When driving a Commonwealth of Kentucky registered vehicle, insurance is required by all drivers at all times.
Kentucky minimum car insurance requirements are:
- Auto Insurance policy with limits of at least: 25/50/10 – meaning:
- Liability coverage
- $25,000 of bodily injury to another person
- $50,000 of bodily injuries to all other persons
- $10,000 of injury to or destruction of property of others in any one accident
No-fault coverage pays up to $10,000 for medical expenses, lost wages and other costs that might be incurred by an accident, regardless of fault. Drivers who decide not to pay for no-fault personal injury protection must mail a form to the Kentucky Department of Insurance. This form can be obtained by your insurance agent or company, or the KDI.
Rather than a “split limit” policy of 25/50/10, it is possible instead to purchase a single limit policy, which is a liability policy of at least $60,000.
Alternative Options to Insurance:
- Self Insurance Certificates are available in Kentucky if:
- You or your company has more than 25 registered vehicles.
- You must qualify by application through the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet
Kentucky Transportation Cabinet
200 Mero St.
Frankfort, KY 40622
Required Proof of Insurance in Kentucky
Proof of insurance is required at all times in Kentucky, and can be verified through a database available to all peace officers.
Insurance card, provided by insurer:
- Includes name, insurer, vehicles covered, and effective date of insurance.
- Must be carried in the vehicle at all times.
Self Insurance certificates are issued by the state and must include the following:
- Certificate Number issued by Department of Licensing
- Effective Date of Certificate
- Accurate description of year, make/model of registered vehicle
- Name of driver covered by certificate
215 West Main St.
Frankfort, KY 40601
(502) 564-3630 or
Obtaining a Driver’s License
Kentucky has adopted a Graduated Driver License program in order to ease student drivers into safely controlling a vehicle on their own. The program is divided into a permit phase and an intermediate phase before drivers reach full privileges.
Here are the requirements to obtain your license for residents under the age of 18:
- Be at least 16 years old.
- A parent or legal guardian must sign the permit application.
- Drivers must have a 180-day instruction period once they get their permit.
- Permit holders may only drive with a licensed driver 21 or older in the front seat and only one unrelated person under 20.
- Permit holders under 18 may only drive between 6 a.m. and midnight unless they can prove a good reason for driving.
- Permit holders must drive 60 hours, with 10 being at night, as certified by a parent or guardian, before a road skills test can be administered.
- A driver under 18 can earn no more than six points in Kentucky’s state system before driving privileges may be suspended.
- If the applicant has a serious moving violation, his or her 180-day waiting period will begin again from the date of violation.
Drivers in the intermediate phase:
- Must pass the driving skills test after their 180-day period.
- May only drive between 6 a.m. and midnight, unless they can prove a good reason for driving outside that time period.
- May only drive with one unrelated passenger under 20.
- May not accumulate more than six points in Kentucky’s state system, or driving privileges may be suspended.
- May commit no serious moving violations, or the 180-day intermediate phase will begin again from the date of violation.
- Must complete a 4-hour safety class offered by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet or a Driver Education Course from an approved private driving school.
Once you meet the requirements, visit your local Circuit Court Clerk’s office and apply for a driver license. Bring the following:
- A non-laminated Social Security Card.
- An original or certified copy of your birth certificate.
- An application, signed by a parent or legal guardian if the driver is under 18.
A school compliance verification form, or No Pass/No Drive form for all students 16 and 17 years old, which:
- Prevents students with excessive (more than eight) absences from receiving or maintaining a permit or license, due to automatic notification.
- Prevents drop-outs or others considered “academically deficient” from receiving or maintaining a permit or license until corrective action is taken, due to automatic notification.
All drivers must:
- Complete a driver license application.
- Pass knowledge test or present previous driver license.
- Pass vision screening.
The following documents are required for application:
- Proof of Kentucky residency.
- Proof of U.S. citizenship or legal resident status.
Completing Driver Education
Kentucky offers several options for those hoping to learn to drive and earn a driver license. Students can enroll in a driver education course or state traffic school at age 16.
New driver state traffic school
- Is, by law, offered in each county at least twice per year.
- Is run by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.
High school driver education course, offered through a child’s school.
State-licensed driving education school.
Knowing the Rules of the Road
The Commonwealth of Kentucky provides its rules of the road, available for download, online through the legislature’s website. It is always in a driver’s best interest to carefully adhere to state driving laws, which will also keep insurance rates low.
- Laws governing vehicle speed, abandoned vehicles, signaling, the state ban on texting while driving, open containers of alcohol in vehicles, driving under the influence of alcohol and/or controlled substances, and other relevant topics can be found here: Kentucky Revised Statutes
Residents of Kentucky typically fall into one of three market divisions: preferred, for low-risk drivers with clean records; standard, for average-risk drivers with a few tickets or accidents on their records or are insuring higher-risk drivers; and non-standard, for high-risk drivers or those with several or major offenses on their records. The preferred market drivers typically enjoy the best car insurance rates in Kentucky, though standard market drivers can still get affordable auto insurance in Kentucky. Unfortunately, though, non-standard drivers typically have the most costly insurance policies.
