(Note from the marketing department: We could have used any image related to driving and vehicles here. But, honestly, we thought a picture of a dog with its head out the window might be more likely to bring a smile to your face.)
As you might imagine, ensuring the safety and maintenance of roads and transportation networks can be very complex. Issues such as taxation of vehicles, maintenance of roadways, commercial transportation, and the issuance of driver’s licenses require cooperation and coordination between many state and local entities. In Kansas, these entities currently share the primary responsibility for oversight and regulation:
Each entity owns a unique piece of the puzzle and manages different aspects of licensure, compliance, regulation, planning, and oversight for their areas of specialization.
To make sure that people can get from place to place safely, Kansas requires that vehicles are registered and meet certain standards.
Once you buy a vehicle, you’ll need to be sure that it is legally registered and properly insured. Whether your vehicle is new or used, you’ll need to visit your local county treasurer’s office to obtain tags and titles — this includes obtaining personalized or distinctive license plates. In addition to registering your vehicle, you will need to pay an annual renewal fee for your vehicle tags. Renewal notices are sent by your county treasurer’s office in the weeks preceding your renewal date. You can renew via paper or online through the iKan app.
Another requirement of a road-worthy vehicle is purchasing and maintaining automobile insurance. The Kansas Insurance Department provides drivers with information on the basic coverages required in Kansas, as well as an “Auto Shopper’s Guide” that can help give you the confidence you need to navigate the sometimes intimidating process of obtaining proper coverage.
For those who finance their vehicles, a lien will be placed on the vehicle title. The lien is filed by the Lienholder and acts as form of security until you pay off your loan in full. The Kansas Department of Revenue Division of Vehicles has provided answers to some of the most frequently asked questions related to liens.
Businesses with a need to verify titles, liens, and registrations of vehicles can take advantage of Kansas.gov’s Title, Lien, and Registration service.
For drivers who need to obtain a “Disabled Parking Placard/Plate/Decal,” you will need to:
Whether you drive for a living or live to drive, you need to have a valid license before you hit the road.
If you are an adult and have never been issued a Kansas license, you will need to prove your identity and residence, pass the necessary examinations (written, driving, and vision) and pay the applicable fees. KDOR publishes driver’s handbooks (English and Spanish) to help you study. There is also an Alexa skill that you can download to practice taking your test. There are special requirements for teen drivers who want to obtain a license.
Applying for your driver’s license must be done in person at a Driver’s License Exam Station. Several locations participate in the Q-Flow Wait Line Management System. This service allows you to reserve an appointment in advance and skip the line when you arrive. Be sure to review the checklist to make sure that you have brought all the necessary documentation with you when you arrive at your appointment.
Once you have your license, you will need to keep an eye on its expiration date. Your license is no longer valid once the date has passed, even if you have a good driving record. The good news is that many drivers are eligible to renew their licenses online.
The Kansas Department of Revenue may suspend a driver’s license for a variety of reasons, including failure to provide proof of insurance, driving under the influence, or accumulation of unpaid fines. If this happens to you, you will need to contact the Division of Vehicles – Driver Solutions office. Special action is required to apply for restricted driving privileges or to have your license reinstated.
There are certain careers that require a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). Obtaining your CDL is much more rigorous than applying for a non-commercial driver’s license — think of it as akin to studying for a professional certification. CDL applicants must pass two exams to demonstrate their mastery of the state requirements:
Commercial drivers and motor carriers are subject to a high level of oversight and regulation at both the state and federal level. Some of the programs with Kansas are:
K-TRIPS is the Kansas Truck Routing and Intelligent Permitting System. A cooperative effort among the Kansas Department of Transportation, Kansas Department of Revenue, Kansas Highway Patrol and the motor carrier industry, K-TRIPS provides internet-based permit application, payment and delivery. K-TRIPS will also include an interactive, map-based tool set to allow permit applicants to test routes with specific load configurations.
There are nearly 141,000 miles of roadway in Kansas. Staying safe and alert is the responsibility of every driver. In Kansas, the following safety-related resources are available to those who need them: