kansas driving information
There's a lot to know about driving in the Sunflower State. But don't worry — we've got your back. Read on for info on driving regulations and licensing before hitting the road in Kansas.
Kansas driver information
Licensed drivers: 2,045,000
Registered vehicles: 2,425,000
Total road miles: 140,753 (3rd in the U.S.)
Average time needed to commute: 18.8 minutes (national average: 25.2 minutes)
Licensing and registration authority: Kansas Department of Transportation
Car accidents, violations, and your Kansas driving record
Kansas drivers can lose their driving privileges if they commit 3 or more moving violations in a one-year period.
Drivers licenses can also be suspended for missing a mandatory court date, a DUI conviction, driving without car insurance, or reckless driving, among other causes.
How long violations remain on your record
In Kansas, minor violations (like speeding) stay on your driving record for 3 years. Major offenses, like driving with a suspended license, stay on for 5 years. And DUI charges remain on a driver's record for life.
DUIs in Kansas
A first-time DUI conviction can be penalized by loss of license, a fine of up to $1,000, and a jail sentence of at least 48 hours or 100 hours of community service.
Subsequent convictions, naturally, lead to more severe penalties. And as noted above, a DUI conviction remains on a driver's record permanently.
DUI-related car accidents
In 2009, 39.9 percent of Kansas' total driving deaths involved a motorist who was above the legal alcohol limit. This was the 8th-highest ratio among all states that year.
Reporting incidents in Kansas
All car accidents must be reported to the police if they include injury or property damage of $500 or more.
To stay on the safe side, we recommend calling the police to the scene of any accident regardless of how minor the damage initially appears.
Distracted driving in Kansas
Texting while driving is illegal for motorists of all ages. Talking on cell phones is permitted for adult drivers, but banned for student ones.
These are primary laws in Kansas, meaning the driver can be cited for those infractions alone.
Moving to Kansas
New residents in the Sunflower State have 90 days to trade their old drivers licenses and vehicle registrations for Kansas ones.
This does not apply if you move to Kansas to attend college or serve in the military. In either case, you can continue driving with a valid license from your home state.
The student-driver process in Kansas
For most teens, student driving in Kansas has 3 simple steps: get your instruction permit, get your restricted license, and get your full license. Let's walk through them one by one.
How to get your instruction permit:
- Must be at least 14 years old and at most 15 years old
- Pass vision screening
- Pass written exam
Limits of instruction permit
- Must be accompanied at all times by a licensed driver who is 21 or older and has at least one year of driving experience
- No using any wireless communication devices except in emergency
How to get your restricted license
- Must be at least 15 years old and at most 16 years old
- Hold instruction permit for one year
- Complete certified drivers ed course (if under 16)
- Complete 25 hours of supervised driving while on permit
Limits of restricted license
- Under 16 years old
- No unsupervised driving except for school, work, or farm purposes
- No passengers except family members
- No using any wireless communication device except in emergency
- Over 16 years old
- No unsupervised night driving (between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m.) for first 6 months except for work/school/farm purposes
- Only one passenger under 18 allowed (not including family members) for first 6 months
- No wireless communication devices allowed
How to get your full drivers license
- Be at least 17 years old
- Hold restricted license for one year
- Complete 50 hours of supervised driving (10 at night)
- Pass driving exam
Kansas makes special driving exceptions for certain teens. If you live on a farm (technically defined as a piece of land 20 acres or bigger used for agricultural purposes) or you're a paid employee on a farm, you can get a farm permit once you turn 14. This allows you to drive on the job, including to and from the farm, so long as you're accompanied by a licensed driver who is 21 or older.
Our guide to car insurance in Kansas
A helpful guide to insurance regulations in the Sunflower State
Kansas Department of Transportation's official website
Your source for weather updates, up-to-the-minute traffic reports, and much more.
Kansas driving handbook (PDF)
A comprehensive guide on driving in Kansas, presented by the licensing bureau.