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  • Special Licenses in Kentucky

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    Kentucky Special Driver's Licenses

    If you want to drive heavy-weight vehicles, transport a large number or passengers, or drive for hire, you may need to apply for a special license class or endorsement with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet's Division of Motor Vehicle Licensing (DMV).

    For certain vehicles and driving professions you may need a commercial driver's license (CDL). For others, your regular driver's license may satisfy the KY DMV requirements.

    On this page you'll find a general overview of some of the license classes and endorsements available to you.

    For information about applying for a regular driver's license, please visit our pages on the following topics:

    Kentucky Commercial Driver's Licenses

    If you want to drive a vehicle that accommodates 16 passengers or more, including the driver (think buses, shuttles, and school buses), you need a commercial driver's license (CDL). DMV.org has prepared an entire section dedicated to commercial driver's licenses, including:

    School Bus Drivers

    If you want to drive a school bus in Kentucky, you'll generally need to:

    • Hold a CDL.
    • Obtain a passenger and school bus endorsement for your license.
    • Pass a driving test in a school bus.
    • Pass a school bus knowledge test.
    • Become trained and certified.
    • Pass a background check.
    • Have a clean driving record.

    For more information, please contact the Kentucky DMV.

    Kentucky Taxi Drivers & Chauffeurs

    To drive a vehicle that accommodates fewer than 16 passengers (taxi cabs, chauffeur vehicles, limousines, etc.), you typically don't need a special license. All you need is a regular Kentucky driver's license.

    After you're hired, or as part of the hiring process, your new employer will inform you of any special training or other requirements you'll need.

    Some employers or local municipalities may require you to:

    • Have a clean driving record.
    • Pay a taxi/chauffeur permit or licensing fee.
    • Become medically certified.

    For more information, please contact the Kentucky DMV.

    Sports Vehicles in Kentucky

    Typically, you won't need to hold a special driver's license or endorsement to drive a sport or off-road vehicle in Kentucky, however, certain vehicles may have a minimum operating age or a safety course requirement. Below are some common examples.

    For more information, please contact the Kentucky DMV.

    Motorcycles

    To legally operate a motorcycle in Kentucky, you must have a motorcycle permit or license. To obtain a motorcycle permit or license, you must be at least 18 years old, or already have a valid driver's license.

    For more information, please visit our Motorcycle License in Kentucky page.

    Scooters and Mopeds

    You don't need a special license to operate a scooter in Kentucky; mopeds are a different story.

    First, note that you only need a moped or regular driver's license if you plan to drive on public property. If you're 16 years old and already have a driver's permit, you can apply for a moped license. If you already have a driver's license or motorcycle license, you don't need an additional moped license.

    Find more information about scooters and mopeds on our other vehicle types page and Motorcycle License page.

    ATVs

    You don't need a special license to operate an all-terrain vehicle (ATV); however, there are a couple of restrictions regarding age:

    • Riders under the age of 12 years old can only operate an ATV under 70 ccs while supervised by a parent.
    • Riders under the age of 16 years old can only operate an ATV under 90 ccs while supervised by a parent.

    The Kentucky Driver Manual further covers ATV rules and regulations.

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