LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Forget March. Kentucky now expects to begin offering its new driver’s licenses in April.
The state plans to start rolling out the new IDs in Franklin and Woodford counties in “early April,” then make them available in other counties about two to three weeks later, according to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.
The cabinet, which is overseeing the project, said in a press release that dates for the state’s other 118 counties will be made public in April. The licenses should be available statewide within two months, or sometime in June.
Wednesday’s announcement effectively means a delay of at least about a month from the preliminary dates posted online.
“Extending the testing phase allows the project team and card vendor needed time to vet and update the new system used to handle front- and back-end operations associated with how we issue and produce the new cards,” Department of Vehicle Regulation Commissioner Matt Henderson said in a press release.
A cabinet spokesperson said last week there had been no formal decision to delay the rollout, even though an official with the Jefferson County Circuit Clerk’s office said the schedule had been “pushed back.”
Clerks across the state have dealt with shifting timelines for the new IDs.
Franklin County, for example, had expected to begin offering the new licenses the week of March 11. On Wednesday morning, before the state’s announcement, Circuit Court Clerk Amy Feldman said her office was planning for a March 26 start date.
Also this week, Shelby County Circuit Court Clerk Wendy Graney said that despite the early April date her citizens saw online, “I am advising everyone here that I don’t anticipate us having them the first week of April.”
The state is overhauling its driver’s licenses to meet the requirements of a post-9/11 law aimed at making credentials more secure. In Kentucky, drivers will choose between two different types of licenses.
A “voluntary travel ID” is similar to the state’s current driver’s license, letting its holder drive, make age-limited purchases, board domestic flights and enter military posts.
A "standard driver's license" would let its holder drive, make purchases and enter federal buildings for basic services, but starting in fall 2020 won’t be accepted for air travel within the U.S. Instead, a passport or other federal ID would be needed.
The credentials look alike, although the travel ID has a clear star on the front. The standard ID says "NOT FOR REAL ID PURPOSES" on its front.