Know Your Rates
Auto insurance rates are calculated based on every driver in a household. Some factors are out of your control, but there are also some that you can do something about:
- Age. Licensed teenage drivers make up only 6% of Kentucky’s drivers, yet they are involved in 20% of all accidents. Because they are so much more likely to be involved in an accident than older driver, their rates are much higher.
- Gender. Statistics show that males, especially those under 25, are more likely to be involved in an accident than young female drivers, so they will pay higher rates.
- Driving record and claims history. Every time you have a collision or are convicted of certain violations, you may see a rate increase. For this reason, safe drivers will receive the lowest auto insurance rates in Kentucky.
- Geographical area. In some parts of Kentucky, insurers might base rates on the cost of potential car repairs based on the number of shops or limited competition in a given area. They might also consider the proximity of the nearest emergency medical facilities. The number of accidents in an area and the characteristics of an average local driver may also be considered.
- Make, model, and year of the vehicle. Generally, owners of sports cars will pay higher rates than owners of family-friendly or economy vehicles. High-performance cars are more likely to be stolen and are more expensive to repair.
- Credit history. Companies will look at your credit information to determine whether or not to issue or renew your policy, and it can also affect the rate you get on your policy. In Kentucky, an insurance company can not decline or cancel coverage based solely on a poor credit score or a lack of credit history.
Lower Your Rates
The Kentucky Department of Insurance has several tips for drivers to keep their insurance rates as low as possible:
- Compare auto insurance rates in Kentucky. Look for different rates before you settle on one insurance provider.
- Raise your deductible and limit the number of claims you file. If you experience a small loss and no one else was involved, pay for the damage yourself if you can, and it might lower the risk of a rate increase.
- Ask about discounts that might be available for a good driving record, good students, low mileage, anti-theft devices, membership in a business association, and package or multi-car discounts.
- Consider how the purchase of particular vehicles might affect your rates. Contact your agent or broker with questions.
Picking an Insurance Agent/Broker
Insurance agents with insurance companies work to sell policies for commission. Insurance brokers, on the other hand, do not represent a particular company. Instead, they work with individual clients to find insurance options that best fit their needs. Like agents, however, they also receive a commission for the sales they make from different insurance companies.
Whether you use an agent or broker, make sure that they are licensed with the Kentucky Department of Insurance. In addition, you can request information from the department about how many complaints have been filed against a particular agent or broker. They can also tell you how many times they have faced disciplinary actions.
If you have had issues with an insurance company, you can file a complaint against the company through the insurance department’s website, Kentucky Gov.
After an Accident
Accidents are never fun for anyone involved, but by following the laws established by Kentucky, and by following a few simple tips provided by the Kentucky Department of Insurance, the process of recovery can become easier.
If no one is injured in your accident, it is Kentucky law that you clear your vehicle from the roadway but as near to the accident scene as possible as quickly as you can without obstructing traffic.
If someone is injured in an accident, call for emergency response immediately. It is ok to provide basic first aid, but unless you have medical training, do not move an injured person because you could make their medical condition worse.
Record, mentally or otherwise, the weather conditions, time of day, position of other vehicles on the road, and any other factors that could have played a role in the accident. Using a phone or digital camera if possible, take photographs of the scene so you can document conditions and back up your claim as necessary.
Exchange information with any other parties involved to provide to your insurance company. You’ll want to know their names, addresses, phone numbers, insurance company information and policy number and information, even if they have no car insurance in Kentucky. If there were any witnesses, get name and contact information from them so they can provide information to your insurance company about accident details and verify your claim. Report the claim to your insurance company as soon as possible, even if someone else was at fault.
Insurance for High-Risk Drivers
The Kentucky Automobile Insurance Plan was created to provide insurance coverage to drivers who have been deemed too risky by insurance providers in the voluntary market. With time, these drivers can mend their driving records and move back to low cost car insurance in Kentucky, but in the meantime, to qualify for non-standard insurance, you must:
- Certify that you have been refused automobile insurance coverage within the last 60 days,
- Provide a premium deposit with the application, and
- Maintain your principal residence in Kentucky, or the automobile to be insured must be registered in Kentucky.
Contact (502) 327-8909 or a local voluntary market insurance agent or broker to sign up for the KAIP, and find out more online at their website.
The Kentucky Department of Insurance is in place to protect a fair insurance market, advocate on behalf of consumers, and advise consumers to make wise choices. Allegations of fraud or other criminal threats to the consumer can be addressed through the DOI’s Fraud Investigation Division at (502) 564-1461. A report form is available on the DOI webpage.