Kansas’s Teen Driver’s License and Insurance Requirements

Learn about the requirements for teens to obtain a driver’s license in Kansas and what insurance is required.

In Kansas, there are different paths for young drivers to obtain a license depending on their age, experience, and purpose for driving.

Instruction Permit

Beginning at 14 years old, with parent approval, a person can take a written test and vision test to obtain an instruction permit. This permit allows the licensee to drive in Kansas as long as a licensed adult who is at least 21 years old is in the front seat at all times. Anyone driving with an instruction permit is prohibited from using wireless devices while operating a vehicle. The motorist must hold the instruction permit for one year before advancing to a restricted license.

A person who is at least 17 years old can obtain an instruction permit by passing a vision test and written test without parental approval. These permit holders are still required to ride with a licensed adult who’s at least 21 years but aren’t subject to the cellphone restriction.

Restricted License

With parental approval, 15-year-olds with instruction permits can obtain restricted licenses by completing another vision test, driver education, and 25 hours of verified driving time. The driver still can’t use of a cellphone while driving, isn’t allowed to transport non-sibling minors, and generally must have a licensed adult who’s over 21 in the car. However, a restricted license allows the minor to drive to and from school and work without an adult in the car.

A restricted license holder who has turned 16 and completed 50 hours of verified driving can obtain a less-restricted license by passing a written, driving, and vision test. This less-restricted license allows the motorist to drive without an adult:

  • anywhere from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m., and
  • to and from work, school and religious activities at any time.

With less-restricted privileges, the driver can also transport one non-sibling minor in the vehicle.

Non-Restricted Driver’s License

After holding a less-restricted license for at least six months, the driver is no longer subject to the limitations of a restricted license and can apply for a non-restricted license without having to do any further testing.

Anyone who is 17 years old doesn’t need to obtain an instruction permit or restricted license. After completion of the vision, written, and driving test (or driver’s education), the person is entitled to a non-restricted driver’s license. However, anyone who is under 18 years old needs to show completion of 50 hours of verified driving time before testing.

Farm Permit

In Kansas, minors who live or work on a farm are permitted to have a restricted license to get to and from school and the farm. To apply for a farm permit, the minor must be 14 years old and take a written, vision, and driving test. The licensee is not allowed to use a cellphone or transport non-sibling minors and must have parental approval with verified farming employment.

Once the minor turns 16 years old and completes 50 verified hours of driving, the farm permit authorizes the holder to drive:

  • anywhere from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m., and
  • to and from any school, farm, and religious activities at any time.

For 16-year-olds, the cellphone still applies but transporting one non-sibling passenger is allowed.

Anyone with a farm permit can drive anywhere when accompanied by a licensed adult over 21 years of age.

Insurance

Before any driver can operate a vehicle in Kansas, the vehicle must be properly insured. In Kansas, the mandatory insurance requirements are:

  • Liability coverage. Must include at least $25,000 bodily injury per person, $50,000 bodily injury per accident, and $25,000 property damage per accident.
  • Personal injury protection. Must include at least $4,500 for medical expenses, $900 per month for disability/loss of income, $25 per day for in-home services, $2,000 for funeral expense, and $4,500 for rehabilitation.
  • Uninsured/Underinsured coverage. Must include at least $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident.

Failure to provide and display valid insurance is a class B misdemeanor and can result in up to six months in jail and a $300 to $1,000 fine. Subsequent convictions will have increased jail time, increased fines, and possible license suspension.

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