​​​How to apply

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services ( USCIS )
  • KRS 186.4121 requires all non-U.S. citizens wishing to apply for a Kentucky driver's permit/license/ID card to make application to a Driver Licensing Regional Office. This excludes permanent residents. Once the Division of Driver Licensing approves the application, the Kentucky driver's permit/license/ID card will be issued from the Circuit Court Clerk's office in the county where the applicant resides, or at a Driver Licensing Regional Office.
  • "Permanent Residents" or "Resident Aliens" may go directly to the Circuit Court Clerk's office or at a Driver Licensing Regional Office. They must present their Per​manent Resident card or I-551 with photo issued by USCIS.
  • All non-U.S. citizens may drive in the U.S. on their valid foreign license and International Permit for up to one year from the date of admission into the U.S. provided their home country is part of the Foreign License Reciprocity. Drivers from non-Foreign License Reciprocity Countries must obtain a Kentucky license within 30 days of establishing residency in Kentucky.

Required Documentation

Select a specific status code below to view details​


If a driver does not see their status listed, they are asked to present all documentation proving they are legally allowed to be in the U.S. All documentation must be in original form and is subject to approval.

These statuses are subject to review and change as the Division of Driver Licensing continues to strengthen review procedures within the issuance process to non-U.S. citizens. Due to the complex nature of rules, interpretations, and laws, there may be occasions when exceptions may be made.

 Note: The Division of Driver Licensing no longer accepts ITIN (tax ID numbers). All applicants must now have either a Social Security card or a denial/ineligibility letter from the Social Security Administration.

Residency Requirements

All non-U.S. citizens must also provide proof of residency in Kentucky. Kentucky law defines "residency" as a person who has established Kentucky as his or her state of domicile within the last 30 days. Proof of residency shall include, but not be limited to a deed, property tax bill, utility agreement, utility bill, or housing agreement.


All non-U.S. citizens transferring in from a foreign country and applying for a first time Kentucky permit/license are required to take the written, vision, and road tests. Drivers holding a valid license from a foreign reciprocity country, will not be required to hold a permit.

Non-U.S. citizens transferring in from another U.S. State with a valid license or already licensed in Kentucky are not required to retest, but they must be approved by Division of Driver Licensing.

Permanent Residents with a valid license from a foreign reciprocity country will only be required to take the written/vision exam. Otherwise, all testing is required.

Available Testing Languages for Written Permit Test

  •  Albanian
  •  Arabic
  •  Bosnian
  •  Cambodian
  •  Chinese
  •  Croatian
  •  English​
  •  French
  •  German
  •  Japanese
  •  Korean
  •  Laotian
  •  Persian
  •  Polish
  •  Romanian
  •  Russian
  •  Somali
  •  Spanish
  •  Thai
  •  Turkish
  •  Vietnamese

License Expiration

A license or ID card issued to a non-U.S. citizen will be issued to expire with their USCIS documents. Exceptions to this are "Special Status Individuals" (Asylee, Refugee, Paroled in Public Interest, or K-1). These individuals will receive a 4 year license or ID. If the persons USCIS documents are issued for an indefinite period of time, but the person is not considered a "Special Status", the license or ID will be valid for a 4 year period.

Fraudulent Documents

 Warning: A person presenting false information regarding citizenship, residency, or immigration status under KRS 186.570 will be denied or suspended and prosecuted.



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