LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – A day after a waiver expired, Kentucky was waiting to find out if the U.S. government will approve its request for more time to comply with tougher standards for driver’s licenses.

The state has asked for a one-year extension to meet the requirements of the federal REAL ID law, which boosts the security of documents used to enter federal buildings and board airplanes.  

Without the extension, Kentuckians will need a passport or other U.S-issued ID to enter military installations and other federal facilities starting in January.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has yet to tell state officials about its decision, Kentucky Transportation Cabinet spokesman Ryan Watts said shortly before 4:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Homeland Security plans to make those notifications this week, spokesman Aaron Rodriguez said. Besides Kentucky, 27 other states and territories had been granted a one-year extension.

John-Mark Hack, the state’s vehicle regulation commissioner, told a legislative committee last week that Kentucky already has met most of the requirements of REAL ID and believes an additional waiver is warranted.

He has said residents wouldn’t be immediately affected if an extension isn’t granted, noting that only a Homeland Security building in Washington, D.C., would stop accepting a Kentucky ID right away.

The biggest change would occur in January 2018. Unless Kentucky upgrades its driver’s licenses by then, current ones won’t be valid for domestic flights. Instead, a passport or other identification also would be needed.

In Kentucky, individual counties distribute driver’s licenses. The lack of a centralized system entity that issues IDs is keeping the state from fully abiding by the federal law.

A bill that would have put Kentucky into compliance with REAL ID passed the General Assembly this year with bipartisan support – and opposition from both parties. Republican Gov. Matt Bevin, who had supported the measure, ultimately vetoed it.

Bevin wrote in his veto message that there was “widespread opposition” to REAL ID. “We also owe the voters of Kentucky the ability to see what effect, if any, the next Presidential administration will have on this issue,” the governor said.

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