One of the great agrarian states in the union, situated on the great central plain, Kansas is a well-known farming state with a relatively low population compared to its geographic size. This has produced a Graduated Licensing system that takes its agrarian roots into consideration, especially for younger drivers that may need concessions for the farm, school and home. If you are new to Kansas with a learner’s permit from another state, you will be surprised to find you will need to reapply in Kansas; your out of state leaner’s permit is not accepted in Kansas.
Normal Permit Progression
In the state, there is generally two paths, you can take to an unrestricted full license; the farm associated route and the standard route for everyone else. This is the route a non-farming family would consider.
Instruction Permit for 14-16 year olds
Within each of these routes you can also decide as a driver whether or not to take driver’s education, as it is not a requirement to get a full license within Kansas. At the age of 14 you could apply for an Instruction Permit and hold this permit until you are 18, at which time you could apply for a Full License without any requirements. However, your Instruction Permit from the age of 14 until you are eligible at 18 for a full license without any other requirements would require an adult over 21 with a full license in the front seat beside you at all times while you are driving. This situation is not tenable for most families and not the normal route most teenagers prefer to get their license, but it is possible.
This instruction permit requires a minimum age of 14, a vision and written test, parent’s consent for 14 and 15 year olds and standard fees. At the age of 17, the Instruction Permit has not wireless restrictions. From 14-16, wireless communication devices are restricted while driving except in emergency situations.
Restricted Permit, 15 Years Old
At 15 years old, you can apply for a Restricted Permit that allows drivers to travel to and from work and school when in session without an adult supervising driver required. Wireless devices are still restricted, no minor non-sibling passengers are allowed and an affidavit stating 25 practice hours behind the wheel is required. This permit also requires state approved driver’s education course.
Restricted Permit, 16 Years Old
The requirements for this permit include a 50 hour affidavit of behind the wheel driving experience, but do not require a driver’s education course. However a driver’s education course would eliminate the written and drive tests normally required. This permit allows drivers to drive unsupervised by an adult licensed driver between the hours of 9am to 5pm, anytime driving to and from work or school sanctioned functions and religious activities. It also allows one minor non-sibling passenger under the age of 18. This permit still restricts wireless devices.
Full License, Age 17
If you followed the progression through each permit stage, as long as you held the Restricted Permit 16 for a minimum of 6 months you would automatically qualify for the full license without any restrictions upon turning 17. It would require you having either previously submitting or submitting a 50 hour affidavit behind the wheel experience certificate.
Essentially each stage within the non-farming family route opens up the time and places allowed without an adult supervisory driver.
Farming Permit Progression
The farming side of the GDL program in Kansas allows drivers at 14 -15 years old to drive to and from school, employment or other farm related work by the most direct routes. This farm permit does not require the driver’s education course required by the same Restricted Permit for the same age that is non-farm related and makes driving unsupervised available to 14 year olds, as opposed to 15 year olds under the normal GDL progression.
Less Restricted Farm Permit, 16 years old
This permit is essentially the same as the Restricted Permit 16 years old under the normal progression, except that this permit does not require the Farm Permit 14-15 year olds to be held prior to getting this permit. Whereas the Restricted Permit 16 requires the Instructional Permit 14-15 to be held before getting the Restricted Permit 16.
A Less Restricted Farm Permit turns into a Full License at the age of 17 as long as it was held for a minimum of 6 months. This progression would not require driver’s education if the time limits were observed.
Out of State
If you hold an existing out of State license within the US, it can be turned in for a Kansas Driver’s License if you satisfy the residency requirement, have not been cancelled in any other state, pay the applicable fees and pass a vision test.
If your license is expired more than a year from another state, you will be need to provide the same as above as well as pass all written examinations and a driving examination.
Generally if you are attaining your license in Kansas for the first time, taking a driver’s education course can often speed you to the next permit phase.