Kentucky, America’s 15th state, has a lot to offer residents and tourists alike. In this state one can find the longest cave system in the world, legendary horse races, the longest navigable waterways in the U.S., herds of deer, flocks of turkeys and all-American distilleries. Enjoy an afternoon of bluegrass music in the state that gave the music its name, hike through the infamous Cumberland Gap or visit breath-taking Red River Gorge and appreciate all that Kentucky has to offer. Taking a drive through this state can be beautiful. So to give drivers that freedom, CheapCarInsurance.net has streamlined the search for car insurance information by compiling this helpful list of all the necessary facts.
Average Car Insurance Premiums
Rising fairly consistently for several years, Kentucky’s average premiums are still below the national average. According to census.gov, however, the state’s premiums as a percentage of income have risen above the national average even after a sharp spike and decline in 2005.
Teen Drinking and Driving
At 7.9 percent, the Center for Disease Control reports that Kentucky teens drink and drive less than teens across the rest of the U.S. The national percentage is 10.1, which is over 2 percent higher than Kentucky’s.
Vehicular Theft in Kentucky
Kentucky’ auto thefts, according to the FBI, have remained far below the national average for several years. In 2012, Kentucky dropped to 152 while the national average dropped to 229.
Car insurance laws and regulations can change almost overnight. This list helps keep drivers one step ahead of these changes with useful information for every Kentucky driver.
Minimum Requirements for Car Insurance in Kentucky
- Kentucky state law requires all vehicles to be covered by liability coverage and no-fault personal injury protection. The Kentucky Department of Insurance provides additional information in the Kentucky Driver Manual.
- Liability Coverage minimums:
- $25,000 per single bodily injury or death.
- $50,000 per multiple bodily injury or deaths.
- $10,000 for property damage.
- Personal Injury Protection (PIP or No Fault):
- $10,000 for lost wages, medical expenses and replacement services for accidents involving injuries.
New Driver Licensing Requirements
- Kentucky drivers 16 years of age and older must be properly licensed to drive a vehicle in the state. Failure to maintain a drivers license can result in fines, suspensions and vehicle impounds.
- Kentucky participates in a Graduated Drivers License Program (GLP), which allows drivers under the age of 18 to gain driving experience prior to obtaining their Full Unrestricted License. Kentucky law has several requirements through each phase, and a brief summary is provided below. For further information, refer to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet website or the Kentucky Driver Manual.
- Permit Phase. In this phase, the applicant must be at least 16 years of age, and, if under 18, must have parent/legal guardian consent along with a School Compliance Verification Form.
- Applicants in this phase must pass the vision and written tests, and the following applies:
- Under age 21 must hold the permit for a minimum of 180 days
- 21 and over must hold the permit for a minimum of 30 days
- Must complete 60 hours of supervised driving time with at least 10 hours of night driving. The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet provides a Driving Log and Verification Form here.
- Certain driving times are restricted at this phase, and only one passenger under 20 and unrelated to the driver may be in the vehicle.
- If under age 18, must complete an approved Driver Training School. The state’s Transportation Cabinet provides an online option here.
- Intermediate License. In this phase, the permit holder who has satisfied all requirements for the permit may apply for an Intermediate License by passing the road skills test. During this phase, the following applies:
- Must hold this license for a minimum of 180 days.
- Certain driving times are restricted, and only one passenger under 20 and unrelated to the driver may be in the vehicle
- Complete an approved Driver Education Course if a course has not already been completed
- Upon passing the following tests and paying the appropriate fees, an applicant who has successfully completed the GLP may obtain a Full Unrestricted License.
- Vision Exam. An applicant must be evaluated at a visual acuity of at least 20/40 to pass with no restrictions. Corrective lenses may be worn to pass the test, and, if required, must be worn while driving.
- Knowledge Test. The Kentucky Driver Manual comprises the subject of the questions in the written test. Applicants will be evaluated on their understanding of traffic laws, signals, signs, procedures and regulations. A score of 80 percent is needed to pass. The applicant may re-take the test up to 6 times; however, upon failing the 6th attempt, the applicant must wait 6 months to re-take the test.
- Road Skills Test. The road test is designed to measure an applicant’s ability to control his/her vehicle. The vehicle, provided by the applicant, must be properly maintained, registered and insured. A vehicle inspection will be performed prior to the test, and the Kentucky Driver Manual explains each requirement. The test will evaluate the applicant’s following skils:
- Turning around
- Stopping and starting on a grade
- Parallel parking
- Intersection approach
- Clutch (if applicable)
- Lane use
- Vehicle control.
- Fees. The following fees apply for every applicant:
- Learner’s Permit, $12
- Full License Fees:
- Age 16, $10
- Age 17, $8
- Age 18, $6
- Age 19, $4
- Age 20, $2
- BAC limit: .08 Kentucky law lists the penalties for DUI convictions. The state has implemented mandatory jail sentences for DUI convictions involving aggravating circumstances. The sentences many times double the simple DUI sentences, and the Transportation Cabinet has provided an easy-to-read explanation for determining aggravating circumstances.
- First Offense:
- Fine: $200 – $500
- Imprisonment: 2 – 30 days
- Alcohol/substance abuse program: 90 days
- License suspension: 30 – 120 days
- Possible community service: 48 hours – 30 days
- Second Offense within 5 Years:
- Fine: $350 – $500
- Imprisonment: 7 days – 6 months
- Alcohol/substance abuse program: 1 year
- License suspension: 12 – 18 months
- Community service: 10 days – 6 months
- Third Offense within 5 Years:
- Fine: $500 – $1,000
- Imprisonment: 30 days – 12 months
- Alcohol/substance abuse program: 1 year
- License suspension: 24 – 36 months
- Community service: 10 days – 12 months
- Refusals to take alcohol or substance tests result in mandatory license revocations, the terms for which increase at each susbsequent offense.
- Ignition Inerlock Devices may be implemented on any subsequent DUI offense(s)
Texting & Driving Laws
Kentucky has banned all cell phone use, including hands-free and handheld, from novice drivers and bus drivers. Distraction.gov reports that texting for all drivers is also banned within the state.
Kentucky law has finally answered the age-old question of, “When is enough, enough?” Kentucky answers, when drinking, one is sober until one “cannot hold onto the ground”! And when driving through the land-locked state of Kentucky, remember that shooting game out of the window of the car is illegal…unless it’s a whale!