicles with a GCWR of 26,001 pounds or more―except for farm trucks.
A Class B license lets you drive any single vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 26,001 pounds or more, or any such vehicle towing a vehicle not in excess of 10,000 pounds GVWR―except for farm trucks or trucks used by volunteer fire departments.
Younger than 18―You must complete a driver's education program offered through a local, accredited school district. If you are unsure whether a program is approved, you may contact the Department of Education at (785) 296-8107 or the DMV at (785) 296-3963.
18 and Older―Taking a supplemental course, such as the one our sponsor offers, helps you sharpen your skills; however, the DMV doesn't require you to complete a formal driver's education program.
Careful study of the Kansas Driver's License Handbook will help you do well on the written component of your driver's license test. After you've spent some time reviewing the material in the handbook, try taking a few practice tests to see how well you understand the key concepts covered on the written exam.
All but two counties (Wichita and Jefferson) offer driver's license services. Some stations offer a full range of services, while others have a more limited function. Contact the station you wish to wish to visit in advance to ask about their business hours and appointment policies.
If you have never been licensed, you must:
- Present acceptable proof of identity.
- Pass a vision screening.
- Provide payment for all applicable license fees.
The written exam has questions that cover traffic signs, rules of the road, and safe driving tips. The Kansas Driver's License Handbook and any driver's education courses you take provide you with all the knowledge you need to earn a passing score on this test.
When you pass the written test, the DMV will issue you a permit that allows you to drive only when another driver of the same license class supervises you. You have four chances to pass the written test, so you may simply retake the test at a later date if you fail your first exam.
NOTE: The DMV provides accommodations for those with special needs. Contact your local DMV office for additional information.
In order to take the driving test to earn your license, you must have a vehicle with you of the same class of license for which you're applying.
There are many different factors to consider when buying your first car, including your budget, gas mileage requirements, and whether or not you need a vehicle that's large enough to accommodate several passengers or haul cargo. Used vehicles can be a good bargain for thrifty shoppers, but remember to get a vehicle history report before your purchase.
You must have car insurance that meets the State's minimum requirements―even if you're just practicing in someone else's vehicle. Visit our Insurance Center for help finding the most affordable policy for your needs.
After passing the vision and written tests, you'll take the driving exam―unless you're a new resident with a valid out-of-state license to exchange.
Once You Pass
Applicants age 21 to 64 who pass the driving exam will receive a six-year license. Applicants age 65 and older who pass the driving exam will receive a four-year license.
If You Fail
If you fail the test, you may take it again the next working day. You may wait longer if you wish. You have four chances to pass the driving test. After the fourth failure, you must wait six months before retesting.
Rather than receiving your license at the DMV office, you'll get a temporary receipt. Your new license will be mailed to you, so make sure your address is correct on your application.
If you already have a valid license from another country and are visiting Kansas, you may drive for up to one year within the state. You'll also need an International Driver Permit, issued from your home country, which basically translates your license to make it understandable to U.S. officials.
Call (785) 296-3963 for more information on how to apply for a license as a non-citizen.
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We put a lot of effort into making our content helpful & accurate. Please let us know if you see something that isn't clear or correct; we are here to ease any frustrations you may have while navigating DMV topics. We are not a government agency, please reach out to your local DMV, insurance agent, or respective professional for further assistance on specific situations.